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Week 06: Spieth cruises to AT&T Pebble Beach title

February 13, 2017


PGA Tour- AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Jordan Spieth soaked up every step of scenery on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach, one of the prettiest places in golf and even more spectacular on a Sunday when the only work left is to hoist the crystal trophy.

All that was missing from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am were the highlights.

That is just how Spieth wanted it.

Staked to a six-shot lead, Spieth never gave anyone much of a chance by putting for birdie on all but one hole. The lone highlight was his 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop, and by then it was already over.

"Played a lot of boring golf today," Spieth said, "which was exactly what we needed."

He closed with a 2-under 70 for a four-shot victory over former U.S. Amateur champion Kelly Kraft, a close friend from Dallas who couldn't get a putt to fall that might have put a little pressure on Spieth.

As easy and clinical as Spieth made it look, it was no less special.

"This is a bucket-list place to win -- here, Augusta National, St. Andrews, there's only a few in the world. It feels really special. It was amazing walking up the 18th green knowing that we were going to win. It is just such a unique position. I tried to soak in."

Asian/European Tour- Maybank Championship

Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti produced a fabulous come-from-behind victory at the Maybank Championship on Sunday, thanks to a glorious final hole eagle for a closing round of nine-under-par 63.

Starting the final day six shots back of leader Danny Willett of England, the 33-year-old Zanotti won the US$3 million co-sanctioned tournament by one shot ahead of 2014 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner David Lipsky following a thrilling conclusion at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.

No fewer than five players, including Lipsky, Willett, Bernd Wiesberger and Alexander Levy, held at least a share of the lead during a frenetic final round before Zanotti, whose other triumph on the European Tour was the 2014 BMW International Open, broke away with a terrific finish where he birdied the 17th hole to grab the lead for the first time.

He then rolled in a 12-footer for eagle on the par five last hole following an imperious iron shot approach from 249 yards out that saw his ball land in the middle of the green, roll towards the back before trickling down towards the pin. He signed off the week on 19-under-par 269 and earned US$500,000.

Lipsky, 28, had a chance to force a play-off but his birdie attempt on 18 from about 15 feet missed the target as he settled for second place with a closing 67, which included four consecutive birdies after the turn.

Sunshine Tour- Eye of Africa PGA Championship

Erik van Rooyen hit his approach to inside a foot in the first hole of a three-way play-off on Sunday to set himself up for birdie and victory in the R1.5-million Eye of Africa PGA Championship.

He finished regulation play with a birdie on 18 too, to finish on 16-under for the tournament together with Dylan Frittelli and Makhetha Mazibuko, who narrowly missed a par-putt on 18 in regulation, which would have given him the victory. Last year’s runner-up Dean Burmester finished fourth after a disappointing round of one-over 73.

“The 18th is not an easy hole,” said Van Rooyen. “I didn’t really plan to stiff it with my second in the play-off. My plan was to hit where I hit it in regulation, because that is just the middle of the green. You need to give yourself a chance, especially after I saw where Makhetha hit his ball in the bunker. I knew par might have a chance. But my approach drew back so nicely and it almost went in. It was fantastic.”

The victory was the first in his Sunshine Tour career, which stretches back to 2013 when he gained his card at the Qualifying School. “It’s hard to describe,” he said of his feelings after the win. “I’ve worked really hard with a big group of people – sports psychologists, a trainer, a swing coach, whatever – for the last 10 or 15 years, and to finally get the win…

“I’ve been in there a few times in the last few years that I’ve been on the Sunshine Tour, and I think today I really held my composure nicely. I think that is where I slipped up in the past. But today, I got it done and now the emotions are boiling over a little.”

ISPS HANDA PGA Tour Australasia- Oates Vic Open

New South Welshman Dimitrios Papadatos has won the 2017 Oates Vic Open at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads.

Firing 1-under 71 in the final round, Papadatos has won the title by two shots from Adam Bland and Jake McLeod.

It was an excellent week for Papadatos who fired rounds of 68, 64, 69 and 71 for a tournament total 16-under 272.

Victory did not come easy, tough weather conditions made the final round a grind for the field but Papadatos held strong to win the title.

“I stayed patient all day and it turned out pretty good,” said Papadatos.

“It was a massive grind. I knew it was going to be a long tough day but I played solid golf and did not take too many risks. I was right up there so I didn’t need to chance my arm too much.”

Finishing the group ahead of his nearest rival, Jake McLeod, Papadatos watched to see if the Queenslander could make an eagle on the 18thto force a playoff.

“It was a little bit nerve racking but I wasn’t too worried about it,” added Papadatos.

“I did my job and if Jake made an eagle on the last it would’ve been fantastic to go to a playoff but I wasn’t thinking about it too much.”

This becomes Papadatos’ second win on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, but first on home soil after he won the 2014 New Zealand Open. Tour- Club Colombia Championship

Ethan Tracy moved into the top spot on the money list with a thrilling overtime victory at the Club Colombia Championship by Servientrega. Tracy and Mexico’s Roberto Diaz were gridlocked at 13-under-par 271 at the end of regulation and headed back to the par-5 18th hole at Country Club de Bogota to determine the winner.

Brandon Harkins held the lead most of the day and was 15-under-par walking off the 12th green. The 54-hole co-leader struggled coming in and bogeyed three of the last six holes. Harkins missed a birdie try from just off the back of the green on 18 to join Diaz and Tracy in the playoff.

After the pair tied the first extra hole with par, Tracy rolled in a 20-footer for birdie on the second hole to secure his first Tour win and a first-place prize of $126,000. Tracy had missed the cut in the first two events of the season but moved into the top spot on the Tour money list with his triumph in Bogota.

“I was just grateful to be in the playoff,” said Tracy, who holed out from the fairway on the 72nd hole to finish at 13-under-par. “Somehow I made a great shot, and I was fortunate that it went in. I capitalized on a good shot in the playoff with a great putt. Overall, the 18th was pretty good to me.”

Pro Golf Tour- Tony Jacklin Open

In the playoff Dutch Robbie van West secured himself not only the victory of the first Pro Golf Tour event in Morocco 2017 but also his first win of tour ever. The 24-year-old defeated three competitors on the course of the The Tony Jacklin Casablanca. A birdie on the fifth extra hole brought van West the trophy. After 54 holes, he had shared the first rank with -12 with Swiss Marco Iten and Germans Moritz Lampert and Nicolai von Dellingshausen.


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