WEEK 50 Phil Mickelson 25 consecutive years inside the World Top 50

Week 7

SCHWARTZEL STROLLS TO TSHWANE VICTORY

Sunshine / European Tour - Tshwane Open

Charl Schwartzel strolled to a sensational eight shot victory in the Tshwane Open to claim his second title of the European Tour season moving to World No. 31.

Schwartzel shot a seven-under-par 63 on Sunday to finish on 16 under and clinch his eighth European Tour win on South African soil.

Denmark's Jeff Winther finished second on eight under, with Anthony Michael another two shots further back in third.

Schwartzel, who began the day with a slender one-shot advantage, moved to ten under par when he rolled in his birdie putt from 15 feet at the second.

Despite dropping a shot at the third, the 2011 Masters Champion was four strokes ahead of nearest challenger Zander Lombard at the turn after following up consecutive birdies at the sixth and seventh with an eagle at the ninth to reach the turn in 31.

The 31 year old briefly held a five-shot advantage when Lombard dropped a shot at the tenth, but a second bogey of the day at the 11th saw Schwartzel fall back to 12 under.

But he bounced back in style, picking up a shot at the 12th before holing his 40 foot birdie putt from the back of the 14th green to move to 14 under.

Schwartzel rolled in a tricky putt to save par at the 15th before carding another brilliant birdie at the 16th to reach 15 under.

The South African safely parred the 17th before sinking his birdie putt from five feet at the 18th to win by eight shots.

 

PGA Tour - AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Eleven years ago, Vaughn Taylor won his second PGA TOUR event. Like the first one, it came opposite a World Golf Championships, so he knew he hadn’t exactly beaten the biggest names in the game.

In the ensuing years, he experienced both the highs -- a Ryder Cup spot -- and the lows -- losing his TOUR card -- of being a golf pro. But then his confidence deserted him. So did his game. Off the course, he narrowly avoided a tragic accident. Still, the positives outweighed the negatives – he met his wife Leot and they had a son Locklyn.

A week ago, playing in his second straight Web.com Tour event in Bogota, Colombia, Taylor was stricken by a stomach virus so severe he needed nourishment from an IV and ended up withdrawing after just a handful of holes.

Last weekend, he flew to California on Saturday rather than return home to Georgia because the flight was cheaper. He had taken his small golf bag with him to avoid those pesky baggage fees that kick in after you exceed the 50-pound limit, too. As first alternate for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, his spot was not even guaranteed until Carl Pettersson withdrew.

So naturally, by the end of the weekend, there was Vaughn Taylor rallying from a six-stroke deficit to defeat Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson on one of golf’s most iconic courses.

Eleven years after that last victory, Taylor has job security again, fully exempt through the 2017-18 season and ranked 15th on the FedExCup. He’s now headed for Los Angeles and this week's Northern Trust Open -- a tournament for which he had originally planned to Monday qualify.

And come April, the man who grew up and still lives in the Augusta, Ga., area will be playing in his Super Bowl the rest of us called the Masters for the first time since 2008.

"I just kept working, kept grinding." Taylor said almost shyly. "And I can't believe it actually happened today."

Asian Tour – Bashundhara Bangladesh Open

Thitiphun Chuayprakhong, 23, won the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open over the weekend to make it three golfers from Thailand over the past four months to join the champions club on the Asian Tour, following in the footsteps of fellow youngsters Danthai Boonma and Natipong Srithong who were victorious in Singapore and the Philippines respectively in November. Chuayprakhong earns 14 World Ranking points moving to World No. 383.

The continuous flow of Thai winners emerging on the region’s premier Tour is least surprising as the likes of Thongchai Jaidee, Boonchu Ruangkit, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Prayad Marksaeng and Thaworn Wiratchant have all blazed the trail on the international front over the past decade and more.

“This is a very important win for me. I have been waiting for a long time. I worked really hard for this. My parents and family were very supportive and without them, I wouldn’t have achieve this,” said Thitiphun, who moved up to fifth place on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit with US$54,000.

With his win, Thitiphun will now tee up in this week’s inaugural US$3 million Maybank Championship Malaysia, which is co-sanctioned with the European Tour, at the Royal Selangor Golf Club.

 

Pro Golf Tour - Open Ocean 2016

A perfect season-debut for Moritz Lampert with a total 16 under par and an amazing 7 stroke advantage the PGA Golfprofessional from Sandhausen/Germany secured himself the trophy of the Open Ocean 2016 moving to World No. 475.

On the par-71-course of the Golf de l’Ocean the 23-year-old scored rounds of 64, 68 and 65 strokes.

Moritz Lampert uses the springtime tournaments of the Pro Golf Tour as preparation of his Challenge Tour-season, proved that he’s already in good shape.

On the first day of the event Lampert scored a round of 64 with only a single bogey. “I’m surprised that it is going that well”, the 23-year-old says. “During the winter-break I worked very hard on my drives, with the wedges and on the putting. And everything works pretty solid.”

Pro Golf Tour - Open Tazegzout 2016

 

Martin Keskari has done it again: Another victory for the 23-year-old in Morocco after he had already won the Open Samanah 2015. In Taghazout Keskari played rounds of 69, 70 and 68 and secured himself the victory two strokes ahead of his fellow countryman Patrick Kopp moving to World No. 629.

“This is definitely one of the most beautiful courses we’ve ever played on in Morocco!”

 Martin Keskari was impressed by the amazing scenery that surrounded him on a fantastic par-72-course of Tazegzout Golf, which is located 20 km north of Agadir in Morocco.

 

PGA Tour of Australasia – Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus Victorian PGA Championship

Ashley Hall claimed victory at the Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus Victorian PGA Championship with a chip-in birdie on the first playoff hole.

Ash Hall and caddyStarting the day six shots off the lead, Hall posted 2-under 70 to be in the clubhouse at 11-under the card for the tournament.

Watching on as David McKenzie had a horror finish, a double bogey on the 17th and bogey on the 18th, Hall found himself tied for the lead at the end of regulation play.

Playing the 18th at Huntingdale in a sudden death playoff it took just one trip down the par-4 to declare Hall the champion.

With the honour, McKenzie was safely down the middle of the fairway with his first, while Hall found the first cut of rough but with a good lie and line into the green.

McKenzie was safely on the green for two and about 25 feet from the pin. While Hall was surprised that his second flew the 18th leaving him five metres off the back of the green.

Taking his 56 degree wedge, Hall played the best shot we have seen since Michael Long last week in the Oates Vic Open playoff.

Landing his ball two feet onto the green, it bounced once and spun. It hit the flag stick with pace and dropped into the hole.

The pressure was then on McKenzie to make his 25 feet birdie putt, looking on line the whole way it shaved the right edge of the hole handing the victory to Hall.

It was an emotional win for Hall who had to come back to PGA Tour of Australasia Qualifying School to earn status at home after he also lost his card on the Web.com Tour at the end of last year.

 

Alps Tour Golf – Ein Bay Open

France’s Franck Daux sealed a maiden win in Ein Bay Open. He signed for impressive 65, -7 to win with a 3 shot advantage over overnight leader, Julien Forêt. A group of 3 players tied for third place: England’s Matt Wallace, Spain’s Daniel Osorio and Enrico Di Nitto of Italy.

Daux earned an invitation to play the Challenge Tours -  Egyptian Challenge Tour next April.