Back-to-back US Open Championships for Brooks

Brooks Koepka became the first U.S. Open champion in 29 years to successfully defend his title, when he clinched a one-stroke victory on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills.

Shooting a Sunday 68, to finish on one over-par and become the first player to win back-to-back US Opens since Curtis Stange in 1988 and 1989, it was a special day for Brooks.

Paired with his great friend and fellow Hambric Sports player, Dustin Johnson, it was always going to be an enjoyable and competitive final round for both.

Heading into the final round, both Koepka and Johnson shared the lead on three over-par, along with Daniel Berger and Tony Finau.

None of the above were able to put pressure on Brooks throughout his final round though, that pressure came from Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who shot a closing round 63 to sit in the clubhouse on two over-par.

When Fleetwood finished, Koepka was on his eighth hole and just one shot ahead. He played his final ten holes in level par and had some fantastic par saves throughout.

On the par 3 eleventh, Brooks pulled it to the left into the thick grass. He hit his second which raced over the back of the green and into the bunker. Blasting this out to eight feet, he calmly made the putt for bogey and minimised the damage.

“I think that was like making a birdie, maybe even making an eagle,” Koepka said. “Because it could have been a big momentum shift. To make bogey there was pretty incredible and I think kind of the reason why we won.”

On the following hole, the par 4 twelfth, having gone over the back of the green and into the hay, Brooks hit a superb pitch shot to seven feet and made the par putt.

A birdie on the par 5 sixteenth came from a beautiful wedge shot to 3 feet, which gave him a two-shot lead with two holes to play and a little bit of breathing room.

On his final hole, Brooks tugged his approach shot slightly left and hit a fantastic pitch shot to twelve feet, allowing him to two-putt for bogey and claim his second major championship.

“I probably couldn’t have dreamed of it in my wildest dreams,” he said. “It’s really incredible, I couldn’t be happier.”

Missing the first three months of the 2018 season due to a partially-torn tendon in his left wrist, Brooks made up for lost time, making four cuts in five starts, including a runner-up finish at the Fort Worth Invitational.

With this win, Brooks will jump up to fourth in the World Rankings and thirteenth in the FedEx Cup Standings.

Well done Brooks on a tremendous display of golf and resilience, in what was a tough start to your 2018 season. You are a true champion and we couldn’t be happier that you are now a two-time major winner!

Photo credit: Golffile – single use only

_____________________________________________

Dustin Johnson finished his week at Shinnecock Hills in solo third position on three over-par, after shooting rounds of 69, 67, 77 and 70. Well done on another fantastic week Dustin and no doubt another major victory is just around the corner for you.

 

 

18th career victory for Johnson at the FedEx St. Jude Classic

Dustin Johnson’s victory at the FedEx St. Jude Classic on Sunday not only gave him his eighteenth career victory, it also lifted him back up to the World Number one spot.

Holing out for an eagle from 170 yards on his final hole, Johnson went on to finish with a six-shot lead.

“What a cool way to end the day,” Johnson said.

A final round 66 (-4), including an eagle, three birdies and a bogey, granted Johnson his second PGA Tour victory this season, and the eighteenth of his career. He finished on a total of 19 under par (261) and it was also the second time that Dustin has won the FedEx St. Jude Classic

Starting his round tied for the lead with Andrew Putnam, Dustin parred the first hole, while Putnam double bogeyed, meaning a two-shot swing, and suddenly DJ was leading by two.

After hitting an iron off the tee at the twelve and going left of the cart path, Johnson saved par with a 16-foot putt to protect his two-shot lead. 

“That was a big putt,” Johnson said. “That kind of gave me the boost I needed to finish out the round. Sometimes those par putts are just as big if not bigger than the birdie putts. Kind of gave me the extra boost I needed to finish the round.”

He then hit a 359-yard drive on the par 4 thirteenth, leaving him just a mere 95 yards to the pin. An approach shot to three feet gave him his second birdie and got him 16 under par.

On the par 5 16th, Dustin’s tee shot found the trees on the right-hand side of the fairway, and he threaded a shot up to the green. A chip to 5 feet and a simple birdie putt gave him a four-shot lead. 

Johnson’s final hole is one that he will never forget. His drive found the semi-rough to the right-hand side of the fairway and left him with 170 yards to the pin. Hitting his second shot with a 9-iron, it bounced twice and found the bottom of the cup, much to the excitement of Johnson and fans. 

Dustin shot four straight rounds in the sixties at TPC Southwind –  67, 63 and 65, before his final round 66.

In winning the FedEx St. Jude Classic, Dustin reclaimed the World Number 1 spot, which he held for 15 months, before Justin Thomas over took him on May 13th. 

