NATIONWIDE TOUR: LEISHMAN CLAIMS MAIDEN WIN IN A CANTER
Marc Leishman became the sixth Aussie winner on the Nationwide Tour on the weekend, claiming the WNB Golf Classic in Texas by a whopping 11 shots and rocketing into the Top 25.
Twenty four year old Leishman, from Warrnambool in Victoria, smashed the field with rounds of 67, 66, 66 and 68 to finish on 21 under par, 11 shots ahead of American Keoke Cotner. He equaled the Nationwide Tour’s largest margin of victory of 11 shots held by Chris Smith(1997 Omaha Classic).
The win was all the more impressive considering the challenging windy conditions that plagued the field for the entire four day event.
Leishman led the event for the final three rounds after finishing the first day just one shot behind the leaders. Despite intensely windy conditions he posted a bogey-free 6-under 66 to lead at 11-under on day two to extend his lead to three and followed it with a matching 66 to be five shots ahead of the field on 17-under heading into the final round. The lanky Aussie drew on his childhood experience of playing the windy coastal courses well and never looked back.
He leapt up the Money List from 56th to 19th place with his win and with just three events to go this season is well set to claim his 2009 US Tour card after picking up $US94,500 to bring his seasons earnings to $US197,926. He now joins Jarrod Lyle (2), Greg Chalmers (3) and Aron Price (15) in the all important Top 25 on the Money List.
Overall, the WNB Golf Classic produced great results for the Aussie contingent with five players finishing in the top ten.
Sydney’s Aron Price finished the event in third place on nine under par, picking up his third top ten result this year. Winner of the Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship in April, Price claimed his second best result this season on the weekend and moved from 20th to 15th on the Money List.
Perth’s Greg Chalmers continued his outstandingly consistent season on the Nationwide Tour finishing one shot behind Price In fourth place and claiming his tenth top ten finish. Chalmers was T24 overnight but came home with a final round 68 to claim his top five finish. Also a winner this season, Chalmers claimed the Henrico County Open in April and has continued to remain steady in the top ten with his results. He moved from sixth to third place on the Money List behind Jarrod Lyle (2) and American Brendon de Jonge.
Sydney’s Won Joon Lee finished in the four way tie for fourth with Chalmers and Americans Spencer Levin and Darron Stiles to continue with his recent purple patch. Lee has finished T7, T2 and T4 in his last seven outings and has moved to 52nd on the Money List, well on his way to an invite to The Tour Championship next month where the Top 60 players will compete.
New father Cameron Percy was the fifth Aussie to finish in the top 10. Playing in the final group with Leishman Percy, who was back in Australia for the birth of his second child two weeks ago, has moved up four places to 56 on the Money List and has his sights set on a spot at the Tour Championship at TPC Craig Ranch as well.
Leading Aussie on the Money List Jarrod Lyle finished on two under with David McKenzie in a tie for 35th with New Zealand’s Grant Waite T53 on three over.
ASIAN TOUR: SECOND AND THIRD FOR BECK AND BLYTH
The Aussie pair of Darren Beck and Adam Blyth have finished second and third respectively at the Hero Honda Indian Open at Delhi Golf Club.
Thirty year old Beck from NSW was denied the title by one shot from winner Liang Wen-chong.
Liang, who was the 2007 Asian Tour’s Order of Merit winner, nailed a two-under-par 70 final round for a one stroke triumph over rookie Beck who rattled off seven birdies in a faultless final round 65. Blyth finished a further stroke back after a even par 72.
Despite missing out on his maiden victory Beck was delighted with his performance over the week.
“I’m surprised to have done well but it’s because I’ve been focusing on my mental game in the past few weeks”, said Beck. “I felt confident and not nervous which has been my main problem before.”
Beck moved from 124th to 30th on the Money List.
Liang had led since a stunning opening round of 60 and was three-under at the turn, only for a bogey at the 14th and a double bogey at the 15th to see him trail Beck by a shot approaching the last two holes.
But having birdied the 17th, Liang produced a superb chip on the 18th to set-up a winning three-foot birdie putt.
