FJ player Lee Westwood has been named European Tour Golfer of the Year following a momentous season which culminated in him winning the inaugural Race to Dubai and being crowned Europe’s Number One golfer for the second time in his career.Westwood, who relied on the new FJ ICON golf shoes and new PureTouch Limited glove since both were introduced earlier this year, won twice on the European Tour, at the Portugal Masters and the Dubai World Championship and climbed to a career-best number four in the Official World Golf Ranking. His final round 8-under 64 in Dubai is considered by some to be one of the greatest final rounds in European Tour history. Westwood's level of consistency, particularly over the second half of the season, was also something to behold as he recorded 11 top ten finishes from his 13 events after the US Open. His victory in the Portugal Masters was his 30th title worldwide.The 36 year old Englishman has been named The European Tour Golfer of the Year on two previous occasions, in 1998 and 2000, and becomes only the fourth three-time winner. Westwood said: “It is a fantastic honour to win The European Tour Golfer of the Year and cap a wonderful season for me and all those who have helped me get to this position.“I have won this award twice before but this probably means more to me in recognising how I have fought my way back to the top. When I last finished Number One in 2000 it was special as I won six events and the World Match Play that year. But to then drop completely into obscurity and come back from that, get back into the World’s top five and crown it all by winning the Dubai World Championship and the first Race to Dubai means a lot."
Lee Westwood ended more than two years without a title by capturing the Portugal Masters by two shots. Wearing the new FJ ICON golf shoe and PureTouch Limited glove from FootJoy, Westwood closed with a 6-under 66 on Sunday and finished with a 23-under 265 total for his 30th career win. Westwood came out hot, converting birdies on his first four holes but it was his final birdie at the 17th hole that sealed the victory. Westwood went long and left at the 589 yard 17th and although he was able to take a free drop he still faced a tricky shot."All I could see was trees (right in front of him) and water (over the green) - and I had a really tight lie," he added.However, from around 30 yards he almost holed it, tapped in for birdie and had his two shot lead that he would take the clubhouse. In addition to getting back to his winning ways, Westwood also takes over the lead in the European Tour's Race to Dubai, passing fellow FJ ICON fan Rory McIlroy, and climbs back into the top five of the world golf rankings, a goal of his since 2007.
Conditions at East Lake kept scores low once again during round two. More than half the field will begin the weekend within five shots of the lead and, with Saturday's third round pushed up due to inclement weather forecasted for the afternoon, you can be sure there's plenty of drama to come. Click on the image below to hear from Padraig Harrington (SYNR-G style #53918) who compared the atmosphere and course conditions to a major championship and sits just one shot off the lead following a second round 1-under 69.
Following a disappointing finish at The Barclays where he missed a putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff, Steve Stricker (SYNR-G, PureTouch Limited) rebounded in a huge way Monday at the Deutsche Bank Championship. With fellow FootJoy players Jason Dufner (FJ ICON) and Scott Verplank (ReelFit) waiting on the tee for a possible playoff, Stricker drained a 15-footer for birdie on the 17th hole then slammed the door with a clutch up-and-down for birdie from just off the 18th green to win by one. The victory was Stricker's third of the season, moved him up to a career-high No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking and gave him sole possession of the lead in the FedExCup standings heading to Chicago for the third of four playoff events.
One week after Heath Slocum (SYNR-G style #53925, StaSof glove) wondered if he would even make it to the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, he finished off a compelling afternoon at Liberty National by making a 20-foot par putt on the 18th hole to win The Barclays by one shot. "That putt was magical," Slocum said. "I'll remember that the rest of my life."Slocum was tied for the lead with fellow SYNR-G loyalist Steve Stricker (SYNR-G style #53883, PureTouch Limited glove) going to the final hole. Both hit into fairway bunkers off the tee and neither could reach the green. With several of the world's top players waiting in the wings for a playoff should neither make par, Slocum raised both arms in the air when his par putt broke gently back to the left and disappeared into the cup.Stricker had a 10-foot par putt to force a playoff with Slocum but cringed when it caught the left lip. He closed with a 69 and finished in a four-way tie for second.Slocum qualified for these Playoffs with two points to spare -- he was No. 124 out of 125 players who advanced to this postseason bonanza. His victory assures him a spot in THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola and a shot at the $10 million prize."That's what it's all about," Slocum said. "I was sweating it out last week. I didn't even know if I'd be here. I came in here with the attitude that I had nothing to lose."He turned into a huge winner.Slocum, who came into The Barclays at No. 197 in the Official World Golf Ranking, finished at 9-under 275 and earned $1.35 million for his third career PGA TOUR victory, and first in four years. He vaults from 124th in the FedEx Cup rankings to number three.
Padraig Harrington (SYNR-G style #53918, PureTouch Limited glove) opened with a bogey-free 6-under 64 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to lead by one after the first round. Click on the video below to hear about some of the key shots of the round as well as some insight into how a major champion approaches the final few holes when he knows he's working on a solid round.
Steve Stricker followed a sizzling 61 on Saturday with 36 solid holes on Sunday to win the John Deere Classic by three strokes. As he's done most of the season, Stricker relied on the comfort and stability of SYNR-G golf shoes to carry him through a long day. He also trusted the FootJoy Pure Touch Limited glove.
Stricker completed his third round in the morning with a 3-under 68, then fired a 7-under 64 in the fourth round to finish at 264 for the tournament. That earned him his second PGA Tour win this year and sixth in all.
His approach to the 13th green in the fourth round stopped 3 feet from the cup, setting up a birdie that put him at 19 under, but he just missed two birdie putts on the 15th and 16th holes. His 11-footer on No. 15 rolled around the rim, and his 12-footer on the par-3 16th stopped a few inches from the cup. Stricker finally went to 20 under on the par-5 17th, tapping in for birdie after his 50-footer hit the rim.
His best shot was when he holed out from the fairway for an eagle on the par-4 No. 6 in the fourth round, his 98-yard shot clearing a bunker and landing in the cup to put him at 17 under. That tied him for the lead with fellow FootJoy player Zach Johnson, who was off the course long before Stricker. Johnson tied for second with Brett Quigley who also qualified for this week's British Open with his top five finish.
Each week on Capital Golf Weekly, host Dave Lucas brings you the ins and outs of Virginia, Maryland and D.C. area golf courses, as well as reviews of the latest products and news and notes from the professional tours. He recently reviewed the new FootJoy PureTouch glove. Click on the image below to watch the segment.