Martin Breaks through in Vegas, Ilonen Wins World Match Play PDF Print E-mail


Ben Martin celebrates his win at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Las Vegas - Ben Martin fired a final round 68 to capture his first PGA Tour title on Sunday at

TPC Summerlin. Martin's 46 foot eagle putt on the par 5 sixteenth put him ahead for good, he

posted 20 under par for the week, finishing two strokes ahead of a hard charging Kevin Streelman.

Streelman caught fire on the back nine making five birdies in a six hole stretch (as he did earlier

in the year, when he birdied 7 in row to win the Travelers) . . . but his birdie attempt on the last

just slid by.


Holding the 54 hole lead entering Sunday, Martin started slow - he was 1 over par through the

first 14 holes Sunday . . . but played the final stretch in 4 under par, which he capped off with a nice

16 foot left to right slider on the home hole.


The win puts Ben Martin tied atop the Fedex Cup standings with Fry's winner Sang-Moon Bae, and

earns him his second trip to the Masters (he last played in 2010 as the U.S Amateur runner-up).


Russell Knox finished third at 16 under par. Jimmy Walker, Webb Simpson and Brooks Koepka

finished tied for fourth (five strokes off the pace at -15).









Miko Ilonen was victorious over Henrik Stenson in the final at the Volvo World Match Play

Kent, England - Miko Ilonen became the first Finnish player to win the Volvo World Match Play,

his bogey free final round at London Golf Club resulted in a 3&1 victory over top seeded and World

Ranked No.5 Henrik Stenson. The Swede fought hard on the back nine with birdies at the tenth,

twelfth and fifteenth holes, but Ilonen was not to be denied his second title of 2014 (he won the

Irish Open in June).


Afterward, he reflected on his triumph over his friend:


“I see Henrik as one of the world's top players obviously, but I see him as my friend. He didn't

intimidate me at all. We've played so much golf together over the years, so I felt quite

comfortable playing with him. It could have gone either way really. I had a better afternoon

than he did. (If) tomorrow morning we play, it might go the other way . . . but we were

obviously playing for the trophy as hard as we could, and I came out on top.”


Joost Luiten beat George Coetze in the consolation match for third place.














Sang-Moon Bae Hangs On to Win Fry's PDF Print E-mail


2015 Fry' Open Champion Sang-Moon Bae tees off Sunday at Silverado's North course

Napa, California - Silverado Resort hadn't hosted a PGA Tour event in over 30 years, but it

proved to be a stern test for the final round of the first event of the 2015 PGA Tour season.

The 7,203 yard North course played to a stroke average of 71.9 on Sunday at the Fry'

Open, with strong winds being part of the challenge for the first time all week.


Sang-Moon Bae entered the final round with a four shot lead, and after a few wobbles early on,

he managed his way home with four straight pars to shoot 73 (-15 total), and capture the title

by two over Steven Bowditch who tied for the low round of the day at 67.


The win is Bae's second of his career, and puts him 1st in the Fedex Cup standings, and moved

him closer to his dream of making the International Team for the Presidents Cup, which will be

played in his native Korea. Bae has set that as one of his main goals for the saeson, "It is most

important to me because it is in Korea next year. It really means alot, if I can't play it, it will be

really sad."


As the first winner of the 2015 PGA Tour season, he is well on his way.


Notables: Hunter Mahan and Retief Goosen finished T3 at -11. Lee Westwood was T12 at -10

and Matt Kuchar T21 (-7) after a final round 76.












Europe Dominates Ryder Cup at Gleneagles PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

Team Europe celebrates another Ryder Cup triumph at Gleneagles.


Perthshire, Scotland - This edition, the 40th in Ryder Cup history didn't quite live up to the hype.

Team Europe took care of business on Sunday, dusting off team USA 16.5 to 11.5. The two very

lopsided foursomes sessions Friday and Saturday destroyed any hope for Sunday drama - the

alternate shot competition favored Team Europe 7 points to 1 - Game Over.


There was to be no Brookline like Miracle on Sunday, trailing 10-6 heading into singles play was too

tall an order for this group of Yanks that didn't have Tiger, Phil, Duval, Payne, Hal Sutton and Furyk

in their prime (Mickelson & Furyk were winless in 2014, and are both 44 years old now). A few Americans

managed to make a game of it Sunday, including Phil who handled native Scotsman Stephen Gallacher in

his match. Patrick Reed edged out Henrik Stenson 1 up, Kuchar took care of Bjorn 4 & 3 and Jimmy

Walker continued his solid play beating Ryder Cup stalwart Lee Westwood 3 & 2 . . . but little else went

the Americans way. Big comebacks by Graeme McDowell over Jordan Spieth, and Justin Rose (who was

Europe's MVP for the week) came from 4 down to earn a halve against Hunter Mahan. World number 1

Rory McIlroy absolutely blitzed Ricky Fowler 5 & 4. It was Welshman Jamie Donaldson who secured

the clincher on the 15th hole, when he routed Keegan Bradley 4 & 3.


