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Fresh off missing the cut at Riviera in his last start, Michael Thompson launched himself into contention with a second-round 65, then eventually played his way home with a windblown 69 to claim his first PGA Tour victory at the Honda Classic.  A quiet runner-up at the 2012 U.S. Open, Thompson eagled the 3rd hole on Sunday, helping him build a four-shot lead which would eventually be whittled to one when Geoff Ogilvy carded late birdies at the 16th and the 18th.  But with ever-present water at the PGA National Resort’s par-5 closer at least presenting the possibility of trouble, Thompson safely reached a greenside bunker in two and got up-and-down for birdie, clinching a two-stroke triumph.  Rookie Luke Guthrie, tied with Thompson for the 54-hole lead after a sparkling second-round 63, closed with a 73 to claim solo third.  At the lower end of the board, world #2 Tiger Woods failed to break 70 all week and was never a meaningful factor, finishing T37……………Woods’ week went considerably better than that of Rory Mcilroy, however, as the world #1 walked off the course after 26 holes (standing seven-over-par) claiming mental fatigue – though that was later amended by a statement citing a sore wisdom tooth as the cause of his untimely withdrawal.  To the extent that the dental version seemed a convenient plan B (as Mcilroy mentioned it neither to reporters who questioned him as he left, nor to playing partners Ernie Els and Mark Wilson), it must be noted that such walk offs are seriously frowned upon both by the Tour and within basic professional etiquette – which is a long way of saying that A) McIlroy’s generally very positive reputation cannot help but take a hit from this, and B) If he hadn’t planned on having a wisdom tooth removed, he’s surely planning on doing so now……………Never a major tour winner previously, 30-year-old South African Dawie Van Der Walt closed with a five-under-par 67 to break open a 54-hole logjam and capture the inaugural Tshwane Open by two shots over countryman Darren Fichardt.  The victory was a potential career changer for Van Der Walt, who’d previously only claimed wins on United States mini-tours but immediately gained fully exempt status on the European Tour with the triumph.  He began the final round tied with Fichardt, South African Charl Coetzee and Chile’s Mark Tullo, with the latter pair falling by the wayside with rounds of 72 and 77 respectively.  This left Fichardt (who carded a rock-steady 69) as the primary challenger with another South African, Louis De Jager, claiming third and former world #1 amateur, American Peter Uihlein, finishing fourth.  The event was the last of six 2013 tournaments co-sponsored by both the European ansd Sunshine Tours, though the first two (the Nelson Mandela and Alfred Dunhill Championships) were played in calendar year 2012……………At 20 years, 11 months and 15 days, Patrick Cantlay became the second-youngest winner in Web.com Tour history, closing with a five-under-par 66 to claim the Colombia Championship by four shots.  A former UCLA All-American and world #1 amateur, Cantlay’s weekend rounds of 65-66 were the lowest carded each day, allowing him first to catch, then to run away from 2nd-place finisher Jim Renner, who closed with a 70.  The victory was the highly touted Cantlay’s first as a professional.

Posted on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 07:08PM by Registered CommenterDaniel | Comments Off