Notes Man of the Match TigerJack History

By Associated PressSeptember 30, 2007, 4:00 pm
MONTREAL -- David Toms topped the Presidents Cup scoring table, beating Trevor Immelman 2 up Sunday to finish with 4 1/2 points in five matches.
'I played pretty well and I played with some good partners,' Toms said. 'It's been absolutely fantastic overall. It was a great atmosphere.'
Toms teamed with Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson in foursomes and Woody Austin and Tiger Woods in fourball play at Royal Montreal.
'I got to play with Tiger for the first time and that was fun,' Toms said.
Scott Verplank won all four of his matches. The 2001 Canadian Open winner at Royal Montreal, Verplank beat Rory Sabbatini 2 and 1.
'I just love playing team golf,' Verplank said. 'I have a pretty decent record in the Ryder Cup and I have a pretty good record in this just because I enjoy it so much.'
Canadian Mike Weir's 1-up victory over Woods gave him an International-best 3-1-1 record. Els was second at 3-2-0.
The eve of the final matches at the Presidents Cup is usually when the American team presents captain Jack Nicklaus with a gift, and this time it was Tiger Woods who came up with the present.
It was a Chelsea Ship Strike antique clock, which Barbara Nicklaus said every U.S. president since Woodrow Wilson has owned.
The gift was fitting because her husband has just taken ownership of a new boat.
'It said, 'To Captain Jack and his First Mate,'' she said. 'And they put the names of every player on the bottom. It was a perfect gift for his new boat.'
She said the new Nicklaus boat wasn't quite as big as Woods' 155-foot yacht 'Privacy.' But they have one thing in common. Woods said he has a Chelsea Ship Strike on board, too.
Tiger Woods lost the 18th hole and his match with Mike Weir after pulling his drive into the pond on the left side of the fairway.
Thirty-two years earlier, U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus hit into the same pond on the final hole of regulation in the Canadian Open, leading to a bogey en route to a playoff loss to Tom Weiskopf.
'He doesn't want to know about my history,' Nicklaus said.
Woods was asked if Nicklaus had told him about it.
'No,' said Woods, who played the closing hole for the first time in five matches.
Assistant captain Jeff Sluman then joined in.
'Jack, ever hit a shot to the left?' Sluman asked Nicklaus, famous for playing a high left-to-right shot.
'I didn't hit enough club,' Nicklaus replied.
The International players' wives were a hit in their Canadian national team hockey jerseys.
'Liezl Els and Bricia Weir came up with that and the concierge at the hotel got them for us,' said Vivienne Player, captain Gary Player's wife.
'I wish we'd had them all week.'
She then quickly changed the subject to Mike Weir's victory over Tiger Woods.
'It's all about Mike Weir,' she said. 'What a thrill. To come back and beat Tiger was even better than if he had stayed ahead and won.'
Phil Mickelson won for the first time in seven Presidents Cup singles matches, routing Vijay Singh 5 and 4 to improve to 1-3-3.
'I didn't know that was the record, but it's nice to get a win,' Mickelson said. 'I was excited to have a chance to play Vijay. ... It was a fun match and I feel like I played well and had control for a long time.'
Mickelson finished the week 2-1-2.
'It's been such a fun week for us,' Mickelson said. 'I think the people in Canada treated us so well.'
Mickelson rebounded quickly after losing the first hole to Singh.
'I hit a terrible drive ... and ended up hitting it over the green and made bogey and gave him the hole,' Lefty said. 'I believe that was the last fairway I missed. I was able to play aggressive and attack pins and ended up making some birdies.
'He had a couple of great up-and-downs on 4 and 5, one of the best up-and-downs I'd ever seen, he was 50 yards left of the green on 4 in the trees and looked like he had no shot. He and I have played a lot of golf together in the last month or so, and I guess you play enough golf with someone, you start playing like him, because he was hitting it like I usually do, and getting up-and-down.'
Three photographers were charged with taking pictures on the first tee of every player in every match posing with the Presidents Cup, along with each match referee and dignitaries.
On Sunday, they wanted a picture of themselves posing with the gold trophy.
But who would take the photo?
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem volunteered, and it was a peculiar sight to see Finchem squinting into a camera trying to focus.
Worse yet, he didn't even have a credential for it.
The United States is 5-1-1 in the Presidents Cup, but has lost five of the last six Ryder Cup matches -- including three in a row.
'It's always different teams,' Tiger Woods said. 'The format's different, too. Less matches (in the Ryder Cup). Here you have to play every player each day. You can't hide somebody here. If someone's struggling, they're exposed.'
Geoff Ogilvy was asked to explain what the International team needed to do differently to win.
'Win more matches. Play better,' the Australian said. 'I mean, we just didn't win enough matches. There's no science behind it. You've just got to play better.'
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

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

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.