Return to the Golf Today Home Page All the latest golf news Coverage of all the worlds major tours For all your golfing needs Golf Course Directory Out on the course Golf related travel Whats going on, message board, links and more!
 
Worldwide Feature Articles
 
Golftoday Latest
PGA: Stephen Ames coasts to six shot win
PGA: Tiger Woods ends difficult week with 75
Euro: Van de Velde ends 13 year victory wait
Stephen Ames vaults to World No. 27
Boost for the Philippine Open
Tiger Woods misses practice to be with father

This weeks top golf action

BAY HILL INVITATIONAL, Bay Hill Golf Club and Lodge, Orlando, Florida. It's time for Tiger Woods to try again, as the world's top- ranked golfer will be on hand this week to defend his title at the Bay Hill Invitational.

Woods has failed to win in five events this season, and hasn't hoisted a trophy in eight straight starts going back to last fall. His best showing of 2001 was fourth place at the Buick Invitational, although Woods did finish second two weeks ago in the European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic. Woods looked as if he recaptured the magic in the Middle East when he posted rounds of 64- 64-68 over the first three days, but Denmark's Thomas Bjorn caught up to Woods in the final round on the 71st hole. At the last hole, the Dubai title was handed to the Dane when Woods found water on his third shot after a poor drive, and wound up carding a double-bogey seven to lose by two shots.

Even though Woods hasn't recorded a top-three finish on the PGA Tour, he is currently ranked sixth in scoring with an average of 69. Woods, who came into last year's Bay Hill Invitational with two victories and two runner-ups in his five previous starts, found himself one shot back after opening with a 69. He took control with an eight-under 64 in the second round, then shot 67 to finish 54 holes two strokes up on Davis Love III.

Woods shot a final-round 70 to cruise to a four-shot victory, making it the 13th straight time that he had at least a share of the lead through three rounds in a PGA Tour event and came out on top. Love moved into contention during round three with a nine-under 63, but could do no better than 72 on Sunday to finish in second for the third time at this event. Love has recorded only one final round in the 60s in 12 tries at at Bay Hill. Love finished in third in 1999 and has finished in the top-20 six straight years. He has made the cut in 14 of his 15 appearances and finished in the top-10 seven times. Love ranks second in all-time earnings at this event with $824,701.

Tiger Woods will be looking to defend his Bay Hill title. Allsport.

Bay Hill's top earner, Loren Roberts, is the only player to win this event two straight years (1994-95). Woods, Bjorn, Love and Roberts are among the 17 players in the top-25 of the World Golf Rankings slated to play in this week's event. Other top-ranked players in the field include 1997 Bay Hill winner Phil Mickelson, 1998 champ Ernie Els, England's Lee Westwood, Scotland's Colin Montgomerie, David Duval, reigning Masters champion Vijay Singh and 21-year-old Spaniard Sergio Garcia. Roberts, Jerry Heard, Tom Kite and Koch are the only two-time winners of this event.

Five players have made the Bay Hill Invitational their first PGA win: Roberts, Ken Still, Bob Byman, Mike Nicolette and Paul Goydos. Robert Gamez was the last player to win this event on his first try (1990). Tim Herron (1999) and Fred Couples (1992) are the only players to win this event in wire-to-wire fashion. There have been seven playoffs in tournament history, the last coming in 1999 when Herron defeated Tom Lehman. The course record of 62 was established by Andy Bean on his way to winning in 1981, while Greg Norman matched the mark in 1984. Bay Hill Club and Lodge has hosted this event for the last 23 years.

Prior to the move to Bay Hill, Orlando's Rio Pinar Country Club served as the host course from 1966- 78. The purse was increased $500,000 from last year to $3.5 million. The players move to Ponte Vedra Beach next week for the PGA Tour's unofficial fifth major, The Players Championship, where Hal Sutton will defend his title.

LPGA TOUR

STANDARD REGISTER PING, Moon Valley Country Club, Phoenix, Arizona. Speaking of trying again, the world's No. 1 female golfer, Karrie Webb, will be be searching for her first win of 2001 when she laces up the spikes in Phoenix. Like Woods, Webb has been a bit slow out of the gate following a spectacular 2000 season in which the Australian collected seven titles, including two majors. But unlike Woods, a title defense is not on Webb's docket this week.

That job goes to Charlotta Sorenstam, who carded a 68 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Webb and five ahead of her older and more accomplished sister, Annika. The younger Sorenstam was tied for the lead with her sister and Webb following the third round. Although Annika dropped out of contention on the last day with her second straight round of one-over 73, Webb went into the last three holes tied with Charlotta. But Webb bogeyed the 16th hole after shanking a bunker shot to fall one shot off the pace, then gained no ground with pars at 17 and 18. Charlotta closed with a birdie for the two-shot win, her first victory since joining the LPGA Tour in 1997. Charlotta jumped into the mix in the second round after firing a tournament- record-tying 64, her career-low round. Japan's Hiromi Kobayashi was the only player in the field to post all four rounds under par, leaving her tied for sixth place.

