Webster Holds On for Maiden Victory

By Sports NetworkMay 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourMILAN, Italy -- Steve Webster posted a 4-under 68 on Sunday to capture the Telecom Italia Open. Webster finished the event at 18-under-par 270 for his long-awaited first victory on the European Tour.
Anders Hansen made a final-round charge with a 66 to share second place with Bradley Dredge and Richard Finch at 15-under-par 273. Local favorite Emanuele Canonica was one shot further back at 14-under-par 274.
Webster had come close to his maiden win several times before, including a playoff loss to two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen at the 2001 Telefonica Open de Madrid. Webster was given another chance this week at Castello di Tolcinasco and he jumped out of the gate in the final round on Sunday with a birdie at the par-5 first.
The Englishman found trouble with a bogey at the par-4 third, however, and his shaky front nine continued with a bogey at the par-3 eighth. Webster responded with a birdie at the following hole and played his approach to 12 feet for a birdie at the par-4 10th.
With several players applying pressure to the top of the leaderboard, Webster drained a 10-foot putt for a birdie at the par-4 13th to remain in first. Webster then began to pull away with a birdie at the par-5 15th after he reached the green in two.
At the par-4 17th, Webster dropped his second shot inside 10 feet and ran home the birdie putt to move to 18-under. Webster then parred the closing hole to win by three strokes.
'I was concentrating really hard,' said Webster. 'My mind was racing ahead. I always thought I could win and with nine holes to go I was telling myself you are going to win this. But to make the winning putt with a couple of shots in hand was a great feeling.'
Hansen tallied a pair of birdies and a bogey over his first four holes. He added back-to-back birdies starting at the par-5 ninth and picked up a birdie at the 12th to move to 13-under.
The Dane continued his fine play with two straight birdies from the 14th, but he looked to be in trouble at the par-3 16th after his tee shot found a greenside bunker. Hansen hit out to 12 feet and rolled in the putt to save par. He managed a couple of pars on his closing holes to finish in a tie for second.
Finch, the 36-hole leader, stumbled to a bogey at the par-4 second and hit his tee shot in the water en route to a double bogey at the par-3 eighth. The Englishman persisted and collected three birdies over his next four holes to get back to minus-13.
Finch sank a 10-foot putt for a birdie at the 15th and drained a 20-footer for a birdie at the 17th on his way to a round of 70.
Dredge picked up a birdie at the first and another at the fourth to grab a share of the lead. He struggled to a bogey at the very next hole, however, and faltered again with a bogey at the 10th.
The Welshman hit his second shot to 6 feet for a birdie at the par-4 11th and made it two in a row with a birdie at the 12th. Dredge then birdied the 14th and the 17th to get to 16-under, but a bogey at the last left him three shots off the pace.
Simon Khan suffered a quadruple bogey at the 18th to fall back into a tie for sixth place with Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Jamie Spence and Andrew McLardy at 10-under-par 278. Gary Orr, Marcel Siem, Stuart Little and Adam Groom followed at 9-under-par 279.
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    Fowler (oblique) withdraws from playoff opener

    By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:44 pm

    The injury that slowed Rickie Fowler at last week's PGA Championship will keep him out of the first event of the PGA Tour's postseason.

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    According to Fowler, the injury also affected him at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he tied for 17th. After receiving the test results, he opted to withdraw from The Northern Trust next week at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.

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    Fowler is one of eight players who earned automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team when the qualifying window closed last week. His next opportunity to tee it up would be at the 100-man Dell Technologies Championship, where Fowler won in 2015.

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    By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:12 pm

    Since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007, only 13 players have managed to make the playoffs each and every year. But two of the PGA Tour's stalwarts head into the regular-season finale with work to do in order to remain a part of that select fraternity.

    Sergio Garcia has rarely had to sweat the top-125 bubble, but the Spaniard enters this week's Wyndham Championship 131st in the current standings. Left with even more work to do is former FedExCup winner Bill Haas, who starts the week in Greensboro 150th.

    Garcia got off to a strong start in the spring, sandwiching a pair of top-10 finishes in WGC events around a fourth-place showing at the Valspar Championship. But quality results largely dried up after Garcia missed the cut at the Masters; he has made only two cuts in 10 Tour starts since April, including early exits in all four majors.

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    Garcia has some history at Sedgefield Country Club, having won this event in 2012 to break a lengthy U.S. victory drought. He also finished fourth in 2009 but hasn't played the Donald Ross layout since a T-29 finish as the defending champ in 2013.

    It's been a difficult year for Haas both on and off the course, as the veteran was involved as a passenger in a car accident on the eve of the Genesis Open that killed the driver. He returned to action three weeks later in Tampa, and he tied for seventh at the RBC Heritage in April. But that remains his lone top-10 finish of the season. Haas has missed 11 cuts including three in a row.

    While the bubble will be a fluid target this week at Sedgefield, Garcia likely needs at least a top-20 finish to move into the top 125 while Haas will likely need to finish inside the top 5.

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    Airlines lose two sets of Olesen's clubs in 10 days

    By Grill Room TeamAugust 15, 2018, 7:50 pm

    Commercial airlines losing the golf clubs of a professional golfer is not exactly a groundbreaking story. It happens.

    But European Tour pro Thorbjorn Olesen is on quite the roll, losing two sets of clubs and five suitcases in the span of 10 days.

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    A veteran move by the 28-year-old, unless, of course, those clubs were lost too. And wouldn't you know it:

    After pestering the airlines with some A+ GIFs, Olesen was reunited with at least one of his sets and was back in action on Wednesday.

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    Podcast: Brandel compares Tiger and Hogan's comebacks

    By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 15, 2018, 6:48 pm

    Tiger Woods on Sunday at Bellerive recorded his seventh runner-up finish in a major and his first in nine years.

    A favorite guest of the Golf Channel Podcast, Brandel Chamblee joins host Will Gray to compare and contrast Tiger's return to competitive golf with that of Ben Hogan and Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the 1950s.

    Chamblee also discusses Brooks Koepka's major dominance, Bellerive as a major venue, Tiger and Phil as Ryder Cup locks, and who else might be in line to receive Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn's remaining captain's picks.

    Finally, Brandel shares what it was it was like to qualify for the Senior Open Championship and compete for a major title on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Listen here: