McIlroy McDowell to meet at Match Play

By Associated PressMay 20, 2011, 4:25 pm

European TourCASARES, Spain – Seven months after joining forces to help Europe reclaim the Ryder Cup, Northern Irish duo Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell will take each other on when they go head to head Saturday in a last-16 meeting at the World Match Play Championship.

The pair played together three times against the United States at Celtic Manor in Wales, claiming 1 1/2 points for Europe’s winning cause. They also impressed as a partnership in the Seve Trophy in France in 2009, their combination providing three points in a 16 1/2 -11 1/2 win for Britain and Ireland against Continental Europe.

However, their friendship will be put to one side when they meet in a competitive match for the first time, with a place in the quarterfinals at stake at the Finca Cortesin course in Andalusia. McDowell came top of Group D with two straight wins while McIlroy finished runner-up in Group E following a 3-and-2 defeat to in-form Dane Nicolas Colsaerts on Friday.

“It will be a great game, I’m excited about it,” McDowell said. “It’s definitely going to be the Northern Ireland Match Play Championship tomorrow.

“It’s going to be hard but you’ve got to leave your friendship on the sideline. There will be a certain amount of bragging rights we are playing for.”

The fifth-ranked McDowell said it’s usually a one-sided affair when he comes up against McIlroy in practice, even though his friend is one place below him in the rankings.

“I stopped playing him because he’s too good,” the U.S Open champion said. “I’m more of an observer and he just tends to beat me up. I’m sure he’ll expect to beat me again.”

McIlroy, who spoke this week about how he’d comforted McDowell following his compatriot’s collapse from a winning position in the final round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday, said he’d treat the match like any other.

“I’m sure we’ll chat around the course and it will be a friendly game. But I’m here to win a tournament and to win it, I need to get through him. That’s the No. 1 thing on my mind,” McIlroy said.

In another last-16 match between European Ryder Cup colleagues, top-ranked Lee Westwood will take on fellow Englishman Ian Poulter after cruising to a second convincing win in successive days.

Westwood, who thrashed Denmark’s Anders Hansen, 6 and 5, on Thursday, rattled in eight birdies in 15 holes to ease past Australia’s Aaron Baddeley, 4 and 3, and finish top of Group A.

Westwood has yet to see the course’s final three holes this week and will be delighted to have conserved his energy for a possible 36 holes on both Saturday and Sunday, as he goes in search of a third straight tournament victory.

“I’m carrying on the way I played in Indonesia and Korea … and not givin my opponents much of a sniff,” Westwood said. “But Ian’s a good match play player. He gets up and down a lot, makes quite a few putts and that can irritate you after a while.”

Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer, who could supplant Westwood as No. 1 if they win the tournament on the Costa del Sol, also advanced serenely into the last 16 as unbeaten group winners.

Second-ranked Luke Donald, who won the Accenture Match Play in Arizona in February, maintained his superb recent consistency in all formats by beating defending champion Ross Fisher 3 and 1 in Group B. He will play Sweden’s Johan Edfors next.

Third-ranked Kaymer beat a second Korean player in successive days, downing Noh Seung-yul, 2 and 1, to set up a last-16 match against Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen.

Of the 24 players to start the group stages, eight were eliminated Friday after two defeats. The list included four major winners past and present  – two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, reigning British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, 2009 U.S. PGA winner Y.E. Yang and 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie.

The lone American in the field, Ryan Moore, also exited Friday after losing the last four holes to go down by one to Englishman Fisher

Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez lost a three-way playoff with Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Edfors to bow out, while Denmark’s Anders Hansen and No. 9-ranked Paul Casey – the highest-ranked casualty of the group stage – are also on their way home.

The other last-16 matches will be Colsaerts vs. Jhonattan Vegas, Alvaro Quiros vs. Noh, Schwartzel vs. Fisher and Francesco Molinari vs. Baddeley.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.