If you were going to play your last round of golf at the age of 93, registering your first hole-in-one during it would be a fitting finale.
That was the case for Ohio native Ben Bender at his local course, Green Valley.
Armed with his trusty five-wood, the sprightly nonagenarian sent his tee shot over the lake at the 152-yard par-three third hole, and watched with delight as it found the green and trickled into the cup.
A former three handicapper, Ben had played golf for more than 60 years without making an ace.
On the day in question he began with an eight at the opening hole and followed that with a seven. But then came the third hole and the chance to write the figure ‘1’ on his scorecard.
“I’d come close to some hole-in-ones, but this one was level on the green before it curved towards the hole and went in. I was in awe watching it,” he said.
It proved to be one of the last shots he would strike – as he decided to hang up his clubs that very day.
“I played a few more holes, but my hips were hurting and I had to stop,” Bender said. “It seemed the Lord knew this was my last round so he gave me a hole-in-one.”
A Green Valley Golf Club employee told BBC Sport: “Physically he was not able to golf anymore.
“He played on our senior section for years but he will still come to the club to see us.”
Former US Open champion Lucas Glover’s wife has been charged after the golfer was injured following his early exit from a lucrative tournament.
Krista Glover is accused of domestic violence battery and resisting arrest.
Police were called to the American pair’s rented Florida home and told by the world number 104 that “every time he plays a bad round of golf, Krista proceeds to start an altercation”.
It came after Glover missed the cut at the Players Championship on Saturday.
The tournament has a $10.5m (£7.79m) purse, with the winner collecting $1.98m (£1.47m).
According to the report from St Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the incident involved the couple, who were married in 2012, and the player’s mother.
Krista Glover initially claimed to have been “attacked” by her mother-in-law, who suffered cuts to both arms.
The report says Lucas Glover told police that “Krista had been drinking throughout the day and, after playing a bad round of golf, she began yelling at him”.
According to the report, Lucas Glover told police his wife “did not put hands on him” and insisted he received a bruise to his right arm while trying to break up the altercation between her and his mother.
The 38-year-old, who was the 2009 US Open champion and was career earnings of $20m (£14.8m), later posed on social media: “Everyone is fine.
“Regrettably, although Krista was charged, we are comfortable that the judicial system is able to address what actually happened and Krista will be cleared in this private matter.”
Krista Glover, 36, is due back in court on 31 May.
‘This is why cops get shot in the face’
According to the police report, Krista Glover became “irrational” and “verbally and physically aggressive” after being handcuffed.
It adds: “Krista proceeded to wrap her legs and feet around the door frame of the car. She continued to scream and kicked the bars covering the driver’s side window and the driver’s side door several times.
“The bars were bent back preventing the rear driver’s door from locking without manually pressing down the door lock.”
She is reported to have then removed her handcuffs inside the police car, before saying: “Wait till the Tour hears about this, you will lose your job.
The Players Championship, fourth-round leaderboard
-18 W Simpson; -14 C Schwartzel (SA), J Walker (US), X Schauffele (US); -13 J Day (Aus), J Dufner (US); -12 K Bradley (US), H Varner III (US), T Fleetwood (Eng), D Lee (Nzl)
Selected others: -11 B Koepka (US), J Thomas (US), C Hadley (US), A Scott (Aus), I Poulter (Eng), T Woods (US); -10 A Noren (Swe), D Johnson (US); -9 J Rose (Eng), H Stenson (Swe); -6 J Spieth (US); -5 M Fitzpatrick (Eng), S Lowry (Ire); -4 M Laird (Sco); E S Garcia (Spa)
Tiger Woods’ final-round charge fell short as Webb Simpson held his nerve to win the Players Championship by four shots at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.
Simpson, seven clear overnight, carded a one-over 73 to triumph on 18 under and claim a first win since 2013.
Woods (69) birdied the 12th to close within four but he double bogeyed the par-three 17th to end on 11 under.
Charl Schwartzel (67), Jimmy Walker (67) and Xander Schauffele (67) finished tied for second on 14 under.
Dustin Johnson’s run of 64 weeks as world number one comes to an end after he could only manage a level-par 72 to finish tied for 17th.
His fellow American Justin Thomas takes over after his six-under-par closing round moved him into a tie for 11th with the likes of Woods and England’s Ian Poulter (69).
Poulter finished one behind compatriot Tommy Fleetwood (68), while Justin Rose, who was among the early starters, showed low scoring was possible as he reeled off six birdies in seven holes at the start of the back nine en route to finishing nine under.
-16 J Lagergren (Swe), M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra); Lagergren won on first play-off hole -15 A Sullivan (Eng), L Herbert (Aus); -14 L Bjerregaard (Den); -13 J Guerrier (Fra); -11 S Brown (Eng), F Laporta (Ita)
Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren clinched a dramatic first European Tour title by beating Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera in a play-off at the Sicilian Open.
Lagergren birdied the first extra hole after shooting a three-under 68 to finish alongside overnight leader Lorenzo-Vera (70) on 16 under.
Australia’s Lucas Herbert had an eight-under 63 to come home a shot behind, alongside England’s Andy Sullivan.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole career,” said Lagergren, 26.
The Swede had four birdies and a solitary bogey in his final round.
“I’m so relieved and I’m so happy,” he said. “I can’t describe it in words. I’ve just been fighting so hard to get to here, it’s just awesome.
“When you’re just missing out a few times, you really want to get that first win and it feels like you really need to get over that first step to then really continue and get more and more. This is a big step for me.”
Lorenzo-Vera began the day with a two-shot lead but had to settle for his second consecutive runners-up finish after losing out in the final of GolfSixes alongside Romain Wattel last week.
The Players Championship, second-round leaderboard
-15 W Simpson (US); -10 P Cantlay (US), C Schwartzel (SA), D Lee (NZ); -9 C Hadley (US), C Howell III (US), A Noren (Swe); -8 J Day (Aus), S Stricker (US), X Schauffele (US)
Selected others:-5 I Poulter (Eng); -4 J Rose (Eng), T Fleetwood (Eng); -2 M Fitzpatrick (Eng); -1 M Laird (Sco), R Fisher (Eng), S Lowry (Ire), J Spieth (US), J Thomas (US), T Woods (US); +1 R Fowler (US), R McIlroy (NI);+2 T Hatton (Eng), R Knox (Sco); +7 D Willett (Eng); +8 P Mickelson (US)Full leaderboard
American Webb Simpson scored a course record-equalling 63 to establish a five-shot halfway lead at 15-under in the Players Championship in Florida.
Simpson looked set to post a new record after six successive birdies, but found the water when attacking the island green on 17 and posted a double bogey.
“You’re at TPC Sawgrass, so you know trouble is everywhere,” Simpson said.
Compatriot Patrick Cantlay (68), South African Charl Schwartzel (66) and Danny Lee of New Zealand (66) are in second.
Simpson’s fellow first-round leader, American world number one Dustin Johnson, is now eight shots back after a 71, one behind the world’s seventh-ranked player, Jason Day of Australia (67).
World number three Jon Rahm, of Spain, is a further stroke adrift of Day after a 70.
Fourteen-time major winner Tiger Woods (71) finished on the cut line at one under, as did world number two Justin Thomas (70) and world number four Jordan Spieth (68).
However, Rory McIlroy was among three of the world’s top 10 not to make it – along with Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama – after a haphazard 74 which included four bogeys and a double.
Ian Poulter is the highest-placed Briton on five-under after shooting a 69, one shot ahead of world number five Justin Rose (72) and Tommy Fleetwood (71).
A further two Englishmen, Matt Fitzpatrick (70) and Ross Fisher (73), made the cut on two under and one under respectively, as did Scotland’s Martin Laird (71).
‘Everything was going in’
Simpson, the 2012 US Open champion, had started the tournament by compiling an accomplished 66 but accelerated clear of the field with a stunning spurt on the back nine on Friday.
The 32-year-old was already five under for his round when he recorded the first of six consecutive birdies on the 11th.
“You start just kind of laughing,” said Simpson, whose halfway score of 15-under matched the tournament record set by Day two years ago.
“Everything is going in. You feel like no matter what, you’re going to make it. It’s rare as a golfer where everything comes together.”
