2014 - WEEK 34: Aug 18 - Aug 24
ASIAN TOUR AUSTRALASIAN TOUR ONEASIA CHAMPIONS TOUR
LPGA TOUR LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR JLPGA TOUR
Twenty-three-year-old Patrick Reed labeled himself one of American golf’s up-and-coming stars by winning for the second time in his first 46 PGA Tour starts, cruising to a two-shot victory at the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, California. Though Reed’s closing round of 71 left the door ajar enough for a few moments of semi-interest down the stretch, the victory margin was misleadingly close, for he had begun Sunday’s final round with an imposing seven-shot lead, and runner-up Ryan Palmer eagled the 72nd hole to pull within two. Reed’s first three days, however, were epic, as he became the first man ever to better 64 for three straight PGA Tour rounds by carding a trio of 63s over the events three course rota. His 189 total not only built what proved to be an insurmountable lead but also set a Tour record for the lowest 54-hole score relative to par at an eye-popping 27 under. Playing conditions in the Southern California desert were ideal throughout the week, thus when Reed barely bettered par on Sunday, both Zach Johnson (the Tour’s hottest player, who closed with a scorching 62) and veteran Justin Leonard (65) were able to at least creep within shouting distance. But only when Palmer scored his final eagle (for a 63 of his own) did Reed’s lead ever lip to less than three strokes………………Battling down to the wire against the two highest ranked players in the field, Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal claimed his third career European Tour victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, edging Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy by one. Though Larrazabal played solid, steady golf en route to a closing 67, he had a bit of help down the stretch, especially from Mickelson who double-hit a recovery shot on the 13th hole and posted a triple-bogey seven, dropping him rather abruptly from the tournament lead to three shots in arrears. The world number five nearly managed a spectacular comeback, however, recording three birdies over the final five holes before ultimately coming up one shy. McIlroy too had chances to win, failing to hole a number of makeable birdie putts on the final nine, then finally carding a birdie at the par-5 finisher when it was an eagle that was required. McIlroy’s prospects had already been dimmed on Saturday evening when a two-stroke penalty assessed after the round for an illegal drop at the 2nd hole moved him from one to three shots off the lead, a deficit he was ultimately unble to recover from. Larrazabal, for his part, proved himself quite capable under pressure, logging birdies at the 11th and 13th to move into the lead, then recording a clutch two-putt birdie to close the door on his pursuers at the 567-yard par-5 18th………………Local Hua Hin native Prayad Marksaeng scored a popular hometown victory by rallying from a three-shot 54 hole deficit to win the King’s Cup behind Sunday’s low round (a six-under-par 66) in a January event that closed out the Asian Tour’s official 2013 schedule. Also a winner of his nation’s Queen’s Cup earlier in the 2013 season, Marksaeng’s completion of the Thai royalty double also represented his eighth career victory on the Asian circuit. After making the Sunday turn in two-under-par 34 but still trailing Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg by two, Marksaeng birdied the par-4 10th and chipped in for eagle at the par-5 13th, the latter combining with a Karlberg bogey to finally move the 47-year-old Marksaeng into the lead. He would later add an insurance birdie at the 17th, a gained stroke that would prove important when Karlberg finished birdie-birdie to pull within one.
