Sunday's Golf Capsules
Monday, November 1, 2010
SOTOGRANDE, Spain (AP) — Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell won the Andalucia Masters on Sunday at Valderrama, closing with a 3-over 74 for a two-stroke victory.
McDowell, also the U.S. Open winner and Wales Open champion this year, finished at 3 under. Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin (76), Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen (69) and Ireland’s Damien McGrane (72) tied for second.
German star Martin Kaymer needed a top-two finish to take the top spot from Tiger Woods in the world ranking, but closed with a 75 to tie for 21st.
England’s Lee Westwood took the top ranking, becoming the first European since Nick Faldo in 1994 to be No. 1, and the 13th player to be No. 1 since the ranking system began in 1986.
Woods had been No. 1 since the week before the 2005 U.S. Open, where he was runner-up. He won the British Open a month later and his ranking has rarely been threatened since.
That changed this year, however, when Woods struggled through his worst season on and off the course. He took a five-month break from golf to cope with confessions of extramarital affairs, which ultimately led to divorce, and his game has not been the same.
Asia Pacific Classic
SELANGOR, Malaysia (AP) — American Ben Crane won the inaugural Asia Pacific Classic, eagling the par-4 15th and making an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole to beat England’s Brian Davis by a stroke.
Crane closed with a 2-under 69 at The Mines to finish at 18 under and earn $1 million in the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event in Southeast Asia. Davis shot a 66, finishing birdie-eagle-birdie.
Scotland’s Martin Laird (66) and England’s Luke Donald (67) tied for third at 16 under.
After making three straight bogeys to fall a stroke behind Laird, Crane drove the green on the 15th and holed his 8-foot eagle putt to regain the lead. Davis pulled even with his closing birdie, but Crane avoided a playoff with his winning birdie.
The slow-playing Crane won the Farmers Insurance Open in January at Torrey Pines for his third career PGA Tour victory. The win Sunday in the 40-player event — also sanctioned by the Asian Tour — doesn’t count as an official PGA Tour victory.
LPGA Hana Bank Championship
INCHEON, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi successfully defended her title in the LPGA Hana Bank Championship, shooting a 3-under 69 on Sunday for a two-stroke victory over Vicky Hurst.
Choi finished at 10 under on Sky 72 Golf Club’s Ocean Course and earned $270,000 for her second LPGA Tour victory of the year and fourth in two years. In July, she won the Jamie Farr Classic in a four-way playoff.
Hurst closed with a 70.
Second-round leader Song-Hee Kim (73) was third at 7 under, and U.S. Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer (67), second-ranked Jiyai Shin (69) and Suzann Pettersen (70) followed at 6 under. Michelle Wie shot a 70 to tie for 12th at 3 under in a group that included top-ranked Cristie Kerr (71) and 50-year-old Juli Inkster (74).
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Monday qualifier Rod Spittle won the AT&T Championship for his first Champions Tour victory, beating Jeff Sluman with a par on the first hole of a playoff.
Spittle, a 55-year-old Canadian, and Sluman closed with 4-under 67s to finish at 12 under on the Oak Hills Country Club course. Spittle earned $262,500.
Spittle birdied Nos. 15-17, hitting a wedge shot to 2 feet on the 17th and parred the 18th, while Sluman birdied 15 and 16 and finished with two pars.
Sluman hit his tee shot into the front bunker on the playoff hole — the par-3 18th — and had a bogey putt left when Spittle won with a 4-foot par putt.
Two-time Oak Hills winner John Cook (68), second-round leader Larry Nelson (70) and Chien Soon Lu (69) tied for third at 11 under.
Nationwide Tour Championship
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Brendan Steele won the Nationwide Tour Championship, beating Colt Knost on the fourth hole of a playoff. But both players left feeling like champions as they finished among the top 25 money winners to earn PGA Tour cards.
Steele began the season-ending event 30th and Knost, the 2007 U.S. Amateur champion, was 36th. Steele knocked in an 8-foot birdie on the fourth extra hole, ending a day filled with drama, nerves and regrets.
Steele finished sixth on the final money list and Knost 15th, both among the 14 first-timers out on tour next season. Steele, who earned $180,000, closed with a 1-over 73, and Knost, who made $108,000, had a 70 to finish at 13 under on the Daniel Island Club’s Ralston Course.
Justin Hicks edged Scott Gardiner by $2,010 for the 25th and final PGA Tour spot.
Jamie Lovemark, a 22-year-old tour rookie, maintained his No. 1 position on the money list to earn a full PGA Tour exemption and entry into The Players Championship. Lovemark finished with $452,951.
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