Europe's continued dominance in the alternate shot (foursomes) format will continue to be the story.

It seems as if neither side has an answer for Team USA's incompetence in this format. Many have

speculated about the Americans lack of team chemistry as the reason, but that's an intangible that

Team Stars & Stripes haven't found the solution to (with the exception of Paul Azinger in '08 at Valhalla).


Granted, Captain Watson made a few blunders, first leaving Chris Kirk off the squad, then taking

Spieth & Reed out of the foursomes Friday afternoon . . . but when you get drubbed by 5 points,

these are minor reasons to blame. Perhaps a bigger factor was the loss of Tiger Woods (even in sub-

prime form), and being without ball striking dynamo Dustin Johnson (who took a leave of absence

after testing positive for an illegal substance this summer).


Talent is no longer the only element required to be victorious. Once upon a time it was said that the

Euro's needed to win in order for the Ryder Cup to grow, and it was treated as the main focus of the

European Tour - to beat America. It's now reversed, Team USA needs a system - their own template to

make this great event competitive again.




For all of the scores from the 40th Ryder Cup:









The 40th Ryder Cup - Preview PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

Ok, it's almost "Go Time" at Gleneagles for the 40th playing of the Ryder Cup.

The Europeans are big favorites in this edition . . . and understandably so. After

the "Miracle at Medinah", there is a clear sense that the Euro's have figured out

the formula for victory. The European PGA keeps the half dozen past captains in

the loop as consultants and vice captains and often grooms the future team leaders

by having them aboard as assistants or observers. The term being thrown around

by the Euro hierchy is "template", which Captain Paul McGinley has mentioned many

times this week. The PGA of America hasn't embraced such a concept - successful

past captains and their methods are left to be, choosing to turnover regimes without

keeping continuity.

Team Europe, not just top heavy as in years past, has McIlroy, Rose, Garcia,

and Stenson as front runners, but McDowell, Kaymer and Bjorn might be the

backbone. Ryder Cup intensity and pressure is like no other, and Euro 1st

timers: Stephen Gallacher, Jamie Donaldson and young Frenchman Victor

Dubuisson (aka - V Dub) are the wild cards. Westwood and Yankee dominator -

Ian Poulter have been in sub-par form all year, and come in to the event as

perhaps Team Blue's biggest question marks.

Winners of 7 of the last 9 Cup matches, the European contingent appears

loose and confident, and for good reason. The Euro's return 7 of the 12 miracle

makers from Chicago (and Captain Paul McGinley - who was a vice captain at

Medinah in 2012). Can the American's motivation overcome Europe's confidence?

It will be no easy task for Team USA to emerge with Samuel Ryder's trophy.

The venue is Jack Nicklaus' Centenary course at Gleneagles - an American style

parkland course that features tight fairways, heavy rough and softer & slower

greens than the Americans see on a weekly basis on the PGA Tour. . . but for the

most part, the layout favors neither side. If the weather gets ugly, combine that

with a raucous Euro home crowd for two factors that fall heavily in Europe's favor.

Do the Americans and Captain Tom Watson have the horses to make it a dogfight?

Clearly on the top half of the squad - they do. Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk,

Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker have been solid all year. Players like Bubba Watson,

Keegan Bradley, Zach Johnson and Patrick Reed have been up and down throughout

2014 and may end up deciding the final tally. Webb Simpson, Hunter Mahan and Phil

Mickelson have had down years and have only shown short glimpses of brilliance this

year. It will all depend on the chemistry of each pairing, and how the team gels as a


Likely we'll see Phil/Keegan, Bubba/Webb and Spieth/Kuchar, with the other pairings

still unknown. For certain the European Team will toss out combinations of Rory/Sergio,

Rory/Poulter, and Rose/Poulter. If McIlroy and Ian Poulter gain momentum early on, it

could ease the nerves of rookies - Gallacher, Donaldson, and Dubuisson - pulling them

along for the ride. If that's the case, the matches could get lopsided quick.

Here's to hoping the singles matches on Sunday are as compelling as Brookline

and Medinah.

Prediction: In the end it comes down to who hits the best golf shots and holes

putts, but it'll take a huge week from new comers Spieth, Walker, and Patrick Reed

for Team USA to have a punchers chance. The two middle aged vets Furyk and

Mickelson will probably need to have a winning record for the Cup to make its way

back to America . . . Europe 15 - USA 13








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