2014 - WEEK 44: Oct 27 - Nov 2
Thirty-year-old Australian Steven Bowditch had only logged two top-10 finishes in eight seasons on the PGA Tour, but in windy, demanding Sunday conditions at the Texas Open, he broke through for career-altering first victory. On a day which saw as many players (two) fail to break 80 as break 70, Bowditch struggled throughout his round, carding four bogeys and one double-bogey en route to a closing 76 – the highest final round by a winner since Vijay Singh’s 76 at the 2004 PGA, and the highest in a non-major since Fred Couples shot 77 in winning the 1983 Kemper Open. The halfway and 54-hole leader, Bowditch – a two-time Web.com Tour winner – also recorded two birdies on Sunday, with the second (at the par-5 14th) giving him a two-shot lead which he nursed right up until missing a three-footer for par at the last. Second place was shared by a hot Will MacKenzie (who bogeyed the 1st hole on Sunday before going three-under-par the rest of the way) and Daniel Summerhays, whose closing 71 helped him make up significant ground on the pack………………In one of the more dramatic finishes in recent Japan Tour history, Michio Matsumura fired a closing 68 to claim the season-opening Indonesia PGA Championship by a single shot over Australian Rhein Gibson and Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines. The initial drama was provided by the 28-year-old Gibson, who gained fame by shooting a non-competitive 16-under-par 55 during a 2012 round, and seemed on his way to more fireworks when standing 11-under-par through 15 holes on Sunday. A three-putt bogey at the par-4 16th then slowed his momentum, but his 10-under-par 62 was good enough to take the clubhouse lead. Enter Matsumura, who began Sunday one shot behind 54-hole leader Sang-Hyun Park before falling well off the pace after going out in 38. The three-time Japan Tour winner righted the ship coming home, however, making three birdies through the 14th to pull back within two, then reeling off clutch birdies at the 16th, 17th and 18th to steal the title.
PGA Tour - Valero Texas Open - Steven Bowditch (280)
Japan Tour - Indonesia PGA Championship - Michio Matsumura (267)
LatinoAmerica - Stella Artois Open - Armando Favela (274)
LPGA Tour - Kia Classic - Anna Nordqvist (275)
JLPGA Tour - AXA Ladies - Ayaka Watanabe (203)
Web.com Tour - Chitimacha Louisiana Open - Kris Blanks (270)
Symetra Tour - IOA Golf Classic - Weather Delayed
In his 92nd career start, native Floridian Matt Every stood nine shots off the pace after 36 holes of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, before finishing with rounds of 66-70 to claim his first PGA Tour victory, edging Keegan Bradley by one. For the first three days, the stage belonged squarely to world number two Adam Scott, who could have reached number one with a victory and opened with a dazzling Thursday 62. Middle rounds of 68-71 were less spectacular but still staked him to a three-stroke 54 hole lead - an advantage dissipated early on Sunday with two bogeys in his first three holes and an outgoing 38. Scott could do little better on the inward half, and as he staggered home to a 76 (and solo third), both Every and Keegan Bradley were able to move ahead of him for the stretch run. Every, for his part, ran off four birdies from holes 9-13 and, at 15-under-par, might well have cruised home had he not posted late bogeys at the 16th and, after missing a four-footer to clinch victory, the 18th. This allowed Bradley – who’d ably recovered from a double-bogey at the second and a bogey at the third – to move within one via clutch birdies at the par-5 16th and the tough par-3 17th. But when his 30-foot birdie putt at the last slid by, Bradley was second and Every was hoisting the trophy………………Trevor Fisher Jr. survived a last-minute charge from Jacques Blauuw to claim his eight career Sunshine Tour win – and the R3.5 million bonus pool payday – at the second playing of the select-field Investec Classic, in Sun City. Fisher began the final round one stroke behind 54-hole leader George Coetzee and proceeded to play nearly flawless golf, making eagle at the par-5 4th en route to turning in 33, then adding birdies at 11, 12 and 15 to build what seemed an insurmountable lead. Things got exciting, however, after Blauuw eagled the short par-5 18th to suddenly close the gap from three to one – but Fisher, unaware of the narrowed margin, logged a routine par at the last to close out the victory.
