Ben Crane won the inaugural Asia Pacific Classic on Sunday, eagling the par-4 15th and making an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win by a stroke. The win is the second consecutive for players wearing the new DryJoys Tour, following Jonathan Byrd's dramatic victory in Las Vegas. Crane, who wore DryJoys Tour style #53635 and Pure Touch Limited, closed with a 2-under 69 at The Mines Resort to finish at 18 under and earned $1 million in the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event in Southeast Asia.After making three straight bogeys to fall a stroke behind, Crane drove the green on the 15th and holed his 8-foot eagle putt to regain the lead. After falling into a tie heading to 18, Crane avoided a playoff with his winning birdie.Crane won the Farmers Insurance Open in January at Torrey Pines for his third career PGA TOUR victory. The win Sunday in the 40-player event -- also sanctioned by the Asian Tour -- doesn't count as an official PGA TOUR victory."I had a great opportunity with that putt (on 18) which I'll always remember. I was so nervous and I was just praying. I just wanted to hit a good putt and to see it go into the hole. It felt so good," said Crane."I just regrouped (after 14) and didn't get ahead of myself. I knew I was still in the tournament. I hit an unbelievable shot on 15 with my driver and that kind of turned things around. It was an exciting turnaround. That was an unbelievable finish," he said.
Padraig Harrington closed with a 3-under 69 to win the Iskandar Johor Open on Sunday, securing his first victory in two years. The three-time major champion, who trusted SYNR-G #53918 and Pure Touch Limited, finished the week with a 20-under 268 total for a three shot win at the Asia Tour event."There's no doubt that it was my week to win," the Irishman said. "If you had followed me for the four days, I don't think anyone would have questioned that my name was written on the trophy before the tournament started ... I hit some good shots and had a few breaks."
Harrington last won in 2008 at the PGA Championship. The 39-year-old was making his debut in the event.It was Harrington's third Asian Tour title after previous wins in Taipei and Hong Kong."Two years is a long time, especially when you're reminded every week you play," Harrington said. "It's nice and very important for me to win. It's somewhat a monkey off your back."* Excerpts taken from an Associated Press story
Hunter Mahan won for the second time this year, coming from four shots back to start the day to win the World Golf Championship - Bridgestone Invitational. Mahan ran off five birdies on the front nine to take the lead, then had three clutch par saves down the stretch to finish off a 6-under 64 and a two-shot victory over fellow FJ player, Ryan Palmer (FJ ICON style #52005). While both players wore FJ ICON golf shoes, Hunter went with a custom design through the MyJoys program. Hunter also wore a StaSof glove while Palmer opted for SciFlex. Mahan's victory locked up a spot on the United States Ryder Cup team as he is now No. 2 in points with only this week's PGA Championship remaining before the top eight Americans qualify. Hunter has played on the last three U.S. teams as a Captains Pick."That was my goal at the beginning of the year, to make the team on my own," Mahan said.Hunter shot a final round 6-under 64 to finish with a 12-under 268 total. He became the third American with multiple victories on the PGA TOUR this year, and likely will move to a career-best No. 12 in the world.Turning Stone Resort ChampionshipMeanwhile at the Turning Stone Resort Championship, it was a major accomplishment of a different sort for FJ player Bill Lunde (FJ ICON). Less than five years after he quit competitive golf, he earned a spot in next week's PGA Championship by winning the Turning Stone Resort Championship. Lunde shot a final round 6-under 66 to rally for a come-from-behind victory with a 17-under 271 total. "All these guys out here, you're never far from playing good. You can sit here and say, 'I'm playing awful, I don't know how I'm going to break 80 today,' but you're never that far off."Lunde made the weekend cut by one stroke and but trailed by only four heading into the final round following a 64 on Saturday. Lunde climbed to the top of Sunday's leaderboard with six birdies and a 30 on the front side. None of the success seemed possible to Lunde in 2005 when he stopped playing after a tough year on the Nationwide Tour. He went to the PGA TOUR's Q-School in November and didn't qualify for the second stage so found a job in real estate in Las Vegas. He returned to the Nationwide Tour in 2008 and took advantage of his second chance. He won the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational that year and finished fifth on the money list, which earned him a spot on the PGA TOUR in 2009."I tried to make an agreement with myself when I started playing again to ... if I could just have a better attitude right off the bat, I'd become a better player than I ever was before," he said. "And that was kind of my goal. Obviously it doesn't happen every day, but it's definitely better than it was and something I'll probably battle for the rest of my life. I'm just so competitive. I can't handle not playing well or bad breaks. It gets me down."
