(from NGA Tour's website) Curran becomes second Vandy alum to win MOS -
Tallahassee, Fla.– February 16, 2013 – Jon Curran outlasted Chris Ross in a two-hole playoff to claim the NGA TOUR’s Members Only Shootout at Killearn Country Club on Saturday afternoon.
The victory for Curran was his first in 57 starts on the NGA Pro Golf Tour and earned the former Vanderbilt golfer free entry fees into every event on the 2013 NGA TOUR Pro Series schedule.
“It feels really great,” said Curran, a native of Hopkinton, Mass. “The NGA TOUR has done a great job over the years, and I think this year is going to be just as good. You can trust the events out here, and the tour attracts some great players. I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be a great season.”
Curran and Ross got off to great starts in the opening round, posting scores of 63 to separate from themselves from the field by four shots going into the final round.
“I put the ball in play on Friday and the conditions were ideal to put up a good number,” said Curran, who earned $18,500 for the victory. “My wedges were good and I had a lot of chances to make birdies. I think I had 25 putts, so I was putting really well.”
Curran started the day tied for the lead with Ross at 9-under par, but the former Commodore found himself trailing by two shots at the turn after going out in 2 over.
“I’ve been working with a sports psychologist and I basically tried to stay in the moment,” said Curran, who joined Vandy alum Hudson Johnson as a winner of the Members Only Shootout. “I knew I was playing well and trusted it. I knew I could perform throughout the round.”
At the moment, it seems that all of the talking heads are predicting a heavyweight fight at the 2012 Masters, as if it’s inevitable that Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson will be duking it out on Sunday, or at least strongly in the hunt along with other current powerhouses such as Keegan Bradley and Hunter Mahan.
But Augusta National is known for dealing wild cards and crowning underdogs, as was the case five years ago when Zach Johnson played as steady as a rock and ultimately got fitted for a green jacket.
Johnson, however, wasn’t the only underdog to win that year. His putter, a SeeMore FGP blade, forged its own unpredictable path to major success.
The SeeMore FGP first hit the major scene in 1999, when Payne Stewart picked one up and promptly turned his putting game around. Soon thereafter, Stewart staged an epic putting performance to win the U.S. Open, turning the spotlight on the SeeMore Putter Company along the way.
As we’ve written before, “The original SeeMore Putter Company, however, ultimately failed to capitalize on its good fortune and proven alignment technology. By the mid 2000s, the company suffered from mismanagement and flirted with obscurity while producing some lackluster putters. In retrospect, the untimely passing of Payne Stewart in late 1999 added a tragic note to the SeeMore story…The original SeeMore FGP putters, however, remained in play on the PGA Tour—most notably in the hands of Vaughn Taylor and Zach Johnson. In other words, while the company was fizzling, its old putter was enjoying a youth-inspired resurgence.”
Around that time, in late 2006, SeeMore was acquired by putter industry veterans Jim Grundberg and Jason Pouliot, who set out to restore the SeeMore legacy with a new vision and a new line of super-premium putters. They also smartly retained Pat O’Brien as a consultant. O’Brien was a close friend of Payne Stewart and a former SeeMore tour representative who had become the putting instructor to the aforementioned Vaughn Taylor and Zach Johnson (and, later, Stewart Cink and many other professionals).
A great moment in SeeMore's History!!! Can you believe it is the 5 year anniversary of this great MASTERS win. Below is a great look back from The Gazette's Sports Editor, Mike Hlas, who was there. Read his daily tournament report below. Where were you on this day?? WHAT A GREAT ARTICLE!!
It was cold. It was windy. And for Johnson, it was great.
I had the distinct pleasure of covering the Masters win of Zach Johnson’s in 2007. I’ve witnessed a lot of unforgettable sporting events in my time at The Gazette. This, I believe, was the topper.
Since this marks the 5-year anniversary of the Cedar Rapids native’s triumph, I’m offering a look back. I’ll be back at Augusta this week, with columns and more from the 2012 Masters. Maybe the lone Iowan in the field will contend again.