PGA Tour - Arnold Palmer Invitational - Matt Every (275)
Sunshine Tour - Investec Cup - Trevor Fisher Jr. (272)
LatinoAmerica - TransAmerica Power Products CRV Open - Marcelo Rozo (267)
LPGA Tour - JTBC Founders Cup - Karrie Webb (269)
JLPGA Tour - T-Point Ladies - Rikako Morita (208)
Champions Tour - Mississippi Gulf Coast Resort Classic - Jeff Maggert (205)
Web.com Tour - Panama Claro Championship - Carlos Ortiz (268)
Symetra Tour - Florida's Natural Charity Classic - Yueer Cindy Feng (207)
Forty-two-year-old Australian John Senden claimed his first victory anywhere in the world since 2006, logging clutch birdies at the 70th and 71st holes on a tough Innisbrook Copperhead course to win the Valspar Championship by one. One of the PGA Tour’s purset ball-strikers, Senden stood far off the lead after opening rounds of 71-72 but began Saturday with four birdies in his first five holes, then later added three more to card the week’s low round of 64 and move within two of 54-hole leader Robert Garrigus. Garrigus, for his part, fell apart early on Sunday, logging two double-bogeys and a bogey over a four-hole front nine stretch, leaving him to close with 75 and an eventual tie for fourth. Senden, on the other hand, made two early birdies before struggling in the middle of his round, then eventually scoring decisive blows by holing a 70-foot chip for birdie at the 16th hole, then a 20-footer for his clinching birdie at the par-3 17th. Second place was taken by Kevin Na, who recovered from a double-bogey at the 8th (and an outward 39) to move into contention with late birdies at the 14th and 17th, only to miss a 40-foot tying birdie putt at the last. Scott Langley, the only player to break par in all four rounds, took solo third, two shots off the pace………………Spain’s 31-year-old Alejandro Canizares ended an eight-year victory drought in impressive style, running away to a five-shot wire-to-wire triumph at the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco. The son of former five-time European Tour winner Jose Maria Canizares, Alejandro opened with rounds of 62-68 over the 6,951-yard Golf du Palais Royal course, comfortably separating himself from all but England’s Seve Benson, who trailed him by one after both the first and second rounds. Benson, for his part, fell back to the field on Saturday via a disappointing 74, allowing Canizares to build a commanding six-stroke 54-hole lead after posting a relatively uneventful third round 69. A Canizares bogey at the 203-yard 2nd on Sunday may have extended a ray of hope to his pursuers, but when he reeled of five birdies over his next 11 holes, everyone else was left far in arrears and playing for second; indeed, Canizares at one point led by eight, and only an irrelevant double-bogey at the 18th kept the winning margin below seven. Though his form had been better of late (notably posting a T5 in Qatar in January), the title was Canizares’s first since the 2006 Russian Open………………Canadian Richard T. Lee claimed his first career Asian Tour victory by coming from behind to take the Solaire Open with a final round 69 at The Country Club, in Manila. Lee began the day four shots behind Angelo Que, and his chances looked even dimmer after double bogeying the 4th hole. But three straight birdies at holes 8-10 righted the ship, and on a day when most of the top contenders failed to gather much momentum, two more birdies at the 12th and 15th ultimately proved enough for Lee to edge Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol by one. The homestanding Que endured an epic early meltdown on Sunday when he hit three balls out-of-bounds en route to a 12 at the par-5 2nd, and he would ultimately shoot an 82, tumbling to a tie for 21st.
PGA Tour - Valspar Championship - John Senden (277)
European Tour - Trophee Hassan II - Alejandro Canizares (269)
Asian Tour - Solaire Open - Richart T. Lee (277)
LET - Lalla Meryem Cup - Charley Hull (269)
JLPGA Tour - Yokohama Tire PRGR Ladies - Yuki Ichinose (209)
Champions Tour - Toshiba Classic - Fred Couples (198)
Web.com Tour - Brasil Champions - Jon Curran (259)
Following the WGC-Cadillac Championship, 23-year-old Patrick Reed answered a reporter’s question by affirming that he considers himself one of the five best golfers in the world – and while the confident Reed later re-framed those words to suggest that he’s working towards that goal, his impressive victory over a world-class field suggested that he is perhaps already on the cusp. Indeed, Reed triumphed wire-to-wire over the exceedingly rare non-Major championship field to include the entire top 50 in the Official World Ranking, and he did so without wilting under some serious final-nine pressure on Doral’s revamped – and dangerous – Blue Monster layout. Reed topped the leaderboard on Thursday following an opening 68, then maintained a share of the lead following a 75 on a windy Friday which saw scores skyrocket. A 69 on Saturday then saw him to a two-stroke 54-hole lead, and when he quickly extended that lead to four via three early Sunday birdies, his position seemed fairly secure. But as Bubba Watson and Wales’ Jamie Donaldson mounted late charges, an untimely Reed bogey at the 14th suddenly left the door slightly ajar – and it got wider when Donaldson birdied the 17th to close within one. Relying on a deft short game, however, Reed saved par from greenside bunkers at the 15th and 16th (having earlier done so at the 13th) and when Donaldson bogeyed the demanding 471-yard finisher from a greenside bunker, the lead was back to two. Smartly, Reed took the water out of play at the last by laying up with an iron, his “routine” bogey clinching the title……………… Ex-Georgia Tech All-American Chesson Hadley took only 13 PGA Tour starts to give some major support to those touting him as a future star, birdieing the final two holes to claim a two-stroke victory at the Puerto Rico Open, in Rio Grande. In an event played opposite the WGC-Cadillac Championship (and thus featuring a light field), Hadley played steady golf for the first 54 holes, his rounds of 68-65-67 staking him to a one-shot lead over 2008 U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee of New Zealnd. But after an admittedly nervous night, Hadley quickly extended his lead by birdieing three of his first five holes on Sunday, with a chip-in four at the par-5 5th proving a turning point. Lee would mount a late charge, however, carding birdies at the 13th, 15th and 16th to make things interesting, and even even adding a final birdie at the par-5 18th for good measure. But after reeling off seven straight pars from holes 10-16, Hadley kicked it into gear once more to post his final two birdies and clich the title.
