Poulter Rose bounce back in afternoon four-ball

By Associated PressSeptember 19, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ryder CupLOUISVILLE, Ky. ' Ian Poulter promised to bring flair, excitement and passion to the European Ryder Cup team.
Friday afternoon, he decided to bring his putter, too.
Poulter and fellow Englishman Justin Rose bounced back from a disappointing collapse during an opening foursome loss to dominate their afternoon match in a 4-and-2 win over Steve Stricker and Ben Curtis.
The win provided a little redemption for Poulter, a controversial wild-card pick by European captain Nick Faldo, and Rose, a Ryder Cup rookie.
The two seemingly had their morning match against Chad Campbell and Stewart Cink under control, taking an early 3-up lead before collapsing on the back nine and losing 1-up when they three-putted the 18th.
The afternoon went much more smoothly for the longtime friends.
Like the morning, they quickly built a lead. This time, it stuck. Poulter drilled a lengthy birdie putt at 14 to push the lead to 3-up, and he closed it out with another birdie on No. 16.
It was key, Poulter said. The 25 minutes we got at lunch didnt feel so good.
Faldo coupled Poulter and Rose, hoping their friendship would calm any nerves on either side.
Wearing matching blue visors and white belts to go with their European team polo shirts and gray slacks, they looked at ease playing together, and they quickly got over their late-morning swoon.
Rose birdied the par-4 second to give them the lead. Stricker drew the U.S. even with a birdie on No. 3, but Poulter responded with birdies at Nos. 6 and 7 to give them momentum they never let go.
We played well on the front nine in the morning, and it was nice to get that back, Poulter said.
It appeared it might disappear during the morning after the struggled to make a putt ' any putt ' on the back nine against Cink and Campbell.
A little magic around the greens ' if not on them ' allowed them to keep going after the Americans erased the 3-up deficit. They were able to extend the match to 18, when their putters gave out.
Poulter put his drive in the fairway on the par 5, but Roses approach came up short. Poulter splashed out of the bunker 10 feet by the hole. With Faldo watching from the back of the green, Poulter got down on his belly to help Rose read the putt.
It didnt help.
Rose pushed the ball 6 feet past, and when Poulter couldnt make the comebacker, the Americans had escaped.
By sundown they had gotten back on track, perhaps validating Poulters selection to the team.
Faldos choice to pick the flamboyant Poulter raised some eyebrows, particularly in Europe where many thought longtime Ryder Cup star Darren Clarke was a more deserving of a captains pick.
Poulters decision to skip a chance to secure an automatic spot on the team by choosing to play in a lucrative PGA Tour event in Boston rather than a European tour event in Scotland led some to speculate Faldo had already assured Poulter a berth on the team.
Poulter pledged to prove his worthiness despite a shaky season in which his best finish was a runner-up at the British Open. He had just one top-10 outside of that and came to Valhalla having missed his last two cuts.
Friday afternoon, his recent struggles hardly mattered.
Related Links:
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  • European Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • Full Coverage - 37th Ryder Cup
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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