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:
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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."