It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
Martin Kaymer wins Grand Slam of Golf after sudden death play-off
A tense finish in which Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson exchanged blows in Bermuda was finally killed off by the German after he birdied the first sudden death hole to win the Grand Slam of Golf title.
The US Open champion sank a superb seven-foot putt in the play-off, while PING’s Bubba Watson missed from close range on the 18th, highlighting how thin the margin between success and defeat can be.
Neither man was willing to hand the title to the other in what turned into a great contest as both players finished their rounds on six under; Watson had held a slim two-shot lead standing on the 17th tee.
World No.1 Rory McIlroy was far from his scintillating best, hitting five bogeys and double-bogeying the par-three 13th to end his game on a disappointing two over par. Meanwhile another player who has enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence this season, Jim Furyk, finished on three over in another less than stellar outing for the Callaway golfer.
The annual 36-hole even usually features the winners from that year’s major events, but due to McIlroy earning a double triumph in 2014, Furyk was handed an invite to join the field.
Kaymer held a two-shot lead over Watson following the first round on Tuesday after carding a six-under-par round of 65. The German struck four birdies and four bogeys in a level-par second round before holding his nerve in the nail-biting play-off.
Bubba Watson, this year’s Masters champion, wasn’t going to allow his chance for another victory to evaporate, however, and he hit a run of birdies on the 14th, 15th and 16th holes to force his way into a commanding two-shot lead. But fate would intervene and a wayward tee shot at the next hole scuppered his hopes as he dropped a shot on the par-five 17th.
Looking outwardly confident when inside he must have been quaking a little, Kaymer eased the ball into the same hole for a birdie and both players parred the last to force the play-off.
A pair of wonderful approach shots sliced the air to the 18th green and set up a putting contest on the first play-off hole. Watson, unable to reply to Kaymer’s birdie, missed his attempt from five feet, handing the title to his rival.