PGA Tour - Humana Challenge - Patrick Reed (260)
European Tour - Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship - Pablo Larrazabal (274)
Asian Tour - King's Cup Golf Hua Hin - Prayad Marksaeng (276)
Champions Tour - Mitsubishi Electric Classic - Bernhard Langer (194)
Despite still feeling the effects of a back/neck injury dating to the summer of 2013, Louis Oosthuizen managed the rare feat of winning his first event of the new year four the fourth consecutive season, successfully defending his title at the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban, South Africa. Following a disappointing third round 71 that was marred by a triple-bogey at the 417-yard 16th, Oosthuizen began Sunday two behind 54-hole leader Tommy Fleetwood and initially made little headway before an eagle at the par-5 8th moved him briefly into the lead. The 2010 British Open champion played uneven golf thereafter, however, bogeying the par-5 10th, birdieing both the 13th and 14th, then making a crucial bogey at the 16th to fall one behind countryman Branden Grace, who’d birdied both the 16th and the 273-yard par-4 18th en route to a closing 68, and the lead. But rather then wait for the driveable 18th and a chance to tie, Oosthuizen proceeded to stick his approach to two feet at the tumbling 401-yard 17th to draw even, then clinched the title by chipping to a similar distance to birdie the last. Grace, who was looking for his first win since 2012, took solo second, while England’s Fleetwood (who closed with a disappointing 72) and Joost Luiten of The Netherlands (71) shared third, two shots off the pace. Oosthuizen’s triumph represented the eighth time in the E Tour’s last 11 events on South African soil that a homestanding player won, and the seventh straight E Tour visit to Durban to produce a native winner…………………It took Jimmy Walker seven years to land his first PGA Tour victory at the 2013 Frys.com Open but only three months to claim his second, as he tore through the field with a closing 63 to win the Sony Open in Hawaii, in Honolulu. Walker began the day two strokes behind 54-hole leader Chris Kirk and on a day when scoring was predictably low at the Waialae Country Club, did little more than stay in the mix after carding three birdies in his first 10 holes. But following another birdie at the par-4 13th and a clutch up-and-down for par at the 14th, Walker then poured in three straight birdies to seemingly take command, gaining the lead when Harris English made bogey at the 15th, then stretching it to three with additional birdies at the 16th (from seven feet) and the seaside par-3 17th (from six feet). A birdie at the par-5 finisher would have salted away the victory but when Walker could do no better than five, he had to look on nervously as Kirk made a late charge, birdieing the 17th and leaving himself a makeable 30-foot eagle chip at the last that would have forced a playoff. But Kirk missed, leaving him alone in second place and Walker as the champion.
The PGA Tour’s hottest player at the close of 2013 didn’t miss a beat in opening the new year, as Zach Johnson recovered from a disappointing third-round 74 by firing a closing 66 to win the season-opening Hyundai Tournment of Champions in Hawaii. After taking a strong three-shot lead at the halfway mark, Johnson struggled to get anything going in the third round, posting two late bogeys en route to the 74 which left him two in arrears of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson. But in the scheduled Monday finale, the 37-year-old from Cedar Rapids, Iowa methodically took apart the par-73 Plantation Course, eventually pulling away from a crowded list of pursuers first by birdieing the 12th, then by adding three straight birdies at holes 14-16. Among the overnight leaders, only Spieth remained in serious contention, holding the lead prior to Johnson’s back nine explosion, then carding late birdies at the 17th and 18th to make the final margin of victory only one. Third place was shared by Kevin Streelman (who closed with 67) and the 2012 U.S. Open champion Simpson, who carded early Monday bogeys at the 3rd and 4th to blow himself from contention before adding five subsequent birdies to close with 70. Defending champion Dustin Johnson, meanwhile, opened with bogeys at the 1st and 2nd, then largely buried his hopes with one more bogey at the par-4 6th before ultimately tying for sixth with a closing 73.
PGA Tour - Hyundai Tournament of Champions - Zach Johnson (273)
Avoiding going winless in a year during which he generally played well, Sergio Garcia played four rounds of consistently fine golf en route to claiming the Thailand Golf Championship, his effort being good enough to vanquish the world’s hottest player, Henrik Stenson, by four. Garcia trailed Thursday leader Alex Cejka by four after carding an opening 68, but he pushed himself directly into the fray with a Friday 65 over the Amata Spring Country Club layout, a round highlighted by a hole-in-one at the par-3 8th, and good enough to tie for the halfway lead with reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose. Another 65 on Saturday then gave the 33-year-old Garcia some breathing room, as the eight-birdie effort pushed him four strokes ahead of Stenson, who passed all but Garcia with a Saturday 65 of his own. Garcia – who played the entire event with his girlfriend on the bag – then birdied the 1st and 3rd holes on Sunday and while a bogey at the par-5 7th briefly slowed his momentum, a run of three straight birdies at holes 10-12 extended the lead well beyond even Stenson’s reach………………It was both fitting and sadly ironic that the Nelson Mandela Championship was played the very week of the great South African leader’s passing, with the event’s finish being moved to Saturday to avoid conflicting with his Sunday state funeral. But the shift in schedule didn’t help the tournament to avoid being deluged by heavy rains for the second straight year – though where the 2012 playing could only complete 36 holes, this year managed to get in 54. The winner was Dawie van der Walt, who began the third round three strokes behind England’s Daniel Brooks before posting a closing 66 that was keyed by an eagle at the 558-yard 12th, and a follow-up birdie at the par-4 13th. An additional birdie at the 15th ultimately extended the margin of victory to two, with England’s Matthew Baldwin and Spain’s Jorge Campillo tying for second. Equally notable was the scoring in a rain-delayed second round which extended from Thursday into Friday, most prominently the matching 59s posted by Campillo and South Africa’s Colin Nel. These rounds, however, would not go into the European Tour record book as official as they were shot on a waterlogged layout whose par was lowered to 70, and under lift, clean and place conditions.
