Tiger Cink to Meet in WGC Finale

By Associated PressFebruary 23, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007- WGC-AccentureTUCSON, Arizona -- Tiger Woods holed another crucial putt on the 17th hole Saturday, this one sending him into the 36-hole final of the Accenture Match Play Championship for the fourth time in nine tries.
Woods never trailed in a tight match with defending champion Henrik Stenson, who tied him with a 15-foot birdie on the 16th. But the 17th hole has been somewhat of a charm for the worlds No. 1 player, who might not be around if not for a 35-foot eagle putt he made in the first round, or Aaron Baddeleys eagle putt that just missed to the right on Friday.
After hitting a tough bunker shot to 12 feet, Woods holed the birdie putt for a 1-up lead, and wound up with a 2-up victory when Stenson conceded the final hole when he twice came short of the green.
Woods will face Stewart Cink, who this time has a fighting chance.
Cink, who was 7 under on his first nine holes in beating Justin Leonard 4 and 2, last played in the final group with Woods last month at the Buick Invitational. Cink started that round eight shots behind.
This time, they start all square over 36 holes at Dove Mountain.
Woods figures to have an advantage in experience, among other things. Cink has never made it this far in the Match Play Championship, while Woods won in 2003 and 2004, and lost in the final match to Darren Clarke in 2000.
Cinks last victory was the NEC Invitational at Firestone in 2004. Since that time, he is 0-for-85 on the PGA Tour, while Woods has won 22 times in 56 starts.
It will be the sixth All-American final in 10 years of this World Golf Championship.
No played better Saturday than Cink, who until this year at only advanced as far as the quarterfinals one time.
He built an early lead against U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera and pulled away with four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine for a 3-and-2 victory to reach the semifinals against Justin Leonard.
That the match went 16 holes was a minor miracle.
Cink shot a 29 on the front nine, taking the lead with two short birdies, taking some fight out of Leonard with a 20-foot eagle putt on the 312-yard seventh hole and not dropping a hole until he was 4 up with four holes to play.
Cink and Woods have met only one time in this tournament, with Woods beating him in third round of 1999.
It feels great just to get this far, Cink said. To be in the final, its going to be a blast.
In his 13 matches at this tournament, Stenson has gone the distance in 10 of them. He was close to taking the lead twice until Woods made a 15-footer to match birdies on the eighth, and a 10-foot par save to stay tied on the ninth.
Stenson also avoided a three-putt on the 15th by making a 7-foot par putt, then squared the match on the 16th with a clutch putt of his own. Woods never felt as if he lost control of the match, although conceding one mistake could change everything.
Ive been in that position before, Woods said. Ive played umpteen more matches in match play that he has. And Ive seen it all. And nothing really surprises me out there.
But it was vintage Woods on the 17th, particularly in a week that began with his stirring comeback against J.B. Holmes with an eagle putt on the par 5. Stenson took himself out of birdie range with a poor wedge and a two-putt from 25 feet.
Woods birdie was good all the way.
Hes been pushed a few times this week, and thats all any of us can do, Stenson said. Eventually, well get him.
Cink got him once, but it was too long ago to remember.
He was at Georgia Tech when a Woods-led Stanford team came out to the Atlanta area. A day before the practice sessions, Cink played Woods at Druid Hills and beat him.
But that was a while back, Cink said.
He made up a three-shot deficit on the final three holes at Firestone in 2006, only to lose to Woods on the fourth playoff hole. Cink couldnt wait for the next chance, mainly because it meant he was in the final.
Ive known him practically as long as anybody else on tour has probably known Tiger Woods, Cink said. Hes just fun to play with. When you play with him in the latter part of the tournaments, it means youre doing something well.
Cink has been playing as well as anyone on Dove Mountain.
Only one of his matches has gone the distance, a 2-up victory over Padraig Harrington in the second round. He has played only 81 holes this week (compared with 88 for Woods) and has made 31 birdies and two eagles.
Woods didnt have it particularly easy on Saturday.
He and K.J. Choi halved seven straight holes with pars'six times, Choi had a putt to win the hole'before Woods chipped in for eagle on the 10th, rolled in a 30-foot birdie on the 12th and eventually closed him out, 3 and 2.
His golf wasnt as spectacular as his 12 birdies in 20 holes to beat Baddeley in the third round, but it was clean. After driving into the desert Saturday morning on the first hole and conceding without reaching green in four shots, Woods didnt make bogey the rest of the day.
Now, he is one match away from winning his 15 title in the World Golf Championships since the series began in 1999. A victory also would also be a WGC slam. No one has ever held all three titles at the same time.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
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    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

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    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

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    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.