There were two compelling duels over the weekend that featured top international FJ players battling down the stretch to secure tournament victories. Further proof that FJ is the #1 shoe and glove wherever the best players in the world compete. At the Ricoh Women's British Open, Yani Tseng (Women's DryJoys, Women's StaSof) of Taiwan made a 6-foot putt on the 18th hole Sunday to win by one stroke over Katherine Hull (Contour Series style #54158) of Australia.It was the 21-year-old Tseng's third major title and second of the year to go along with the Kraft Nabisco. She has four LPGA victories overall, having won 2008 LPGA Championship and 2009 Corning Classic.Hull came into the round trailing by four strokes but trailed by just one heading into the 18th. But she missed a 20-foot birdie attempt and had to settle for a 70, and Tseng made her par putt to shoot 73 and total 11-under 277 at Royal Birkdale."I was nervous and tired with all the pressure and attention out there today," Tseng said. "Katherine played really well and put me under a lot of pressure. It was the toughest win I've had to date. I usually come from behind to win. I've never won from the front before."------------------------Meanwhile, two FJ ambassadors battled it out in Ireland where Ross Fisher (FJ ICON style #52005, Pure Touch Limited glove) defeated local favorite Padraig Harrington (SYNR-G style #53918, Pure Touch Limited) to win the Irish Open by two strokes. Fisher led by one to start the day and fired a final round 6-under 65 for an 18-under 266 total and his fourth career victory. Harrington was persistent throughout the day and tied Fisher for the lead on three occasions en route to a 7-under 64. One of those ties occurred on the par-5 15th hole where Harrington knocked in a 10-footer for eagle only to see Fisher respond with back-to-back birdies on the 15th and 16th to take the lead for the final time. "I have come close to winning in Ireland a couple of times in the past," Fisher said. "And to get the victory done in front of record crowds and to beat Paddy, who was obviously fighting all the way, is something I will definitely treasure for a long time."
FootJoy ambassador Steve Stricker closed with a final round 1-under 70 to narrowly defend his title at the John Deere Classic. Stricker, who wore custom DryJoys through the MyJoys program and a Pure Touch Limited glove, saw his six shot overnight lead wilt to just two but was able to hold on and defeat fellow FJ player Paul Goydos (FJ ICON style #52062, SciFlex). Inclusive of Stricker and Goydos, 13 of the top 14 players on the leaderboard trusted FJ. Playing without the same razor sharp precision that had allowed him to record the lowest 54--hole total in PGA Tour history, Stricker played safe most of the day. However, he came through with a clutch birdie after driving into the trees on No. 17 and finished with a 26-under 258 total - a new record for the tournament.“You don’t want to give shots away and then you end up playing a little safer than you normally do and it leads to tougher birdie putts,” Stricker said. “Then they creep in closer because they were playing some good golf.”Goydos, who dazzled the golf world with his 59 in the opening round, shot a solid 66 but still fell short of dethroning Stricker, who won for the ninth time in his career. Both players boarded a plane Sunday night for Scotland and will compete in the Open Championship at St. Andrews this week. “Strick was hard to catch,” Goydos said. “I tried and kept pushing and chipping and grinding and biting at him and doing what I could. But in the end, the putt he made on 17 was a world-class putt. That’s what top five players do, that’s what Ryder Cup players do.”
