Notes Last in the field Holmes moving on

By Associated PressFebruary 24, 2011, 6:10 am
2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayMARANA, Ariz. – J.B. Holmes was the last man to get in the Match Play Championship. He was one of the first to reach the second round.

In the field as an alternate when Tim Clark withdrew Tuesday because of an elbow injury, Holmes beat Camilo Villegas, 4 and 2, on Wednesday at Dove Mountain.

Holmes got about 4 1/2 hours of sleep after going to bed at 1 a.m. following a flight delay out of Orlando, Fla., and missed connection in Dallas.

“I felt alright, actually,” Holmes said. “I woke up and didn’t feel too bad. I went out and knew it wasn’t going to be an all-day thing. I knew I could take a nap.”

He eagled the 573-yard, par-5 13th to take a 3-up lead, hitting a 372-yard drive.

“It was like, 356 to the bunker out there. I think I flew it,” Holmes said. “I hit it really good. I looked at my caddie and I said, ‘I killed that.”’

Holmes, playing the course for the first time, ended the match with a birdie on the par-3 16th, then played 17 and 18 by himself to get a look at the holes.

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“I didn’t know if I could until I asked the rules official,” Holmes said.

He had an awkward moment on the par-4 ninth when he hit his approach before Ernie Els and Jeff Overton finished the hole.

Play was delayed for Overton to get a ruling, leading Holmes – facing a blind shot on the uphill hole – to believe the green had cleared. Overton had just chipped on and Els had a chip left when Holmes’ approach landed in the middle of the green, well short of where Els was standing.

“Nobody saw them,” Holmes said. “There was a flag in. Nobody, anywhere. I mean, Camilo, his caddie, my caddie didn’t see him. It looked like there was nobody up there for a long time. … So, whenever they get done, I want to apologize to them for sure.”

He’ll be able to do that Thursday when he faces Els, a 19-hole winner.

“I think this course suits J.B. Holmes to a tee,” Els said.


ON THE CLOCK: The opening match between Stewart Cink and 2010 winner Ian Poulter was excruciatingly slow – just over 4 hours for them to complete 18 holes, which is unusual for a twosome in match play.

Both made double bogey on the par-3 sixth, which didn’t help.

It was on the next hole that rules official Stephen Cox drove up in a cart and asked them to speed along. As tense as the atmosphere can be in match play, Cox delivered a great line when he approached Poulter.

“Look, I realize you’ve both taken a trip to In-N-Out for a double-double, but I’d appreciate it if you would pick up the pace,” Cox said as Poulter looked at him and grinned.

It didn’t help. By the next hole, Cox began timing them.

For the Match Play Championship, players are given two warnings for bad times. On the third bad time, it’s loss of a hole.

Neither was penalized in the match, which Cink won on the 19th hole.


AHEAD GAME: Jason Day did his best to get a leg up on K.T. Kim.

“I made the choice to walk in front of him all the time, to be in front of him, just to show him that I was there, show him that I’m still around, instead of walking behind him and him being in front,” said Day, a 3-and-2 winner.

“So, it was a little bit of a tactic to say, ‘I’m still here, I’m still going to fight and I’m going to try and win as good as I could.”’

The Australian showed his match savvy on the par-4 opening hole, switching to an iron and splitting the fairway after Kim hit a fairway metal into trouble.

“If someone hits it in the rubbish, you’ve just got to take the risk versus reward,” Day said. “If you want to go for it and hit driver, you can. But if you want to lay up and try to put some pressure on him, then that’s it.”

Day, seeded 38th, will face sixth-seeded Paul Casey on Thursday. Casey, the runner-up the last two years, beat Richard Green in 19 holes.


FRIENDLY RIVALS: Torrey Pines winner Bubba Watson beat good friend Bill Haas, 3 and 2, to set up a second-round match against Mark Wilson.

“The sad thing is I had breakfast with Bill Haas and his fiance. And then we had to go out and play each other,” Watson said. “It’s sad having to beat a friend. It’s different. You feel bad. But I played great and somehow came around with the victory.

“We were just talking about they are about to get married. How many people are in their wedding party and stuff like that. Just small talk. Then he gets up to go warm up. I’m like, ‘I’ll see you in a little bit.”’

Wilson, the Sony Open and Phoenix Open champion, beat Dustin Johnson in 19 holes.


DIVOTS: Steve Stricker, celebrating his 44th birthday, fell 2 and 1 to 17-year-old Matteo Manassero. … The first-round losers received $45,000. Second-round losers will get $95,000.

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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.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm