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Ernie Els has pulled out of the KLM Open golf tournament so he can stay with family and friends in Florida following Hurricane Irma.

Garcia makes hurricane pledge

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Published in Golf
Thursday, 31 August 2017 14:21

Masters champion Sergio Garcia and Texas-native Chris Stroud are among the golfers to offer their financial support to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The heaviest tropical downpour in US history has seen at least 18 people killed and 13,000 more rescued in around the Houston area, with further rain expected in Texas and Louisiana in the coming days.

The PGA Tour has pledged $250,000 to the American Red Cross' relief funds, while a number of players have made their own personal donations to the charity.

Garcia announced on Tuesday that he and wife Angela Akins will give $2,000 for every birdie and $5,000 for eagle he makes over the remainder of the FedExCup play-offs, starting this week at the Dell Technologies Championship.

Houston-based Stroud has also paid tribute to his home state and has committed to donating 10 percent of his earnings from this week, as well as giving $10,000 towards the relief efforts.

"It has been a tough week, but in some ways a very rewarding week," said Stroud. "To see all the people and organizations around the country eager to pitch in and help is inspiring.

"I hope the efforts of the PGA Tour and my fellow players will spur more people to join in and help make a difference to those who are in need."

Players will wear red, white and blue ribbons - the colours of the Texas flag - during this week's event, while kiosks will be available on-site at TPC Boston for fans to make donations.

"Our thoughts are with all of those impacted by this terrible storm and flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey," PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

"We hope our collective efforts help bring comfort and aid to the victims and that it will spur our players, tournaments and fans to join the cause and help out."

GB captain out of Walker Cup

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Published in Golf
Thursday, 31 August 2017 14:19

Craig Watson will not captain Great Britain and Ireland in next week's Walker Cup against the United States due to a serious illness in his immediate family.

In Watson's absence, chairman of selectors Andrew Ingram will take over as acting captain of the 10-man side seeking to retain the trophy at Los Angeles Country Club from September 9-10.

Watson defeated future Masters champion Trevor Immelman to win the Amateur Championship at Royal St George's in 1997 and played in the Walker Cup defeat at Quaker Ridge later that year.

Nigel Edwards captained Great Britain and Ireland to a record seven-point victory at Royal Lytham in 2015, but their last win on American soil came back in 2001.

Ingram captained the victorious European Junior Ryder Cup team in Ohio in 2004 and also at Celtic Manor in 2006, where the home side retained the trophy after a 6-6 tie.

The 57-year-old became chairman of the R&A men's selection committee in 2014 and has been chairman of the teams and performance committee at the Golf Union of Wales for more than a decade.

'More to come from DJ'

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Published in Golf
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 18:24

Andrew Coltart reflects on a dramatic win for Dustin Johnson at The Northern Trust and discusses what to expect from the world No 1 over the rest of the FedExCup play-offs.

These FedExCup events bring the top players together and produce some really exciting golf, which was clear to see in Sunday's final-round tussle.

It was a titanic battle between two world-class players and you really didn't know which way it was going to go. It wasn't always the quality of the golf, but the two were toing and froing throughout.

This stroke play event became like a match play situation between Johnson and Jordan Spieth, with the contest offering twists and turns and a string of clutch putts.

I thought Jordan Spieth was going to stay out in front as we headed down the closing holes, but it was quality stuff to see the two guys fight it out in the way they did.

Nothing was happening for Johnson over the first few holes and it was only when Spieth hit it in the water at the sixth that things started to change. Did Spieth need to go aggressively when five ahead? I'm not sure.

That mental error would ultimately prove costly, although the way Spieth responded over the rest of his round was brilliant to see. The quality of touch he possessed with his putt at the 17th, and how close he came at the last, really piled the pressure on Johnson.

Whatever Spieth did though, Johnson was following suit. He's a big man and renowned for his incredible distance and power off the tee, but his finesse around the greens is so delicate under pressure.

The fact Johnson knew he could lay up at the 18th and could get close with a wedge says everything about the world No 1 at the moment. He possesses everything that you would expect from a world No 1.

The whole crowd would've expected Johnson to have a crack at the 72nd with his second shot, but to be able to leave with a par and force the play-off shows how dogged and determined he is.

DJ hung in there and played a wonderful back nine, with the patience he possesses a great asset to have. He goes about his business like he doesn't have a care in the world.

The confidence was in full flow during the play-off, where he absolutely rifled his tee shot and fired his wedge close to set up the victory.

For me, it's fair to say Johnson is back to his best. He struggled a little bit over the summer and lost his early-season momentum after his injury, but this will do him the world of good.

Coming back and winning in New York, especially in the way he beat Jordan Spieth when the Open champion didn't look like he could be beaten, will do a lot for him heading into the next few weeks.

Ryder Cup qualifying begins

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Published in Golf
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 18:22

The race to qualify for Thomas Bjorn’s European Team at the 2018 Ryder Cup begins this week at the D+D Real Czech Masters.

The event at Albatross Golf Resort is the first in a year-long qualification period where players can earn points in their bid to make Bjorn's 12-man team at Le Golf National.

The top four players from the European Points List and the leading four from the World Points List will automatically qualify for Team Europe, with Bjorn having wildcard picks for the other four spots.

"So far there has been a lot of planning, but now all my focus turns to the 12 who are going to play, which is by far the most important thing," Bjorn said.

"I am so close to a lot of the players, many of them are great friends of mine, and I am trying to balance the captaincy with those friendships.

"So many of those relationships extend beyond The Ryder Cup, and I've got to realise that I have got to be a captain of these players and some will be there and some will not."

The qualification campaign runs through to the 2018 Made In Denmark, held at Bjorn's home golf course, with a greater weighting for points earned in the latter stages of the process.

Points earned from the 2018 BMW PGA Championship in May onwards will be multiplied by 1.5 for the two qualification lists, while no points will be available in any tournament clashing with a Rolex Series event.

"Everyone believes they have a chance of playing in the team," Bjorn added. "There might a couple of players who go on to surprise everyone and I have to have an open mind to that.

"If you look at guys who are ranked 25th to 30th in the Race to Dubai they are so talented and so capable and you don't know if they are the ones who next year will go on to take that step to become one of the best players in Europe and make the team.

"The way it looks today it is going to be a well-balanced team, I would like to think. You have got to have rookies and you have got to have experience in there."

McIlroy struggles for consistency

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Published in Golf
Sunday, 27 August 2017 10:52

Rory McIlroy carded a third round one-under 69 at The Northern Trust as the four-time major winner struggled to build consistency and momentum during the FedExCup play-offs.

The FedExCup defending champion, who will play a maximum of five events in the rest of the season, carded a second successive under-par round but is well off the pace at Glen Oaks Club.

McIlroy, who is without a worldwide victory since last September's Tour Championship, began his front and back nines with bogeys in a round which saw the world No 4 mix four birdies with three bogeys in New York.

The 28-year-old, who is 44th in the FedExCup standings, fired a fine iron shot from 156 yards to within seven feet before converting it for birdie at the par-4 eighth hole.

Further birdies at the par-5 13th and par-4 16th helped McIlroy, who continues to battle with his swing, finish his round at level par for the tournament and show some signs of improvement after a damaging opening-round three-over 73.

Ian Poulter who played alongside McIlroy in Saturday's third round, suffered a difficult four-over 74 which saw the Englishman mix three birdies with seven bogeys to fall back to four-over-par for the tournament.

The Northern Trust, where the top 125 players in the FedExCup standings play, is the first in a series of four play-off events which culminates with the top 30 players heading to the Tour Championship next month.

Horsey moves two clear in Denmark

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Published in Golf
Sunday, 27 August 2017 10:48

David Horsey carded a seven-under 64 to move two shots clear of the chasing field as the Englishman chases a second title at the Made In Denmark.


The 2015 winner finished the third round, a day of low scoring, at 14-under-par and will begin the final round in the lead ahead of Julian Suri, who finished at 12-under-par, as two-time major winner John Daly impressed the watching galleries with a six-under 65 to lie three off the pace.

English pair Chris Paisley and Robert Rock along with France's Gregory Havret also sit at 11-under-par at the Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort, on a day where the lead changed hands.

Horsey, who has enjoyed three top-10 finishes on the European Tour, produced a blemish-free round on Saturday which included seven birdies - three of which came on the spin from the eighth hole.

"It was good fun," said the 32-year-old. "The conditions were fairly benign so there was a score out there today. I managed to give myself a few chances, missed a few short ones but holed a couple of 20-footers as well so it evened itself out.

"I really like this golf course, something about it suits my eye so I come in here with good vibes again and the atmosphere coming up 16 is something else, it must be like walking out in a football stadium with 70,000 people cheering for you. I actually said to my caddie, I think I was more nervous on that putt on 16 than I was to win the tournament two years ago!"

Suri, who is seeking a maiden European Tour title, mixed seven birdies with one bogey and went through the front nine holes in a four-under 32 but suffered a dropped shot at the par three 10th before responding with three further birdies down the back nine.

Daly, who won The Open in 1995, proved he can still compete with the best as the American mixed seven birdies with one bogey to help the 51-year-old's chances of becoming the oldest winner in European Tour history.

Paisley had moved into the lead after birdies at the fifth, seventh and 12th, while Havret, a three-time winner on the European Tour, also carded an impressive five-under 65.

One shot further back lie a group of five players - including English trio Steve Webster, who led after the opening two rounds, Matt Wallace and Aaron Rai who gained his European Tour card last month.

Home favourite Thorbjorn Olesen finished with a five-under 65 despite a bogey at the final hole while Australia's Wade Ormsby also finished at the 10-under mark following a three-under 67.

McIlroy struggles to erratic 73

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Published in Golf
Friday, 25 August 2017 14:28

Rory McIlroy failed to make a fast start to the FedExCup play-offs as he struggled to an opening-round 73 at The Northern Trust.

