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Week 35: Thomas records a fifth PGA Tour win this season

September 05, 2017


PGA Tour - Dell Technologies Championship

Justin Thomas won for the fifth time Monday, including his first major three weeks ago at the PGA Championship. He is No. 4 in the world. And barring Spieth running the tables the rest of the FedExCup Playoffs, the 24-year-old Thomas would seem to be a lock to be voted PGA TOUR Player of the Year.

"I have two events left. I have two more opportunities to win," Thomas said. "And I'd love to make it six or seven wins."

Thomas made only two bogeys all week, the last one putting him in a three-way tie with seven holes to play. He won on the back nine at TPC Boston with a sand wedge he gouged out of the rough to 6 feet on No. 13, a gap wedge to 4 feet on No. 15 for another birdie, and a 6-foot par save that kept him two shots clear.

Spieth wasted a start that riled up the New England crowd -- birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie -- by missing the 14th green with a 5-iron for bogey. Needing an eagle to stay in the game on the par-5 18th, Spieth pushed a 4-iron into a tough lie in the bunker, blasted over the green and made bogey for a 67.

Spieth was runner-up for the second straight week in the FedExCup Playoffs. He lost a three-shot lead to Dustin Johnson on Long Island. There wasn't much he could have done to stop Thomas, his best friend in golf since they were teenagers.

"Came out firing, like I said we had to do," Spieth said. "Eight through 14 is the meat of the golf course. You want to get through even. I got through over par and didn't get any coming in when I hit some good putts."

European Tour – D+D REAL Czech Masters

Haydn Porteous overcame Lee Slattery in a thrilling final-day battle to win his second European Tour title at the D+D REAL Czech Masters.

The South African burst onto the scene last season as he won the Joburg Open but made just two of 16 cuts between this event last year and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

He recorded his first top ten of the season last week at the Made In Denmark and brought that form to Albatross Golf Resort, signing for a closing 69 to get to 13 under and beat Slattery by two shots.

Slattery can now turn his attention to domestic matters with his wife over a week overdue with the couple's second child.

England's Tom Lewis recorded the lowest round of the day with a 67 to sit at ten under alongside Swede Pontus Widegren.

Japan Golf Tour – Fujisankei Classic

Ryu Hyun-woo won his second Japan Golf Tour title at the Fujisankei Classic, Hyunwoo Ryu won in a playoff over Satoshi Kodaira and Seung Su Han.

Web.com Tour – Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship

Uihlein, who has played the European Tour the past four years, accomplished his goal by carding a final-round 65 at The Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course to beat local favorite Ryan Armour by a stroke. The victory was worth $180,000 and places the 28-year-old from New Bedford, Massachusetts, on top of the Web.com Tour Finals money list with three events left.

“I got the last game, Sunday night,” said Uihlein. “Never had that in five years. I'm never home on a Sundaynight after playing a round of golf on a Sunday without making a cut. First time ever, and you kind of like sit back and be like, ‘That’s pretty convenient.’ That kind of hit home a little bit. So I was like, ‘I really kind of want to at least get my PGA TOUR card,’ so I can have moments like that when I can spend a little time at home with my girlfriend and two dogs.”

“This is a proper test,” said Uihlein, referring to the Scarlet Course. “You’ve got to drive the ball well. You’ve got to hit your irons well. And it's a shame that it rained because that first day was phenomenal for how fast the greens were, how difficult it was. You know, it changed your mindset a little bit; you need to make some birdies. But it's not a walk in the park.”

Since he turned pro in 2011, Uihlein has flown across the pond to compete in Europe and Asia. The former Oklahoma State Cowboy had the credentials to play on TOUR, being a two-time All-American and 2010 United States Amateur champion, but chose to head overseas.

“All of a sudden, my first event as a pro, I end up on a plane to India,” said Uihlein. “You go there for the first time, really not leaving the country very rarely, and all of a sudden you go to India, totally different. It's a different world, different cultures. Just a different environment. You get to see things I never would have seen if I didn't leave America.”

Challenge Tour – Cordon Golf Open

Birgir Hafthorsson claimed a maiden European Challenge Tour title without hitting a ball on the final day of the Cordon Golf Open as heavy rain waterlogged the course shortly after the start of Round Four, reducing the tournament to 54 holes.

