Sunday, 22 February 2009

2009 - Week 12 Winners

At the Johnnie Walker Classic in Australia, US Amateur champion Danny Lee (ranked 111th by Golf Predictor) became the youngest ever winner on the European PGA Tour. The 18 year old sealed his historic win with an impressive birdie at the last for a closing 67 and a one shot victory. The South Korean born New Zealander is only the second amateur winner on the European Tour, joining Pablo Martin who won the 2007 Estoril Open de Portugal. Unfortunately, Lee couldn't claim any of the €235,892 prize money for first place, but I'm sure he's happy with just the prestige of winning! There's no need to feel sorry for him, however. He's bound to win loads of cash when he turns pro after the Masters (especially if he lives up to his own high expectations!). Our top pick, Camilo Villegas, tanked and missed the cut but we had Lee Westwood and Paul Casey in the top ten.

On the US Tour, Phil Mickleson (ranked 2nd by Golf Predictor) put his terrible start to the season behind him to retain his Northern Trust Open title. He can thank the first hole at the Riviera Country Club for his roller coaster victory (63, 72, 62, 72), as he played it in seven under par over the week. Despite his third straight opening eagle, Mickleson threw away his then five shot lead and needed 2 birdies and a great up and down in the last 3 holes to leapfrog Steve Stricker (ranked 31st). Young Japanese sensation Ishikawa-san unfortunately missed the cut, but no doubt the experience will stand to him. Two veteran former champions, Fred Couples and Mark Calcavecchia, had great weeks, both finishing in the top ten. Our top pick, Kenny Perry, finished tied 17th and we also had Luke Donald and K.J. Choi in the top eleven.

Now that Mickleson has turned his season around, will other big guns Harrington, Els or Singh be able to do likewise? In fairness, Vijay was injured, but all three won't find it any easier with a certain Tiger Woods back on the prowl!

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