T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
2013 Shriners Open and more | Weekend in review
Series: Golf Buzz
Published: Sunday, October 20, 2013 | 8:02 p.m.
Webb Simpson won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday, his first victory on the PGA Tour since the 2012 U.S. Open.
The 28-year-old Simpson was outstanding all week at TPC Summerlin, with a 72-hole total of 24-under-par 260 -- six shots better than runners up Jason Bohn and Ryo Ishikawa -- to tie the tournament scoring record.
Watch Simpson's fantastic final putt to close out the win in Las Vegas:
Simpson began the final round with a four-shot advantage over Chesson Hadley. The closest anyone would get to Simpson was Bohn, who pulled within three shots after birdies on Nos. 11 and 12. With birdies on three of his final six holes, however, Simpson never had much to worry about.
Sunday's victory was the fourth of Simpson's PGA Tour career. His best finish in 2013 was second at the RBC Heritage, where Simpson lost in a playoff to Graeme McDowell.
For Ishikawa, the co-runner up finish in Las Vegas matched the best finish on the PGA Tour for the 22-year-old Japanese sensation.
Ishikawa -- a 10-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour -- has struggled to adjust to life on the PGA Tour. He made the cut just 10 times in 25 starts during the 2013 season with only one top 10 (a tie for 10th at the HP Byron Nelson Championship).
This second-place finish in Vegas, along with last week's tie for 21st at the Frys.com Open, might be a sign that things are looking up for the talented Ishikawa.
This week, the PGA Tour travels to Malaysia for the CIMB Classic.
ASIAN TOUR: Rory McIlroy was the headliner at the Kolon Korea Open, hoping to find some form in what has been -- by all counts -- a frustrating 2013 season.
McIlroy, a two-time major winner, finished among a five-man tie for second, one shot behind winner Sung-hoon Kang.
"A little frustrating, but I'm happy with how I hit it," said McIlroy, who shot a disappointing 75 in the third round before Sunday's 4-under 67. "I hit the ball really well off the tee and my iron play was very solid as well. I feel like my game is in good shape going into the next few weeks, and that's a good thing.
PHOTO GALLERY: Golf around the world October 2013
Back to winner Kang Sung-hoon... afterward he said he felt horrible for Kim Hyung-tae, one of the five players who finished second.
You see Kim stood on the 17th tee with a two-shot lead. Then, he was approached by rules officials who informed the pair that Kim had grounded a club in a hazard on the 13th hole. What Kim believed to be a bogey-4 on the par-3 13th ended up being a triple-bogey 6.
Kim and Kang finished the round, but before signing their cards (Kim bogeyed 17 and parred 18; Kang finished par-birdie), they spent nearly two hours on the 13th hole in discussion with officials.
According to a report, Kim argued he had never grounded his club, but was eventually persuaded to sign for a six by the Korean Golf Association rules committee, who had voted 5-3 against him after repeatedly consulting TV footage of the incident.
After his win, Kang felt badly for his pal Kim, telling reporters, "I'm a really good friend of his, so at the moment it doesn't feel great. Even though I won the tournament, I just feel really sorry for him. I was actually out there to celebrate for him, but... I don’t know... I don't know what to say. It's horrible.”
EUROPEAN TOUR: Sunday was a big day in Australia for South Korea's Jin Jeong.
The 23-year-old Melbourne-based Jeong, formerly the world's top-ranked amateur, made par on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to defeat England's Ross Fisher in the ISPS Handa Perth International.
Prior to Sunday's showing, Jeong's best finish since turning pro in 2011 was a fifth-place showing at the 2012 New Zealand PGA Championship.
The victory was huge for Jeong, who has spent time on the Challenge Tour this season and had recently made it through the first stage of European Tour Qualifying School. With the victory, however, there's no need for second stage of Q-School for Jeong -- he now has a two-year exemption on the European Tour.
The next stop on the European Tour is Shanghai this week for the BMW Masters.
LPGA TOUR: This weekend was a massive success for South Korean golfers. Along with Jeong's win in Australia, fellow South Korean Amy Yang picked up her first win on the LPGA circuit, nailing a 15-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff to defeat countrywoman Hee Kyung Seo in the KEB HanaBank Championship.
"I've been waiting for this championship for a long time, and I'm really happy to get it in my home country," said Yang, who has been a member of the tour since 2009. "I still can't believe it."
The 24-year old Yang began the final round one shot out of the lead.
