March 18, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Three Northwestern golf alumni earned professional victories over the weekend, highlighted by 2001 graduate Luke Donald's win in a four-way playoff at the PGA TOUR Transitions Championship that propelled him back to the World's No. 1 ranking.
Donald entered Sunday three shots off the lead before carding a 5-under 66 to join a four-way playoff among himself, Jim Furyk, Sang-Moon Bae and Robert Garrigus. On the first playoff hole, Donald hit his drive into the right rough, but then flighted a tremendous approach to just 10 feet short of the cup. When all three of his competitors missed their birdie attempts, Donald rolled his in on the left edge to secure the victory and jump back over Rory McIroy for the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking.
David Lipsky, an Asian Tour rookie and 2011 Northwestern graduate, produced a superb chip-in birdie to defeat Elmer Salvador of the Philippines on the first play-off hole of the inaugural HANDA FALDO Cambodian Classic on Saturday.
The 23-year-old, who won the Asian Tour's Qualifying School in January but missed the cut in his first two professional events, enjoyed his maiden professional victory in front of six-time Major champion Nick Faldo, who watched the shootout at the impressive Angkor Golf Resort, a course he designed.
Starting the day seven shots off the lead, Lipsky closed with a stunning seven-under-par 65 for a 15-under-par 273 total. A gritty Salvador had a 10-foot birdie putt at the last hole in regulation play for the outright win but he missed for a 68.
It was a frenetic final day with six players tied for the lead at one stage before Lipsky and Salvador, who also lost in a play-off at last year's ISPS Handa Singapore Classic, edged ahead of the pack. Lipsky's big moment came at the 15th, when he jarred a 50-foot putt for birdie before another birdie at 16 put him in the lead.
, a 2006 Northwestern graduate, sits atop the money list after two events on the Golfweek National Pro Tour following his win at the LA Open. Dougherty charged into the early lead with an opening 8-under par round before entering the final round tied with Gunner Wiebe at 14-under par. In the final round, Dougherty carded a 5-under par total to defeat Wiebe by one stroke for the victory.
Northwestern head coach Pat Goss -- who mentored each of these three during their NU careers and who still serves as Donald's swing coach -- returns to action with his Wildcats' squad March 22-23 at the Barona Collegiate Cup in Lakeside, Calif. NU is coming off back-to-back tournament victories at the Big Ten Match Play Championship and the Rice Intercollegiate.
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