Well done DJ on your win at TPC Southwind and best of luck this week at the US Open Championship. We are all incredibly proud of you!

(Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

Paul McBride signs with Hambric Sports

Hambric Sports are proud to announce the signing of Irish golfer, Paul McBride, who was ranked 41st in the World Amateur Golf rankings before joining the professional ranks.

Paul was selected to represent Great Britain and Ireland at the 2017 Walker Cup, following on from finishing runner-up in the individual standings at the 2017 European Team Championship, reaching the quarter finals of The Amateur Championship in 2017 and also finishing 3rdat the 2017 General Hackler Championship.

McBride played collegiate golf with Wake Forest University, with his best finishes in 2018 coming at the ACC Men’s Golf Championship, where he finished 4thindividually and 3rdin the team standings. He also had a successful 2017 season, which saw him finish solo 2ndat the Shoal Creek Intercollegiate, T2 at the ACC Men’s Golf Championship (beaten in a play-off), solo 3rdat the General Hackler Championship and T4 at the Irish Creek Collegiate.

Individual accolades for Paul in 2017 included earning Division 1 PING All-Region honours and being selected as the ACC Player of the Month in April. He was also the IGWA’s 2017 Men’s Amateur of the Year.

Paul has enjoyed many team successes throughout his amateur career also, including representing Great Britain & Ireland at the 2017 Walker Cup, being a member of the winning 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Irish Home Internationals Team and finishing third at the 2016 Eisenhower Trophy with Ireland.

“I’m delighted to be joining such a successful and caring team. I look forward to the next step in my golfing career with Hambric Sports”, said McBride.

Paul will make his professional debut on the Challenge Tour this week at the Hauts de France Open, followed by his European Tour debut at the BMW International Open next week.

“We are delighted to welcome Paul to the Hambric Sports family and look forward to guiding him through his progression into the professional ranks. Having followed Paul’s progress for quite some time now, on both sides of the Atlantic, we are all very excited for the future”, said CEO of Hambric Sports, Rocky Hambric.

With offices in Dallas, Los Angeles & Dublin, Hambric Sports specializes in the management of professional golfers, and markets its clients on a global basis. This includes seeking and negotiating income-producing opportunities within the golf industry and corporate world. In addition to McBride, the list of clients includes Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Thorbjørn Olesen, Martin Laird, Oscar Lengdén, Beau Hossler and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño.

Image: Copyright of Golffile – single use only with associated press release.

Figueiredo triumphs in Belgium

A 25-foot putt in a three-way play-off, was enough to grant Pedro Figueiredo his maiden Challenge Tour victory at the KPMG Trophy.

Shooting a final round 64 (-7), saw him enter into a play-off with Sweden’s, Anton Karlsson and Welshman, Stuart Manley. A birdie putt on the first extra play-off hole could not be matched by either, and Figueiredo took the title. 

Beginning the day four shots behind the leader, Pedro shot a bogey-free 64, including 5 birdies and an eagle, to lift him to 22 under par. He also had a birdie putt on his final hole to win, which he unfortunately could not convert, but made amends in the play-off.

“It feels really good to win,” said Pedro. “It’s my first victory on the Challenge Tour. I’m beyond words, it feels really good.”

“I’ve had a few tough years starting as a pro and now to come back strong and be able to win on the Challenge Tour means a lot to me. I’m very thankful for it and it feels really good.

Pedro shot rounds of 63, 68, 67 and 64 throughout the week at L’Empereur G&CC, which included 24 birdies and 2 eagles. 

“It means a lot for my confidence. Knowing that I’m able to win here on the Challenge Tour because the level is great out here, it means a lot. I hope to build on that confidence and get a few more victories in the future.”

This win lifts Figueiredo into tenth position on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah rankings, on a total of 39,532 points. He will go on to tee it up at the Hauts de France Open this week at Saint-Omer. 

Well done Pedro – we are all so thrilled that you have captured your first Challenge Tour victory, and know that it is just the beginning! 

Photo credits: golfsupport.nl

Olesen wins the Italian Open after thrilling final round

It was a Sunday to remember for Thorbjørn Olesen, as he held off stiff competition from home favourite Francesco Molinari and England’s Lee Slattery, to claim the Italian Open.

Needing a par at his final hole to seal victory, he looked in trouble off the tee, when he pulled his drive left. But a fantastic up and down save from the green side bunker completed his final round, with a bogey-free 64 and a 22 under par total. 

Entering the final day, Olesen was one behind playing partner Lee Slattery, but a birdie on his first hole from twelve feet, set the tone for the Dane’s day. 

Birdies followed for Thorbjørn on the fifth and seventh, and he then went on to make back to back birdies on the twelve and the thirteenth, with a simple tap-in putt. 

