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:
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.