Rickie Fowler wins Honda Classic

Rickie Fowler wins Honda Classic to end PGA Tour drought

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Rickie Fowler didn’t care about pretty. He cared about winning.

Staked to a 4-shot lead, Fowler hit one putt into a sprinkler hole and a tee shot into the water. But when his lead was cut to 1 shot, Fowler answered with two big birdie putts to regain control and finished off a 4-shot victory in the Honda Classic.

The bogey-bogey finish kept him from setting the 72-hole record at PGA National.

That wasn’t important. At his feet was a crystal trophy, something he hasn’t owned in 13 months, even as peers Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy kept piling them up. It was Fowler’s turn Sunday.

“Whether I’m talked about with those guys or not, I just want to play the best that I can and keep pushing myself and, ultimately, just keep trying to put myself in position to win and start collecting more of these,” Fowler said, tapping the trophy.

He closed with a 1-over 71 for a 4-shot victory over Gary Woodland, the only player to seriously challenge him, and Morgan Hoffmann.

Fowler faced the strongest wind of the week at PGA National, and he didn’t feel as though he had control of his swing the way he did all week. But the 28-year-old kid with fashion flair still has a knack for clutch moments, whether it was the 30-foot birdie putt on No. 8 or the two winning moments: a 40-foot birdie putt on No. 12 and a 25-foot birdie putt on the 13th.

This was more substance than style.

“I didn’t play great,” Fowler said. “It wasn’t a pretty round. But we got the job done. A win is a win.”

Fowler effectively ended it with a shot over the water on the 16th to 3 feet that stretched his lead to 5 shots with two holes to play.

Woodland appeared to have second place wrapped up until he three-putted the 17th and then tried to lay up on the par-5 18th and came up short into the water. He closed with another bogey for a 69. He had to share second place — the difference of $128,000 — with Hoffmann, who missed a 4-foot birdie putt on the 18th.

PGA champion Jimmy Walker was lurking on the fringe of contention until tee shots into the water on the 15th and 17th holes, which cost him five shots.

Tyrrell Hatton of England, who played in the final group in his first PGA Tour event in Florida, was out of the picture quickly. He still had a chance to finish alone in second, which would have gone a long way toward securing a PGA Tour card, until he missed a 3-foot birdie putt on the 17th.

Fowler even got into the act when it no longer mattered. He hit his tee shot into the water on the 17th hole and made bogey, then hit a wedge into the bunker on the 18th and closed with another bogey to finish at 12-under 268.

Fowler jokingly referred to his “small collection” of trophies on Saturday evening, though it was important. He had gone 13 months and 25 starts worldwide without a victory as everyone around him was winning multiple times.

It was his first PGA Tour victory since the Deutsche Bank Championship in September 2015. A 4-shot lead, which he built with two late birdies Saturday afternoon, allowed him to play smart and safe.

It just always didn’t work out that way.

He went over the green on the par-4 fourth and tried to putt it up the slope, except that it went into a sprinkler hole and led to bogey. Two holes later, Fowler hooked his tee shot into the water on the tough par-4 sixth and made double bogey.

He bounced back with a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 8, only to drop another shot on the ninth.

Woodland hit wedge into 4 feet on the 13th for a birdie to get to 10 under, suddenly one shot back of Fowler. Just like that, it was over. Fowler leaned over on his putter as he watched his 40-foot on No. 12 drop into the cup, and though he went long with a wedge on the 13th, he dropped that one in from 25 feet for birdie.

Woodland had reasonable looks at birdie over the next four holes and couldn’t get any to drop. He powered his 20-foot attempt on the 17th about 6 feet by the hole, ending is last hope.

“I thought all of them looked pretty good,” he said of his birdie chances. “It was a little deflating on 18. Thought I hit a pretty good drive and thought I would have a chance, and I just couldn’t get home and laid up in the water, which was bad.”

Jhonattan Vegas made a hole-in-one on the 15th hole and closed with a 64 to tie for fourth.

Fowler’s victory and Woodland’s tie for second knocked Charles Howell III and Hudson Swafford out of the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings, keeping them from qualifying for the Mexico Championship next week, the first World Golf Championship of the year.

SOURCE: ESPN

The Nine Most Eagerly Awaited New Golf Courses Of 2017

The Nine Most Eagerly Awaited New Golf Courses Of 2017

The bucket list mentality is strong with golfers. Sure, the majority of golf is played locally, but that doesn’t change the fact that the diehards among us can’t wait to hear about the next great course or destination.

The unvarnished truth is that the golf industry continues to go through a period of natural correction, with annual course closures far outweighing openings since the boom years of development over-saturated a lot of markets. What that means, though, is that new courses tend to be something truly special, with great design, terrific location or both. In 2016, for example, we were introduced to remarkable courses such as Mossy Oak in Mississippi, the reversible Loop in Michigan, and Trinity Forest in Dallas.

