Britain-Ireland rally past U.S. for Curtis Cup win

By Associated PressJune 10, 2012, 3:16 pm

NAIRN, Scotland – Great Britain and Ireland rallied past the United States on Sunday to win the Curtis Cup, ending the Americans' 16-year domination of the tournament.

The outcome means that for the first time all four major professional and amateur men's and women's team trophies are held by Britain, Ireland and Europe.

GB&I beat the Americans 10 1/2 to 9 1/2 despite needing to win five of the eight singles matches Sunday. Stephanie Meadow of Northern Ireland scored the critical point by defeating Amy Anderson.

GB&I and Europe now hold the Curtis Cup, men's amateur Walker Cup plus the professional Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup titles.

''It is very, very special to have captured golfing history today,'' GB&I captain Tegwen Matthews said. ''I had joked and joked to the team about all the pressure they were under to win this week given that it would mean holding all four main team trophies between GB&I and Europe against the States.

''So that was a challenge for me and it's just fabulous we've won because I am just as competitive as my players in wanting to achieve that goal and we have managed to do that.''

This was only the second time the team won in Scotland in the 80-year history of the event.

GB&I captured the opening three matches - Kelly Tidy beating Austin Ernst 2 and 1, Amy Boulden beating Emily Tubert 3 and 1 and Holly Clyburn beating Erica Popson 3 and 2.

It put GB&I ahead for the first time in the event by 8 1/2 points to 6 1/2. While it lost the next two matches - Lisa McCloskey beating Pam Pretswell 4 and 3 and Tiffany Lau beating Bronte Law 2 up - the home team sealed the victory by winning the next two matches.

England's 16-year old Charley Hull sent her team to 9 1/2 points by defeating Lindy Duncan 5 and 3 before Meadow clinched the winning point in defeating Anderson 4 and 2.

No. 4-ranked Leona Maguire of Ireland lost the final singles match 6 and 5 despite a recent run of good form that included a recent eight-shot victory in the Irish U-18 Girls Open Stroke-Play Championship.

''It was certainly not the result I was looking for,'' U.S. captain Pat Cornett said. ''So I am a little disappointed, but then the result is good for the game and good for the Curtis Cup. Then it just shows how fickle this game can be and I reminded the girls that after all it is just a game.''

Cornett's leg is in a cast and she will head home to California for an operation on her left ankle. She broke two bones in a golf-cart accident Friday. Her husband, Mike, remains in an Inverness hospital because of cellulitis in his feet.

''It's now a case of we can't get out of Dodge City quick enough,'' Cornett cracked.

Cornett has yet to decide if she will try to captain the 2014 U.S. team in St. Louis.


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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.