THREE Aussies finished T11 at Pebble Beach, Brett Rumford was T7 on the European Tour in South Africa, while Craig Parry still has work to do on the US Champions Tour. Weekend wrap.
US PGA Tour
Jason Day, Matt Jones, and Cameron Smith had promising T11 finishes at the 2016 AT&T Pebble Beach ProAm on the US PGA TOUR whilst 17 year old Ryan Ruffles wilted in the final round.
In his third event of the year Day just couldn’t get a his putter to cooperate sufficiently but still managed to finish at 9-under, tied with Jones, Smith and a couple of others at the iconic Pebble Beach.
The event was won by American Vaughn Taylor in a life changing victory for the world No.447.
Taylor hadn’t won for more than a decade and hasn’t has a full TOUR card for three years.
The 39 year old reeled off four straight birdies on the back nine to close with a 7-under 65 and won the event when four-time champion Phil Mickelson missed a 5-foot putt on the final hole. With Vaughn biting his nails in the clubhouse (actually taking copious sips of water while sitting in the back of an SUV) Mickelson had slotted home a much needed birdie putt on the 17th and looked certain to repeat the dose on the 18th and force a playoff.
“It’s been a long time. I didn’t think it was going to happen,” said Taylor, still coming to terms with his new two year TOUR card as well as a spot in the upcoming US Masters, conveniently staged in his home town of Augusta, Georgia.
“I worked so hard. I kept getting knocked down, knocked down. I’m just at a loss for words.”
Mickelson closed with a 72, extending the longest victory drought of his professional career dating to the 2013 British Open.
Vaughn Taylor’s Cinderella win at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Video
Rumford’s gutsy performance at 2016 Tshwane Open
Brett Rumford doesn’t have fond memories of the European Tour’s Tshwane Open in South Africa.
In 2015 he was forced to with draw after 36 holes with a digestive blockage and subsequently underwent critical surgery to remove 30 cm of his small intestine.
On opening 75 couldn’t of had him feeling that much better but the 38 year old West Australian fought back with scores of 67-68-66 to finish on 4-under and T7.
The event was won by local Charl Schwartzel, who cruised to an eight shot victory for his second title of the season and eighth European Tour win on South African soil.
Jason Scrivener and Dimi Papadatos the only other two Aussies to make the cut.
Craig Parry still getting up to speed on Champions Tour
Aussie veteran Craig Parry played his second US Champions Tour event, the Chubb Classic in Florida, after finishing mid field in his debut last week.
The newly turned 50 year old struggled after opening with a 4-over 76. He again recovered in the second round with a 2-under 70 but a final round 74 saw him finish T58 in a finishing field of 79.
The next event isn’t for month so Parry should have plenty of time to work on his game. He’ll also likely be boosted by the scheduled return of fellow Aussie Peter Senior at that time.
The Chubb Classic was won by Germany’s Bernhard Langer, who began the final round at the TwinEagles Club in Naples with a seven stroke advantage.
Langer scrambled home with a 1-over 73 to beat Fred Couples (66) by three strokes.
It was Langer’s 26th Champions Tour victory and his first, he said, “unanchored”. Langer is still using a broomstick putter but moves the putter handle away from his chest before each stroke.