Nobody could begrudge Hafthorsson his convincing victory after he reached 18 under par to establish a seven-shot lead after three rounds at Golf Blue Green de Pléneuf Val Andre and he becomes the first Icelandic winner in Challenge Tour history.

A first trophy has been a long time coming for the 41 year old, who turned professional in 1997, and Hafthorsson, up to 16th in the Road to Oman Rankings, now has his sights set on returning to the European Tour.

KPGA Korean Tour - DGB Financial Group Daegu Gyeongbuk Open

Seo Hyung-suk won the 2017 DGB Financial Group Daegu Gyeongbuk.

On the final day of the tournament, Seo Hyung-seok scored six birdies at the Families Country Club in Chilgok County, Gyeongbuk, South Korea, and finished at 20-under 268.

PGA Tour of Australasia - Northern Territory PGA Championship

Amateur Travis Smyth won the 2017 Northern Territory PGA Championship by a convincing six shots at the Palmerston Golf Course.

Travis SmythWith rounds of 64, 68, 66, 67 for a tournament total 19-under 265, Smyth earned his victory two weeks after making the quarter finals at the U.S. Amateur.

“I am very excited, the future just feels a little bit more promising now that I have my first professional win and I am still an amateur,” said Smyth, who joins the likes of Oliver Goss (2012 WA Open), Curtis Luck (2016 WA Open) and Brett Coletta (2016 QLD Open) as players to record ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia victories as amateurs.

“To be honest it hasn’t soaked in too much yet, but I am sure when I wind down later this afternoon it will definitely kick in.

“Following in the footsteps of Curtis Luck and Brett Coletta is a very good feeling.”

It was a wire-to-wire win for the 22-year-old New South Welshman who looked in command the entire week.

“The main goal all week was just to keep it in play; it was playing really short because it was so dry so I just trusted my wedges.

“I have been working heavily on my short game for some time now and it definitely pulled through this week.

“I didn’t play overly aggressive and still came out on top. It was a well thought out week and I am very happy that I got the win,” added Smyth who recorded just three bogeys all week, two of them coming at the 13th and 14th holes today.

PGA Tour LatinoAmerica – Flor de Caña Open

Michael Buttacavoli and Michael Davan had to play 72 holes then 10 more Sunday—much of the overtime in darkness—before Buttacavoli prevailed with a birdie on the 10th extra hole to win the Flor de Caña Open.

Buttacavoli and Davan became part of the longest playoff in PGA TOUR Latinoamerica history, with Buttacavoli winning on this Tour for a second time, doing so under the illumination of a light on the 18th tee and the giant video board adjacent to the green with the sun long since set.

“This was crazy. It was very exciting. I feel incredible,” said the 29-year-old Buttacavoli, who finished regulation tied with Davan at 20-under par 264.

Prior to this tournament, the longest playoff on the Tour was a seven-hole affair at the 2015 Aberto do Brasil where Alex Rocha defeated Keith Mitchell and Kent Bulle in a seven-hole playoff.

Despite starting the final day as the outright leader, Buttacavoli needed a birdie on the 72nd hole just to get into a playoff as Davan had finished minutes earlier with an impressive, 8-under 63, posting at 20-under overall. Davan came close to victory primarily because of his two-eagle, five-birdie, final-round performance. But it wasn’t enough as Buttacavoli took advantage of his playoff opportunity.

“It was a long day, and I had pressure all day. But I stayed patient,” continued Buttacavoli, a Miami Beach, Fla., native who still calls the city home. “It’s been a long time since I last won, and I’m back in position to reach the Web.com Tour. I am getting closer to my final goal, to move to the next level.”

Buttacavoli, a pro since 2010, achieved his second PGA TOUR Latinoamérica title, a circuit he joined in 2012. His first victory came at the Dominican Republic Open in 2014, also in a playoff, that one a snap that only lasted three holes. Buttacavoli’s $31,500 payday moved him to ninth place on the Order of Merit, giving him $42,911 for the season.

PGA Tour Canada – Cape Breton Open

Kentucky’s Patrick Newcomb shot a final round 8-under 64 on Sunday at Bell Bay Golf Club to win the Cape Breton Open, his second victory of the 2017 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season.