Below are nine courses opening in 2017 that U.S. golfers should know about, from the Allegheny mountains of rural Pennsylvania to a sprawling, operational cattle ranch in Oregon.

Stoatin Brae (Michigan)

Stoatin Brae, the newest course at Gull Lake View Resort in Michigan, features a broad landscape of hills and dales covered in native grasses, colorful wildflowers and sprawling sand bunkers. (Photo Credit: Stoatin Brae)

Stoatin Brae, the newest course at Gull Lake View Resort in Michigan, features a broad landscape of hills and dales covered in native grasses, colorful wildflowers and sprawling sand bunkers. (Photo Credit: Stoatin Brae)

One of the nation’s biggest golf resorts is expanding to 108 holes, with Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort in Southwest Michigan opening its sixth course (Stoatin Brae) this year. To transform the rolling contours of a former apple orchard high above the Kalamazoo River Valley into a minimalist Scottish-style golf course, ownership turned to the Michigan-based Renaissance Design team managed by Tom Doak. Stoatin Brae means “grand hill” in Scottish Gaelic and the elevation of the property means the ever-changing wind patterns can change not just day-to-day, but hour-to-hour.

Shepherd’s Rock (Pennsylvania)

Shepherd's Rock will become Pete Dye's second course at the Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania when it opens this July. (Photo credit: Nemacolin Resort)

Shepherd’s Rock will become Pete Dye’s second course at the Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania when it opens this July. (Photo credit: Nemacolin Resort)
Pete Dye keeps plugging along at age 91. On July 12, he’ll open a second course at the luxurious Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in southwestern Pennsylvania, as Shepherd’s Rock joins his celebrated Mystic Rock course that’s ranked among the top 100 public courses in the country. Built on rolling terrain atop the Allegheny Mountains, the front nine is tree-lined and will require precision and accuracy while the back nine is more brawny; wide open with impressive vistas of the Laurel Highlands. In true Dye fashion, there will be rippling fairways, man-made mounds, plenty of wetlands and well-protected greens.

The Summit Club (Las Vegas)

An artist's rendering of The Summit just outside Las Vegas. (Photo credit: The Summit Club)

An artist’s rendering of The Summit just outside Las Vegas. (Photo credit: The Summit Club)

The private Summit Club will be the centerpiece of a luxury community (253 homes) in Summerlin, just 15 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. The 18-hole layout designed by Tom Fazio is set to open in the spring, but will only be available to homeowners who pay upwards of $2 million to live in yet another impressive Discovery Land project. Beyond the spectacular desert golf and the proximity to downtown Vegas, the club’s on-course comfort stations feature treats from a margarita machine and tacos to homemade ice cream sandwiches.

Bayou Oaks Golf Course (Louisiana)

Bayou Oaks is a new $24 million municipal golf course in New Orleans that replaced two 18-hole city park layouts that were badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina. (Photo credit: The Bayou District Foundation)

Bayou Oaks is a new $24 million municipal golf course in New Orleans that replaced two 18-hole city park layouts that were badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina. (Photo credit: The Bayou District Foundation)

The new Bayou Oaks Golf Course in New Orleans City Park, which is scheduled to open in the spring, replaces 36 holes that were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The new championship-level course, which joins an existing 18-hole layout (The North Course), was designed by architect Rees Jones with aspirations that at some point it could host the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic. It’s a municipal course designed in the same category as a Bethpage Black or Torrey Pines. Bayou Oaks incorporates portions of the former East and West courses and includes historic oak trees and existing lagoons that are characteristic of the park. Perhaps most significantly, a portion of revenues will go toward helping schools and children in the local community.

Top of The Rock – Gary Player Short Course (Missouri)

(Photo credit: Big Cedar Lodge)

The Gary Player Short Course at Big Cedar Lodge is set to open this spring. (Photo credit: Big Cedar Lodge)

Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops, continues to expand his impressive Big Cedar Lodge property with a Gary Player short course that will open this spring. The layout, designed as a more accessible experience for families, juniors and newcomers to the game, is a collection of par-3 and par-4 holes. It joins the eye-popping par-3 Top of The Rock course (Jack Nicklaus design) and the championship Buffalo Ridge course (Tom Fazio) at Big Cedar Lodge. The family-friendly getaway in the Ozarks is also adding an 18-hole Coore/Crenshaw course in 2018.

Silvies Valley Ranch –   (Oregon)

The two 18-hole reversible layouts at Silvies Valley were named to honor two Pioneer families who homesteaded the site. (Photo credit: Silvies Valley Ranch)

The two 18-hole reversible layouts at Silvies Valley were named to honor two Pioneer families who homesteaded the site. (Photo credit: Silvies Valley Ranch)

This is the most unique new golf facility of 2017, with two reversible 18-hole courses built on a property with 27 greens (nine are shared). Silvies Valley Ranch will truly be a one-of-a-kind golf experience, as the Dan Hixson designed Hankins and Craddock courses are part of a 140,000-acre working cattle ranch and resort. The course direction will be reversed each day once it opens in July, and there’s more to come. Later this year, the Western retreat will open a fun 8-hole course of par-3 and par-4 holes carved into a steep-sided, narrow ridge of land (a razorback) that’s called McVeigh’s Gauntlet.

