2015 - WEEK 10: Mar 2 - Mar 8
ASIAN TOUR AUSTRALASIAN TOUR ONEASIA CHAMPIONS TOUR
LPGA TOUR LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR JLPGA TOUR
Ten years after claiming his first PGA Tour victory in this same event, 43-year-old Padraig Harrington broke a seven-year U.S. drought by winning the Honda Classic on the second hole of a sudden death playoff with rookie Daniel Berger. Playing on a sponsor exemption, Harrington managed to survive an event which was buffeted by rain (mandating a Monday finish) and which saw some dramatic leaderboard fluctuations during a final round which started late Saturday afternoon. The finale began with England’s Ian Poulter holding a three-shot after carding rounds of 71-64-66, then falling apart behind a double-bogey at the par-3 5th after cold shanking his tee shot with an 8 iron. A triple-bogey seven at the 14th further derailed Poulter’s hopes, though he gamely rallied with birdies at the 17th and 18th to miss the playoff by a shot. England’s Paul Casey missed a 20-foot birdie putt at the last to also miss by one, and American Patrick Reed also fell by the wayside, remaining in contention through 14 holes before playing holes 15-17 in four over par and tumbling to a tie for seventh. Harrington, meanwhile, stumbled to an outgoing 38 to seemingly disappear before reeling off four straight birdies at holes 11-14 to climb into the lead, then lost it by double-bogeying the watery 17th before holing a clutch 15-footer for birdie at the last. This tied him with the 21-year-old Berger, a South Florida native, who’d earlier birdied the 17th and 18th to card a closing 64. Berger would miss a 15-footer to win on the first extra hole (the 18th), then look on as Harrington stuck a 5 iron to two feet at the second (the 17th) to clinch victory...............Six weeks after he claimed his maiden E Tour title at the South African Open, England’s Andy Sullivan returned to Johannesburg and won again, this time at the Joburg Open, where he edged a quintet of players by two shots. In an event played over both of the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club’s courses, Sullivan carded an opening 71 to trail first round leader Nic Henning by nine strokes (Henning would miss the cut with rounds of 62-78) before charging into the fray with middle rounds of 65-68 over the club’s easier East course. He then played the East’s par-37 outward half in 32 on Sunday, putting him in the middle of a pitched battle that often saw a dozen players bunched within two shots of the lead. But with Saturday leader Wallie Coetsee playing only par golf through 17 holes, Sullivan’s homeward 34 was enough to run past Coetsee and also stay just out in front of everyone else, with a birdie at the last finalizing his two-stroke victory margin.
PGA Tour - Honda Classic - Padraig Harrington (274)
European Tour - Joburg Open - Andy Sullivan (270)
Sunshine Tour - See European Tour (Above)
LPGA Tour - Honda LPGA Thailand - Amy Yang (273)
LET - ISPS Handa NZ Women's Open - Lydia Ko (202)
Symetra Tour - Volvik Championship at Tukwet Canyon - Katie Kempter (211)
In an event which at times felt like a Major championship, with more big-name contenders falling away down the stretch than mounting a charge, 33-year-old James Hahn broke through for his first PGA Tour victory by winning a three-man playoff at the Northern Trust Open. Though the field was the event's lightest in recent memory, there was plenty of star power on the leaderboard throughout the week, with the first three rounds belonging to 47-year-old Retief Goosen who, now fully recovered from 2012 back surgery, looked like a possible wire-to-wire winner with rounds of 66-74-69. But a Sunday 75 would derail Goosen, leaving Riviera's firm-green, kikuyu-rough stage to a range of stars who fired but, in the end, mostly fell back. There was Jordan Spieth who, standing on six under par but believing he'd need to reach seven, ran an aggressive chip past the hole at the 72nd, missed the comebacker and finished on minus five. Then there was Sergio Garcia, who stood seven under par on the tee of the par-5 17th before posting back-ro-back bogeys to also stagger home on minus five. Dustin Johnson also bogeyed the 17th, then missed an 11-foot birdie putt at the last that would have moved him to minus seven. But Johnson instead found himself tied on minus six with Hahn and England's Paul Casey (who also bogeyed the 18th while closingh with 68), leading to a three-hole playoff. Casey would bow out at the second after parring the 315-yard 10th, before Hahn closed out Johnson by rolling home a clutch 20-footer for his second straight birdie, this time at the par-3 14th..................Having played his way onto the European Tour via November's Q School, India's Anirban Lahiri became a two-time 2015 winner by claiming his native Indian Open in the event's first-ever playing as a co-sanctioned E Tour event. It helped, of course, that the tournament was played at the Delhi Golf Club, a familiar track upon which Lahiri had previously logged Asian Tour victories in 2011, 2012 and 2013 - though past successes seemed to matter little when the 27-year-old opened with a disappointing 73, leaving him fully eight shots off the first round lead. A second round 65 got Lahiri pointed back in the right direction, though he still trailed countryman S.S.P. Chowrasia by six shots after the diminutive Chowrasia opened with rounds of 65-67. Chowrasia, for his part, would add a Saturday 69, good enough to give him a two-shot 54-hole lead over