Molinari and Olesen had been tied for the lead with two holes remaining, but Molinari followed four straight birdies by dropping just his second shot of the week on the 17th and Thorbjørn birdied the same hole in the group behind, to take a two-shot lead.

The Italian refused to throw in the towel and holed a curling birdie putt on the last from forty feet, to complete a 65 and pile the pressure on Thorbjørn. Olesen’s nerveless 10-foot putt on the last, secured him his first Rolex Series event victory, and his fifth European Tour title.

“This is my first time coming from behind to win, so that’s very special to me,” Olesen said after a victory which takes him just outside the automatic qualifying places for September’s Ryder Cup, when fellow Dane Thomas Bjorn will captain the European side.

“I was standing on the eighteenth tee and heard I was two in the lead, that’s why I picked the 5-wood from the tee. I thought that would give me a good chance to make four and worse case I would make five, but I was standing there and saw that great putt Molinari holed and that definitely put some pressure on me.”

“I always wanted to come up the leaderboard and take the trophy. I’ve never had that putt on the last to win a tournament so that’s why this one feels so amazing.”

Thorbjørn shot rounds of 65, 68, 65 and a final round 64, to finish on a 22 under total for his week. Four rounds of golf with just four bogeys on his cards for the week, showed just how flawless he was playing. This win catapults him up the Race to Dubai rankings to 6th position. 

“This is exactly what I needed. Well, it’s always what we need but right now for me it’s great.”

Congratulations on your amazing win Thorbjørn, we are all so proud of you at Hambric Sports! 

Findagolfbreak.com announce partnership with Laurie Canter, and renew with Hurley & Meronk

Findagolfbreak.com, the ultimate one stop shop for golf holidays in Ireland, the UK and Europe, have today announced their renewal of sponsorship with Adrian Meronk and Gary Hurley, as well as now supporting European Tour professional, Laurie Canter.

Whilst playing golf around the world this season, Adrian will continue to sport the Findagolfbreak.com logo on his right sleeve and Gary will continue with the logo on his chest. Laurie will display the logo on the collar of all of his clothing.

Findagolfbreak.com remove the hassle from your next golf break and utilise their exclusive range of contacts in order to make your trip a truly memorable occasion. With a wide range of over 250 golf break venues all over Ireland, the UK and Europe, they can tailor a package to suit every golfers needs and wants.

European Tour professional, Laurie Canter, is currently 141ston the Race to Dubai rankings and will play a full European Tour schedule. Laurie had a solid 2017 season, with his best results being T14 at the BMW SA Open and T16 at the Joburg Open. He then went on to qualify for The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, where he made the cut and finished in a very respectable T37.

“I am delighted to be associated with Findagolfbreak.com, who are known as one of the best in the business for organising golf holidays. I’m looking forward to representing them on and off the golf course this year on the European Tour.”, said Canter.

Poland’s Adrian Meronk, secured his European and Challenge Tour card for the 2018 season, by finishing 30th on the 2017 Road to Oman rankings. His best finish of the season came at the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge, where he was beaten in a play-off. His other best results were T5 at the Barclays Kenya Open and T11 at the NBO Classic Grand Final.

Adrian said, “I am delighted to have the support of Findagolfbreak.com behind me again this year. They have been great to me and I hope that I can continue to do them proud.”

Gary Hurley is looking to build on a T4 finish at the Open de Portugal on the Challenge Tour last week, which lifted him up the Road to Ras Al Khaimah rankings to 37th place. Gary competed on both the European and Challenge Tour last year and his best finish came at the Rocco Forte Open on the European Tour, where he came T23.

“The support that everyone at Fingagolfbreak.com has given me over the last year has been unwavering, and it is something that I am really grateful for. I’m looking forward to another year on the course, wearing the Findagolfbreak.com logo.”, said Hurley.

“Findagolfbreak.com are delighted to have the opportunity to support three young professionals in Adrian, Gary and Laurie, as they strive for their ambitions of being at the very top of the golfing ladder”, said Simon Jackson, partner of Findagolfbreak.com.

“We are continuing to grow as a company and are very proud to be associated with these guys and Hambric Sports, in giving young professional golfers every chance to be the best golfers that they can be. We wish Adrian, Gary and Laurie the very best of luck for their season ahead”.

Lengdén secures Challenge de España title

A second Challenge Tour title came for Oscar Lengdén, when he claimed victory at the Challenge de España, by a convincing 4 shots. 

Shooting 69, 69 and 68 for his opening three rounds at Izki Golf Club, Oscar was tied for the lead entering the final day.

A birdie on the opening hole of his final round settled Lengdén’s nerves and he followed it up with three successive pars. 