The 27-year old came out of the gates on fire with an eagle and three birdies in his first nine holes to take the lead, then put the tournament away with two more birdies and a chip-in eagle at the par-5 13th to win by three over Dallas, Texas’ Kramer Hickok and Wilmer, Alabama’s Robby Shelton.

“Things have to go your way, and things really went my way today,” said Newcomb.” I had a couple of pitches that were going to be easy tap-ins that happened to fall in the hole. When you have stuff like that happen, it just makes for a special day and a special win.”

Already a winner earlier this season at the Syncrude Oil Country Championship presented by AECON, Newcomb bolstered his position on the Order of Merit and moved to No. 3, just behind Hickok and Shelton and in position to earn Web.com Tour status for 2018. Flor de Caña Open.

Sunshine Tour - Vodacom Origins – Zimbali

Jared Harvey sealed his maiden Sunshine Tour victory on Saturday when he shot a final round one-under-par 71 at the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Zimbali Country Club.

He cruised to a four-stroke victory over Louis de Jager on a total 12-under-par 204, after taking control from the first round when he shot an opening round 65 in windy conditions on Thursday. He followed that up with another convincing round of 69 on moving day and sealed his maiden victory resoundingly.

“To finally cross that line, I’m overjoyed,” Harvey remarked. “I mean, the last time I felt a real high and elation was obviously winning the South African Amateur Stroke Play and that was a long time ago. I was really hoping to cross that line today and remember how it was to feel that big feeling again.”

A very competitive character by nature, even though it seemed he was cruising to victory from very early on, Harvey was still very meticulous in playing the final round. “I thought anything under-par was going to be tough to beat,” he said of his approach to the final round.

“With a seven-shot lead, I thought anything under-par would do it but my goal for the day, at least, was to shoot two-under. I got off to a great start, made some hell-of-a good putts again and I was four-under through eight and in absolute cruise control,” he said.

Alps Tour Golf - Cervinio Open

England’s James Sharp sealed maiden win in Cervinio Open after final 65, -4 and total -11. Spain’s Santiago Tarrio finished one shot further for second place on his own and France’s Ugo Coussaud climbed on the podium with -9 total.

The Cervinio Open had a slow start as the bad weather force the officials to stop the game during first round and many players had a long day to complete their two rounds on day 2.

Julien Brun was the leader after 2 rounds and 3 holes from the end he could have reach the lead. England’s james Sharps was leader at the club house but the Frenchman, usually solid, was on shot behind with 3 holes to play. Luckily for Sharp, it was not a bed of roses for Brun and he dropped 3 shots in the last three holes. Sharp could enjoy a maiden win on Alps Tour.

Nordic Golf League – Polarputki Finnish Open

Victor Østerbys won his first Tournament as a professional at the Noridc Golf Leagues Polarputki Finnish Open moving to No.4 on the Nordic League rankings, where he is now the best Dane.

The 25-year-old Smørum player now has earnings of just over 23,000 euros on this year's Nordic League.Østerby's victory came at the expense of countryman Christian Gløet, who finished second. And the victory came through a phenomenal 63's in the last round.

Victor Østerby fired nine birdies without making a single bogey, and that was enough for a two-way victory.

EuroPro Tour – Jessie May World Snooker Championship

Alex Belt claimed his Tour’s first win at the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour’s Jessie May World Snooker Championship at Collingtree Park Golf Club in Northampton.

Belt (Snainton Golf Centre) (69, 67, 65) buckled down on the final day, which saw the lead change a number of times between five different golfers, to claim the coveted £10,000 prize and trophy.

“I feel very thankful that I managed to get over the line. There was some great competition out there and even though I won by three shots, I could feel the other guys breathing down my neck”: said the 32-year old, who wins £10,000 as well as a brand new Motocaddy S3 PRO electric trolley with lithium battery, Bushnell Pro X2 Range Finder and Bolle sunglasses.

It went down to the wire after James Frazer (Pennard Golf Club), who started the day as tournament leader, was a shot and hole behind on -14 as Belt tackled the 18th at Collingtree.

He said: “I knew James was on -14 so I needed a birdie on my last hole if I was to stand a chance of winning.”

Belt held it together and hit an excellent approach shot to within four-feet of the pin before putting for his sixth birdie of the day.

 





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