Watson Wins in Wailea

By Sports NetworkFebruary 1, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 WendyMAUI, Hawaii -- Tom Watson won the Champions Skins Game on Saturday, taking the final five skins and $260,000 with a par on the third hole of a playoff. Watson, the leader after the first nine holes with $70,000, finished the two-day event with $400,000 and 10 skins.
The 2003 Champions Tour player of the year tapped in for par and won when defending champion Lee Trevino three-putted from 25 feet for bogey.
Arnold Palmer, who failed to win a skin the past two years, was second with $140,000, Jack Nicklaus made $60,000 and Trevino was shut out.
Watson, 54, was the youngest of the foursome and the longest hitter, hit the green with his approach shot on the third extra hole then two-putted from 35 feet for the win.
Watson has won 39 times on the PGA Tour, including eight majors. He won the Senior British Open and the Tradition last year, two majors on the Champions Tour.

Palmer, playing in his 50th professional season, began the day in third place with $50,000.
Palmer, 74, and Nicklaus were eliminated on the first extra hole after failing to birdie. It was the 16th Skins appearance for Palmer, who won the event in 1990, 1992 and 1993. Nicklaus, the 1991 winner, entered for the 14th time.
Using a cross-handed putting grip for the second day, Palmer holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 167-yard No. 11 to take three skins and $90,000. That pushed his winnings to $140,000 and gave him his first lead - $70,000 lead over Watson.
Watson threatened to regain the lead on the next hole by sinking a winding 25-foot birdie putt. But Palmer calmly rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt to halve the hole.
It was Palmer's fifth birdie in seven holes.
'I'm going cross-handed tomorrow,' Trevino said.
Watson tied Palmer for the lead by sinking a 10-foot eagle putt on the 530-yard 13th hole. The birdie, set up by a fairway wood shot from 255 yards, earned Watson earned two skins and $70,000.
On the final hole in regulation, Watson missed an 8-foot birdie putt, setting the stage for Palmer. But Palmer couldn't sink his 7-foot birdie putt, sending it into a playoff.
Nicklaus, sixth last week in the season-opening MasterCard Championship after turning 64, began the day in second place with $60,000.
He struggled with his tee shots Saturday and failed to pick up a skin on the back nine.
Trevino, 64, was visibly bothered by a left hip injury he suffered a few weeks ago when he fell in a bunker in Texas.
Last year, Trevino holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the third extra hole to finish with six skins and $240,000, preventing Hale Irwin from claiming his fourth straight title.
This year's quartet has combined to win 258 events on the PGA and Champions tours, including 39 majors and more than $51 million.
The first six holes were worth $20,000, Nos. 7-12 $30,000, the next five $40,000 and No. 18 $100,000.
Saturday's gallery was estimated at 4,000, double Friday's crowd. One of the biggest draws was 14-year-old Michelle Wie, who played in Nicklaus' group in the pro-am.
Conditions at the course were ideal and windless for the second day. The 6,835-yard Wailea Gold Course on Maui island runs along the base of the dormant volcano Haleakala and has 93 white-sand bunkers.
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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

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    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

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    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

    It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

    With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

    Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


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    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.