Adam Blyth finished at 13 under, two shots behind Beck whilst countryman Marcus Both finished alongside Asian Tour Order of Merit leader New Zealander Mark Brown in equal 10th on seven-under.
Unho Park completed the tournament a stroke further back in a share of 16th spot while Gavin Flint and Kiwi Stephen Scahill were tied in 21st position on five-under.
Home favourite Jeev Milkha Singh claimed fourth following a 69.
JAPAN GOLF TOUR: JONES SIXTH IN JAPAN
Aussie Brendan Jones has stormed home with a final round that included eight birdies and an eagle to finish three shots behind winner Makoto Inoue at the Canon Open at Totsuka Country Club.
Jones finished in a tie for sixth on 10-under following a scorching eight-under-par round on the fourth day which included a hole in one at the par three 5th. He collected $AU 99,183 and moved to 13th on the Money List.
Fellow Aussie Steve Conran finished in a share of 13th place with Kiwi David Smail on eight-under, while Craig Parry finished two shots further back in a tie for 25th spot. Paul Sheehan was one under and T49 with Chris Campbell even par and T56.
A stunning seven-under-par final round of 65 saw Inoue move up the leader board to scoop the title.
Starting the day in 14th position, Inoue collected seven birdies over his first 13 holes finishing with a final round 65 and an overall score of 13-under-par – a stroke ahead of four players.
US PGA TOUR: CAREER HIGH BEST AS WILKINSON FINISHES RUNNER UP
Kiwi Tim Wilkinson narrowly missed out on his maiden PGA Tour title finishing in a career-best equal-second place at the Texas Open in San Antonio.
The 30 year old lefty from Palmerston North started the day three behind overnight leader South African Rory Sabbatini and held the lead twice on the back nine, most notably after his eagle three at the 14th. He then shared the lead with eventual winner and 2007 US Masters Champion Zach Johnson and Charlie Wi. He did little wrong, but some near miss putts on his final few holes relegated him to second with Wi as Johnson birdied the 14th and 18th to claim the win by two shots.
A rookie on the US TOUR Wilkinson had a great tournament with rounds of 67, 69, 63 and 64 to pick up his best result after his previous best, a third place at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans along with a tie for sixth at the Puerto Rico Open.
His finish in the Texas event has seen him move up from 112th to 84th on the PGA Tour money list and almost certainly assure him of his playing card for 2009. He picked up US$336,000 and with just one month remaining on the schedule he has now won US$1.12m overall.
“With another four events after this it is nice not having to worry about it,” said Wilkinson.
For Johnson it was his fourth PGA Tour career title and his best result by far in 2008. He closed with a six-under 64 for a four-round total of 19-under 261, including the best round of the day on Saturday in an eight-under 62. Previous to the weekend he had just one top-10 finish to be 125th on the money list.
Wilkinson, Wi and American Mark Wilson tied for second, while Sabbatini faded away with a 72, including two double bogeys, to finish in equal eighth.
Wi’s 61 was matched as the lowest round on Sunday by Aussie veteran Steve Elkington as he made a meteoric rise from tied for 72nd overnight to complete the week in equal 28th.
Fellow Australian Steve Allan was the best of his country’s contingent as his closing 64 lifted him to a tie for 19th at nine-under while Nathan Green, who led after the first round, was tied 30th with Mark Hensby, Nick O’Hern was equal 36th and Matt Jones shared 64th place.
EUROPEAN TOUR: TAMPION BEST OF AUSTRALASIANS
Andrew Tampion has finished the best of the Australasians at the Madrid Masters won by three shots by South African Charl Schwartzel.
Tampion, winner of the 2008 Challenge Tour of Ireland on the Challenge Tour started the final round in a share of fourth place but shot two-over to finish 11 off the pace in a share of 13th. He finished at eight under par overall.
Twenty four year old Schwartzel claimed the title after a flawless five-under-par 66 in the final round which saw him finish on 19 under, three shots clear of his nearest rival Argentinian Ricardo Gonzalez with Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal a further shot back in third place.