Simpson was 11 under for the day when he stepped on to the 17th tee but his pushed tee shot on Sawgrass’ signature hole clattered against a railway sleeper and ended up in the water.
“I was in between clubs,” he explained. “I tried to smash a sand wedge and blocked it a little bit. It’s a bit of a bummer.”
Simpson righted himself to par the last and equal the 63 previously shot by Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Robert Castro, Martin Kaymer, Day and Colt Knost.
Woods squeezes under cut line
Woods carded two birdies and one bogey in a second round of 71 to finish one under and ensure he would be around for the weekend.
A dropped shot on 18 looked, at one stage, like it would cost the 42-year-old, but he squeezed in under the cut line.
“I was just a touch off today,” he said. “I didn’t make many birdies. I had my chances. I didn’t hit it close enough.
“The course could have been had today. It’s so hot, it’s playing short, the greens are receptive.”
Fellow American Fowler also suffered an early exit after a wayward tee shot at the par-four sixth hole got stuck in a palm tree.
He commandeered a pair of binoculars to help his search but could not confirm that a ball spotted in the tree was definitely his, instead declaring his ball lost and returning to the tee for his third shot.
It was the first of successive double bogeys for the 2015 champion, who finished on one over par.
“Unfortunately, the part of the ball that was showing was just all the white and dimples,” said Fowler. “I couldn’t see any of my markings and so couldn’t identify it, so back to the tee.”
-6 W Simpson (US), D Johnson (US), A Noren (Swe), C Hadley (US), M Kuchar (US), P Cantlay (US)
Selected others: -5 J Vegas (Col), SW Kim (Kor); -4 J Rose (Eng); -3 T Fleetwood (Eng); -2 R Fisher (Eng), I Poulter (Eng), -1 R McIlroy (NI), E M Fitzpatrick (Eng), T Woods (US), M Laird (Sco), +2 D Willett (Eng), R Knox (Sco), +3 T Hatton (Eng)Full leaderboard
Dustin Johnson is part of a six-way tie for the lead after the opening round of the Players Championship as he looks to hang on to the world number one spot.
Johnson carded a six-under-par 66, including five birdies before the turn after starting on the back nine.
Fellow Americans Chesson Hadley, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson and Patrick Cantlay, plus Sweden’s Alex Noren, are level with Johnson in the clubhouse.
Defending champion Kim Si-woo of South Korea is a shot behind on five under.
Justin Rose carded a four-under-par 68 to finish two strokes off the lead, with fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood one further back.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy finished the day on one under par, while 14-time major champion Tiger Woods eagled the par-five ninth during his level-par round of 72.
Martin Laird of Scotland also finished the opening day level, two shots ahead of compatriot Russell Knox.
Johnson’s position at the top of the rankings, which he has held since February last year, is under threat from Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth and Rose.
Johnson carded his lowest score – and first bogey-free round – at Sawgrass in 31 attempts, while closest rival and compatriot Thomas finished the day at one over par.
Spain’s Rahm is four under, while American three-time major winner Spieth struggled to a three-over 75.
“My expectation is the same for every tournament. I want to play well and put myself in a position to have a chance to win on Sunday,” said Johnson.
Asked about the world ranking situation, he added: “Justin has been pretty close to me for a while.
“Every week I know there’s a chance someone can pass me. I definitely want to stay there, but if someone passes me it’s not going to change anything, I’m still going to go back the next week and try to get it back.
“It was a big deal to get there and it’s a big deal to stay there. I like being number one so I want to stay there.”
‘Not easy to keep a clean sheet’ – Rose
Rose, who was playing alongside Fleetwood and Ian Poulter in an all-English group, was frustrated not to make more of a brilliant beginning to his round.
The Olympic champion started on the 10th and followed a birdie on the 11th by holing out from 96 yards for an eagle on the 12th – but then mixed three bogeys with four birdies.
“It was obviously a dream start – birdie, eagle and three-under through three – but I didn’t make much of it from that moment on,” Rose told Sky Sports.
“I think three bogeys is probably what halted a great round, but it’s still not easy out there to keep a clean sheet.”