WGC - WGC-Cadillac Championship - Patrick Reed (284)
PGA Tour - Puerto Rico Open - Chesson Hadley (267)
LET - Mission Hills World Championship - Inbee Park (268)
JLPGA Tour - Daikin Orchid Ladies - O. Sattaya (208)
Web.com Tour - Chile Classic - Adam Hadwin (272)
E Challenge Tour - Barclay's Kenya Open - Jake Roos (278)
In an event which ended up being former world number one Rory McIlroy’s to lose, Russell Henley claimed his second PGA Tour victory in 14 months by winning the Honda Classic in a four-man sudden death playoff. McIlroy looked in command after an opening round 63 and remained atop the leaderboard both Friday and Saturday with middle rounds of 66-69. But during a final round which saw stiffer winds and higher scores, McIlroy struggled to a 74, his hopes nearly buried by a double-bogey at the 16th and a bogey at the par-3 17th. Still, he ripped his second to within 12 feet at the par-5 18th and thus had an eagle putt to win – which he missed. Henley’s game, meanwhile, was a microcosm of Sunday’s wild final nine leaderboard, as he birdied the 13th and 14th (the latter by chipping in), then double-bogeyed the 15th to fall back to the magic number of eight under par. Already in the clubhouse at that figure was Ryan Palmer, who was the only player in the final six groups to break par (and then just barely, with a 69) – though Palmer might well have won it outright had he not missed a spate of shorter putts down the stretch. Also in the playoff was Scotland’s Russell Knox, who’d gotten it to 10 under par before recording a double-bogey of his own, at the par-4 14th. The playoff itself was brief, as Henley reached the 18th in two and, with two putts from 40 feet, recorded the only birdie and the victory. Also notable was the departure of Tiger Woods, who barely made the cut, shot a Saturday 65, the withdrew with back pain after 13 holes on Sunday, standing five over par for the day………………Former Ryder Cup player Ross Fisher enjoyed a hot week on the greens at the second playing of the Tshwane Open and parlayed it into his fifth career European Tour victory, but his first since 2010. Fisher’s early rounds of 66-65-67 staked him to an imposing five-stroke lead over the Copperleaf course which, at 7,964 altitude-ehanced yards, was the longest in E Tour history. But on a Sunday dotted with intermittent rain, he had trouble keeping his momentum up, playing the outward half in one-under-par 35. This allowed playing partner Michael Hoey to charge into the mix, and as Hoey stood five under par through his first 11 holes, he’d actually pulled to within one. But Hoey double-bogeyed the 12th, leaving Fisher’s primary late challengers to be homestanding Danie Van Tonder (who made his move with late birdies at the 16th and 17th en route to a closing 66) and 2013 Q School medalist Carlos Del Moral, who would have matched that number had he not bogeyed both the 14th and 17th. But as both men crept within two in the late going, Fisher responded by holing a 30-foot eagle putt at the par-5 15th, essentially salting away the title………………As a 22-year-old prospect, India’s Rashid Khan lost the 2013 SAIL-SBI Open in a playoff with Anirban Lahiri, coming within a whisker of claiming his maiden Asian Tour title over his home course, the Delhi Golf Club. One year later he returned to the same event and, in a storybook finish, emerged triumphant, beating Siddikur Rahman on the first hole of sudden death. Khan began his week in style with a dazzling first round 61 before rounds of 69-69 pushed him to a two-stroke 54-hole lead. But facing the stifling pressure of playing before a home crowd, Khan stood one over par through 16 holes of the Saturday finale, and thus trailed the charging Siddikur by one. He then got a potential career-altering break when his missed approach to the par-4 17th skipped over a frontal bunker to within tap-in birdie range, then matched Siddikur’s birdie at the par-5 18th before birdieing the 18th once more to claim the playoff.
PGA Tour - Honda Classic - Russell Henley (272)
European Tour - Tshwane Open - Ross Fisher (268)
Asian Tour - SAIL-SBI Open - Rashid Khan (270)
Sunshine Tour - See European Tour (Above)
Australasian Tour - New Zealand Open - Dimitrios Papadatos (270)
LPGA Tour - HSBC Women's Champions - Paula Creamer (278)
Symetra Tour - Volvik Championship - Kim Kaufman (137)