AN emotional Greg Chalmers won his very first US PGA Tour title while Jason Day blew what looked to be a certain World Golf Championship win in Ohio. Other winners on the weekend were Thongchai Jaidee at the Paris Open and teenager Brooke Henderson claiming her third LPGA title.
Forty two year old Chalmers was making a record 386th appearance on the US PGA TOUR without a win at the Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nevada.
The modified stableford event is traditionally held as an alternate to the WGC Bridgestone Invitational and was won by Geoff Ogilvy two years ago.
It was a career changing win for Chalmers, a two time Australian Open winner, who gets a British Open start as well as a two year tour exemption as well as other benefits.
“In golf you have always got to think there is something good around the corner,” said Chalmers, who has even missed a couple of Web.Com Tour cuts of late.
“I thought my game was close and today I got rewarded. Every time something could go the wrong way during the week it worked out good for me. Today was a battle but the first three days it went really well for me.”
Chalmers led going into the final round and only needed a bogey on the last to beat clubhouse leader Gary Woodland. The Queenslander put the nerves to bed with a great second shot and calmly potted an eagle putt to win by six points.
Greg Chalmers Final Round PGA TOUR Win: Video Highlights
Day implodes to hand Dustin Johnson his second big win in a fortnight
Jason Day looked the very model of a world number one for 67 holes at the Bridgestone Invitational at the Firestone Country club in Akron but then the wheels fell off what had been a remarkable twelve months.
Day hasn’t lost the last five occasions when he was started the final round with at least a share of the lead and when he chipped in for eagle on the third and a two stroke lead his 11th win overall and second WGC title this year was all but in the bag.
No-one else seemed to be making a big enough move, including US Open winner of a fortnight ago Dustin Johnson, who had started the day three shots behind the Australian.
But then Day missed a short par putt on the par three 15th and then totally unravelled on the next hole after his 3-wood tee shot sailed into the trees left of the fairway. He punched out beneath branches way too far and ended in the trees at right. He took another gamble with his third shot, hitting a low cut with hopes that it would roll near the green, but his ball bounced into the water hazard protecting the green.
Johnson had meanwhile birdied the 17th and Day’s resulting double bogey saw him drop to shots out of the lead.
Day looked a little shocked and ended up with four over in his last four holes.
“Sometimes you take those risks and it doesn’t pay off,” Day said later.
Johnson had birdied 13, 14 and 17 to finish at with a 4-under 66 on 6-under.
Day’s playing partner Scott Piercy (70) birdied the last to finish on 5-under alone in second place with Day (72) finishing tied third on 3-under along with Jordan Spieth (67), Matt Kuchar (66) and Kevin Chappell (67).
Adam Scott (68) finished on even tied for 10th.
Johnson was still basking in his maiden major victory at Oakmont.
“I’m definitely a little more relaxed out there on the golf course, especially coming down the stretch,” Johnson said. “Today I felt I was in a really good place, really calm, collected, just focusing on what I was doing. Just playing golf.”
Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee claimed his eighth European Tour title as he cruised to a comfortable victory at the 100th Open de France at at Le Golf National in Paris.
The 46 year old was a picture of consistency over the weekend, carding two consecutive rounds of 68 to get to 11 under thanks to a run of 39 bogey-free holes, and claiming a four-shot win over Italy’s Francesco Molinari, who carded the low round of the day with a 66.
“I am very happy, this is the biggest win of my career, and my family here this week together just makes it even more special,” said Jaidee.“I’ve been coming here many, many years, and I think especially this week with the centenary edition of the tournament, it’s a special week for me to win on one of the toughest courses we play. Everything is absolutely perfect.”
World Number Four Rory McIlroy finished third on six under with a closing 71 and Brandon Stone, Alex Noren, Callum Shinkwin and Richard Sterne earned their places at the Open Championship by finishing in the top 12.
“I’ve got ten days until The Open starts” McIlroy said. “I’m going to be working every day to try to get better and play a bit of links golf and work on the shots that I’ll need for Troon, as well. I’m confident where I’m at, and even though this week it didn’t feel that good, I’m obviously doing some things right. So go forward and keep working hard and hopefully I’ll be ready for Troon.”
Scott Hend was the only Australian to make the cut and finished 56th.
O’Malley and Harwood feature on European Senior Tour
Victoria’s Mike Harwood stormed home at the European Senior Tour’s Swiss Seniors Open with a 69-65 weekend that saw him finish just outside the top ten at T12, his best finish in three starts this season.
Peter O’Malley was outright second overnight after opening rounds of 66-66 at the Golf Club Bad Ragaz but his final round 2-over 72 saw him drop back in a tie with Harwood and others.
The title was won by America’s Tim Thelen for the second time.
Thelen, the 2012 champion, was three shots off the pace with three holes to play, but birdied the 17th and 18th holes to finish on ten under par and one in front of the second place getters, Englishman Simon P Brown and Spain’s Pedro Linhart.
Teenager Henderson wins third LPGA title
Canada’s Brooke Henderson had another resounding win at the Cambia Portland Classic after winning by eight strokes when on debut last year.
Defending the title the 18 year old could only manage a four stroke victory this time, but seeing it was her third LPGA title overall, including her first major championship at the Women’s PGA Championship earlier this year, she will probably accept it.
Two time winner Stacy Lewis was outright second with Suzanne Pettersen a shot further back in third.
Sarah-Jane Smith was the leading Aussie at 19th with Karrie Webb continuing what has been a disappointing season with a 41st place finish. (Minjee Lee was not a starter).