European Tour - Nelson Mandela Championship - Dawie van der Walt (195)
Asian Tour - Thailand Golf Championship - Sergio Garcia (266)
Sunshine Tour - See European Tour (Above)
Euro Senior Tour - MCB Tour Championship - Paul Wesselingh (202)
The ageless Miguel Angel Jimenez successfully defended his title at the Hong Kong Open, defeating Stuart Manley of Wales and Thailand’s Prom Meesawat on the first hole of sudden death. In doing so, Jimenez extended his record as the European Tour’s oldest-ever winner (49 years, 337 days) which he set here a year ago, and also claimed both his 20th career E Tour win and his 13th after turning 40. Playing against a somewhat light field (Jimenez was the only member of the OWR top 50 present), the ponytailed Spaniard trailed halfway leader Manley by four on Friday night before charging into the mix with a Saturday 65 which might well have been lower but for a double-bogey at the 427-yard 15th. He thus began Sunday two in arrears, then initially made only guarded progress after turning in one-under-par 33. But upon reaching the easier inward half Jimenez heated up, his four-birdie run home marred only by a bogey at his nemesis 15th. This left him on 268, a number equaled by Manley (with a clutch birdie at the last) and Meesawat, who eagled the 13th, bogeyed the 14th, then strung together four pars thereafter. The playoff was contested over the 410-yard 18th, and while neither Manley (who drove into a hospitality area) nor Meesawat (who missed the green short) were assured of their pars, Jimenez rendered matters moot by hitting a wedge to 18 feet, then holing the clinching putt………………In an event darkened by the Thursday passing of former South African president Nelson Mandela, Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn closed with a seven-under-par 65 to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge in the long-running tournament’s debut as an official European Tour event. Bjorn began Sunday’s final round trailing Jamie Donaldson by two strokes before going out in 33, which was enough to overtake the Welshman (who carded an ill-timed bogey at the par-4 9th) but not enough to stay ahead of Sergio Garcia, who’d continued an up-and-down week by going out in a flawless six-under-par 30. But Bjorn quickly seized the lead with an eagle at the 547-yard 10th, then compounded it with a second eagle (this after his approach skipped through a greenside bunker) at the 601-yard 14th. Garcia gamely fought back with birdies at the 14th and the 471-yard 15th, but his crucial bogey at the 211-yard 17th was one stroke too many, allowing the 42-year-old Bjorn to bogey the 502-yard par-4 18th and still collect his 15th career European Tour victory. Garcia’s Sunday 65 lifted him into a tie for second with Donaldson, who closed with a disappointing 70 after losing momentum at the 9th. The world’s hottest player, Henrik Stenson, recorded four straight rounds in the 60s en route to taking fourth in his first event back following a three-week layoff..................Thirty-three-year-old Yusaku Miyazato, an 11-year veteran of the Japan Golf Tour, broke through for his maiden victory at the season-ending Golf Nippon Series JT Cup, logging a three-stroke triumph over a 29-man field that was missing international stars Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Ishikawa. Miyazato did most of his heavy lifting during opening rounds of 66-66-64 over the par-70 Tokyo Yomiuri Country Club layout, good enough to give him a three-stroke 54-hole lead. The gap narrowed, however, after he made two early bogeys on Sunday, turned in two-over-par 37, then added one more bogey at the par-4 10th. But subsequent birdies at both the 11th and the par-5 17th proved enough to see him home victorious, particularly after his closest Saturday pursuers, Kazahiro Yamashita and Hideto Tanihara, closed with rounds of 74 and 72 respectively.
European Tour - Hong Kong Open - Miguel Angel Jimeniz (268)
European Tour - Nedbank Golf Challenge - Thomas Bjorn (268)
Japan Tour - Golf Nippon Series JT Cup - Yusaku Miyazato (267)
Asian Tour - See European Tour (Above)
Sunshine Tour - See European Tour (Above)
LET - Omega Dubai Ladies Masters - Pornagong Phatlum (273)
Latino America - Open de Argentina - Marcelo Rozo (278)