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Ben Crane was an afterthought beginning Sunday's final round three strokes off the 54 hole lead. Crane wearing DryJoys Tour and Pure Touch Limited, started his final round with seven straight pars before switching his game into overdrive on the par-4 eight by making his first birdie of the day. He would follow the birdie on eight with three more birdies over the next three holes. A bogey on number 12 only momentarily slowed Crane, as he made four more consecutive birdies from 14 through 17 to enter a tie at the top of the leaderboard with the two time 2011 winner Webb Simpson (FJ ICON #52039).
Both players would complete 72 holes at 15 under par to force the 18th playoff of the year on the PGA Tour. Beginning the playoff both players had something to prove; Crane, to win his first tourney of 2011 and Simpson a possible PGA Tour money title. Crane made the first move hitting his approach shot into the par-4 18th to six feet. Simpson would respond, hitting a tricky greenside bunker shot into tap in range. Crane's birdie putt narrowly missed the hole and both players left with a par. Both players would find the green on the par-3 17th. Simpson would putt first, lagging his put to three feet. Playing more aggressively, Crane ran his putt five feet by the hole, leaving himself a tough putt for par, but poured it into the center of the cup putting the pressure on Simpson. With a short putt to extend the Playoff Simpson would miss making Crane the 2011 McGladrey Classic winner.
The affable Wisconsin native, Steve Stricker won the season opening Tournament of Champions at Kapalua with a final round of a four under par 69 to finish the tournament at 23 under par, four strokes clear of fellow FJ Staffers Webb Simpson and Jonathan Byrd.
Stricker was in style all week wearing the new FJ Performance Apparel and split saddle DryJoys Tour's. He was, also, in total control of his golf game, attacking the golf course in Saturday's second round. Stricker made eight birdies and an eagle to finish off the round with a ten under par 63. The blistering pace gave him a five shot lead over Webb Simpson and the field heading into the third round.
During the third round, Stricker struggled to make birdies early but did not give up any ground as he birdied the final four holes to retain the five stroke lead he had at the beginning of the day. Now heading into the final round with a comfortable lead, Stricker kept his head down and continued his steady play to close out the field for the victory. Stricker lead the field in overall putting, scrambling, bogey avoidance (making only 4 bogeys all week on the rugged Kapalua golf course), and one putt percentage.
This is Stricker's 8th PGA Tour win in the past 3 years, which is the most amongst any player on the PGA Tour.
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Wake Forest product, Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open Championship at San Francisco's Olympic Club with masterful play over the weekend to win by one stroke over fellow FJ staffer Michael Thompson.
Simpson was five over par after the first two rounds and fired a two under par 68 on Saturday to claw back up the leaderboard. Sitting four strokes off of the 54 hole lead, Simpson would have to put together another great round on the brutal U.S. Open track to have any chance of winning.
Simpson, in FJ ICON and Pure Touch Limited, rattled off three consecutive birdies on the front nine to shoot up the leaderboard. Adding another birdie at the 10th hole moved Webb to plus one, one stroke behind the leader. Webb continued to plug away making pars on each of his last eight holes to get into the clubhouse with the lead. Simpson now had to watch the players still on the golf course try and catch him, no one could, making Webb Simpson the winner of the 112th U.S. Open Championship.
Webb went on to comment on his play on the final day, ”I knew it was a tough golf course,” continuing, “I had to go out
and do as well as I could. I probably prayed more the last three holes
than I’ve ever done in my life. It helped me stay calm and get in with 2
This is Webb Simpson's first major victory in only his fifth major championship appearance.
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Webb SImpson ran away to a six stroke win at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Through the first three rounds, Webb stood at a staggering 19 under par, 4 strokes clear of his closest pursuant and fellow FJ Staffer, Chesson Hadley.
Simpson showed little remorse at the start of the final round, birdieing two of the first three holes to increase his lead. Turning in 32 strokes, Simpson had the tournament well in hand. On the back nine, Simpson added three more birdies and a lone bogey to take home the title in an absolute masterful performance.
"As we were going kind of middle of the round, pins were tough, greens were drying out and I knew it would take a really special round for somebody to shoot 7, 8 under," Simpson said. "So, I felt like I was in control, and I asked my caddie, once I hit it on the green on 17 where we stood. And I was just thankful that I was able to kind of manage my golf ball the last couple rounds."
Webb relied on the FJ ICON golf shoe and Pure Touch Limited glove during his dominating performance.
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