Paul Goydos (FJ ICON black smooth calfskin bicycle toe, SciFlex glove) became just the fourth person to fire a 59 on the PGA Tour when he scorched TPC Deere Run yesterday during the first round of the John Deere Classic. Goydos birdied every hole on the back nine except for No. 15, where he holed a six-foot par putt to keep a sub-60 in sight. He finished off with three birdies, the last one from seven feet to join the most exclusive club in golf. You can read all about the round on pgatour.com or hear about it from Goydos himself in the video below (click here if video does not appear). One of the most amazing aspects of the day yesterday, in addition to Goydos' feat, is that it was nearly matched by the man who previously help the course record, Steve Stricker (Custom all-white DryJoys MyJoys, Pure Touch Limited glove). Needing an eagle at the last to reach 59, Stricker's approach appeared headed for the cup but curled around at the last second, leaving him a 2-footer for birdie and a first round 11-under 60. With a morning tee time on Friday, Stricker will have first crack at a repeat performance and also the opportunity to set the tone heading into the weekend. Stay tuned, this could get pretty wild!
For the fifth consecutive week, a FootJoy player claimed victory on the PGA TOUR as Steve Stricker (SYNR-G style #53883, PureTouch Limited glove) closed with a 1-under 70 Sunday for a two-shot victory over fellow FJ player Luke Donald (FJ ICON MyJoys) at the Northern Trust Open.Stricker finished with a 16-under 268 total and won for the eighth time in his career and the fourth time in his last 15 starts. He also moved up to No. 2 in the world golf rankings for the second time in his career. Stricker didn’t make it easy on himself, having to grind for pars as Donald kept pouring in birdies. But after Donald missed two short birdie attempts, Stricker fired off two straight birdies to restore a comfortable margin. “It was hard today,” Stricker said. “I aged a lot out there. It was a grind from the get-go.”Stricker seemed to struggle all day, missing several greens to the left but he had five consecutive one-putt greens and continued to get himself out of minor jams.Half of Stricker’s eight career victories have come in the last eight months dating to his playoff win at Colonial. He turns 43 later this month, and shows no sign of letting up.
FootJoy ended 2009 just how it began...as the #1 Shoe and Glove at retail and on professional Tours around the world. Our Tour success featured memorable performances from some of the Tour's biggest stars. We recently caught up with a few FJ players to talk about the year that was and look ahead to 2010.
What was your favorite golf memory this year, either from the professional Tours or in your own game? Click on COMMENTS to share your thoughts.
Steve Stricker (SYNR-G, PureTouch Limited) made a run at Player of the Year honors on the heels of three strong wins throughout the year. After beginning the year with five top 10 finishes, Stricker captured his first win of the year in a playoff at Colonial when he stuck his approach to 3 feet on the second hole of sudden death. He was back for more at the John Deere Classic and set the course record with a 61 in round two before closing with a final round 64 to notch his second win in four starts. Strick then notched arguably the biggest victory of his career when he birdied the final two holes to win the Deutsche Bank Championship during the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Lee Westwood (FJ ICON, PureTouch Limited) finishes the year as the highest placed European in the Official World Golf Rankings having won the inaugural Race to Dubai on the European Tour. He last won the Harry Vardon trophy in 2000, reaching Number Four in the World in the process, and equaled that feat in a momentous 2009 campaign. His superb season, capped by victories in the Portugal Masters and the Dubai World Championship, was one of the many highlights of an outstanding year.
Padraig Harrington (SYNR-G, PureTouch Limited) continued to work on some major swing changes and saw the fruits of his labor towards the end of the season. Beginning with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitaitonal, Harrington reeled off an incredible string of six consecutive top ten finishes, including all four FedEx Cup Playoff events which feature some of the strongest fields of the year.
Zach Johnson (SYNR-G, StaSof) got the year started off right by defeating fellow FJ
players Adam Scott and David Toms in the first full field event of the
year at the Sony Open in Hawaii then successfully defended his title at
the Valero Texas Open.