Mahan Captures the WGC Accenture Match Play

2012-02-27

In this week's WGC Accenture Match Play, 64 of the world's best players competed at the rugged Dove Mountain Course in Marana, Arizona.  After four days of competition only four players remained.  All four players choose FJ shoes and gloves to help them compete week in and week out on the worldwide stage. 

With the all FJ final four set, Hunter Mahan (FJ ICON and StaSof) took on Mark Wilson (FJ ICON and SciFlex) in the first match this Sunday.  Hunter Mahan, playing some tremendous golf, took down Wilson 2 & 1 to to be the first competitor in the Championship match.

Rory McIlroy (FJ SPORT and Pure Touch Limited) would take on Lee Westwood (FJ SPORT and Sciflex) in the other semifinal match.  Falling three down through the first four holes, McIlroy responded brilliantly winning four of the next five holes taking a one up lead into the back nine.  Rory did not look back, eventually defeating Westwood 3 & 1.  

In the Championship match and potential Ryder Cup preview, the red hot Hunter Mahan; who led the field in birdies, took on the world number two golfer in Rory McIlroy. Both players showed nerves on the opening hole exchanging bogies.  On the next three holes both players went birdie, birdie, bogey to remain all square.

Mahan then beat McIlroy on the sixth, seventh, and eighth holes to open a three up lead.  He would add the tenth hole to go four up.  Fighting back, McIlroy won the eleventh with a chip in for eagle.  Keeping the pressure on Mahan, Rory birdied the fourteenth to further wear away the Mahan lead. It would not be enough, as the players would halve the next three holes to give Mahan a 2 & 1 victory over McIlroy.

Mahan, showing some humility, "I got hot there in the middle of the week and was able to ride it out," adding, "He’s (McIlroy) the best player in the world right now, I knew he’d made a charge, and he did.” 

McIlroy also spoke highly of Mahan, " He was solid as ever. He’s a deserving champion.”

This is Hunter's second World Golf Championship win and the victory moves Hunter into the top ten on the official world golf rankings. 

In the consolation match, Wilson defeated Westwood one up to finish third and fourth respectively for the Championship.

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Delhi Delight for Kruger

2012-02-20

Jbe Kruger shot a final round 70 claim his first European Tour victory at the Avantha Masters in New Delhi.

Overnight leader Kruger wearing FJ ICON #52005 and SciFlex Glove started with a birdie at the fourth from 12 feet. Kruger then holed a birdie putt from 20 feet at the eighth to enter the back nine with a one shot lead, and the decisive fourth birdie of the day followed at the par three 11th

A wayward drive at the last then struck a camera, and his second went left in to trees, but faced with a daunting third over the water Kruger displayed nerves of steel to stick his approach to ten feet.

“I’m very relieved to win for the first time,” said Kruger, who putted beautifully all week. “If you want to win you need to make putts on the final day and I did that today.

The 25 year old South African’s final score of -14 insured him of taking home a prize total of € 300,000. This takes him up to 110th in the world and propels him up the Race to Dubai standings to 4th place.

 

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Haas Wins in Dramatic Fashion at Riviera CC

2012-02-20

Haas, two strokes down at the beginning of the final round, shot a two under par 69 to claim the clubhouse lead.  Haas would then wait for the players chasing him to finish up their final rounds, eventually leading to a three way tie at the top. 

With a three man playoff set, Haas wearing FJ ICON would hit the fairway and narrowly miss the green on his approach.  Haas, no stranger to pressure, calmly chipped his ball to within five feet of the hole and brushed in the par saving putt to extend the playoff. 

Moving onto the short and treacherous driveable par 4 10th, Haas pulled a driver and went for the green only to end up long and left of the 312-yard heavily guarded hole.  Instead of playing his upcoming pitch directly at the tricky pin, Haas played the percentage shot to the middle of the green where he could easily make a par.  Haas then sized up the 43-footer with several feet of break and poured it straight into the center of the cup for birdie.  Both of his playing competitors would fail to convert their birdies making Bill Haas the 2012 Northern Trust Open Champion. 

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Rafael Cabrera-Bello Shines In Dubai

2012-02-13

Today Rafael Cabrera-Bello shot a bogey-free, four under par 68 at the windswept Emirates Golf Club to claim the Omega Dubai Desert Classic by one stroke over fellow FJ Ambassador Lee Westwood (FJ Sport).  Rafa captured the first round lead courtesy of a flawless nine under par 63, that included birdies on nine of the first eleven holes.  Over the next two days, he stayed one stroke off Westwood's 54-hole lead by adding rounds of 69 and 70.
 
Cabrera-Bello strode to victory in the style and comfort of FJ ICON #52005 and FJ RainGrip.  During the final round Rafa's style on the course translated to his golf game, making 3 birdies over the final nine holes, including a crucial birdie on the 17th to win by one stroke. 
 
Rafa was elated after the win, "With so many big, big names I felt really proud of myself. I wanted to fight, I stayed calm, I did everything that I’ve read we should do in these type of situations," continuing, "Just the fact that I was able today to be successful just proves to me that I'm working on the right line...It's just a huge, huge confidence and huge morale boost.”
 
This is Cabera-Bello's second European Tour title.  It, also, gains him an exemption through the 2014 season on the European Tour and secures him a place in the 2012 Bridgestone Invitational and 2012 WGC - HSBC Champions.

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Paul Lawrie Wins In Qatar

2012-02-06

Paul Lawrie won the Qatar Masters shooting a seven under par 65 in the final round.  Lawrie, in FJ ICON and StaSof, began the day with a one stroke lead and only made one birdie on the first eight holes.  Then, on the par five ninth hole Lawrie chipped in for eagle to increase his lead.  On the back nine, Lawrie added four more birdies including another holed chip from just off the 17th green to take a four stroke lead heading into the last hole.  Finishing up with a routine par, Lawrie wrapped up the victory. 

Lawrie later commented on his play this week, "I played lovely all week. But today I think tee to green, apart from my tee shot on 10th, I can't play much better than that." 

This is his seventh European Tour victory and second win at the Qatar Masters.  The win catapults Lawrie into the top 50 on the official world golf rankings and earns him a spot in the WGC Accenture Match Play in two weeks.

 

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Kyle Stanley bounces back in Scottsdale

2012-02-06

Last Sunday, Kyle Stanley lost a heartbreaking playoff at Torrey Pines, and some wondered if and when he would recover.  As a former Clemson University standout and Hogan award winner, Stanley knew he had all the tools to become a PGA Tour winner. 

This Sunday, he proved his metal coming back from eight shots down at the beginning of the day to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open by one shot over fellow FJ Ambassador Ben Crane.  Stanley, playing in FJ ICON and StaSof, made six birdies and no bogeys on his way to a 65 and the victory.

Playing partner Ben Crane tweeted this post-round about Stanley's win, "As a fan of sports you have to love what @kylestanleygolf did this week. CONGRATS, Kyle you earned this. The whole golf world is proud"

The win moves Stanley to the number one spot on the FedEx Cup leaderboard and earns him exempt status on the PGA Tour through 2014.

 

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