Goose Cooked in Quarterfinals

By Associated PressFebruary 25, 2006, 5:00 pm
2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayCARLSBAD, Calif. -- Davis Love III reached the semifinals of the Match Play Championship for the third time Saturday, but never with a shot like this.
 
Tied with Padraig Harrington on the par-5 18th, and with the Irishman hitting a tidy wedge to 12 feet, Love holed out from 111 yards for eagle and a 1-up victory that sent him one step closer to a World Golf Championship that has teased him over its eight-year history.
 
Love was hammered by Tiger Woods in the semifinals in 2000, then lost to Woods again in the finals two years ago. At least he doesn't have to worry about Woods this year, since the world's No. 1 player was eliminated Friday.
 
Love is the highest seed remaining at No. 23 and faced Zach Johnson, a 3-and-2 winner over Retief Goosen, in the 18-hole semifinal Saturday afternoon.
 
Even with the biggest names no longer at La Costa, the golf was no less entertaining.
 
Marathon man Geoff Ogilvy continued his amazing run by going extra holes for the fourth straight day, a record at the Accenture Match Play Championship. This time, he hit the 18th green in two for a birdie to go overtime against David Howell, then holed a 20-foot birdie on No. 10 to beat the Englishman in 19 holes.
 
Ogilvy, unable to defend his title in Tucson this week because he qualified for the 64-man field at La Costa, now has played 80 holes in the first four rounds.
 
He next plays Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman, who outlasted Chad Campbell in a sloppy match that went 21 holes.
 
Winless the last three years on the PGA Tour, Love has never had such a great opportunity in the Match Play Championship, even though he wobbled after a great start against Harrington.
 
He shot 33 on the front and was 2 up on Harrington, holding onto a slim margin that finally disappeared when Love bogeyed the 17th to square the match. Harrington, who knocked out Vijay Singh in 19 holes on Friday, thought he might be going overtime again until Love's wedge landed behind the hole and spun back in for eagle.
 
'It's actually not a tough way to lose,' Harrington said. 'I was expecting Davis to get up-and-down on the last and I'd have to hole mine out to go to 19. I was prepared for that, but maybe not prepared for him holing out.'
 
Howell had Ogilvy on the ropes -- just about everyone has this week -- and could have ended the match with birdie putts of 12 feet on the last two holes. But he missed them both, and that was all Ogilvy needed to reach the semifinals in his debut at this tournament.
 
Goosen looked to be a lock for the semifinals with birdies on the first two holes, but that advantage ended quickly. Johnson birdied the next two holes to square the match, took the lead for good with a birdie on the par-5 11th and closed out the two-time U.S. Open champion on the 16th hole.
 
That assured an American in the 36-hole final for the eighth consecutive year.
 
As much satisfaction as Campbell took out of beating Woods, he felt equally miserable losing to Lehman.
 
The Texan had a 2-up lead at the turn until hitting some of his worst shots. Lehman had two putts to win the 10th, and then Campbell gave away the 11th -- a hook out-of-bounds, a topped 4-iron that squirted along the fairway and chunked chip that didn't reach the green.
 
Lehman twice hit into a hazard and halved the hole, but the Ryder Cup captain came through in the clutch.
 
With the match tied, Campbell holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole and looked like a winner. Lehman then made his 20-footer, raising his right fist as it was a foot from dropping.
 
Campbell, though he played poorly, showed plenty of fight. With his tee shot behind a small pine and Lehman already 10 feet from the cup on No. 10, Campbell punched out and hit wedge to 2 feet for a halve. On the next hole, No. 15, Campbell's tee shot stopped 18 inches from the hazard, and he escaped with another halve.
 
But he found the bunker on the par-3 16th, while Lehman hit his shot 7 feet away. Campbell came out heavy and missed the putt, conceding Lehman his birdie and the match.
 
Lehman was thrilled to get to the semifinals, but that was it.
 
'They should send us both home,' he said.
 
Related Links:
  • Scoreboard - WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
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  • Match Play Brackets
  • Thompson wins Race, loses tournament after short miss

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 8:52 pm

    The drama went down to the very last hole in the LPGA's final event of 2017. Here's how things ended up at the CME Group Tour Championship, where a surprising miss from Lexi Thompson opened the door for Ariya Jutanugarn to win in dramatic fashion:

    Leaderboard: Ariya Jutanugarn (-15), Lexi Thompson (-14), Jessica Korda (-14), Pernilla Lindberg (-13), Eun-Hee Ji (-13)

    What it means: There were scenarios aplenty entering the final round, with nearly every season-long accolade still hanging in the balance. Thompson appeared set to take them all as she sized up a 2-foot par putt on the final hole - a stroke that looked like it would take her to world No. 1 for the first time. Instead, the putt barely touched the hole and allowed Jutanugarn to rally to victory with birdies on the closing two holes. Thompson still took home $1 million for winning the season-long Race to the CME Globe, as it was a reverse scenario from last year when Jutanugarn won the $1 million but not the final tournament.

    Round of the day: Sei Young Kim made the day's biggest charge, turning in a 6-under 66 to close the week in a share of 11th at 10 under. Kim made eight birdies during the final round, including five over her first eight holes en route to her lowest round of the week while erasing a third-round 75.

    Best of the rest: Jutanugarn seemed like an afterthought as the tournament was winding down, but she kept her hopes alive with an 18-foot birdie on No. 17 and then capitalized on Thompson's mistake with a clutch birdie on the difficult final hole. It capped off a final-round 67 for the Thai who now ends what has been a tumultuous season with a smile on her face.

    Biggest disappointment: Thompson faced heartbreak after the penalty-shrouded ANA Inspiration, and she again must handle a setback after essentially missing a tap-in with everything on the line. Thompson can enjoy a $1 million consolation prize along with the Vare Trophy, but a tournament win would have clinched Player of the Year honors as well as her first-ever trip to world No. 1. Instead, she now has the entire off-season to think about how things went awry from close range.

    Shot of the day: There were only three birdies on No. 18 during the final round before Jutanugarn laced one down the fairway and hit a deft approach to 15 feet. The subsequent putt found the target and gave her win No. 7 on her young LPGA career.

    Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

    He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

    Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

    Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

    Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

    Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

    "I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

    The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

    Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

    "I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

    McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.