Birdies on the 12th, 13th and 15th, gave Lengdén the outright lead with just three holes to play. Another birdie for the talented Swede came at his penultimate hole, which gave him a three-shot lead heading up the 18th. 

A birdie putt from just off the green for Oscar on his final hole, found the bottom of the cup and he closed out his second Challenge Tour victory on a total of -15.

“I’m overwhelmed. It was a great back nine, I couldn’t have asked for more. I’m very pleased right now and I’ll probably be even happier later tonight.”, said Lengdén.

“The final hole was a really nice feeling. I was trying to enjoy the moment, even though I couldn’t really relax because I’ve obviously seen people choke. It felt great to close out with a birdie and it means a lot.”

Oscar’s victory at the Challenge de España moves him up the Road to Ras Al Khaimah rankings to fifth place with 43,310 points, and up in the Official World Golf Rankings to 208, a jump of 86 places. 

“It was a really steady week. This is the first time that I’ve felt like I’ve been in control over my swing. It was a great week and I hope this is the start of something really stable.”

Congratulations on your victory Oscar, we are all so proud of you! 

Flesch wins Mitsubishi Electric Classic in playoff

It took 38 holes on Saturday for Steve Flesch to capture his maiden PGA Tour Champions victory at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic, in just his 22nd start. 

A birdie on the second playoff hole was needed for Flesch to win at TPC Sugarloaf. The event was completed a day early because of Sunday’s weather forecast, which was for heavy rain and lightning. 

Steve opened with a 66 and shot 71 on Saturday morning to enter the final round a stroke behind Langer, Jay Haas and Jerry Kelly.  

A final round 68 (-4) was enough to get Steve into a playoff with Scott Parel and Bernhard Langer, all on -11.

Flesh and Parel birdied the first playoff hole, and when Langer failed to do so, he was eliminated. 

On the second playoff hole, Steve hit long and right into the back bunker, and hit a superb bunker shot out to 3 feet. Holing this short putt was enough to seal victory.

“You never know if you’re ever going to win again,” Flesch said. “Honestly, it’s been harder than I anticipated winning on this tour. The guys are so good. That Langer guy is hard to beat.”

With this victory, Steve moves up to 8th on the Charles Schwab Cup Money List. 

Congratulations to Steve on his first win on the PGA Tour Champions. This is no doubt going to be the first victory of many on this Tour.

Hossler defeated in Houston Open playoff

At the Houston Open, a final round of 67 from Beau Hossler, was enough to secure a playoff for the title with Ian Poulter, but unfortunately lost out to a par on the first extra hole.

Hossler overcame a three-shot deficit with four straight birdies on the back nine. He had a chance to win on the 18th in regulation with a 30-foot birdie putt, which trickled over the right edge of the cup.

A 20-foot birdie putt made by Poulter on his 72nd hole, forced a play-off with Hossler, and he went on to claim the title.

Finishing the week off on 19 under par (269), Beau will have to wait a little longer to secure his first tour victory. It is clear that the breakthrough is not far away for him though, having finished inside the top 25 five times this season on the PGA Tour, including three top-10’s.

Well done on another great week on the PGA Tour Beau! 

Johnson surges to Sentry Tournament of Champions victory

Dustin Johnson cemented his status as the best player in the world, as he surged to a dominant eight-shot victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, at Kapalua, Hawaii.

Johnson began his final round with only a two-shot advantage over Brian Harman and three-shots over World #4 Jon Rahm, but matching the low round of the week, a superb seven-under 65, Johnson quickly separated himself from the pack en route to a winning score of 24 under par.

Following up his rounds of 69, 68 and 66, Johnson’s phenomenal final round included four birdies on the front nine, and an eagle on the par-four 12th.

His dominance off the tee at Kapalua was highlighted by a 430-yard tee shot on the 12th, which finished within six inches of the pin, and left him with a tap-in eagle. Johnson also eagled the par-4 12th on Saturday with a hole out from 70 yards.

“I started hitting it real straight and controlled it,” Johnson said. “The driver is what won me the golf tournament this week. I don’t think I hit a bad drive all week.”

Three straight birdies on the 14th, 15th and 16th holes on the Plantation Course, extended Johnson’s lead and made the walk up the penultimate and final holes even more enjoyable.

Johnson has now won at least once in each of his 11 seasons out on the PGA Tour.

“Obviously winning every year out here on Tour so far is big for me. I’m very proud of being able to do that. It’s not easy to win out here. A lot of seasons I’ve only had one win, but last year was my most and hopefully I can do even better than that this year,” Johnson said of winning every season that he has been out on the PGA Tour.

Congratulations on your 17th PGA Tour win Dustin, and here’s to a fantastic 2018 season!

(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)