The world No 4 mixed three birdies with six bogeys during an erratic display at Glen Oaks Club, leaving him nine strokes adrift of morning pacesetter Russell Henley.

McIlroy previously said he was "assessing his options" about whether he would defend his FedExCup title but eventually committed to playing the season finale, beginning the four-tournament stretch 44th in the standings.

The 28-year-old found rough off the opening tee on his way to an early bogey but bounced back to drain a 30-footer at the next, only to find water off the fifth tee and drop another shot.

McIlroy posted birdies either side of a missed approach and blemish at the seventh, before slipping over par with a missed putt from five feet at the 10th.

A three-putt bogey from 20 feet at the 12th was followed by a tee shot in to water at the 17th on his way to another dropped shot, with McIlroy holing from six feet to save par at the last.

Redman wins US Amateur

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Published in Golf
Monday, 21 August 2017 22:25

Doc Redman won the US Amateur Championship in dramatic fashion, taking the final two holes of normal play and then beating Doug Ghim in overtime.

Redman drained a 60-foot eagle putt at 17 to put himself in contention, and forced an extra hole by winning 18.

A hole earlier, Redman had missed a four-footer to fall two holes behind with two to play, and his championship probably rested on the long, tricky putt.

And if the 19-year-old sophomore from Clemson felt even a bit of that pressure, he didn't show it as he holed out to complete an incredible comeback to win.

"I didn't even think about it, really," Redman said. "All that was going through my head was about making the putt and putting a good stroke on it. Honestly, I was just [thinking], 'You're going to make this. You're going to make this.' And it worked out well."

Redman rallied past Ghim and won on the first extra hole, claiming the Havemeyer Trophy in the 117th edition of the Amateur.

After Redman gave away his own lead with eight holes to play, Ghim was on the verge of victory with two holes left in the two-round final at Riviera Country Club.

But Redman capped his phenomenal putting day by making that 60-footer and following with a short, tricky birdie putt on the 36th hole to force overtime.

"I always have a lot of confidence from mid-range," said Redman, who puts his hand in his pocket before his stroke as part of his putting routine. "When I see one go in, I definitely get big eyes and I know I can make anything."

Hoffman moves into Canadian lead

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Published in Golf
Sunday, 30 July 2017 16:21

Charley Hoffman birdied the final hole for a seven-under 65 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Canadian Open.

The 40-year-old Hoffman had six birdies in a seven-hole stretch at Glen Abbey that ended on the 15th before he bogeyed the par-4 17th only to rebound with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 18th.

Hoffman was one ahead of fellow American Kevin Chappell, who bogeyed the last hole after finding water to card a six-under 66, with Gary Woodland and Robert Garrigus a further stroke behind.

"When you're playing good, I always say golf is fairly easy," Hoffman said. "It's been a fun run the last month or two months, actually all year, and it's not very stressful, which is good. When you're trying to make cuts, that's when golf is hard. ... Have my family out for the next five weeks. They are off for summer break. It's been fun to hang out and go over to Europe with them and Canada. It's been a good, fun summer vacation."

Hoffman's last tournament success came at the Texas Open last year where he secured his fourth PGA Tour title.

"Anything can happen in the last four or five holes," Hoffman added. "Guys can make eagles, birdies, bogeys. Anything can happen. Obviously, want to get off to a good start on the front nine and play the back nine the way I need to and see how it goes."

Chappell had nine birdies and three bogeys in his six-under 66 but a bogey at the 18th, after hitting his third shot into the water, saw the American finish his round on a disappointing note.

Woodland shot a third round 68 while Garrigus, who matched the course record with a 62, sit a further stroke behind. Garrigus had two eagles and six birdies to tie the Glen Abbey mark set by Leonard Thompson in 1981 and matched by Andy Bean in 1983, Greg Norman in 1986 and John Merrick in 2013.

"Kind of started off with that eagle on 2," Garrigus said. "Missed the green short, like a 30-footer up the hill, through the rough through the first cut and rolled on to the green and went in.

"Next hole, I stuffed it in there. I chipped in on the par 3 and stuffed it on the other par 3 and made it and I chipped in on 8, and I'm just thinking, 'Oh, my gosh, what is going on right now. I'm not going to think about anything. I'm just going to keep going.'"

Defending champion Jhonattan Vegas had a 67 to join Sam Saunders, Andres Gonzales, Tony Finau, Ryan Ruffels and Brandon Hagy at 14-under. Saunders is Arnold Palmer's grandson.

Second-round leader Martin Flores had a 72 to drop into a tie for 16th at 12-under while world No 1 Dustin Johnson also lies at 12-under-par after a 68.

"I feel like the game's starting to come back in good form," Johnson said. "Other than a drive here and there, it was a really good day."

Former world number one and 2004 winner Vijay Singh failed to continue his impressive play from Friday, carding a 71 that had him tied with seven other players at 11-under.

The 54-year-old is seeking to become the oldest winner in PGA Tour history

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