Michelle Wie finished in a tie for third after firing the low score of the final round, an impressive 6-under 66 to surge 19 spots up the leaderboard. It was Wie's best finish on the LPGA Tour since a tie for second at the CN Canadian Open more than two years ago. She was clearly delighted with the effort:
Had a blast this week at the Hana Bank Championship!!! Came up a shot short in the end but was fun being in contention :)
— Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) October 20, 2013
The LPGA Tour stays in Asia this week for the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: Michael Allen picked up his second win this season and fifth overall on the Champions Tour, defeating Olin Browne with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff in the Greater Hickory Classic on Sunday.
Allen shot an impressive 5-under 65 in the final round to earn his spot in the playoff with Browne, who shot a 64 on Sunday. Allen made his 10-footer for birdie on the first playoff hole after Browne missed his birdie try from 40 feet.
This week, the Champions Tour heads to San Antonio for the AT&T Championship at TPC San Antonio, AT&T Canyons.
TIGER'S AGENT MAY SUE CHAMBLEE: Late last week, we told you about the harsh grade -- a "F" -- that Golf Channel analyst and former PGA Tour player Brandel Chamblee gave to Tiger Woods for the 2013 season in a recent Golf Magazine column.
It was strange considering Woods is the No. 1-ranked player in the world, had five wins (three more than anyone else) and won Player of the Year honors for the 11th time in his illustrious career.
But, that's not why Chamblee gave him a failing mark. Chamblee's last line on Woods in that piece was this:
"I remember when we only talked about Tiger's golf. I miss those days. He won five times and contended in majors and won the Vardon Trophy and ... how shall we say this ... was a little cavalier with the rules."
With that last line, many felt Chamblee was clearly calling Woods a "cheater" -- the worst thing you can call a golfer.
That didn't sit well with Woods' longtime agent Mark Steinberg, who told ESPN.com he might consider legal action against Chamblee.
"Brandel Chamblee's comments are shameful, baseless and completely out of line," Steinberg told ESPN.com. "In his rulings, Tiger voiced his position, accepted his penalty and moved on. There was no intention to deceive anyone. Chamblee's uninformed and malicious opinions, passed on as facts, and his desperate attempt to garner attention is deplorable."
Steinberg went on to say there's nothing worse than calling a golfer a cheater.
"This is the most deplorable thing I have seen. I'm not one for hyperbole, but this is absolutely disgusting," Steinberg said. "Calling him a cheater? I'll be shocked, stunned if something is not done about this. Something has to be done.
"There are certainly things that just don't go without response. It's atrocious. I'm not sure if there isn't legal action to be taken. I have to give some thought to legal action."
Chamblee denied calling Woods a cheater via his Twitter account after being called out by sportwriters Robert Lusetich of Fox Sports and Rick Reilly of ESPN.com:
— brandel chamblee (@chambleebrandel) October 18, 2013
We'll keep an eye on where this all goes, but one thing is certain -- it's already gotten ugly.
ARNOLD PALMER ON A MOTORCYCLE: Has there ever been anyone cooler than Arnold Palmer? We didn't think so.
On Saturday, the 84-year-old golf legend led his alma mater's football team -- Wake Forest -- out onto the field for a game against Maryland riding on the back of a motorcycle driven by the Demon Deacon mascot. Seriously. See:
84-year old golf legend Arnold Palmer road out on motorcycle with Demon Deacon before WFU vs Terps game pic.twitter.com/7ryjfce6MM
— ACC Football News (@accfootballnews) October 20, 2013
On Friday, Palmer was in Winston-Salem, N.C., for the unveiling of his statue at the Arnold Palmer Golf Complex and stuck around for Saturday's football game.
Palmer, a seven-time major champion, won NCAA individual titles for Wake Forest in 1949 and 1950, as well as the first ACC title in 1953.
THE NICKLAUS FAMILY HAD AN EXCITING WEEKEND TOO: Palmer wasn't the only legend enjoying college football on Saturday. Nick O'Leary, grandson to Palmer's good friend and longtime rival Jack Nicklaus, was the leading receiver for Florida State in a big-time 51-14 win over Clemson University.
O'Leary had five receptions for an impressive 161 yards. After one of those catches on a pass from quarterback Jameis Winston, O'Leary absolutely crushed Clemson safety Travis Blanks as you can see in the video below.
With the win, O'Leary's Florida State Seminoles improved to 6-0 and sit at No. 2 in the first BCS standings, two spots ahead of Grandpa Jack's Ohio State Buckeyes.
Before the FSU/Clemson game, ESPN's College GameDay crew was at Clemson, where actor Bill Murray -- star of Caddyshack (the greatest golf movie ever made) -- made a guest appearance.
Murray loosened up for his appearance by hitting a few golf shots (see below), before tackling/body-slamming Lee Corso when the two disagreed on the outcome of the game. Corso picked FSU, while Murray was pulling for Clemson.
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) October 19, 2013
There was no Cinderella story in this one for the Clemson Tigers.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
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