Casey Goes Back to Back at Valspar PDF Print E-mail


Paul Casey celebrates at the Copperhead Course after winning back to back.

Palm Harbor, Florida - Entering Sunday with a one-stroke lead over World

No.1 Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey figured the pressure was not on him to

repeat because he was playing against the best in the game. Relishing the

underdog role despite sitting atop the leaderboard, Casey played a steady

plodding final round while the field struggled on perhaps the most arduous

track the Florida swing could provide. The Copperhead at Innisbrook Resort

has never been a pushover, proving year after year that if you can get to

double digits under par, you'll likely win. The 2019 edition at Innisbrook

resort proved no different, with Casey doing just enough on Sunday to

get the job done. His Sunday 72 (+1), and 8 under par total was enough

for a one stroke victory to become the first repeat winner in the history

of the Valspar Championship.


Dustin Johnson never put together a charge of any kind, in fact, he went

birdie-less in his 3 over par final round of 74.

Jason Kokrak looked like Casey's main competition on Sunday, but stumbled

coming home, bogeying the last to finish a shot back at 7 under par - finishing

in a tie for second with Louie Oosthuizen. Oosthuizen bogeyed the par 4 - 16th

all four rounds and lamented afterwards, " I would love to comeback next year

and see if I can make a par on that hole."


For Paul Casey who missed the cut just the week before at the Players,

this was validation and a sweeter taste then last year's title. "Today was a

very different attitude to maybe I had the last three, four years, and an

attitude that I had, and a comfort and relaxed approach - confidence in my

game. I still felt Dustin was the favorite, but it didn't mean I didn't think I

could beat him."


The victory was Casey's third PGA Tour career win and moves him to fourth

in the current Fedex Cup standings.



Valspar Championship Scores:












Rory McIlroy Wins The Players - Takes Over Fedex Cup Standings PDF Print E-mail


Rory McIlroy shows off the new Players trophy after winning at TPC Sawgrass



Ponte Vedra, Florida - Rory McIlroy waited 12 months to reach the winner's

circle again, and he did so in a big way on a big stage at TPC Sawgrass,

capturing the Players Championship after rounds of 67-65-70-70 (-16).


A new March date on the schedule, and a freshly overseeded Dye Stadium

course was the topic of discussion early in the week, but at its thrilling

conclusion the storyline shifted to McIlroy and the resurgent 48 year-old

Jim Furyk. The 2018 USA Ryder Cup captain (and Ponte Vedra resident)

birdied 2 of the last 3 - including the brutish par 4 finisher to post a final

round 67 for a 15 under par - 273 total in the clubhouse. But it was the

Ulsterman on St.Patrick's Day that overcame an early round disaster -

making double-bogey 6 at the short par 4 fourth. Rory closed strong, firing

a back nine 33 that included birdies on the 11th, 12th, 15th and 16th - to

defeat the finest field in professional golf.


McIlroy began the final round tied with Tommy Fleetwood at 14 under par,

a shot behind 54 hole leader Jon Rahm (after his third round 64). While Furyk,

Eddie Pepperell and Jhonattan Vegas were lighting up the inward nine, Rahm

was crash and burning his way through the last 8 holes on the stadium course,

he finished tied for 12th after a final round 76. Fleetwood also struggled on

Sunday with a final round 73 and a tie for 5th (-13).


"I played some really good golf down the stretch, so I think all of those

experiences over the past few weeks definitely helped me out there today,"

McIlroy said. "Up 18, I picked my target and said to myself " 'look, it's just

one good swing, you've made plenty of good swings today, you just need

one more' - As soon as I made contact I knew it was right up the middle."


"It's the toughest tournament to win, it has the deepest field on one of the

most iconic courses in the world," Rory said. "There's some unbelievable

names on this trophy, I'm very honored to put my name on it."


The win was McIlroy's 15th career victory on the PGA Tour. He joins Jack

Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to win four majors and The

Players before age 30.


In his last six PGA Tour events, Rory McIlroy's finishes of 4th, 5th, 4th,

2nd, 6th and now 1st vaults him to the top of the Fedex Cup standings.















Francesco Molinari Fires 64, Runs Away with AP Invitational PDF Print E-mail


Francesco Molinari celebrates after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Orlando, Florida - The big story heading into Sunday's final round of the

2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational was the re-emergence of defending

champion Rory McIlroy who was one shot behind 54 hole leader Matthew

Fitzpatrick to start the day. As it turned out, neither was the European to

watch out for.


