US PGA TOUR: SONY OPEN IN HAWAII, WAIALAE COUNTRY CLUB, HONOLULU, HAWAII
A blistering final round six under 64 has seen Australian Adam Scott finish just two shots off a win at the Sony Open in Hawaii –the first full field event on the 2009 US PGA Tour calendar.
Starting the day three shots off the lead and tied tenth, the 28 year old Aussie carded seven birdies in his round to equal the best round of the day and soar into contention.
He held the lead briefly after overnight leader Zach Johnson stumbled early on, but the American regrouped with four birdies on the back nine to take the title. Johnson secured his victory by two shots over Scott and American David Toms.
Charles Howell III was a further stroke behind at 12-under, with Kevin Na and Brian Gay one shot back in a tie for fifth.
For Scott, who is recovering from a knee injury that forced a six week break, the start to the year will brim him with confidence. He finished T18 at his first outing, the Mercedes Benz Championship last week and secured his best result since winning the EDS Byron Nelson Championship last April.
“Today was really good for me,” said Scott.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the hunt in anything.
“It was nice to get on the back nine and have a chance, and get the competitive nerves going again. I enjoyed the challenge.
“I wish I could have made the putt on 17 to have a bit of a chance on the last, but all in all, I’m pretty happy with how my game is shaping up.”
Scott will now head to Qatar where he will look to claim his third straight Qatar Masters. He will then return home to Australia for a month for more rehabilitation on his knee which still needs to be iced daily and requires more treatment.
In more good news for the Aussies, rookie Marc Leishman carded a five-under-par 65 to grab a share of 12th spot in his first PGA Tour event.
Starting the day in a tie for second place, Nathan Green struggled with four bogeys early on, but closed with a birdie to also finish in 12th place.
Geoff Ogilvy never recovered from a disastrous start that saw him drop five shots through seven holes to finish in a tie for 32nd at five-under overall.
EUROPEAN TOUR: THE ABU DHABI GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP, ABU DHABI GOLF CLUB, ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Robert Allenby has finished the best of the Australasians at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship tying for 15th place on 13 under, eight shots behind winner Paul Casey of England.
Allenby, a US TOUR regular and playing in his first event for the 2009 season shot rounds of 71, 68, 69 & 67 to finish one shot ahead of compatriot Brett Rumford on 12 under while halfway leader Richard Green was a further stroke back in a tie for 26th.
For Casey, it was a case of surviving a late scare to secure his first title in two years. Coasting to victory, or so it seemed, when he led by six with only eight holes to play, he then bogeyed three of the next four holes. The 31 year old led by six shots at the turn but problems with his putter saw his lead desert him as up ahead South African Louis Oosthuizen posted an eight-under-par 64 and suddenly the gap was only one.
However, the 31-year-old Ryder Cup star, whose last win came in the same event at the start of 2007, parred the closing stretch for a 70 and a 21-under total of 267 to take the title by one shot from Louis Oosthuizen and defending champion Martin Kaymer. It was Casey’s second Abu Dhabi win in three years.
New Zealand amateur Danny Lee was the next best of the Australasians posting rounds of 68, 70, 73, 68 to finish on nine-under-par ahead of fellow countryman and 2008 Australasian Tour Order of Merit Champion Mark Brown two shots further back.
Rod Pampling, Scott Strange and Aaron Baddeley finished well done the leaderboard in 37th, 50th and 62nd respectively.
ASIAN TOUR: 2009 ASIAN TOUR QUALIFYING SCHOOL, ST ANDREWS 2000 GC & RAYONG GREEN VALLEY CC, THAILAND
12 Australasians have successfully qualified through final stage of Asian Tour School and have earned their cards for the 2009 season.
Led by South Australian Peter Cooke and Victorian Matthew Griffin who finished best of the contingent from Down Under in a tie for ninth place, 11 Aussies and New Zealander Mark Purser braved five rounds over five days at the St Andrews 2000 and Rayong Green Valley courses.
Also finishing in the Top 40 and ties were: Michael Light (T12), Kim Do.H (T15), Tim Stewart (T17), Mark Purser (T19), Chris Gaunt (T19), Adam Le Vesconte (T26), Jason Norris (T26), Christopher Campbell (T30), Adam Groom (T33) and Rohan Blizard (T33).
Victorian Brad Lamb narrowly missed the cut when he finished in a tie for 41st spot.
Overall, Australia had the biggest representation in the 2009 Qualifying School with 83 players.
Japan’s Daisuke Maruyama triumphed in a play-off with Mohammad Siddikur and Rory Hie becoming the first Bangladeshi and Indonesian players respectively to earn full playing rights.
US PGA TOUR: SONY OPEN
WINNER: ZACH JOHNSON (USA)
T2 Adam Scott (-13), T12 Marc Leishman (-7), Nathan Green (-7), T32 Geoff Ogilvy (-5), T51 Tim Wilkinson (-2), T65 Jarrod Lyle (+2).
MC: John Senden, Aron Price, Peter Lonard, Greg Chalmers, James Nitties.
EUROPEAN TOUR: THE ABU DHABI GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
WINNER: PAUL CASEY (ENGLAND) -21
T15 Robert Allenby (-13), T20 Brett Rumford (-12), T26 Richard Green (-11), T35 Danny Lee am NZL ( -9), T37 Rod Pampling (-8), T42 Mark Brown NZL (-7), T50 Scott Strange (-5), T62 Aaron Baddeley (-2)
MC: Peter O’Malley,
ASIAN TOUR: 2009 ASIAN TOUR QUALIFYING SCHOOL FINAL STAGE
1ST: DAISUKE MARUYAMA (JAPAN)
T9, 359, Peter COOKE, Australia, 73, 70, 72, 75, 69
T9, 359, Matthew GRIFFIN, Australia, 70, 72, 72, 74, 71
T12, 360, Michael LIGHT, Australia, 70, 74, 75, 75, 66
T15, 361, KIM Do.H, Australia, 76, 72, 74, 70, 69
T17, 362, Tim STEWART, Australia, 74, 70, 77, 74, 67
T19, 363, Mark PURSER, New Zealand, 74, 73, 70, 75, 71
T19, 363, Chris GAUNT, Australia, 72, 73, 71, 75, 72
T26, 364, Adam Le VESCONTE, Australia, 75, 71, 72, 79, 67
T26, 364, Jason NORRIS, Australia, 72, 68, 75, 76, 73
T30, 365, Christopher CAMPBELL, Australia, 71, 77, 74, 74, 69
T33, 366, Adam GROOM, Australia, 73, 74, 75, 72, 72
T33, 366, Rohan BLIZARD, Australia, 71, 77, 74, 71, 73
THE WEEK AHEAD:
US PGA TOUR: The 50th Bob Hope Classic hosted by Arnold Palmer at PGA West (Palmer Course), La Quinta, California, PGA West (Nicklaus Course), La Quinta, California, Bermuda Dunes CC, Bermuda Dunes, California, Silver Rock, La Quinta, California
EUROPEAN TOUR: Commercialbank Qatar Masters Presented by Dolphin Energy, Doha GC, Doha, Qatar
CHAMPIONS TOUR: Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, Hualalai Golf Course, Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii
(Original material courtesy PGA Australia)