Sand Valley – (Wisconsin)

Sand Valley pays homage to the great heathland courses of London like Sunningdale, Swinley Forest, Walton Heath and St. George's Hill. (Photo credit: Sand Valley)

Sand Valley pays homage to the great heathland courses of London like Sunningdale, Swinley Forest, Walton Heath and St. George’s Hill. (Photo credit: Sand Valley)

Mike Keiser found a recipe that works, bringing destination golf to the Oregon coast (Bandon Dunes) and Nova Scotia (Cabot Links). In May, Keiser unveils his latest project amid more than 1,700 acres of sand dunes in Central Wisconsin. The first course at Sand Valley, designed by the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, brings the big, bold playing style of a seaside links to the nation’s heartland. The layout is routed through meandering ridges and valleys, and a second course by David McLay Kidd is already in the works for the property.

Streamsong – Black Course (Florida)

The grow-in process at Streamsong Black, which will be open this autumn. (Photo credit: Nile Young)

The grow-in process at Streamsong Black, which will be open this autumn. (Photo credit: Nile Young)

The first two courses at Streamsong — Blue and Red — quickly ensconced themselves in Top 100 rankings and now the resort’s highly anticipated third course is set to debut this fall. Built by architect Gil Hanse, the designer of the 2016 Olympic course in Rio de Janeiro, the par-73 Black course is an expansive and strategic layout spread across rolling, sandy terrain that is reminiscent of the Sand Belt of Australia. Streamsong may be located in Florida, but the resort delivers a golf experience like none other you’ll find in the state.

HONORABLE MENTION:

Dazante Bay (Mexico)

The 17th hole at Dazante Bay is a stunner of a par-3, playing downhill to a peninsula green that sits high above the Sea of Cortez. (Photo credit: Dazante Bay)

The 17th hole at Dazante Bay is a stunner of a par-3, playing downhill to a peninsula green that sits high above the Sea of Cortez. (Photo credit: Dazante Bay)

Okay, this one isn’t in the U.S., but it’s not that far away either. Dazante Bay, which is located in Loreto on the Baja Peninsula (about a two-hour flight from Los Angeles), opened 11 holes last year and the course is set to have all 18 holes ready for play in fall of 2017. Architect Rees Jones was given a remarkable piece of property and impressively incorporated desert, dunes, mountain, valley and water holes. The most notable is the stunning par-3 17th, which plays downhill to a green perched on a peninsula green 250 feet above the Sea of Cortez. Jones says he believes No. 17 will be considered one of the best holes in the world and it’s hard to argue when you’ve seen the photos.

 

SOURCE: FORBES

Dustin Johnson now world No. 1 with Genesis Open Win

D. Johnson becomes world No. 1 with Genesis win

SOURCE: GOLF CHANNEL

Jordan Spieth making a run at the Genesis Open

Jordan Spieth finds pace at Genesis Open before a rained out second round

Jordan Spieth nearly escaped the rain in Los Angeles at the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club with a full 18 holes of play in Round 2 on Friday. Instead, he only got 16 of the 18 in before rain washed out the day, but he played them almost flawlessly in brutal conditions (downright apocalyptic for Los Angeles).

Spieth moved up 28 slots on the leaderboard to T4, and at 5 under, he trails leaders Jhonattan Vegas and Sam Saunders by just two strokes. Spieth made an early bogey on his third hole of the day (No. 12 on the course) before playing the final 13 pretty much perfectly.

His wildest shot of the day probably came on the par-3 sixth hole when he hit a tee shot that looked like it was going off the back of the green before spinning all the way back to 15 feet. Spieth centered up the putt for birdie No. 4 on the day.

Spieth’s streak into the weekend should not come as a surprise. He almost won this tournament back in 2015 and is coming off a win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week. He has not finished outside the top 10 at a PGA Tour event this calendar year so far.

He has had only one round at Riviera over 72 (a bizarre 79 in Round 1 last year). In addition to all of this, Spieth’s Texas Longhorns won the NCAA national title at Riviera back in 2012. There are certainly good vibes when it comes to The Riv.

Spieth found his putting stroke a little on Friday after a ho-hum 69 in Round 1. If he can find birdies at both of his final two holes when players return to the course on Saturday morning, he can tie the lead early on the weekend (something he has been quite familiar with over the course of his young career).

Round 2 at Riviera will resume at 10 a.m. Eastern on Saturday.

SOURCE: CBS