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Schwartzel defends Alfred Dunhill Championship title

MALELANE, South Africa (AP)

Charl Schwartzel retained his title at the Alfred Dunhill Championship with a four-under 68 Sunday for a 4-shot win and his first European Tour victory in a yr.

Who were all the 2013

PGA Tour winners

?

Schwartzel completed with a 17-beneath total of 271 at Leopard Creek in northern South Africa to secure his third Alfred Dunhill title. Richard Finch was second forward of a three-manner tie for third between Simon Dyson, Ross Fisher and Romain Wattel.

Schwartzel held the in a single day lead and made 4 birdies in a bogey-free closing spherical on a course the place he has a history of success. The South African has 4 second-place finishes here to go along with his now-report three titles. This was the previous Masters champion’s second title on the European Tour since successful at Augusta Nationwide in 2011.

“This match has been very good to me,” Schwartzel stated. “I’ve had lots of seconds here as effectively. Probably for the rest of my golfing career this will all the time be a particular one. I do not think that will change.”

After the victory, Schwartzel’s ninth profession win on the European Tour, he now leads the tour’s 2014 Race to Dubai money listing and returns to the highest 20 in the world rankings.

The 29-yr-previous Schwartzel went the last sixty two holes of the Alfred Dunhill with out dropping a shot after a double bogey on No. 10 in his first round – his final slip. He birdied No. 5, No. 6, No. eight and No. thirteen in his ultimate spherical for a comfortable win from England’s Finch, who finished on thirteen underneath.

Finch opened with four birdies in his first 9 enjoying alongside Schwartzel to problem for the lead, but paid for a wayward tee shot with a bogey on No. eleven and then made a double-bogey six on No. 14 to successfully finish his problem after Schwartzel had birdied No. thirteen.

English pair Dyson and Fisher were tied alongside France’s Wattel seven pictures behind Schwartzel, with Dyson ending with a 67 to push up right into a share of third.

Denmark’s Soren Hansen (seventy one) was in sixth on 9 beneath whereas Zimbabwe’s PGA Tour participant Brendon de Jonge completed with a two-over 74 to slip to a tie for 16th on four under, 13 strokes behind Schwartzel. Two-time major winner John Daly of the United States missed the minimize at Leopard Creek in his second tournament back following proper elbow surgery in July.

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Tiger Woods continues his major championship struggles at the PGA

Tiger Woods — Getty Images On Sunday at the PGA Championship, everybody knew that Tiger Woods wouldn’t be winning his 15th major championship. Coming in off certainly one of his best performances since he was snagging majors 5 years ago, Woods was the new story and the apparent choose, however his four days at Oak Hill were a reminder that despite how he dominates the common PGA Tour occasions all season, it’s the majors that proceed to flummox the No. 1 participant on the earth.

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Woods shot a spherical of even-par 70 on Sunday, never giving up despite a bogey-double bogey finish to his entrance 9 and the truth that when that driver comes out of the bag, our guess is pretty much as good as his to where it can find yourself.

Tiger shot a again 9 32, never giving up and grinding as onerous as he may, particularly over the past two holes when he could not be extra out of position. Woods grabbed his again after a tee shot on the par-5 thirteenth, but continued to go after tee photographs and attempt to dig irons out of the rough, a testomony to only how much this man cares about all the time taking pictures one shot higher if potential.

But the actual story right here is not his play at Oak Hill, however his play in any respect the majors. Last month I wrote a piece defending Tiger’s play, stating that a T-6 at a serious is a fairly incredible accomplishment considering he had has B sport at Muirfield. This week isn’t as defensible. Woods simply ought to have played better on the PGA, coming in off a giant win at Firestone by which it seemed all elements of his game had been clicking.

This is not a swing drawback or a membership problem, it is all mental. The area between Tiger’s ears that used to be so invincible seems to get rattled when it is main championship week, and no matter if the course is dry and quick or delicate and moist or tree lined or wind-swept, it is the identical story for the man with 14 majors.

Now comes a long offseason of refocusing on these four weeks each year that really matter to Tiger’s legacy. He could win each PGA Tour occasion subsequent season, an accomplishment that solely Woods is capable of doing, and it would not matter to most critics. It’s the majors and the majors alone for Tiger, and for some cause his recreation and his thoughts aren’t sharp enough to compete all 4 days at these occasions.

Tiger said before the week that even with no win at Oak Hill he would contemplate 2013 a profitable season. I tend to agree with the man that has five PGA Tour wins this season, but seven months is a very long time to attend and take into consideration what exactly happens when he is not just enjoying the field, but enjoying history.

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Park wins US Women’s Open for 3rd straight major

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — Inbee Park understood the meaning of winning the U.S. Women’s Open much better the second time around.

