Cam smith Prevails in Playoff at Sony Open PDF Print E-mail


Cam Smith celebrates after winning the Sony Open

Honolulu - It was far from ideal conditions on Sunday at Waialae

Country Club, and it seemed for awhile that nobody wanted to take

home the Sony Open title. After starting out Thursday's opening round

bogey/triple bogey, it seemed like a long shot that Cam Smith would

even be around for the weekend, but the Aussie rallied to finish the

opening round at even par 70, then a blistering 2nd round 65. In round

3, Smith shot 66 to bolt up the leaderboard into contention.


Meanwhile, Californian Brendan Steele who led most of the final two

rounds (and took a three stroke lead into Sunday) was struggling

coming down the stretch. After missing the green and failing to get up

and down on the par 3 seventeenth, his lead was cut to one when Cam

Smith two putted for par. On 18, Steele was safely in the fairway but

pulled his approach into the grandstands, but managed to make par.

Smith faced a 9 foot birdie putt to tie Steele at 11 under par and send

the event to sudden death. When he calmly rolled in the birdie, the duo

went to overtime.


On the first extra hole, Smith recovered from a blocked tee shot with

a superb recovery to 10 feet. With the pressure clearly mounting, Steele

flew his approach over the green and failed to save par. Smith in routine

like fashion, two putted for his first individual PGA Tour title of his career

(he won the Zurich Classic two-man team event with Jonas Blixt in 2017).


"I've been out here four or five years now and to say that I have finally

won an event by myself is pretty good," Smith said. When discussing the

crisis his countrymen face back home in Australia with the tragic bush fires

he said, "We're a tight knit family and it kind of hit everyone pretty hard. It's

good to do something good, and hopefully puts a smile on their face."


Smith pledged to donate $500 for every birdie and $1000 for every eagle

he made at the Sony Open.















JT Prevails in Playoff at Sentry Tournament of Champions PDF Print E-mail


Justin Thomas celebrates after winning at the Sentry Tournament of Champion.

Maui - In such a short period of time, Justin Thomas has solidified his

place in the upper echelon of the game, but all of that meant nothing

as he unraveled on the 72nd hole on Kapalua's Plantation course. Holding

a one shot lead from the fairway, JT pull hooked his fairway wood approach

into the tall native grasses that run the entire length along the left side of

the home hole. It was the type of shot you'd expect to see from a high

handicapper in the Wednesday Pro-Am. For the number 4 ranked player

on earth it was about as egregious a mental lapse since a certain Frenchman

coughed up the Claret Jug. After all, there's about a 100 yard wide fairway

and ample safety zone all the way down the right side. Why not lay up with

an iron while holding the lead?


Miraculously, minutes later Thomas was granted a mulligan when challenger

Xander Schauffele (one shot back and grouped with Thomas) now only needing

a routine two putt to defend his title, three jacked his eagle attempt. Both Thomas

and Schauffele finished tied at the end of regulation. Sitting inside the clubhouse

observing the carnage unfold was Patrick Reed, who an hour earlier made a

lengthy putt on the last to reach 14 under par, as it turned out that putt was

enough to reach extra holes. The three man playoff began on 18. Schauffele

once again three putted, while JT and Xander made birdie - moving on. On

the second playoff hole Thomas wedged his third to close range while Reed

left himself 12 feet for his birdie. Reed missed, JT poured his in the heart -

overcoming the earlier gaffe. Afterwards the 12 time PGA Tour winner felt

fortunate, "The emotions and how I was winning and then I was barely winning

and then I barely got in a playoff - that takes a lot out of you," Thomas said. "I

probably don't seem as elated as I might be or as I would hope to be."


The win put Thomas in elite company historically, he joins Tiger Woods, Jack

Nicklaus as the only players to notch 12 or more PGA Tour wins before age 27

since 1960.

















Team USA Storms Back, Wins Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne PDF Print E-mail


Team USA celebrates after winning the Presidents Cup in Australia

Melbourne, Australia - Trailing 10-8 heading into the Sunday singles,

Team USA Captain Tiger Woods chose to put himself out first and then

remarked, "I trust my guys." The stars n stripes rallied behind their

captain - prevailing 16 pts - 14 pts at Royal Melbourne.

Woods took on Abraham Ancer and set the tone for his squad by

dispatching of his opponent 3 & 2 in Match 1. In Singles Match 2,

Tony Finau overcame a 4 down deficit to gain a halve in his match

with Hideki Matsuyama.


Patrick Reed overcame another week of drama and along with Dustin

Johnson, they both made quick work out of C.T Pan and Haotong Li

winning 4&3 in each match. DeChambeau halved with Canadian Adam

Hadwin while Sungjae Im slayed U.S Open Champion Gary Woodland.

Cantlay, Schauffele and Webb Simpson also earned points with singles

victories. Aussie Cam Smith took down America's leading point man

Justin Thomas.


In the anchor matches, Louis Oosthuizen and Matt Kuchar tied (but it

was Kuchar's guaranteed half point on the 17th that secured the Cup

for Team USA), Rickie Fowler and Australian Marc Leishman also tied.


Perhaps the true star of the week was Alister MacKenzie's composite

layout at Royal Melbourne. Playing at just over 7000 yards, the firm/fast

conditions and exquisite bunkering of this golden age classic made viewing

the event as interesting as any in recent memory. Tiger Woods summed

it up perfectly, "It's like an Open Championship with Augusta Greens."


Match Results:












Stenson Wins Hero World Challenge PDF Print E-mail



Henrik Stenson poses with Tiger Woods after winning the Hero World Challenge

Bahamas - Henrik Stenson snapped a two-year victory drought with a one-shot victory

in the Hero World Challenge. Stenson's last title was the Wyndham Championship in

the summmer of 2017, his closing 66 was enough to beat Jon Rahm by a shot - finishing

at 18 under par.

Rahm, was the defending champion in the 18-man event which raises funds for the

Tiger Woods Foundation. Stenson had three birdies in his first eight holes but made

bogey at the par five ninth. Birdies at the 10th, 13th and a brilliant approach to

the par 5 - 15th set-up an eagle that effectively sealed the title.


"I found some good momentum and sometimes its just keep on working hard and

grinding it out," Stenson said. "I made some crucial par saves on the back nine,

I'm pleased with the way I finished on the back nine today." Rahm rallied coming in

with birdie at the 14th, eagle at the 15th and another birdie on 16 for a closing 66.

Tournament host Woods threatened to challenge for a sixth win in this event when

he carded four birdies in his first 11 holes, but he bogeyed the 14th and had no

other birdies to finish fourth on 14 under after a 69.













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