Notes Tie Will Lead to Playoff

By Associated PressNovember 19, 2003, 5:00 pm
GEORGE, South Africa -- If the Presidents Cup ends in a tie, it could lead to the most exciting aspect of these matches -- a sudden-death playoff.
Neither captain likes the idea.
'I think that's an awful lot of pressure on one player to do that,' U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus said Tuesday. 'However, that's the rules of how we're playing.'
The defending champion retains the trophy if the Ryder Cup matches end in a tie.
In the Presidents Cup, each captain places the name of one player in an envelope before the first day of matches are completed on Thursday. If both teams have 17 points at the conclusion of play Sunday, those players -- Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, for example -- have a playoff to determine which team wins the Presidents Cup.
So far, it hasn't come down to that.
The closest Presidents Cup was in 1996, when Fred Couples holed a long putt on the 17th green to beat Vijay Singh in the final match for a 16 1/2-15 1/2 victory.
International team captain Gary Player agreed with Nicklaus, saying it was too great of a burden on one player to decide four days of team competition.
'I would like to see it the same as the Ryder Cup,' Player said. 'If you tie it, you tie. I'm in the horse business, and when I see a Kentucky Derby ... in a tie, they don't go back 200 yards and have a race-off.'
Player referred to Bernhard Langer missing a 6-foot putt on the final hole at Kiawah Island in the 1991 Ryder Cup, which cost Europe the trophy. The photo of Langer throwing his head back and yelling in agony is one of the lasting images in golf.
'You've seen some very cruel things,' Player said.
ON SAFARI: Masters champion Mike Weir didn't wait for The Presidents Cup to begin to get his fill of adventure.
Weir and his wife went to Shamwari Game Reserve about five hours east of George for a safari. They saw rhinos and lions, and got a close glimpse of a leopard.
'It was like a cat, just playing with our truck,' Weir said. 'It wasn't that big, only about 75 or 80 pounds.'
The only letdown was going to Mossel Bay, where people can go into a cage that is submerged for a view of Great White Sharks.
'I didn't go into the cage because there were no sharks around,' he said.
HOME SOIL: The only other time The Presidents Cup was played outside the United States was 1998 in Australia, which is the only year Robert Allenby of Australia didn't make the International team.
Allenby was severely injured in a car accident in 1996 and was just starting to regain his form when the teams were selected. He thought his knowledge of Royal Melbourne would get him a captain's pick, but Peter Thomson left him off the team.
'That was a tough one to miss,' Allenby said.
He went to the Crown casino and had dinner with the International team, and even went to the course the first day to watch some matches and show support.
'It was tough to get me out there,' Allenby said. 'This was a course where I had the best record of any other player in the event. It was hard to watch.'
That won't be the case at Fancourt.
BAG MAN: Coming off the 17th green during a practice round, Jay Haas pulled out a pen and asked Tiger Woods to sign his golf bag.
Not quite. Haas, who previously played on two Ryder Cup teams and the '94 Presidents Cup team, later asked Chris DiMarco for his signature. He planned to get all of his teammates to turn his bag into a memento.
'I've got a couple of these bags at home without anything on them,' Haas said.
DIVOTS: Half of the U.S. team looked bleary-eyed at a press conference Tuesday, and for good reason. Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Justin Leonard and David Toms all arrived Monday night. 'We haven't seen much yet,' Toms said. 'It was dark last night. Hotel is nice.' Love said later he had a migraine, about the fifth one this year.
  • At stake in The Presidents Cup is bragging rights at home. Jim Furyk lives near Vijay Singh. Tiger Woods lives in the same neighborhood as Stuart Appleby. 'I don't want to go home and have Vijay popping off for the next couple of months,' Furyk said. 'That's not fun.'
  • Mike Weir of Canada brought each of his teammates a jersey that Canada wore when it won the gold medal in hockey at the Salt Lake City Olympics, each with their name stitched on the back. 'There's 11 (players) on the team that probably don't know a lot about ice hockey,' assistant captain Ian Baker-Finch said. 'That was kind of a unique thing.'
    STAT OF THE WEEK: For the first time since The Presidents Cup began in 1994, the reigning PGA champion is not on either team.
    FINAL WORD: 'I don't need a lot of incentive to get my batteries charged.' -- Arnold Palmer, 74, who will play in the Office Depot Father-Son Challenge next month with his grandson.
    Related Links:
  • Meet the Teams
  • Full Coverage - The Presidents Cup
    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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    After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 3:17 am

    Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...

    Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner

    On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...

    Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.

    After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.

    Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.

    A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray

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    Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call

    By Randall MellMarch 19, 2018, 3:06 am

    PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.

    At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.

