Golf Writer, Keith Cook, provides the Weekend’s Wrap-up of the Winners, Losers, and Other News from the LPGA, PGA, Champions, and European Tours!
The European Tour’s calendar was busy over the weekend with two headline events, the VOLVO WORLD MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP from Kent, England and the HONG KONG OPEN from Hong Kong, China.
VOLVO WORLD MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP
Mikko Ilonen, 2014 Volvo World Match Play Champion
Photo: Associated Press
KENT, England /// This year’s 16-man Volvo field was international in flavor and included players from as high as number 5 in the Official World Golf Rankings, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, to the 16th seed and number 89 in the World Rankings, South African George Coetzee.
After a strong three days of round-robin match play, the field was whittled down to eight players from four groups moving to the semi-finals. In the end, the championship match came down to the #1 seed, Henrik Stenson v/s the #10 seed, Finland’s own Mikko Ilonen.
Ilonen played strong throughout the week and it was no different on Sunday, eclipsing Stenson 3 & 1 for the victory. Win the win, Mikko Ilonen wins €650,000 (~$830,000) and places his name on the trophy along side legendary winners; Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, and Nick Faldo.
HONG KONG OPEN
Scott Hend, 2014 Hong Kong Open Champion
Photo: Associated Press
HONG KONG, China /// Australian Scott Hend beat Angelo Que of the Philippines on the first hole of a playoff to win the 2014 Hong Kong Open. Hend’s victory, in the co-sanctioned Asian/European Tour event, should provide the 41-year old the career boost he was looking for, but more importantly, allow him to play in more events in 2015 on the more lucrative European Tour.
With the win, Scott Hend joins Greg Norman as the only Australians to win the Hong Kong Open and pockets a nice first place prize of €171,000 (~$218,000).
LPGA KEB-HANABANK CHAMPIONSHIP
INCHEON, South Korea /// South Korean Kyu Jung Baek wins the LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship in a three-hole playoff in dramatic fashion on Sunday draining her birdie putt from just inside four-feet, to defeat American Brittany Lincicome and fellow South Korean, In Gee Chun.
Kyu Jung Baek, 2014 KEB-HanaBank Champion
This is the first victory for Kyu Jung Baek on the LPGA Tour and comes in just her first career-start on Tour. However, don’t think the 19-year phenom is overwhelmed. Her three victories on the Korean LGPA Tour this season have prepared her for the pressure. ”Even before the playoff, I was in a similar situation . . . when I played the KLPGA Championship,” Baek said. ”I focused and was aggressive.”
With the victory, Kyu Jung Baek wins $300,000 and becomes the fourth teenager to win on the LPGA Tour this season, along with Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko, and Hyo Joo Kim.
The Race to the CME Globe is a season-long points competition in which LPGA Members accumulate points in every Official LPGA Tournament. At the end of the season, the winning player will be named the “Race to the CME Globe Champion” and takes home $1 Million Dollars – the largest payout in the history of Women’s golf.
SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN OPEN
Ben Martin, 2014-15 Shriners Open Champion
Photo: Associated Press
LAS VEGAS, Nevada /// In a birdie and eagle fest, PGA Tour players lit up TPC Summerlin with exciting play and an up-and-down leaderboard all weekend.
In the end, it was 27-year old, American Ben Martin who won the day, making eagle on 16 and a closing birdie on 18, to capture his first title on Tour. Martin’s four-day total of -20 under par/264 was two better than Kevin Streelman, who finished at -18 under.
With the victory, Ben Martin earns 500 FedExCup Points and the winning share of the purse, $1,080,000 million dollars.
GREATER HICKORY KIA CLASSIC AT ROCK BARN
Jay Haas, 2014 Greater Hickory Champion
CONOVER, North Carolina /// An OLD guy won on the Champions Tour! Not exactly breaking headlines, but it’s true. 60-year old Jay Haas became the 18th player on the Champions Tour to win at the age of 60 or older. Haas closed with an impressive -5 under/66 to clinch a two-stroke victory in the Greater Hickory Kia Classic.
“Sixty is some sort of benchmark, not that many guys have done that,” Haas said, after the victory. The win is Haas’ 17th victory on the Champions Tour to go along with his nine wins on the PGA Tour and comes with a first place check of $240,000.
BIO: Keith Cook is a Writer and Contributing Editor for localgolfer.com. He is a retired 29-year US Military Veteran and Ashford University Graduate living in Michigan. Follow Keith and Local Golfer on Twitter @_KeithCook and @LocalGolfer
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