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Highlights of 2nd quarter 2013 PGA Season


RBC Heritage - Graeme McDowell defeated Webb Simpson on the first hole of a playoff to take the title and just over $1 million at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

McDowell shot a 71-67-68-69 -- 275 to finish 9-under, rallying from two strokes down to catch Simpson on the final day. It was a great rebound in the playoff for McDowell, who could have won the tournament outright but bogeyed No. 18.

Simpson had been in command after firing a 6-under 65 in the third round, and started out the final round with birdies on two of the first three holes before suffering a slump of three bogeys in five holes to allow McDowell back into contention.

Zurich Classic of New Orleans - Being a Southern boy and all, Florida's Billy Horschel is used to early heat waves in the spring, such as the one that shined down on the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, firing a 20-under 67-71-66-64 -- 268 to win the $1.188 million purse.

Horschel was 6-under halfway through the tournament, then caught fire on Saturday and Sunday. He fired six birdies without a bogey on Saturday, then knocked down nine birdies on Sunday to roar to the victory, edging fellow American D.A. Points by a single stroke.


Wells Fargo Championship - Derek Ernst was Johnny on the spot in a field full of closely-knit contenders, winning a one-hole playoff over the UK's David Lynn to take first place at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Fifteen players finished within four strokes of the lead, with Phil Mickelson the leader after three rounds before falling back with a 1-over 73 on the final day.

Ernst was clutch when it counted, shooting 3-under on the back nine on Sunday to make his move. Mickelson was in it until he hit back to back bogeys on 16 and 17 in the final round.

The Players Championship - Winless for nearly six weeks, Tiger Woods erupted back into the spotlight at the Players Championship at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, taking a two-stroke win over a trio of contenders with his 13-under 275.

It was vintage Tiger as the 14-time Major champion put up back-to-back 67s to sit at 10-under through two rounds, enjoying a one-stroke leader over Sweden's Henrik Stenson.

Woods was able to play conservatively in the latter rounds, and overcame a shaky double bogey on No 14 in the final round that briefly gave fleeting hope to a few of his contemporaries.

HP Byron Nelson Championship - Korea's Sang-Moon Bae made history with his 13-under 267, taking the title at the HP Byron Nelson in Irving, TX, by two strokes over Keegan Bradley. Bae became the first South Korean to win a PGA event and he did it with eerie consistency, firing three consecutive 4-under 66s to start the tournament.

It was almost more amazing that Bradley didn't win than it was that Bae did. The 27-year-old American shot a 12-under 60 on the first day, particularly amazing considering he bogeyed both No. 1 and No. 18.

In between those two gaffes, he hit 10 birdies and one eagle, and had a tremendous stretch between No. 7 and No. 13 where he shot 7-under for six holes.

Crowne Plaza Invitational - In addition to having one of the coolest names on tour, American Boo Weekley has grace under fire, as proven in the final round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth where he rallied from a stroke back to win the tournament over Matt Kuchar.Weekley fired a 67-67-66-66 -- 266 to finish 14-under.

Kuchar was in pole position after two days with a pair of 65s, leaving Weekley four strokes back, but his utter consistency won the day for him in the end.

On the final day, he struggled with two bogeys in a three-hole span, but birdied 8, 9 and 10, along with 13.

Ten players finished at least 10-under, within four strokes of the lead.

The Memorial - After his near miss at Crowne Plaza, Matt Kuchar made sure he wouldn't finish second two weeks in a row by winning the Memorial, finishing 12-under with a 68-70-70-68 -- 276.

A clutch birdie on No. 18 on Sunday, coming just two holes after a bogey opened the doors for runner-up Kevin Chappell (-10) sealed the victory for Kuchar.

Chappell was just 2-under after two days, but got serious over the weekend, particularly Sunday's back nine when he birdied 13, 15, 17 and 18 to close.


FedEx St. Jude Classic - In the lead-up to the US Open, unheralded Harris English was the name on top in an impressive Top 10, finishing 12-under to win the event by two strokes over Scott Stallings and Phil Mickelson.

English set the pace early, 4-under after one day and 10-under after two with a dominant 64 on Friday that saw him start the day with three birdies and an eagle in the first five holes.

He needed every stroke to hold off Stallings and Mickelson, who each finished at 10-under.

US Open - Heartbreak (again) for Phil Mickelson, heroics for Justin Rose, for Queen and county.

Rose became the first Brit to win a major since Nick Faldo in 1996, and the first to win the US Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970 by rallying past Mickelson on the final day, winning the crown despite finishing a stroke over par.

Rain delayed the tournament on each of the first two days, but Mickelson was on top by a stroke at 3-under when everyone finally had their first 18 in. Rose was not in the Top 10.

After two rounds, only two players were still shooting under par - Mickelson and fellow American Billy Horschel, who fired a best of day 67 to tie Mickelson at 1-under.

Rose shot a 69 to jump into a three-way tie for third at even par. Mickelson again had the lead after three rounds, and was now the only player under par at 1-under.

Americans Hunter Mahan and Steve Strickere were tied for second with South Africa's Charl Schwartzel at even par, with Rose, Luke Donald and Horschel all 1 over.

The buzz of the day besides Mickelson was American amateur Michael Kim. An amateur and all of 19 years old, Kim shot a 70 on day two and a 71 on Saturday to find himself in 10th place after 54 holes at 4-over. He would finished tied for 17th, the lowest among amateurs.

Sunday saw Mickelson's old demons return, he was still searching for his first US Open crown after finishing second five times previous. He three-putted both the third and fifth holes for double bogeys and saw Rose take the lead.

But Mickelson rallied with an eagle on No. 10 to get it back, only to see Rose respond in kind with birdies on 12 and 13. When Mickelson bogeyed No. 13, Rose had the lead for good, and Mickelson's narrow miss of a birdie on No. 16 sealed the victory for Rose, who rose to No. 3 in the rankings after the victory.

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