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Scott opens FedEx Cup playoffs with a win PDF Print E-mail
Monday, August 26, 2013 12:21 AM

Associated Press

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Masters champion Adam Scott didn’t think his good round was good enough Sunday at The Barclays.

His caddie had already packed his golf clubs into a travel case. He viewed his visit to the CBS Sports tower as nothing more than a courtesy. His only hope was that the other players still on the course — Tiger Woods and Justin Rose among them — might find it as difficult to close out a victory as Scott has over the years.

“I’m pretty shocked,” Scott said after his 5-under 66 gave him a 1-shot win at Liberty National. “There were so many guys out there with a chance and I really didn’t think I had much of a chance. If you hang around the lead long enough, you’re going to win some, you’re going to lose some. And this one went my way.”

Scott was watching from the locker room when Rose, who had a 25-foot putt for the outright lead, ran it 5 feet by the hole and three-putted for bogey. Clubs unpacked, Scott was on his way to the range when the groans from around the 18th green told him Woods narrowly missed his 25-foot birdie putt from off the back of the green to tie for the lead. Once on the range, a large video board showed Gary Woodland miss his third straight birdie putt from inside 10 feet.

“I guess it’s different playing an hour-and-a-half in front of the leaders, the guys who have been under pressure all day than when you’re out there,” Scott added. “I know how they feel. When the pressure is on you to close out, it’s much harder, and the holes become much harder and shots are far more crucial.

“I feel like I’ve been given a bit of a gift but I’ll take it.”

Scott finished at 11-under 273 and moved to a career-best No. 2 in the world.

Woods suffered a back spasm on the par-5 13th hole and hooked a fairway metal so far left that it landed in a swamp on the other side of the 15th fairway. Woods dropped to all fours in pain before slowly getting up. He also dropped a shot on the 15th, then gamely fought back with birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to get within one.

His birdie putt from off the 18th green was one short turn of falling.

“Thought I made it,” Woods said after his 69.

Woods had all four rounds in the 60s for the first time in a year on the PGA Tour, though it wasn’t enough. He battled stiffness in his lower back all week, which he attributed to a soft bed in his hotel room — the second straight year he has had back issues from a mattress at this event.

In a brief interview with CBS Sports, he replied it was “hypothetical” when asked if he would compete in the Deutsche Bank Championship, the next playoff event that starts Friday on the TPC Boston. The tournament gives its charity money to Woods’ foundation. Woods already missed the AT&T National this year, which also benefits his foundation.

“I just got off and I’m not feeling my best right now,” he added.

Rose wasn’t feeling that great, either. He was in position to win the tournament with a birdie putt and the U.S. Open champion did not want to leave it short. Instead, he knocked it by farther than he imagined, the ball stayed on the high side of the cup the whole way.

“I got too aggressive,” said Rose, who closed with a 68. “I thought it was a putt to win the tournament. It’s tough to take.”

Kevin Chappell had a 2-shot lead after a birdie on the 10th hole, then played the next seven holes in 7-over par and closed with a 76. Woodland had a 73. Matt Kuchar, who shared the 54-hole lead with Woodland, fell back with a triple bogey on No. 9. His only birdie was on the 18th hole, and it gave him a 78.

“I found a way to hang in there and grind it out and gave myself a chance on the back nine on Sunday, which is everything you can ask for,” Woodland said.

It was the second time Woods has missed a playoff by one shot at Liberty National.

Graham DeLaet of Canada, whose 65 matched Phil Mickelson for the low score of the final round, also tied for second. DeLaet will move up to No. 9 in the Presidents Cup standings and with one week before qualifying ends, is in good shape to make the International team.

Scott won for the second time this year, at least putting himself into the conversation for PGA Tour player of the year if he were to go on to win the FedEx Cup. He is No. 2 in the standings behind Woods, though the $10 million prize does not come into view until the Tour Championship.

The first playoff event was packed with plenty of energy on a spectacular day across from the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. Five players had at least a share of the lead at some point in the final round. Woods put up a great fight despite his back injury. Scott played the final 24 holes without a bogey.

Sunday also had some of the emotions found at Q-school for players whose season came to an abrupt end. And it was just as wild at the bottom.

