Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, Grand Blanc, MI — August 2, 2020
The leaders after round 2 of the Ally Challenge at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club finally made it to the tee at 4 pm Sunday. Brett Quigley, Carlos Franco, and Jim Furyk were supposed to tee-off an hour and a half earlier, but mother nature had a different agenda. Heavy showers earlier above Grand Blanc, MI held up the start of today’s final round.
No one from the groups out before them was making a sprint up the leaderboard. However, it did not take long for the fireworks to start in earnest. Franco laced his 2nd shot on the Par 5 into the greenside bunker, walked up, and sank the sand shot for an eagle on the 1st hole. Quigley promptly followed with a birdie putting both players at 12 under, two shots ahead of Furyk, and the championship battle was on.
Retief Goosen went eagle, par, birdie, bogey, and birdie on his first five holes to move to -9. He will have to avoid the bogies and string together more red scores to become a serious contender.
It took Furyk till the 4th hole to get his first birdie of the day and move back to within a stroke of the lead. Bernhard Langer birdied three of his first six holes to move into a tie for 4th at 10 under.
Goosen poured in two more birdies on the front nine to shoot 31, his 5 under par round moved him into a tie for 3rd with Furyk at -11. Chris DiMarco started the day at 4 under, tied for 32nd place. He birdied holes 1 & 2, then went wild on the back nine with birdies at 12 & 13 and an eagle on the par 4 14th hole to get to 10 under par.
After the first hole flurry, the leaders went quiet for a while. Quigley birdied the par 3 8th hole to push the lead to -13. Franco carded a double bogey on the 7th and another bogey on eight to drop back to 10 under. Furyk birdied the 7th to stay one stroke back of Quigley. DiMarco added a birdie on 16 to get to -11. Defending champion Jerry Kelly shot 33 on the front nine to close within three strokes at 10 under.
Low Round of the Day
DiMarco, with the low round of the day so far, shoots 65 and becomes the leader in the clubhouse at 11 under. Quigley got to 14 under with birdies on 8 & 9, then a bogey on 10 dropped him to -13. Furyk birdied 10 to tie for the lead. Carlos continued his fade with a bogey on 9 and fell five strokes off the pace.
As the players headed in towards the clubhouse the pressure built. Quigley bogeyed 12 and dropped to -12. Goosen recovered from his bogey on 10 with birdies on 14, 16, and 17 to tie Furyk at the top of the leaderboard at 13 under.
The par 4 14th hole is playing at 322 yards today, Quigley’s drive leaves him an easy chip and putt for birdie, which he converts. Furyk drives into the right rough and can only card a par. Now three leaders sit atop the scoreboard.
Goosen missed the 18th green to the left and his chip has no green to work with. He hits his 3rd shot approximately 20 feet past the hole and two puts to finish at -12. The new leader in the clubhouse is left to bemoan what might have been. Had the grandstands been standing on 18 his 2nd shot would have likely hit them, giving him a free drop and likely an easier approach to the pin. The coronavirus costs Goosen a good shot at the win.
Wes Short Jr. was even par on the day through 12 holes. Four consecutive birdies on 13-16 shot him into contention at 12 under with two to play. Unfortunately, his streak ran out with pars on 17 and 18 he joined Goosen at 12 under.
Then There Were Two
Furyk birdies 15 and his debut is looking more like an inauguration to the PGA Tour Champions hierarchy. On 16 Quigley lands short of the hole, while Furyk is 20 feet past. Furyk misses the long birdie putt, but Quigley rolls his in the right side of the hole and we are tied going to 17.
Both golfers hit it below the hole on 17. Quigley just into the left fringe, Furyk in the middle of the green. And both came up short, Quigley missed his short par putt and Furyk sunk his. It is now Furyk’s tournament to win, 1 up teeing off on 18.
Fuyrk and Quigley both drive in the fairway. With the 18th pin tucked behind a bunker, Furyk will be happy to hit the green. Quigley must fire at the hole. Furyk is the first to play and sticks it 10 feet right of the hole. Quigley can’t respond to the pressure and hits his ball in the right greenside bunker. Checkmate, for Furyk.
Quigley left his bunker shot short and two-putted for a bogey, dropping him into a tie with Goosen and costing him a lot of money for his listless finish. Furyk could not sink the birdie but no need two putts for par give him a two-stroke win in the 2020 Ally Challenge.
Final Standings, The Ally Challenge from Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club
|Position||Player||ToPar||Today||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Total|
|T4||Wes Short Jr.||-11||-3||67||69||69||205|
|T19||Tommy Armour III||-7||3||66||68||75||209|
|T66||Tom Pernice Jr||3||-1||72||76||71||219|
|T70||David Morland IV||5||3||73||73||75||221|
|T70||Gibby Gilbert III||5||2||73||74||74||221|