Mickelson salvages pride with win

By Associated PressOctober 4, 2010, 11:33 pm

Ryder Cup

NEWPORT, Wales – Phil Mickelson salvaged some pride with his first win in this Ryder Cup, a 4 and 3 pounding of Sweden’s Peter Hanson in singles.

The world’s second-ranked player finished the team portion of the matches 0-3. That pushed the total number of losses in his eight Ryder Cup appearances to 17 – one more than Raymond Floyd and the most by a U.S. player.

“Every one of us can look back on a match and say that this could have been the deciding factor, that could have been the deciding factor,” Mickelson said after the U.S. lost 14 1/2-13 1/2.

“I want to try to be a leader, and the best way to lead is through play. … And when I didn’t win any of my first three points, I felt more disappointment than I’ve ever felt, because this was an opportunity for us to win here in Europe. The fact that we came so close, and I let some of these opportunities to gain points for our team slide, it does hurt more than some of the past losses.”


ONCE IS ENOUGH: Even though Colin Montgomerie said last week that he wouldn’t consider another stint as Europe’s captain, Lee Westwood decided to give it a shot.

Discussing Montgomerie’s legacy in the Ryder Cup – eight appearances, five wins, an unblemished record in singles as a player and now this victory as captain – Westwood said, “It’s difficult to talk about it when he’s 15 feet down the table from me.

“I grew up watching Colin. … Sorry, that’s not meant in a bad way, that, Colin. It’s not meant to make you feel old. But you know, unless he wants to do it next time, it’s the cherry on the top, isn’t it, when you can become a winning captain?”

Westwood barely finished talking when Montgomerie cut off any further speculation.

“I would just say to finish off that, that this is a one-hit time. I’m delighted that Europe has won this trophy, and I will not be doing this again, I can assure you,” Montgomerie said.

“We have a number of fantastic vice captains, plus (Jose Maria) Olazabal, and one of those five, I’m sure, will be your next European Ryder Cup captain who will defend, hopefully defend the trophy at Medinah in 2012,” he added. “It will not be me.”


THANKS, BUT NO THANKS: Handed a convenient alibi, Jim Furyk handed it right back.

Earlier in the week, the teams debated whether playing in the FedEx Cup would help or hurt a player. Some thought it would help them stay sharp, others that it would result in fatigue.

Nine members of the U.S. team qualified for the 30-man field compared to just one from Europe. Considering the soggy course conditions and the number of matches jammed into the third session – when Europe took 5 1/2 of a possible 6 points and built a 9 1/2-6 1/2 lead going into Monday’s singles – Furyk was asked whether winning the FedEx cost him his legs here.

He earned a half-point in the alternate-shot match, but lost both his better-ball and singles matches.

“I’m not making any excuses. I didn’t play the first session, so basically, I slept all week,” Furyk said. “I got to sleep in no matter what. So I’ve got no excuse, no regrets. I’m well rested, and I said it after I won the FedEx Cup in the media room there, if you can’t get up for a Ryder Cup, you can’t get up.'

“There’s 12 guys here that were committed to trying to win the Cup, trying to bring it back to the United States, and we have got no excuse for ‘I was worn out.’ I had a week off before going to Atlanta, so playing two weeks in a row is not tough, trust me.”


OLE! OLE! OLE!: The Ryder Cup might take a back seat to the Olympics and World Cup in terms of global popularity. But when it comes to serenading the players, the fans in Wales were the equal of any.

Supplementing the “Ole! Ole! Ole!” chant that has become a staple of European sporting events, fans rocked the grandstands at Celtic Manor nearly every time the Italian brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari passed by, singing “There’s only two Molinaris …” to the tune of “Guantanamera.”

When Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell passed by during a match against American opponents, the chants became “We’ve got G Mac, you’ve got Big Mac!”

Fans even greeted the fog wafting above the valley where the Twenty Ten course sits.

“Foggy, foggy, foggy!” one grandstand alongside the first tee chanted.

“Oi, oi, oi!” the other roared back responsively.

The singing also produced one of the most sportsmanlike moments of the final day. Europe’s Martin Kaymer was playing Dustin Johnson in singles when fans launched into “He’s got your major, he’s got your major!” The reference was to Kaymer’s win at the PGA Championship, where Johnson grounded his club in a bunker at the 18th hole and after being penalized, finished one shot out of the playoff in which Kaymer beat Bubba Watson.

Upon hearing it, Kaymer put up his hands calling for the fans to stop. They did.

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Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.


Full-field scores from the Singapore Open


''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

"I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.