Uresti Cruises to Canadian Tour Title

By Sports NetworkMarch 20, 2005, 5:00 pm
Canadian Tour-LargeAUSTIN, Texas -- Omar Uresti capped off a brilliant week in his hometown Sunday to win the Barton Creek Austin Canadian Tour Challenge.
 
Beginning the day with a two-shot edge, Uresti, who is a full-time member on the PGA Tour and played this week on a sponsors exemption, avoided any drama Sunday with a final-round 5-under 65 at Barton Creeks Crenshaw Cliffside course. The Texan came in with a four-day total of 16-under 264, five shots in front of Canadians Derek Gillespie and Rob McMillan.
 
Craig Matthew of Montreal wound up third with Aussie Ben Bunny and Californian Brian Guetz at minus-10.
 
Rookie Tom Johnson fired a 9-under 61, one shot shyof Gillespies course record set Thursday, to jump from 45th all the way to seventh while five-time PGA Tour champion Blaine McCallister closed with a 62 to grab a share of tenth with four others.
 
It was Urestis first win since 1994 when he was a member of what is now known as the Nationwide Tour. That day at the Shreveport Open, Uresti reeled off a Tour-record nine straight birdies, a benchmark that still stands to this day. So far this year, Uresti has made four of six cuts on the PGA Tour with a best showing of 26th at the Chrysler Classic of Tucson.
 
Sunday also marked the fourth consecutive season that a player participating on a sponsors exemption finished atop the leaderboard in a Canadian Tour event. Pablo del Olmo began the streak with a win at the 2002 Michelin Ixtapa Classic followed by Canadian amateur standout James Lepp and Nick Watney in 2003. Last year, Stephen Gangluff used an exemption to win the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Championship.
 
This was great for the confidence, said Uresti. Its been eleven years since I won, so maybe this is what I need. Anytime you can win a tournament, wherever it is, it is going to help you.
 
Uresti birdied his opening hole of the day and made the turn at 2-under to build a three-shot edge and never looked back on the inbound nine. Even as McMillan was attempting to beat down the door, Uresti just kept slamming it shut. The 36-year-old just missed rolling in an eagle putt from the fringe on the par-4 14th and rubber-stamped the triumph with a birdie on the following hole.
 
After waiting on the 14th tee for the group ahead to play out, Uresti struck up a conversation with playing partners David Hearn and John Mallinger, talking hockey and college hoops. The delay did not get Uresti off his game as the 36-year-old drove the green and two-putted for birdie.
 
We had to wait there for a while, and I ended up hitting a perfect tee shot, said Uresti, who lit it up for rounds of 63-73-63-65 this week. I think that was the shot of the day for me. I had been keeping an eye on the leaderboards off and on all afternoon; these guys out here can play. That shot gave me some breathing room and I was able to bring it home.
 
Gillespie ended an up and down week on a high with a final-round 66, helped along by an eagle and two birdies over his final five holes. But coming off a course-record 60 in the opening round, the 26-year-old Oshawa, Ont. native, who at one point Friday had a six-shot lead, knows he may have let one get away from him this week.
 
I dont know whats going on right now, said Gillespie. My game is up and down like a Slinky. I guess it is just part of the game. Even on the front side today, I missed some putts or I could have been really low. But at least I was able to bounce back.
 
Like Gillespie, McMillan began the day four shots back of Uresti and simply ran out of holes before he could make a charge Sunday. Had it not been for an unfortunate break late Saturday, perhaps it would have been a different ending for the three-time Tour champion.
 
As the third round was closing out, lightning touched down in the Austin area just as McMillan, playing in the final group of the day with Gillespie and Brian Guetz, hit his tee shot the on the final hole. Once play resumed, McMillan saw his shot had landed in a large divot on the fairway, leaving him with virtually no approach. His next shot found the hazard short of the green and McMillan ended up making double-bogey.
 
You tend to think about things like that after the fact, he admitted. But it was just a bad break. Theres not much you can do about it. You tend to say to yourself, Man, if I could only have that one back. But it was a good week, and hopefully I can build on the momentum.
 
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    Stricker shares first-round lead in South Dakota

    By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 12:48 am

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Steve Stricker shot a 7-under 63 on Friday to share the first-round lead at the Sanford International.

    The 51-year-old Stricker was 8 under through 17 holes at chilly, rain-softened Minnehaha Country Club but closed with a bogey to fall into a tie with Jerry Smith, Brandt Jobe and David McKenzie.

    Stricker only got to play seven holes in the pro-am because of rain that prevented the field from getting in much practice.

    ''You've just kind of got to trust your yardage book and hit to the spots and then try to make a good game plan on the way into the green, too, not really knowing where to hit it or where to miss it up there on the green. Sometimes it's good, too,'' Stricker said. ''You go around and you're focused a lot more on hitting it to a specific spot and not knowing what lies ahead in the course. So I guess today was the ultimate 'Take one hole at a time' because we didn't really know anything else, what was coming.''


    Full-field scores from the Sanford International


    Stricker has two wins and has not finished worse than fifth in six starts this season on the over-50 tour as he continues to play a part-time schedule on the PGA Tour. Next week, he will be one of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk's assistants at the matches outside Paris.

    McKenzie, a 51-year-old Australian, had two eagles on the back nine, holing a wedge from 116 yards on the par-5 16th.

    ''We got told ... to play faster on No. 16, and so my caddie just said, 'Hit it in the hole so you don't have to putt it,' so I just did what he told me,'' McKenzie said.

