International Golf News January 2011

Sat, 1st Jan 2011
Graeme McDowell capped his wonderful 2010 season beating Tiger Woods in a play-off to win the Chevron World Challenge. Tiger Woods, who had been on top in Thousand Oaks all weekend began the day with a four shot lead, but suffered his first bad round of the tournament signing for a 73. That gave McDowell his chance as he overcame two bogeys with five birdies, the last on the 18th, to force a playoff. McDowell holed a 20 foot putt for birdie at the first extra hole, very similar to the one he holed on the 72nd hole to match Wood's birdie. The win took McDowell to World Nº 7, his career high and a improvement of 4 places. World Number One, Lee Westwood, produced another fine round to ease his way to a first Nedbank Golf Challenge victory at Sun City. The Englishman carded a four under par 68 at the Gary Player Country Club to end with a tournament total of 271 and a winning margin of eight strokes over his closest challenger Tim Clark - the South African finishing with a 71. Lee Westwood closed his 2010 season with a chip-in for birdie on the final hole and ensured that he finished 2010 at the top of the World Golf Ranking. Geoff Ogilvy won the Australian Open after a final round of 69 saw him triumph by four shots in Sydney. Starting with a five-shot cushion, as the overnight leader he took no chances and compiled a steady last 18 holes at The Lakes that featured four birdies and a bogey to finish on 19 under par. Alister Presnell and Matt Jones shared second on 15 under with 21-year-old Jordan Sheratt, who fired a 67, and John Senden tied for fourth on 12 under par. This win took Ogilvy to Nº 31, an improvement of 12 positions. Rikard Karlberg birdied the final two holes as a final-round 70 proved enough to win the Hero Honda Indian Open by two strokes at Delhi Golf Club. The Swede drained a 20-foot putt on the 17th to move two clear of overnight leader Baek Seuk-hyun but threatened to give it all away on the last when he hit his third shot into a sponsor's tent. However, Rikard Karlberg holed his fourth shot for a birdie to finish 11 under par and dash Baek's hopes of a last-gasp victory. The Korean also birdied the 18th to finish second on nine under. Karlberg, already a winner on the Asian Tour this year, moved up 96 places to Nº 174. The Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola saw Peter Senior triumph in a Monday play-off with Geoff Ogilvy after severe weather conditions mounting to flooded fairways and greens saw play abandoned on Sunday afternoon. The morning's play saw Geoff Ogilvy put on a great performance, picking up two shots over the last five holes and finishing on 12 under. An outright winning looked certain until Peter Senior birdied the final hole enforcing a play-off. Both Senior and Ogilvy missed crucial puts during the first play-off hole but Senior's superior putting skills saw him win on the second play off hole making him the oldest ever winner of the Australian PGA Championship and move to Nº 256.

Golfers in the News January 2011

Sat, 1st Jan 2011
Pablo Martin Benavides - (Spain) Alfred Dunhill Championship Leopard Creek - Malelane - South Africa - 9th to 12th December, 2010 Pablo Martin Benavides overcame a back-nine blip to successfully defend his Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club. Having gone five shots clear at the start of the back nine, the Spaniard saw his lead reduced to one after a triple bogey at the 17th. But he held his nerve for a birdie at the last for his third European Tour title. Martin's closing two under par 70 gave him an 11 under total and two shot victory over South Africans, Charl Schwartzel and Anthony Michael, and Danish Challenge Tour graduate Thorbjorn Olesen. Pablo Martin Benavides climbed 104 places to Nº 182.
Sat, 1st Jan 2011
Ernie Els - (South Africa) South African Open Championship Durban - South Africa - 16th to 19th December, 2010 As the South African Open celebrated its 100th anniversary, one of the country's greatest exports, Ernie Els, marked the occasion with a sentimental victory. Ernie Els won the title back in 1992 and went on to match the feat of the legendary Gary Player by completing a homeland hat-trick by also winning the South African PGA and Masters titles that year to propel him on the road to international stardom. Three Major Championships and 25 European Tour victories followed, the latest of which came at last year's WGC-CA Championship, but arguably it was his victory in the South African Open 18 years ago that set him on his way. In recognition of that, the World Number 12 has cancelled a holiday to play in the landmark tournament as he gets his 2011 Race to Dubai campaign under way, having finished seventh last season. The Big Easy did not have it easy, however, as he took on a field including Retief Goosen, the Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen and two-time winner Tim Clark.

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