DiMarco Goes from Playoff to MC - COPIED - COPIED

By Associated PressApril 7, 2006, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Chris DiMarco sure could have used this shot a year ago.
 
DiMarco made an eagle Friday with his final swing at the Masters, holing out a 6-iron on the 18th hole. Alas, it wasn't nearly enough to get him to the weekend at Augusta National -- a startling change from the position he was in last April.
 
Chris DiMarco
Chris DiMarco will have to wait another year before he has a chance to win the Masters.
The plucky DiMarco had a stirring Sunday duel with Tiger Woods at the 2005 Masters, forcing a playoff with the world's best player.
 
Woods won his fourth green jacket with a 15-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole -- another close-but-no-cigar call for the short-hitting player who putts with that strange 'claw' grip.
 
This time, DiMarco didn't come close to challenging for his first major title. He put himself in a big hole at the start with a 4-over 76. He followed with a 74 -- a score bolstered by that improbable shot from 177 yards, but still two strokes shy of making the 4-over 148 cut.
 
'It just wasn't meant to be,' DiMarco said with a shrug.
 
Plenty of others were on their way out of town, including U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman, whose week began with a random drive-by shooting -- he wasn't hurt -- and ended with a 76-75 in the Masters.
 
Lehman managed only one birdie over two days and finished with a 7-over 151, three strokes too much and a blow to his hopes of being the first U.S. playing captain since Arnold Palmer in 1963.
 
Of course, Lehman has an inside track to the team even if he fails to crack the top 10 in the points -- the captain gets to pick the last two players himself.
 
Also missing the cut: reigning U.S. Open champ Michael Campbell (149); 2005 Tour Championship winner Bart Bryant (149); and former No. 1 player in the world David Duval (159), who certainly had the most interesting round of the day.
 
Already staggering after an opening-round 84, Duval began the day with a double bogey at No. 1 and a quintuple-bogey 10 at the second, when he drove into a hazard on the left and took two more penalty strokes before he finally escaped.
 
But Duval bounced back, making five birdies over his final 12 holes and a 32 on the back nine on the way to signing for a 75. Not nearly good enough to make the cut, but quite a recovery nonetheless.
 
While Duval has been mired in a mystifying slump for nearly five years, DiMarco appeared on the verge of breaking through in a major. He lost a three-man playoff to Vijay Singh at the 2004 PGA Championship, then came up short against Woods eight months later.
 
DiMarco feels as though he lost a chipping contest at last year's Masters.
 
Woods pulled off a memorable birdie on the 16th hole with a shot that nearly stopped twice -- once at the top of the slope, then again at the edge of the cup before dropping in. DiMarco had a chance to rewrite history with his own chip from the edge of the 18th green, but the ball rattled the pin and stayed out.
 
Asked what he would have given to pull off an eagle at No. 18 last year, DiMarco jokingly pushed aside his 10-year-old son, Cristian, and said, 'See ya boy!'
 
Actually, he still had faint hopes of making the cut when he approached the last hole this time.
 
'I was just trying to hang in there and make a birdie because you never know what might happen out there with the wind swirling and the greens firm,' DiMarco said.
 
The conditions were U.S. Open-style tough, but the scores didn't go high enough for DiMarco to move on. So, he's moving out, settling for a pair of crystal goblets awarded by Augusta National to anyone making an eagle.
 
Seven golfers at 149 -- a group that included Campbell, Bryant and Colin Montgomerie -- were the most unfortunate.
 
The 36-hole leader, Chad Campbell, sneaked in a 15-foot birdie putt on the last hole, the ball spinning around the left edge before dropping in to give him a 6-under 138 total. If it stays out, everyone at 149 would have advanced to the weekend by being within 10 strokes of the top spot.
 
Then there's the most fortunate golfer in the field -- Brandt Jobe. He made an eagle at No. 10 that was even more remarkable than DiMarco's at the 18th, finding the cup with a 6-iron from 202 yards.
 
'I knew it was pretty good, but I couldn't believe it went in,' Jobe said. 'I just about fell over.'
 
He, too, gets a pair of crystal goblets -- and something even more rewarding. Jobe finished with a 148, just enough to make the cut.
 
Augusta National will save a bit on the awards it gives to the low amateur. To qualify for the prize, a not-for-pay player must actually make the cut. None of the five amateurs made it through this year, the first time that's happened since 2002.
 
In fact, none came close. Brian McElhinney had the best score among the amateurs, an 11-over 165 that was seven strokes too high to play on the weekend.
 
'It was the experience of a lifetime,' said McElhinney, who qualified for the Masters by winning the British Amateur. 'There's so much for my long game to improve. I will probably stay amateur another year.'
 
Related Links:
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    Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

    DOHA, Qatar – Eddie PepperellGregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

    Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.

    One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

    Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.


    Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters


    Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.

    Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.

    He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.

    ''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.

    ''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.

    ''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.

    ''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”

    Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.

    ''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.

    ''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''

    Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.

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    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


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    Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

    The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET


    Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

    Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

    Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.


    Notables in the field:

    Tiger Woods

    • Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

    • Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

    • Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.


    Rickie Fowler

    • The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

    • Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

    • On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 


    Rory McIlroy

    • It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

    • McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

    • Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13). 

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    Lexi, J. Korda part of four-way tie in Thailand

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

    CHONBURI, Thailand – Three-time tour winner Minjee Lee of Australia finished with a superb eagle putt to be among the four leaders after Day 1 of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on Thursday.

    Lee sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to card a 6-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with 2016 champion Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn.

    ''I just hit the collar. I didn't know if I was going to have enough. Such a big break there. I'm glad it caught the hole,'' Lee said.

    ''It's a second-shot golf course. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. And if you have a hot putter that's going to help.''


    Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand


    Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 LPGA tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth.

    Thompson, who won this event in 2016 by six shots with a 20-under total and tied for fourth last year, started her latest round in style with an eagle followed by a birdie only to bogey the third hole. She carded four more birdies.

    ''It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself,'' Thompson said.

    Her compatriot Korda had a roller-coaster round which featured eagles on the first and 17th holes, five birdies, a double bogey on the sixth, and two bogeys.

    Jutanugarn was the only player among the four to end the day without a bogey.

    ''I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,'' said Jutanugarn, who was seventh here last year.

    She's trying to become the first Thai winner of the tournament.

    Two-time champion Amy Yang and world No. 2 Sung Hyun Park were among six players at 5 under.