She appreciated, too, the magnitude of this particular accomplishment.

On Sunday, Park became the first player in the modern era to win the first three majors of the year.

Babe Zaharias did it in 1950 when there were only three to enter. Now there are five.

”I didn’t expect myself being in this kind of position, breaking some kind of record that hasn’t been broken for 50 years,” Park said. ”I never dreamed of myself doing that.”

The world’s top-ranked player finished at 8 under to win by four strokes. Her 2-over 74 in the final round was more than enough, with Sebonack’s trying conditions keeping any rivals from making a run. Only three players were under par for the tournament.

Fellow South Korean I.K. Kim also shot 74 for her second runner-up finish at a major.

Ahead by four strokes at the start of the round, Park birdied the ninth and 10th holes to extend her lead. She has won six times already this year, including three straight tournaments. Park added to another historic U.S. Women’s Open victory in 2008, when she became the event’s youngest champion at age 19.

”I didn’t know what was going on at that time,” Park said. ”I played very good golf then, but I didn’t know what I was playing for, and that was just my first win. It was a great championship then, but now I think I really appreciate more and I really know what this means.”

So Yeon Ryu shot 72 to finish third at 1 under. South Korean players took the top three spots and have won the last five majors.

Ryu and Na Yeon Choi, the last two U.S. Women’s Open champs, sprayed Park with champagne after she made her final putt on the 18th green.

With lashing wind and devilish greens, Sebonack was a classically troublesome U.S. Women’s Open course. And once Park built a lead, nobody could mount a charge.

She certainly wasn’t going to make enough mistakes to come back to the field. Park had just 10 bogeys and no double bogeys in four rounds.

She predicted Saturday that shooting even par in the final round would be enough, and she sure was right.

All of four players were under par Sunday – though that was still more than the third round, when only Park achieved it.

Kim birdied No. 2 to pull within three strokes; she couldn’t claw closer. And when she bogeyed the fourth hole, the deficit was back to four shots.

Park bogeyed the sixth and seventh, but so did Kim.

Kim had what would have qualified as a sensational week if not for Park, finishing at least three strokes better than everyone but the player currently dominating the sport.

”You can obviously feel for someone like I.K. Kim who would be winning any other U.S. Open on this golf course if it weren’t for Inbee,” said seven-time major champion Karrie Webb.

This was Kim’s fourth top-four finish at a U.S. Women’s Open, but she’s still seeking her first major title. She was a foot away last year at the Kraft Nabisco, then missed a short putt on No. 18 that would have clinched the championship and went on to lose in a playoff.

Asked if she feels she’s on the verge of a major breakthrough, Kim paused for a moment then said: ”Yeah, to be honest, yeah, it’s time to win it.

”But I think things have to come naturally,” she added, ”and it’s great to play with Inbee, and she’s doing so well. Seeing her doing it, it just makes me want it more.”

Americans Paula Creamer (72) and Angela Stanford (74) and England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff (76) tied for fourth at 1 over. Shadoff was alone in third at 3 under after the third round but opened Sunday with three straight bogeys.

Soon-to-be Oklahoma State player Casie Cathrea shot 70 on Sunday to match Shanshan Feng for the best round of the day and finish as the low amateur at 9 over. Lydia Ko, the 16-year-old New Zealander who won the Canadian Open last August to become the youngest LPGA Tour winner, was next at 11 over.

Park also became the second player to win the U.S. Women’s Open after victories in her previous two tournaments. Mickey Wright did it in 1964.

The 24-year-old Park won the Kraft Nabisco and LPGA Championship for her first two major titles of the year. Up next is the Women’s British Open at St. Andrews on Aug. 1-4.

The Evian Championship is Sept. 12-15. Park won the French event last year before it became a major championship.

Park contemplated the current definition of a Grand Slam.

”So I think the British Open is one I have to win,” she said. ”So it would be great if I could win five, but I still think four means a Grand Slam.”

Laughing, she added: ”I think four out of five is very big.”

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Kim leads Park by 1 stroke at US Women’s Open

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — No surprise that a South Korean leads the U.S. Women’s Open after the first round, considering the country has produced the last four major champions.

Ha-Neul Kim was an unlikely candidate to be the one to shoot the low score Thursday at Sebonack. Her bogey-free, 6-under 66 put her a stroke ahead of top-ranked Inbee Park.

Park is trying to make history by winning the first three majors of the year. For a day at least, she was upstaged by her much less-heralded friend.

”I was very nervous coming in, and I thought in the practice round that the course was very difficult,” Kim said through a translator. ”Before playing today I thought that even par would be a very good score for me.”

