David Howell celebrated his first European Tour title in seven years by beating Peter Uihlein in a sudden-death play-off at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Howell wearing DryJoys Tour™ golf shoes and a SciFlex™ glove, carded a final round of 67 to set the clubhouse target at St Andrews and then watched as overnight leader Uihlein (XPS-1™ & Pure Touch®) missed from 15 feet for a winning birdie on the 18th, meaning the pair finished tied on 23 under par.
Playing the first hole at St Andrews to begin the play-off, both players narrowly missed long birdie attempts but Howell, who had lost all four of his previous play-offs, made no such mistake from eight feet to claim the title and first prize of €589,561.
Uihlein began the day with a two-shot lead but a combination of a three-putt bogey at the first and a blistering start from France's Thomas Levet saw that instantly wiped out.
Levet (FJ ICON™) briefly led by two shots when he opened with five straight birdies and also picked up a shot on the seventh, but faded over the closing stretch and saw his hopes ended by driving out of bounds on the 14th. He did have the consolation of winning the pro-am competition however.
Howell’s victory at St. Andrews lifts him to the top of the European Ryder Cup Points List and to 12th on the Race to Dubai, guaranteeing qualification for the season finale DP World Tour Championship - where the Dubai resident will make his debut from the 14-17 November.
The 38 year old also jumps 82 places in the Official World Golf Rankings to 94.
"I have never played in an Open Championship here but to win a golf tournament as a professional at the Home of Golf is quite amazing and I am really thrilled” stated Howell.
"I was really nervous all week and strangely less nervous today - I can't explain that at all. I stayed calm and smooth under pressure and that was really pleasing”.
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.
FJ Wins, You Win - Click here to win the products worn by Steve Stricker during his dominating performance at Kapalua
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.
Steve Stricker successfully defended his John Deere Classic title for the second straight year with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to win by one shot over PGA Tour rookie Kyle Stanley (FJ ICON #52315 & StaSof).
Stricker (DryJoys Tour #53635 ,Pure Touch Limited, & ProDry Lisle Shirt #32963), already a winner this year at the Memorial, began the day with a 2-stroke lead. By the time Stricker made the turn he had a five shot advantage. Stanley, playing like a seasoned veteran, mounted a raucous back nine charge that included birdies on five of his first six holes to take the lead.
Not to be outdone, Stricker birdied 17 to pull within one of the PGA Tour rookie. Stanley then bogeyed the 18th leaving Stricker on the last hole with a chance to win for the third consecutive year. After missing the fairway Stricker hit a solid recovery shot from an awkward stance 25 feet from the pin. Stricker struck his putt and erupted with emotion as the ball gently fell in the left side of the cup securing his victory.
This is Stricker's 11th career victory making him the only player to have multiple victories in each of the past three seasons on the PGA Tour. Stanley's runner up finished earn him a spot in next week's Open Championship.
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Steve Stricker (ProDry Lisle Stripe Golf Shirt, PureTouch Limited, DryJoys Tour) finished off a brilliant week of golf with a final round 68 to claim the Memorial Tournament held at Muirfield Village.
He began his final round with a three shot lead thanks to three rounds in the 60's on the previous days. Stricker's torrid pace continued Sunday, shooting an outward nine, 6-under par 30. A weather delay would force Stricker to cease play after the 12th. Upon resuming play, Stricker would make a clutch sand saves on 16 and 17 to take a two shot lead into the 72nd hole. All he would need is a bogey 5 on the last to win the tournament and Stricker did just that by tapping in his bogey putt for the victory. This is Stricker's tenth win on the PGA Tour and the win makes Stricker the highest ranked American golfer on the Official World Golf Rankings.
Here is Stricker's Hole in One on Friday.