    Smith had eagles on Nos. 4 and 12.

    ''Honestly, I was just trying to hit some good shots and I really wasn't with the irons,'' Smith said. ''I just really didn't like the way I hit them today. You know, just the putter was the big difference for me. I just felt good with it all day, especially say outside of 10, 15 feet, where I felt like I was a lot.''

    Scott McCarron, Lee Janzen and Paul Goydos were one shot back. McCarron came in second in the Charles Schwab Cup money standings behind Miguel Angel Jimenez, who is not playing this week.

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    Glover (64) leads Web.com Tour Championship

    By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 12:12 am

    ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover shot his second consecutive 7-under 64 on Friday to take a one-shot lead at the Web.com Tour Championship.

    The 38-year-old Glover, who won the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, can still regain his PGA Tour card through a medical extension if he fails to earn enough money in the four-tournament Web.com Tour Finals. But a high finish this weekend at Atlantic Beach Country Club would take care of everything.

    ''I've got a lot to fall back on regardless of this week, but any time I tee it up, I want to play well,'' Glover said. ''Tomorrow won't be any different. Sunday won't be any different.''

    Glover had arthroscopic knee surgery in June and will have eight starts to earn 53 FedEx Cup points and keep his card. He earned $17,212 in the first three Web.com Tour Finals events. The top 25 money winners in the series earn PGA Tour cards, and the final card went for $40,625 last year.

    Glover was at 14-under 128. Denny McCarthy, who has already earned enough money to secure a return to the PGA Tour, was one shot back. McCarthy, a former Virginia player, has a shot at winning the Finals money list, which would guarantee him fully exempt status and entry into The Players Championship.


    Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship


    ''There's no secret about it. I'll come out and tell you I'm here to win this tournament and get that No. 1 spot,'' McCarthy said. ''I've been hungry for a while. I have a pretty hungry attitude and I'm going to stay hungry.''

    Tour veteran Cameron Tringale, who has earned just $2,660 after missing two of the first three cuts, was 12 under after a 67. Last year, Tringale entered the Web.com Tour Championship at 63rd on the Finals money list and finished tied for fifth to get back onto the PGA Tour. He struggled again this season, though, missing 19 cuts in 26 starts.

    ''Yeah, I was hoping last year was my last time here, but I do have a comfort at this golf course and I'm excited to keep pressing,'' Tringale said.

    The four-tournament series features the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200. The top 25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals.

    Sepp Straka and Ben Silverman were three shots back. Each would likely need a top-5 finish to earn his card.

    Peter Malnati, who regained his card with a second-place finish in the opening finals event, followed his opening-round 74 with a 9-under 62, shooting an 8-under 27 on his second nine.

    Four-time PGA Tour winner Aaron Baddeley was among those who missed the cut. He was 22nd on the finals money list going in and likely will fall short of earning his card.

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    Thomas (69) only three back with 'C' or 'D' game

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 21, 2018, 11:56 pm

    ATLANTA – Justin Thomas was tied for fourth place following his second-round 69 on Friday at the Tour Championship, which considering the state of his game on Day 2 was an accomplishment.

    “I wish I had my 'B' game today. I would say I had my 'C' or 'D' game today,” he laughed.

    Thomas’ struggles were primarily with his driver and he hit just 6 of 14 fairways at East Lake, but he was able to scramble late in his round with birdies at Nos. 15 and 18 to remain three off the lead.


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    “I drove it so poorly today, this is probably in my top 5 rounds of the year I'm most proud of just because I easily could have shot 4- or 5-over par today and not had a chance to win the tournament,” he said. “I hung in there and birdied two of the last four, and I have a chance.”

    Thomas was slowed the last two weeks by a right wrist injury that limited his preparation for the finale and said the issue with his driver is timing and the byproduct of a lack of practice.

    Thomas made up for his erratic driving with his short game, getting up and down four out of seven times including on the fourth hole when he missed the fairway well left, punched out short of the green and chipped in from 81 feet.

    “[Rory McIlroy] just kind of said it looked like a ‘3’ the whole day and I kind of laughed because I played with him at The Players and I chipped in three times that first round with him, so I guess he's good luck for me,” Thomas said.

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    McIlroy two behind Woods, Rose after 68

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 21, 2018, 11:46 pm

    ATLANTA – Maybe it should be no huge surprise that Rory McIlroy finds himself back in contention at the Tour Championship. It is, after all, a Ryder Cup year.

    In 2016, McIlroy won the finale before heading to Hazeltine and posting a 3-2-0 record. In ’14, he finished runner-up to Billy Horschel and went 2-1-2 at the Ryder Cup; and in ’12 he finished tied for 10th place at East Lake and went 3-2-0 at Medinah.

    “I was on such a high a couple of years ago going into Hazeltine after winning the whole thing, and I felt great about my game that week and played well. I won three matches,” McIlroy said. “I guess it doesn't matter whether it's a match play event or whatever. If you're playing well and you've played well the week before, I think most people can carry it into the next week, whatever that is.”


    Projected FedExCup standings

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    McIlroy’s performance this week certainly qualifies as “playing well.” He charged out on Friday with birdies at two of his first three holes and bounced back from a pair of late bogeys to shoot a 68 and was in third place and two strokes off the lead held by Tiger Woods and Justin Rose.

    “I've made 12 birdies in 36 holes, which is really good around here, and that's with not birdieing either of the par 5s today,” he said. “So yeah, just tidy up the mistakes a little bit.”