Johnson missed tying Mark O’Meara for the Masters’ Par 3 Contest low-score by one stroke. No one has ever won the Par 3 event and gone on to win that year’s Masters.
Superstition didn’t seem to be part of his pre-tourney mindset. Confidence did.
“Everything feels pretty good,” Johnson said. “My putting’s really good, I feel. My iron game’s feeling darn good. The driver’s coming along.
“I broke my driver about a month ago. I’m trying to find the right one. It’s getting there.”
An Associated Press writer called the Thursday conditions at Augusta National “breezy and brittle” in 2007.
Johnson after a birdie on No. 15 on Thursday of his 2007 Masters round (AP photo)
Firm and fast, to be sure.
Johnson didn’t get on the green of the par-4 first hole in two shots, and missed a 12-foot par putt. Yet, he had a little smile after starting the tournament with a bogey. Did he know something?
“My outlook this week is all about perspective,” Johnson said after the round. “In other words, you’ve got to be patient and wait for the good things to happen. If the ball lands in a divot, hits a spike mark – that’s why I was laughing. It was one thing my coaches and I talked about. You’ve just got to remain patient and trust in what you’re doing.”
Johnson’s name went up on the massive, hand-operated leader boards across the course before his round was over. It would stay there the rest of the tournament.
Johnson finished his second round with three straight bogeys. Ordinarily, that might be the way a Masters ended for a player as he missed the 36-hole cut.
But it left Johnson with a 1-over-par 73 for a 36-hole score of even-par 144. He again was two strokes off the lead at the end of the round. The co-leaders were Wetterich and Tim Clark.
“I’m fine,” said Johnson. “I have a lot more positives than negatives, I think.
“I executed well. I had some good saves, made some good putts, made some more good putts, and made some really, really good putts.”
Johnson’s tee shot at No. 16 was a few inches from rolling in the cup. But he missed two short putts after the near-ace, and took a bogey.
“The first one, I honestly think I had a gust of wind, because we read it to go straight in one way and it went the other way. It went downwind. And then my next putt hit a spike mark. I know I hit that one pretty well.
“Usually, you chalk something like that up to nerves. Honestly, I felt good over both putts; good reads and I hit them straight. It’s just Augusta. I guess I got Augusta-cized or something, I don’t know.”
Damon Green, Johnson’s caddy, said this after the tournament: “Most people, that three-putt (on 16) would’ve killed.”
His putting overall, however, was as good as anyone else. His 53 putts through two rounds tied him for the fewest in the field.
“I’m very content with where I’m at. It’s only Friday. I’ll play tomorrow for Saturday.”
Michele Redman (si1) ISPS Legends Tour Open Championship
PALM HARBOR, Fla., Nov. 13, 2011 - Michele Redman answers to the title of "Coach" these days, but today, she added the title of "champion" to her 2011 list of accolades.
The LPGA Tour veteran, who became the new head women's golf coach at the University of Minnesota in August, emerged as the winner of the ISPS Legends Tour Open Championship presented by Publix and Kraft Foods.
Redman posted rounds of 72-70 to win the Legends Tour's season-ending tournament at 2-under 142 on the Island Course at Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort.
She edged out last year's champion Rosie Jones, who finished second at even-par 144 with a final-round score of 3-under 69. Redman was runner-up to Jones at the 2010 tournament.
"I really didn't expect much," said Redman, 46, a second-year member of the Legends Tour and a two-time LPGA Tour winner. "I just came down to Florida to have some fun and to go on vacation next week."
But Redman had a few extra cheerleaders heading into today's final round. After Saturday's opening round, she received text messages and emails from her Minnesota Golden Gopher players, telling the coach to go low.
And today, Coach Redman played like the LPGA Tour veteran who won the 1997 JAL Big Apple Classic, the 2000 First Union Betsy King Classic and who was a scrappy former U.S. Solheim Cup team member who used to drive her opponents crazy because she's the classic "Steady Betty" under fire.