Italian Francesco Molinari, the 2018 Champion Golfer of the Year overcame

a five-stroke deficit to claim victory at the King's house. He absolutely

caught fire on Arnie's BayHill's layout on Sunday. A timely chip in birdie on

the par 4 eighth and a 44 foot downhill bomb on the 72nd hole were the

dramatic highlights in a blistering final round 64 that ambushed the star-

studded field (finishing at 276 total - 12 under par). Molinari won by two

over Fitzpatrick, who closed with 71 (-10). McIlroy, playing in the final

pairing with Fitzpatrick, never could muster any kind of rally, settling for

an even-par 72 to finish in a disappointing tie for sixth at 8 under par.


For Molinari, he picks up where 2018 left off, the Arnold Palmer Invitational

was his third PGA Tour victory in his last twelve starts. "Yeah, Obviously super

happy the way I did it today, I tried to be aggressive from the start and it was

nice to see quite a lot of putts dropping for, especially my standards. So I think

it's been the best putting round ever in my career, and it's nice to do it obviously

in those circumstances," Molinari said. "On 18 that flag kind of tempts you in but

my caddie told me to go a little left and just give myself a long putt. I don't know,

there must be something going on with that line, because it seems that a lot of

guys winning the tournament make that putt - but I'll probably say I was the first

to make it with the flag in."


With the win, Francesco Molinari earned $1.648 million, a 3 year exemption on

tour and moved to 20th in the Fedex Cup standings.













Keith Mitchell Walkoff Putt Defeats Koepka & Fowler at Honda Classic PDF Print E-mail



Keith Mitchell hoists the crystal trophy after winning the Honda Classic


Palm Beach Gardens, Fl - So the Florida Swing is officially underway.

Coming down the 72nd hole at PGA National's Champion course on

Sunday, Keith Mitchell found a calmness in knowing that a birdie would

be good enough to notch his first win on the big stage at the Honda

Classic, but as he looked up at the leaderboard, he had seen that the

cream had risen to the top. Local residents Brooks Koepka and Rickie

Fowler (the two highest ranked players in the field) were tied with him

atop the leaderboard at 8 under par and were waiting in the clubhouse.

Mitchell pulled his tee shot on the par 5 eighteenth into the left fairway

bunker, and with no chance of reaching the green in two, it was looking

like a playoff with two of game's best was inevitable, but the former

University of Georgia standout settled himself. After a safe lay up,

Mitchell hit his approach to 15 feet below the hole, perhaps the best

location to make a bold putt to win. He didn't take long, and confidently

poured the putt into the cup for his 1st PGA Tour victory, in grand Walk-

off style.


Afterward, in his press conference Keith Mitchell discussed what it was

like to have that experience and the thought process leading up to the

clutch stroke, "I've dreamed of having a putt like that to win a big

tournament, and I had that today. Fortunately, I was able to capitalize

on it," Mitchell said. "Thankfully, I knew what I was doing before I even

got there (to the ball), all of the grain on that green goes left to right,

and it was a little uphill. I didn't have much of a question in my read

and speed, so I was able to be confident in what I was doing - which

is huge. I did a great job from the fairway leaving myself below the

hole. I think I might have early looked that putt (in), it looked so good

so early. It was the best putt I've ever hit under the circumstances,

hands down. To have it fall is too cool."


Keith Mitchell finished with rounds of 68-66-70-67 to finish at -9 (271



Mitchell's prior career achievements will give hope and inspiration to

thousands striving to make it - his last win prior to the Honda Classic

was a 2016 mini-tour event in North Carolina. He lost in a playoff on

the Latin American Tour, and never won on the Tour. In his

winning press conference, Mitchell discussed working diligently on

controlling his emotions and managing himself to be calmer when

it mattered. The reward - $1,224,000 and a chance to play in his first

major championship, a trip down Magnolia Lane in his home state

come April.


Brooks Koepka fired a final round 66 including birdies on 2 of his last 3

holes to tie for second with Rickie Fowler who birdied 3 of his last 4 to

shoot 67 and finish at 8 under par. Lucas Glover shot a final round 66

and Ryan Palmer had the round of the day shooting 63 to tie for fourth.















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