Laura Davies became the first woman to capture the same event four years in a row when she won the Standard Register PING from 1994-97. The feat was matched two weeks ago when Webb notched her fourth consecutive victory at the Australian Ladies Masters, an event on the 2001 Ladies European Tour. The tournament returns to Moon Valley Country Club after a one-year hiatus for course renovations.

Moon Valley hosted this tournament from 1987 through 1999, with Legacy Golf Resort filling in last season. The event was held at Arizona Biltmore Country Club from 1983-86, while Hillcrest Golf Club served as the host course for the first three years of the tournament's existence (1980-82). The purse was increased by $150,000 from last year. This is the final tune-up for next week's Nabisco Championship, the first major of the 2001 season. Webb will be on hand to defend her title.

SENIOR TOUR

SIEBEL CLASSIC IN SILICON VALLEY, Coyote Creek Golf Club, San Jose, California. 2001 tournament winners Larry Nelson, Bob Gilder, Mike McCullough, Jose Maria Canizares and Jim Colbert will be in the field for this inaugural tournament, the first Senior Tour event to be held in the Silicon Valley.

Other notable players expected to tee it up come Friday are: Lee Trevino and Hale Irwin, who are tied at the top of the Senior Tour win list with 29 victories; Jim Thorpe, who broke through with back-to-back wins late last season; Bruce Fleisher, the 1999 Rookie and Player of the Year who added four more titles in 2000; and Jack Nicklaus, the 70-time PGA Tour winner and architect of the Coyote Creek layout.

The Siebel Classic is the first of three new events on the 2001 Senior Tour schedule, and is the eighth of 38 official events and the ninth of 45 events overall. Next week the Senior Tour returns to the state of Florida for the Emerald Coast Classic, where Gil Morgan will defend his title.

EUROPEAN TOUR

MADEIRA ISLAND OPEN, Santo da Serra Golf Club, Santa Cruz, Madeira. Despite closing with a less-than-stellar 73, Niclas Fasth managed to hold on for a two-shot victory at last year's event in the tiny Portuguese territory. The victory was Fasth's first on the European Tour, as he led wire-to-wire in becoming the fourth Swedish winner of this event in the last eight years.

England's Jim Payne, who began the final round two shots back of Fasth, finished tied for 14th after struggling to a six-over 78. Ross Drummond and Mark Davis were each eight shots off the pace through three rounds but fired a pair of 67s to vault into second place with Richard S. Johnson, who shot a final-round 69. Fasth, the medalist at the 1996 European Tour Qualifying Tournament, will be looking to become the first player to post back-to-back wins in this event.

Mats Lanner is the only two-time winner of this tournament, capturing the title in 1994 and 1998. The tournament was staged at Campo de Golf da Madeira from 1993-96. Santo de Serra Golf Club, the site of the event since 1997, was built in 1937 as a nine-hole layout and was redesigned by Robert Trent Jones in 1991.

The European Tour will continue its "International Swing" in South America next week with the second annual Sao Paulo Brazilian Open. Ireland's Padraig Harrington was the winner of the inaugural event last year. The tour remains in South America the following week for the Open de Argentina in Buenos Aires.

BUY.COM TOUR

MONTERREY OPEN, Club Campestre, Monterrey, Mexico. It took 49 events, but Briny Baird reeled in his first career win, defeating Mark Hensby by four shots in last year's tournament south of the border. Two shots behind heading into the weekend, Baird carded a third-round 67 and a Sunday score of 66 to set a new tournament record of 268, breaking the previous mark of 269 set by Scott Gump in 1994.

Baird, son of PGA Tour and Senior Tour winner Butch Baird, was the only player in the field to post all four rounds in the 60s. Baird led Tripp Isenhour and J.J. Henry by one shot with one round to play, but an eagle at the first hole and birdies on four and five enabled him to increase his lead and cruise to victory. Currently on the PGA Tour, Baird has made the cut in three of seven events with a top-five finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii and a tie for 18th at the Honda Classic.

Baird is ranked 60th on the 2001 season money list with $181,137 in earnings. He collected $271,897 to finish fourth on the 2000 Buy.com Tour money list and earn exempt status on the big tour for this season. A rookie on the PGA Tour in 1999, Baird made the cut in 12 of 28 events to finish 189th on the money list. He missed qualifying for the 2000 campaign by a one shot at the '99 Q-School. The Monterrey Open is the second event on the 2001 Buy.com Tour schedule. The next stop on the Buy.com Tour is LeTriomphe Country Club, where Rob McKelvey will defend his title at the Louisiana Open.




Email this page to a friend | Return to top of page