Only the top 100 players in the FedEx Cup advance to the second playoff event next week outside Boston. Geoff Ogilvy could have joined them except for missing a 2 1/2-foot par putt on the final hole that ultimately knocked him out of the top 100.

Camilo Villegas, at No. 110, thought he needed a 6-foot par putt on the last hole to advance. He missed it and was visibly angry. More than an hour later, Aaron Baddeley appeared to be a lock to advance to Boston despite being at No. 119. Baddeley, however, bogeyed his last three holes, missing a 5-foot par putt on the 18th. That knocked him out and put Villegas back in at No. 100.

Scott missed a 15-foot birdie on the 18th hole that he thought might have been enough for a playoff at best.

Teen star Lydia Ko wins again in Canada

EDMONTON, Alberta — Teen star Lydia Ko ran away with the Canadian Women’s Open — again.

The 16-year-old New Zealand amateur successfully defend her title Sunday, closing with a 6-under 64 on Sunday at Royal Mayfair for a 5-stroke victory and her fourth win in professional events.

Last year at Vancouver Golf Club in British Columbia, the South Korean-born Ko became the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history at 15 years, 4 months, 2 days. She also was the fifth amateur winner in tour history and the first since JoAnne Carner in the 1969 Burdine’s Invitational.

Ko’s other victories in professional events came last year in the Australian tour’s New South Wales Open and this year in the Ladies European Tour’s New Zealand Women’s Open. Projected to jump from 19th to seventh in the world ranking, she has played 14 LPGA Tour events the last two seasons, making the cut in every tournament. She also won the U.S. Women’s Amateur last summer.

Ko was again asked about turning professional.

“I’ve got some people above me like my mom and dad, they’re the boss,” Ko replied. “They’re going to help me to make the right decision and to turn pro at what time. I think as I’m only 16 still, it’s quite hard to make huge decisions. When I turn pro it’s like a job. Money is all about it and everything like that, every shot counts. Yeah, I think my parents and New Zealand golf they’re all going to have a say, and hopefully we’ll make a really good decision on when I will turn pro.”

She bristled when asked about losing out on another $300,000 pay day.

“I don’t care. I don’t care,” Ko answered. “I can say that a couple times more, if you want.”

Ko had a 15-under 265 total after opening with rounds of 65, 69 and 67.

A stroke behind Caroline Hedwall entering the final round, Ko birdied five of the first eight holes and reached 15 under with a birdie on the par-4 12th. She dropped a stroke on the par-4 13th, parred the next four and closed with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th.

France’s Karine Icher was second after a 67.

Icher ended up with the $300,000 check.

Hedwall, the Swede coming off a record 5-0 performance last week in Colorado in the Solheim Cup in Europe’s blowout victory over the United States, had a 71 to tie for third at 9 under with Brittany Lincicome (69).

Riegger wins Boeing Classic

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — John Riegger won the Boeing Classic on Sunday in his fifth Champions Tour start, holding off John Cook and Fred Couples at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.

The 50-year-old Riegger birdied three of the final four holes — holing a 20-footer for birdie on the par-5 18th — for a 4-under 68 and a t2wo-stroke victory over Cook. Riegger finished at 15-under 201.

Cook closed with a 65. Couples, from Seattle, was third at 11 under after a 66.

La’Cassie wins Cox Classic

OMAHA, Neb. — Australia’s Bronson La’Cassie won the Cox Classic on Sunday to earn a PGA Tour card with a sixth-place finish on the Web.com Tour money list.

The former University of Minnesota player beat Matt Bettencourt with a par on the third hole of a playoff.

La’Cassie birdied the final two holes for a 4-under 67 to match Bettencourt at 21-under 263 at Champions Run. Bettencourt also finished with a 67.

La’Cassie earned $144,000 to jump from 33rd to sixth on the money list with $255,629. The top 25 after the tournament earned PGA Tour cards for the 2013-14 season.

La’Cassie will play in the Web.com Tour Finals to position himself with the highest priority ranking possible for next season. He plans to keep it simple in the final four events.

Bettencourt made $$86,400 to finish 16th with $162,877.

Michael Putnam topped the list with $450,184. He had a 72 on Sunday to tie for 12th at 14 under.

 

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