Currently a member of the KLPGA Tour, Kim is a seven-time winner in South Korea. She kept giving herself short birdie putts Thursday and making them.

”I’m enjoying myself,” Kim said. ”I’m just happy to be here and to be playing in this big event. I’m not really thinking about winning or results but enjoying the moment.”

Kim birdied her second-to-last hole with daylight waning to claim the lead after Park held it for most of the day with her 67 in the morning session.

No player has won the first three majors in a season with at least four majors. The 2008 U.S. Women’s Open champion, Park has already won five times this year, including her last two tournaments.

American Lizette Salas, Swedes Caroline Hedwall and Anna Nordqvist and South Korea’s I.K. Kim shot 68.

Concerned about bad weather, tournament officials moved up the tees, and with the rain holding off, Park was able to play aggressively.

”I never had practiced from those tees, so I was a little bit shocked when I went to the tees,” Park said.

Not that she was complaining.

She repeatedly set up short putts, and the way she has excelled in her short game lately, Park was headed to a low score.

”So instead of hitting like 5-irons, we were hitting 9-irons, and that was making the course much easier,” she said. ”I was actually able to go for some pins and give myself a lot of opportunities today. I made a lot of putts and didn’t leave much out there.”

Starting on No. 10, Park birdied her first hole then started racking up pars. She made the turn at 2 under before birdies on three of her next four holes.

At 5 under, Park briefly struggled with her tee shots, needing to save par on Nos. 5 and 7. On No. 6, her 15th hole of the day, she had to lay up out of the tall grass and settled for her lone bogey.

Park got back to 5 under on the par-5 eighth with a chip shot to about 5 feet that set up a birdie putt.

Hedwall and I.K. Kim were each at 5 under with a hole left, but closed with bogeys. Nordqvist birdied her last two holes to pull into the tie for third.

The two Swedes grew up playing together.

”Certainly seeing her shooting 4 under in the morning session gave me a little bit of inspiration for the afternoon,” Nordqvist said.

Salas, a 23-year-old former Southern California star, played with Park in the last group of the final round of this year’s Kraft Nabisco Championship. Three strokes back starting the day, she opened with a double bogey and tumbled to 25th after shooting a 79.

She bounced back to reach a playoff at the LPGA Lotte Championship in April, losing to Suzann Pettersen for her best finish on tour.

”I’m just getting a lot more used to being in contention and really studying the leaderboard and really managing my patience,” Salas said. ”I think that’s been key for me this week. Yes, I still get nervous on the first tee and my hands keep shaking, but I just know that if I just trust myself and trust my instincts, I can perform out here.”

Chile’s Paz Echeverria, a 28-year-old LPGA Tour rookie also making her U.S. Women’s Open debut, and Canada’s Maude-Aimee Leblanc shot 69.

Among eight players at 70 was Natalie Gulbis, who withdrew from a tournament and missed two others earlier this year because of malaria. Infected by a mosquito during the LPGA Thailand in late February, she returned for the Kraft Nabisco in early April. Gulbis hasn’t finished better than 13th since, missing the cut at the LPGA Championship.

Defending champion Na Yeon Choi, second-ranked Stacy Lewis and amateurs Kyung Kim and Brooke Henderson were among 11 players at 71.

Lydia Ko, the 16-year-old New Zealand amateur who won the Canadian Open last August to become the youngest LPGA Tour winner, had a 72. Juli Inkster, playing in a record-breaking 34th U.S. Women’s Open at age 53, holed a 103-yard wedge shot for eagle on the 18th to also finish at 72.

Michelle Wie opened her round with a quadruple-bogey 8 on No. 10. She was at 11 over through 14 holes before birdies on three of the last four to finish with an 80.

U.S. Open: Sergio Garcia struggles in first round at Merion with quadruple bogey on 15 (Video)

ARDMORE, Pa. — Golf fans who delight in the shortcomings of Sergio Garcia did not have to wait long on the U.S. Open. The Spanish golfer, who has not too long ago occupied headlines for a meltdown at The Players Championship last month after which an ensuing squabble with Tiger Woods, had a tough start to Thursday's first spherical with a double bogey and quadruple bogey on the 14th and 15th holes, respectively, at Merion Golf Membership.

Garcia began his spherical on the eleventh gap, a 375-yard, par-4 setup that he bogeyed. A birdie on the layup par-3 13th gap introduced him back to even, but a double bogey on 14 arrange this nightmare drive into the crowd on 15. He'd finish the hole with a quadruple bogey:

 

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Garcia made the turn with a bogey to convey him to +7 on the day. He briefly rebounded with a birdie on 1 and an eagle on 2 (watch the putt under) but a double bogey on 5 sidetracked his efforts to get even.

 

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