Dustin Johnson, an American in his second PGA season, birdied all five par-five holes for a five-under 67 and a four-stroke lead after 54 holes at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Johnson stood on 15-under 201 after Saturday’s third round by taking full advantage of the offerings at Poppy Hills, one of three courses used in the first three rounds of an event that was to end yesterday at famed Pebble Beach.
Canada’s Mike Weir fired his second consecutive 69 to stand second on 205 with South African Retief Goosen another stroke back after a 74. Mark Calcavecchia and fellow American Bob Estes shared fourth on 207.
Johnson, who shared seventh last year in his Pebble Beach debut, birdied the fourth but gave back the stroke with a bogey at the eighth. He responded by making birdies on the next four holes, a trio of par-fives and the par-three 11th.
Overnight leader Goosen was disappointed with his day at Spyglass Hill. The two-time US Open champion is looking for his first PGA Tour title in more than three years.
Completing his par-five birdie sweep on the last hole, Johnson showed the style that made him a winner last year as a PGA rookie.
Johnson made birdies on the last two holes at last year’s Turning Stone Resort Championship to defeat Australian Robert Allenby by a stroke. He finished 42nd on last year’s US money list.
While he was well-positioned going into the final round, there were fears the weather would play a role yesterday, with the forecast calling for rain all day along with some high winds.
AP, KUALA LUMPUR
American Anthony Kang ended his eight-year title drought by getting a birdie on the final hole to win the Malaysian Open by one stroke yesterday.
Kang’s five-under 67 in the final round gave him a four-round total of 17-under 271, putting him a shot in front of four players: England’s David Horsey (64) and Miles Tunnicliff (68), Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng (68) and India’s Jyoti Randhawa (66) in the jointly sanctioned Asian Tour and European Tour event.
Victory in the US$2 million event ended a long wait for 36-year-old Korean-born Kang, who has lived in the US since age 10. His previous wins were at the 1999 Philippine Open and the 2001 Myanmar Open.
“I actually dreamt last night that I won the tournament, but I have those sort of dreams quite often,” Kang said.
AFP, KAHUKU, HAWAII
Michelle Wie squandered a three-stroke lead with eight holes remaining on Saturday and Angela Stanford rallied to defeat the US prodigy by three strokes at the US$1.2 million SBS Open.
Wie, a Hawaiian of Korean heritage, has not won an event since the 2003 Women’s Amateur Public Links despite being in contention late in a number of LPGA events and several attempts to make the cut against elite men’s fields.
But when the 19-year-old seemed on the verge of a breakthrough in her first event as a member of the LPGA Tour after earning a spot from last year’s qualifying tournament, Wie blundered badly and Stanford seized the opportunity.
“It’s a good start to the year, I guess,” Wie said. “It’s disappointing. It’s not what I wanted. At the same time I had a good week. I had a good run. I take a lot of positive aspects out of the week.”
US veteran Stanford won for the third time in her past seven starts, firing a final-round 70, two-under par, to finish the 54-hole event on 10-under par 206 with Wie settling for second on 209 after a last-day 73.
South Korean Na Yeon Choi and Brazil’s Angela Park shared third on 212, one stroke ahead of Taiwan’s Yani Tseng and Japan’s Ai Miyazato.
Laura Davies of England stormed home with a closing five-under-par 68 for her second Women’s Australian Open at The Metropolitan by one stroke yesterday.
The 45-year-old former world No. 1 finished the tournament on seven-under 285 (74-76-67-68) to capture her second Open.
Spain’s Tania Elosegui was leading Davies by one shot, but double-bogeyed the last hole to finish with a three-under 70 and six-under 286.
England’s Melissa Reid (76-72-70-69) finished in a tie for third at five-under 287 with South Koreans Lee Chang-hee (69-70-75-73) and Choi He-yong (72-73-71-71).
Davies finished the final 36 holes in 11-under par and began her final round charge with a birdie at the day’s first hole.
She kept working her way up the leaderboard, picking up three shots with an eagle at the 14th and a birdie at the next.
But she had a mixed run over the closing four holes, going birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey.
Elosegui, ranked No. 221, birdied the 17th, but collapsed at the last with a double-bogey six to hand over the crown to Davies.