Siddikur Rahman, a five-shot margin over his next closest pursuer (Australian Marcus Fraser) and a seven-shot cushion over Lahiri, whose third round 70 was slowed by a double-bogey the 386-yard 13th. For Chowrasia, Sunday began poorly, with two bogeys and double-bogey (at the 418-yard 4th) in his first seven holes. Three more back nine bogeys would eventually see him home in 76, yet despite this collapse, he might well have won the tournament in regulation but for Lahiri's chipping in for par at the 171-yard 17th. Lahiri couldn't capitalize on his scrambling three by birdieing the 545-yard 18th, however, leaving him deadlocked with Chowrasia on seven-under-par 284. The playoff began at the 18th and after Chowrasia hooked his drive into the jungle, Lahiri made birdie to clinch the title..................Twenty-five-year-old Branden Grace won five times worldwide during his breakout 2012 season, and with three victories before the end of February, he appears on pace to better that number in 2015. Having already claimed European Tour wins in South Africa and Qatar, he began the final round of the Dimension Data Pro-Am four shots behind 54-hole leader Darren Fichardt, then deepened his predicament by double-bogeying the 419-yard opener at the Fancourt Resort's Montagu course to fall nearly out of site. But on a windy afternoon that made scoring difficult, Grace buckled down thereafter, birdieing the 6th and 9th to turn in 36, then, following a bogey at the 354-yard 11th, charged home with birdies at the 12th, 14th and 16th to card a two-under-par 70. With Fichardt stumbling around in 75, Keith Horne was left as Grace's primary pursuer, but Horne couldn't find another birdie after the par-4 16th, and would ultimately finish second, two back..................Having suffered a heartbreaking loss in this same event one year earlier (finishing second after Tony Summers holed a pitching wedge from the woods to eagle the 70th), 28-year-old Ryan Fox used some fireworks of his own to win the 2015 Queensland PGA Championship, edging Cameron Smith and Matthew Millar by a shot. Fox began the final round four strokes behind 54-hole-leader Millar and made only limited headway upon playing the City Golf Club's par-33 front nine in 31 on Sunday. Two more birdies at the 10th and 12th made him relevant for the homestretch before lightning struck not once but twice, first when Fox eagled the par-4 16th upon driving within eight feet, then when he backed this up by holing a 25-foot putt for a second straight eagle at the 490-metre 17th. A par at the 406-yard closer then proved just enough to edge Smith (who birdied three of his last four and shot 63) and Millar (who closed with 65) by one.
PGA Tour - Northern Trust Open - James Hahn (278)
European Tour - Hero Indian Open - Anirban Lahiri (277)
Asian Tour - See European Tour (Above)
Sunshine Tour - Dimension Data Pro-Am - Branden Grace (271)
Australasian Tour - Queensland PGA Championship - Ryan Fox (263)
LPGA Tour - ISPS Women's Australian Open - Lydia Ko (283)
LET - See LPGA Tour (Above)
Symetra Tour - Gateway Classic at Longbow CC - Hannah O'Sullivan (201)
Bouncing back quickly from a career-worst 2014, Brandt Snedeker won for the seventh time on the PGA Tour and the second time in three years at this event, cruising home to a three-shot victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Recovering from a season in which he went winless and slipped to 60th in PGA Tour earnings, Snedeker was around the top of the board all week, carding an opening round 64 at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club, then adding 67s at both Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach to finish 54 holes at 198, one shot behind behind Jim Furyk. On a Sunday whose sunny and warm conditions highlighted one of the finest weather weeks in event history, Snedeker continued to post birdies as Furyk struggled, the latter turning in 38 before ultimately posting a disappointing 74. Snedeker, meanwhile, wasted little time in charging, logging three birdies in his first seven holes, then adding two more at the 11th and 15th, before marching smoothly and uneventfully home. Second place went to Nick Watney, who himself had charged into contention by birdieing his first four holes on Sunday, but bogeyes at the 5th and 6th kicked off a roller coaster ride that eventually saw him home in 69, to finish three back. ............Emerging from several years of disappointing play, 29-year-old Australian Andrew Dodt rode a final round 67 to his second career European Tour victory at the inaugural True Thailand Classic. Making only his second E Tour start since regaining his status for 2015 via November's Q School, Dodt was only an afterthought in the early going, trailing first-round leader Michael Hoey by seven after carding a Thursday 71, then sitting five behind the ageless Miguel Angel Jimenez following a Friday 67. Standing only one under par through 12 holes on Saturday, Dodt seemed on the edge of extinction, but a rush of four birdies over his final six holes brought him home in 67 - and still four behind fellow Aussie Scott Hend. Three straight birdies to open his round moved Dodt quickly into the picture on Sunday, but he still trailed Hend by two and homestanding Thongchai Jaidee by one at the turn. Dodt then played methodical golf on the final nine, adding birdies at the 12th and 15th to card a 67, and a 272 aggregate. The long-hitting Hend, meanwhile, bogeyed the 14th and 17th to fall two behind, then could do no better than a birdie at the 