Despite that it’s golf’s so-called silly season, there’s still millions of bucks being played for around the world in November. Here’s a recap on what you missed. Hint: Not a bad Sunday in November.
Stuart Appleby’s only slip-up on Sunday may have been almost missing the trophy presentation, according to the AP. Only when he heard his name announced did Appleby dart from the grandstands and onto the 18th green to accept the Australian Masters trophy and gold jacket. This was Appleby’s first win in his native soil since 2001, his 12th victory worldwide and his second of the season.
Appleby started the day with a seven-shot deficit, but came back from behind to win by one after shooting a 65, which included consecutive birdies on the final two holes.
“I went into today with the feeling that I had to try and somehow find a way to get close enough to the leaders where it might make them change the way they were playing,” he said. “I did use that experience of shooting 59 to try and put myself in that mood of trying to apply some pressure and to see what happens. To have a win in August and now this one really wraps this year up in a nice bow for me.”
Adam Bland, who had a three-stroke lead going into Sunday, apparently couldn’t handle the pressure and shot a final-round 73. Bland finished 75th on the Nationwide Tour money list this season and almost didn’t play in the Australian Masters because he starts the second stage of PGA Tour Q-school on Tuesday. Best of luck to Adam and this past week should give him some confidence and momentum. After all, he still beat Tiger Woods!
19-year-old Japanese phenom Ryo Ishikawa won his third title in Japan this year with a victory at the Taiheiyo Masters. Ishikawa carded seven birdies and two bogeys on his way to a 67 to finish two shots better than Australia’s Brendan Jones.
This marked Ishikawa’s ninth career win on the Japanese tour. The ¥30 million in earnings brought up closer to catching JGTO money leader Kim Kyung Tae of South Korea. With three events left, Ishikawa is trailing by approximately ¥13 million. He won the money title last year.
“I played really well on a course I like so I am overjoyed,” beamed Ishikawa. “I have been able to win while making what I feel are good adjustments to my swing. If I play like I did today then I think I have a chance to win in the remaining three events.”
While the teen has clearly enjoyed heaps of success in Asia, he’s yet to win outside of the comforts of his native soil. His best finish in his young career at a major is T27 at the British Open this July. Does this mean he can only win on secondary tours? No way, nine titles on any tour are still legit victories. He’s immensely talented and only 19.
I must say, I can’t wait to see him hoist a trophy in America.
*Barclays Singapore Open
Due to a five-hour storm delay, the Singapore Open was forced to extend to a Monday finish. With ten holes left to play, Adam Scott won by three strokes over Anders Hansen to take his second title of the year and his third at this event.
Despite bogeys on 10 and 14, Scott answered with birdies on 15 and 18 to shoot a final round 68.
Defending champ Ian Poulter stumbled with costly bogeys and carded a 73 to drop to T6, six shots worse than Scott.
After struggling in ’08-’09, it appears Scott has regained some of his pre-slump form. He won the Texas Valero Open in May, his first PGA Tour victory in over two years.
*Children’s Miracle Network Classic
It was redemption for Robert Garrigus, as the golf media corps are calling it. As you may recall, “Swamp Ass” Garrigus had a choke of Van-de-Veldien proportions in June at the St. Jude Classic — so bad that it provoked Zach Johnson to tweet, “My prayers go out to Robert Garrigus and his family!” More unfortunate, when Garrigus triple-bogeyed the final hole in Memphis, he was wearing khaki, non-breathable pants in the 100-plus degree heat and 256% humidity.
Thankfully, Garrigus wisely wore black pants on Sunday as he came back from behind to capture his first-ever PGA Tour victory. He shot eight-under to overcome a five-shot deficit and win the Children’s Miracle Network Classic. He also kept his job. Garrigus entered the event No. 122 on the money list, but his first-place earnings bumped him to No. 51.
“It feels great to be able to close this one off and figuratively shut everybody up about Memphis,” he said. “I mean everybody thought I’d be devastated, and I really wasn’t. It was a stepping stone, and it helped me today.
“And I’m actually glad that I did that in Memphis because I knew how to handle it coming down 18. It was awesome.”
Just spare us from this again, please:
Congrats to Garrigus, a deserving and endearing champion. Even though his win was overshadowed by Troy Merritt and the Kodak Challenge, Roland Thatcher’s choke and the tournament within the tournament, but I’m sure he slept okay on Sunday.
*Lorena Ochoa Invitational
In-Kyung Kim won and donated her winnings to charity — it all superseded the other happenings in the golf world that it deserved it’s own post.
(AP Photos and final photo courtesy of Reader Mark)