    “The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”

    Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.

    Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.

    “Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.

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    Davies impresses, but there's no catching Park

    By Randall MellMarch 19, 2018, 2:40 am

    PHOENIX – Inbee Park won the tournament.

    Laura Davies won the day.

    It was a fitting script for the Bank of Hope Founders Cup on Sunday, where nostalgia stirs the desert air in such a special way.

    Two of the game’s all-time best, LPGA Hall of Famer Inbee Park and World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies, put on a show with the tour’s three living founders applauding them in the end.

    Park and Davies made an event all about honoring the tour’s past while investing in its future something to savor in the moment. Founders Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork and Marlene Hagge Vossler cheered them both.

    For Park, there was meaningful affirmation in her 18th LPGA title.

    In seven months away from the LPGA, healing up a bad back, Park confessed she wondered if she should retire. This was just her second start back. She won feeling no lingering effects from her injury.

    “I was trying to figure out if I was still good enough to win,” Park said of her long break back home in South Korea. “This proved to me I can win and play some pain-free golf.”

    At 54, Davies kept peeling away the years Sunday, one sweet swing after another. She did so after shaking some serious nerves hitting her first tee shot.

    “It’s about as nervous as I’ve ever felt,” Davies said. “I swear I nearly shanked it.”

    Davies has won 45 Ladies European Tour events and 20 LPGA titles, but she was almost 17 years removed from her last LPGA title. Still, she reached back to those times when she used to rule the game and chipped in for eagle at the second hole to steady herself.

    “It calmed me down, and I really enjoyed the day,” Davies said.

    With birdies at the ninth and 10th holes, Davies pulled from three shots down at day’s start to within one of Park, sending a buzz through all the fans who came out to root for the popular Englishwoman.

    “People were loving it,” said Tanya Paterson, Davies’ caddie. “We kept hearing, `Laura, we love you.’ It was special for Laura, showing she can still compete.”

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Davies relished giving all the young players today, who never saw how dominant she once was, some flashes from her great past.

    “Yesterday, after I had that 63, a lot of the younger girls came up and said, `Oh, great playing today,”’ Davies said. “It was nice, I suppose, to have that. I still am a decent player, and I actually used to be really good at it. Maybe that did give them a glimpse into what it used to be like.”

    She also relished showing certain fans something.

    “Now, people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.

    Davies was the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996, when she won two of her four major championships. She was emboldened by the way she stood up to Sunday pressure again.

    In the end, though, there was no catching Park, who continues to amaze with her ability to win coming back from long breaks after injuries.

    Park, 29, comes back yet again looking like the player who reigned at world No. 1 for 92 weeks, won three consecutive major championships in 2013 and won the Olympic gold medal two years ago.

    “The reason that I am competing and playing is because I want to win and because I want to contend in golf tournaments,” Park said.

    After Davies and Marina Alex mounted runs to move within one shot, Park pulled away, closing ferociously. She made four birdies in a row starting at the 12th and won by five shots. Her famed putting stroke heated up, reminding today’s players how nobody can demoralize a field more with a flat stick.

    “I just felt like nothing has dropped on the front nine,” Park said. “I was just thinking to myself, `They have to drop at some point.’ And they just started dropping, dropping, dropping.”

    Yet again, Park showed her ability to win after long breaks.

    In Rio de Janeiro two years ago, Park the Olympic gold medal in her first start back after missing two months because of a ligament injury in her left thumb. She took eight months off after Rio and came back to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship last year, in just her second start upon returning.

    “I'm really happy to have a win early in the season,” Park said. “That just takes so much pressure off me.”

    And puts it on the rest of the tour if she takes her best form to the year’s first major at the ANA Inspiration in two weeks.



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    Rose: 'Never' has Rory putted as well as Bay Hill

    By Ryan LavnerMarch 19, 2018, 1:20 am

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Justin Rose didn’t need to ponder the question for very long.

    The last time Rory McIlroy putted that well was, well …?

    “Never,” Rose said with a chuckle. “Ryder Cup? He always makes it look easy when he’s playing well.”

    And the Englishman did well just to try and keep pace.

    After playing his first six holes in 4 over par, Rose battled not just to make the cut but to contend. He closed with consecutive rounds of 67, finishing in solo third, four shots back of McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

    Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

    Rose said this weekend was the best he’s struck the ball all year. He just didn’t do enough to overtake McIlroy, who finished the week ranked first in strokes gained-putting and closed with a bogey-free 64.

    “Rory just played incredible golf, and it’s great to see world-class players do that,” Rose said. “It’s not great to see him make putts because he was making them against me, but when he is, he’s incredibly hard to beat. So it was fun to watch him play.”