530-yard 18th to finish 273. Jaidee, for his part, birdied the 12th, 14th and 15th - but, unfortunately, also double-bogeyed the par-5 13th. Even so, he still had a chance, but a bogey at the 405-yard 16th saw him finish on 273 as well............Thirty-three-year-old Aaron Townsend claimed his maiden Australasian Tour win in style at the Victorian PGA Championship, stealing the title from veteran Scott Strange by holing out from a greenside bunker at the 72nd to win by one. Following rounds of 67-73-69, Townsend stood four shots behind 54-hole leader Ryan Fox of New Zealand, but he saved his finest golf for Friday’s final round over the venerable Huntingdale Golf Club layout. Opening with five birdies on the outward nine, he added one more at the par-5 10th and now found himself very much in contention. Fox, by this time, had staggered to the turn in 40, and while he would gamely come home in 33, a closing 73 left him three off the lead and tied for fifth. Thus Townsend’s strongest challenge came from Strange, who began the day tied with him on 209 before trailing by two after turning in 33. An eagle at the 10th lifted his chances, and when Townsend bogeyed the par-4 16th, the two stood even. But after bunkering his approach at the last, Townsend promptly holed his blast and with a closing 66, the trophy was his.
PGA Tour - AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am - Brandt Snedeker (265)
European Tour - True Thailand Classic - Andrew Dodt (272)
Asian Tour - See European Tour (Above)
Australasian Tour - Victorian PGA Championship - Aaron Townsend (275)
LET - RACV Australian Ladies Masters - Su-Hyun Oh (285)
Champions Tour - ACE Group Classic - Lee Janzen (200)
Getting his 2015 campaign off to a strong start, Australia’s Jason Day fought his way through a pack of Sunday afternoon contenders and, ultimately, a four-way playoff in earning his third career PGA Tour win at the Farmers Insurance Open, at Torrey Pines. In an event which initially drew attention for Tiger Woods’ once again walking off the golf course (this time after 12 holes on Thursday, citing more back problems), things came together for an exciting finish on Sunday afternoon, with as many as 10 players having a shot at the title in the late going. In the end, most chances lived or died at Torrey Pines famed par-5 18th, with Day only just getting into the playoff after his second ran through the back of the green and his chip, running downhill from the rough, narrowly avoided tumbling into the fronting pond. He would get up and down for par, however, which in the end would be enough to tie him with defending champion Scott Stallings (who missed an 18-footer for birdie), Harris English (who birdied the 72nd from a greenside bunker) and J.B. Holmes who, despite his great length, laid up from 235 yards and could only manage a par. Both Holmes (after laying up again, then wedging to three feet) and Day (who got up and down from just off the green’s right edge) then made birdie to advance to a second playoff hole where, at the par-3 16th, Holmes made bogey from behind the green, allowing Day to win with a routine par………………In edging a red-hot Bernd Wiesberger of Austria, India’s Anirban Lahiri claimed his sixth Asian Tour victory at the Maybank Malaysian Open – but more importantly, the co-sanctioned event also counted as his first career title on the European Tour, a major career stepping stone. Lahiri hardly looked like making much noise in Kuala Lumpur over the first 36 holes as his opening rounds of 70-72 left him fully nine shots behind halfway co-leaders Lee Westwood and Alejandro Canizares of Spain. But on Saturday, the 27-year-old Lahiri caught fire, birdieing five of his first six holes en route to turning in 30, then coming home in 32 to post a bogey-free 62 – and yet he still stood five behind Wiesberger, who chased him home with a 63. But after birdieing his first two holes on Sunday, Wiesberger double-bogeyed the 518-yard 5th, allowing Lahiri – who birdied four of his first five – to creep within one. Yet despite entering the week with three straight top-six finishes, Wiesberger struggled to regain his momentum, adding bogeys at the 12th and 14th before a timely birdie at the 318-yard 16th saw him nose back ahead of Lahiri by one. But at the 336-yard 17th, Lahiri made the birdie he desperately needed while Wiesberger, off a bad tee shot and approach, made bogey – and when both men parred the 634-yard 18th, Lahiri emerged the champion………………The Australasian PGA Tour’s Victorian Open is rather a unique event in that it is played, on the same golf course. simultaneous to the Victorian Women’s Open, a circumstance which led to the decidedly odd occurrence of having an engaged couple – Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord and homestanding Richard Green – sweeping the titles on the same afternoon. Eleven years removed from his previous Australasian win (the 2004 Australian Masters) the 43-year-old green battled current Masters champion (and fellow left-hander) Nick Cullen and veteran Scott Arnold throughout the afternoon, with Arnold falling away only after double-bogeying the par-3 17th. Green held the lead through the 16th, then fell back into a tie with Cullen by himself bogeying the 17th before both men birdied the last to set up a playoff which Green won a birdie on the second extra hole. Tying Arnold for third were a pair of amateurs, Ben Eccles and 16-year-old phenom Ryan Ruffels, who’d moved into third round contention behind Saturday’s low round, a six-under-par 66.
PGA Tour - Farmers Insurance Open - Jason Day (279)
European Tour - Maybank Malaysian Open - Anirban Lahiri (272)
Asian Tour - See European Tour (Above)
Australasian Tour - Victorian Open Championship - Richard Green (272)
LPGA Tour - Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic - Sei-Young Kim (278)
Champions Tour - Allianz Championship - Paul Goydos (204)
Web.com Tour - Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship - Patrick Rodgers (267)
Beginning a year in which he intends to be the rare American to play full-time on both the PGA and European Tours, Brooks Koepka broke through for his second major victory in less than three months by taking the Waste Management Phoenix Open by one shot, in Scottsdale. Already a winner of the E Tour’s strong-field Turkish Airlines Open in November, Koepka was little noticed over the first two days here, posting rounds of 71-68 to trail halfway leader Martin Laird by seven. His fortunes seemed little different when he turned in one-under-par 34 on Saturday before he kicked things into gear, reeling of six birdies at holes 10-17 en route to a 64 which, by day’s end, stood him only three behind Laird and firmly embedded within a crowded group of pursuers. Laird would stumble late on Sunday and end up carding a 72 to tie for fifth, but by this time the leaderboard was crowded enough that five players held at least a share of the lead over the final hour of play. Initially it was Bubba Watson and Hideki Matsuyama who looked like winners, but after playing his first 13 holes in six under par, Watson came up a stroke shy after driving the 322-yard 17th but three-putting for par. Matsuyama, meanwhile, holed a 129-yard approach shot to eagle the 1st hole, but he too would finish one behind, doomed by a three-putt bogey at the par-4 14th. Koepka, meanwhile, stood one off of the eventual winning number before holing a 50-foot eagle putt at the 553-yard 15th, the stroke that would prove the margin of victory. Notably, Arizona State junior Jon Rahm closed with rounds of 66-68 to finish in a tie for 5th………………In an event that might well have been an epic shootout had he instead been home in Northern Ireland watching on TV, world number one Rory Mcilroy dominated a strong field to record an impressive first win of 2015 at the Dubai Desert Classic. Despite the fact that he trailed first-round leader Bernd Wiesberger by two after opening with a 66, there were few moments during the week when McIlroy didn’t seem in command, particularly after he carded a bogey-free 64 on Friday to nose into a one-shot 36-hole lead. If there was ever a fleeting moment, it came during Saturday’s back nine, when McIlroy drove the ball somewhat wildly but scrambled effectively, eventually scratching his way home in 66 to build a four-shot 54-hole lead. Thus Sunday proved something of an anti-climax, as McIlroy played steady, aggressive-but-safe golf, aiming to exploit the par 5s (he birdied three of them) while otherwise taking few chances, with the result being that he was never seriously challenged. Sweden’s Alex Noren, who missed nearly all of 2014 with wrist surgery, mounted Sunday’s best charge, birdieing three of the last four holes to shoot 65 and climb to second, three in arrears. Two-time defending champion Stephen Gallacher closed with 69 to take solo third, while a quintet headed by Wiesberger and U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer shared fourth. But the futility of their collective efforts were best stated by runner-up Noren, who said simply: “"I never even thought of winning, Rory's playing so good”. And so he was.
PGA Tour - Waste Management Phoenix Open - Brooks Koeopka (269)
European Tour - Omega Dubai Desert Classic - Rory McIlroy (266)
LPGA Tour - Coates Golf Championship - Na Yeon Choi (272)
Web.com Tour - Panama Claro Championship - Matthew Goggin (269)