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Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014
Golf

Valspar notes: Garrigus lets opportunity slip away


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PALM HARBOR — Robert Garrigus still caught a lot of fish.

He didn’t, however, catch his first PGA Tour win since 2010. That’s because after heading into the final round of the Valspar Championship with a one-shot lead, Garrigus shot a 4-over 75 to finish 4 under and out of contention.

Garrigus, who last won in Florida at the now-defunct Disney Children’s Miracle Network Classic, shot a front-nine 41 that included double bogeys on Nos. 3 and 6. Garrigus shot a 1-under 34 on the back nine thanks to a birdie on the par-5 14th.

Garrigus had owned the Copperhead Course’s par 5s through three rounds and ended up birdieing 11 of the 16 par-5 holes during his four rounds.

Garrigus had mentioned getting in a lot of fishing instead of practice rounds leading up to this event, but he left Copperhead with nothing but fishing trophies.

“You know what I’m not going to be doing next year is fishing,” Garrigus said. “I’m going to bring a chain saw out to the place and cut a few trees down. I kept hitting behind them all day. But, this is my first top-five (finish of this year), so all good things coming out of this.”

Sunday’s best: Sang-Moon Bae, the 2012 runner-up, turned in the best final-round score, carding a six-birdie, two-bogey 67 to finish 1 under for the tourney. Three 68s were turned in — by Graham DeLaet, Charles Howell III and Ryo Ishikawa.

Donald, Furyk cash in: Luke Donald, the 2012 winner, made late moves Saturday and Sunday in an attempt to become the third two-time winner on the Copperhead course, but he faltered with bogeys on Nos. 11 and 13 to shoot 70 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, 2010 champ Jim Furyk finished even after a 2-over 73 on Sunday.

With their finishes and their past success at Innisbrook, Furyk moved to fourth on the all-time money list at Copperhead ($1,718,093), while Donald is fifth ($1,676,151).

“This is a grind, this course,” Donald said. “This is a tournament I always play well at, and I feel comfortable here. I’m just going home a bit short.”

Two-time winner K.J Choi (2002, 2006) has won the most money at Copperhead: $2,294,712.

Rose pricked: Justin Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champ, entered Sunday’s final round confident he could quell any lingering shoulder injury questions and secure a top-10 finish, if not be in contention for the tournament title.

However, despite a birdie on the first hole thanks to a spectacular bunker shot for a 1-foot tap-in birdie, Rose posted five bogeys from Nos. 7-13 en route to a 3-over 74.

Shot of the day: Will MacKenzie was in contention thanks to a final-round 69 to finish tied for fourth with Donald and 54-hole leader Garrigus.

MacKenzie got as low as 5 under, but he bogeyed No. 15 to drop to 4 under before playing The Snake Pit at even par.

However, one of Mackenzie’s six birdies was absolutely stellar, and it came on the par-3 fourth when he knocked his tee shot to 4 feet for an easy birdie. MacKenzie also had three straight birdies from Nos. 11-13.

“I just wanted to hang in there, and when I got three in a row I thought, ‘Man, I could still win this golf tournament,’ ” MacKenzie said. “That’s awesome, but even though my ball striking wasn’t as good as it could be, it doesn’t mean I have to throw in the towel.”

Notable: Defending champ Kevin Streelman finished 3 over after shooting a 3-over 74 during the final round. Streelman drained a 41-foot birdie putt on the 17th for his third birdie Sunday. … Mark Calcavecchia, the 2007 champ, withdrew because of an illness. After three rounds, he was at 4 over. … Retief Goosen, the 2003 and 2009 champ who played in the third-to-last pairing after a 64 on Saturday, finished at 4 over after shooting 8-over 79 on Sunday. … Choi finished 4 over after a 4-over 75. … Jason Dufner, the 2013 PGA Championship winner, finished at 1 under after a 70. … Jordan Spieth, 20, finished even after a 1-over 72.

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