Aussie Marcus Fraser – the equal leader after the opening round – was two strokes back from Tampion at six-under. New Zealand’s Steven Alker finished T29 on five under, followed by Peter O’Malley on one under. Peter Fowler was the only other Aussie to make the cut finishing T67 on six over.
US PGA TOUR: VALERO TEXAS OPEN, LACANTERA GC, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
WINNER: ZACH JOHNSON (USA) -19, T2 Tim Wilkinson NZL (-17), T19 Steve Allan (-9), T28 Steve Elkington (-8), T30 Nathan Green, Mark Hensby(-7), T36 Nick O’Hern (-6), T64 Matthew Jones (-1), MC: Matthew Goggin, Nick Flanagan, Gavin Coles, John Senden, Rod Pampling, Peter Lonard, Jason Day, Brett Rumford, Andrew Buckle.
DQ: David Lutterus
EUROPEAN TOUR: MADRID MASTERS, CLUB DE CAMPO VILLA DE MADRID, SPAIN
WINNER: CHARL SCHWARTZEL (RSA) -19T13 Andrew Tampion (-8), T21 Marcus Fraser (-), T29 Steve Alker NZL (-5), T53 Peter O’Malley (-1), T67 Peter Fowler (+6). MC: Gareth Paddison NZL, Matthew Millar, Terry Pilkadaris.
NATIONWIDE TOUR: WNB GOLF CLASSIC, MIDLAND CC, MIDLAND, TEXAS
WINNER: MARC LEISHMAN (AUSTRALIA) -21, 3 Aron Price (-9), T4 Greg Chalmers, Won Joon Lee (-8), T8 Cameron Percy (-7), T35 Jarrod Lyle, David McKenzie (-2), T53 Grant Waite NZL (+3). ,MC: Scott Gardiner, Ewan Porter, Paul Gow, Wade Ormsby, Dean Larsson, Brad Iles, Steven Bowditch, Andrew Bonhomme, Kim Felton.
ASIAN TOUR: HERO HONDA INDIAN OPEN, DELHI GOLF CLUB, NEW DELHI, INDIA
WINNER: LIANG WEN-CHONG (CHINA) -16, 2 Darren Beck (-15), 3 Adam Blyth (-13), T10 Mark Brown NZL, Marcus Both (-7), T16 Unho Park (-6), T21 Stephen Scahill NZL, Gavin Flint (-5), T29 Andrew Dodt (-3), T34 Mahal Pearce NZL (-2), T41 Rick Kulacz (-1), T45 Brad Kennedy (E), T49 Ashley Hall, Mitchell Brown (+1), T63 David Bransdon (+4), T68 Jason King, Scott Barr (+6)
MC: Adam Groom, Richard Moir, Kane Webber, Neven Basic, Michael Wright, Henry Epstein, Richard Lee NZL, David Gleeson
JAPAN TOUR: CANON OPEN, TOTSUKA CC, KANAGAWA
WINNER: MAKATO INOUE (JAPAN) -13. T6 Brendan Jones (-13), T13 David Smail NZL, Steve Conran (-8), T25 Craig Parry (-6), T49 Paul Sheehan (-1), T56 Chris Campbell (E), MC: Wayne Perske, Eddie Lee NZL, Scott Laycock
EUROPEAN SENIORS TOUR: LAKE GARDA ITALIAN SENIORS OPEN, PALAZZO ARZAGA HOTEL, SPA & GOLF RESORT, LAKE GARDA, ITALY
WINNER: PETER MITCHELL (ENGLAND) -13, 6 Jim Lapsley NZL (-8), 7 David Merriman (-7), T35 Simon Owen NZL (+1), T57 David Good (+6), Tom Linskey (+28)
CHAMPIONS TOUR: CONSTELLATION ENERGY SENIOR PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, BALTIMORE COUNTRY CLUB, TIMONIUM, MARYLAND
WINNER: D.A WEIBRING (USA) -9, T65 Wayne Grady (+10).
Original Source: PGA of Australia