USA still up by one as Internationals rally at Presidents Cup

By Doug FergusonOctober 10, 2009, 3:54 am
Presidents CupSAN FRANCISCO – Mike Weir kept seeing American red on the scoreboard Friday, a familiar portrait at this Presidents Cup.

Tiger Woods and Steve were dominant in a different format, winning so handily that they were the last match to tee off and among the first to finish. Phil Mickelson had a different partner and got the same result, closing out his match before reaching the 17th tee.

For the second straight day, the Americans were poised to take a comfortable lead.
Tiger Woods Presidents Cup
Tiger Woods celebrates his putt to win a hole during Friday's fourball matches of the Presidents Cup. (Getty Images)
Thanks to a superb fairway metal from Weir, a clutch putt for eagle on the final hole by Tim Clark and another late rally by the International team, this Presidents Cup is far from over.

The Americans were ahead in five of six matches at some point on the back nine. The fourball sessions wound up in a draw, the teams splitting the six matches. The American lead remained one point, 6 1/2 -5 1/2 .

“We watched the board a little bit and we knew all the of matches were within or two, except for a couple of them, so we knew if we could turn it around … there’s still a lot of golf to play,” Weir said.

Weir and Ernie Els won the final three holes for a 2-up victory, the clinching shot by Weir from the base of the bleachers and onto the green at the par-5 18th for an eagle that was conceded.

“That was one of the better ones I’ve hit in a long time,” Weir said.

Clark rolled in a 15-foot eagle as he and Singh won the last two holes for a 1-up victory over Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink.

“It certainly didn’t look good there for a while,” Clark said. “When you come out of a day like that tied – and obviously, only one point back now – we are feeling good. It seems like most of the close matches that have come down to the last couple of holes, we’ve been able to salvage a halve or even win a point, which is huge.”

Of the five matches that have gone the distance, the International team has picked up 3 1/2 points.

The International team still doesn’t have an answer for the Americans’ best three players, though.

Woods and Stricker are the only players at Harding Park who have not trailed at any point over the last two days, and they have yet to play the 16th hole in competition.

Stricker chipped in for birdie on the first hole, hit a wedge to 2 feet to take the lead for good on the par-5 fifth, and Woods made sure Geoff Ogilvy and Angel Cabrera never got close on the back nine. Woods hit a towering approach to 5 feet on the 15th hole for a birdie that was conceded in a 5-and-3 victory.

“I’m very comfortable with him out there, and I think he’s comfortable with me out there,” Stricker said. “So I think that’s why we are having fun and playing well on top of that.”

Next up for Woods and Stricker: Weir and Clark, who volunteered to take a crack at America’s latest juggernaut Saturday morning in the alternate-shot session.

“We know whoever is going up against them is going to have it tough,” Clark said. “We just feel like with our solid games tomorrow, we can go out and at least try and wear them down if we can. But that’s going to be tough.”

Mickelson teamed with Anthony Kim in the foursome, and had Justin Leonard at his side in fourball.

Leonard, who missed a 3-foot putt on the final hole Thursday event that cost the Americans a point, steadied himself quickly with a birdie on the first hole, and key birdie on the 14th for a 2-up lead, and an 8-foot birdie to close out the match, 3 and 2, over Retief Goosen and Adam Scott.

“We had a great partnership,” Mickelson said. “He came back after finishing last night not the way he wanted to, and on the very first hole making a critical putt, getting us off to a good start.”

Mickelson has done nothing but give credit to his partners, when he has carried the load. Lefty had six birdies in the fourball format, and often had a birdie opportunity if Leonard happened to miss.

Woods and Stricker, who played only 14 holes in the opening session, might have had a shorter match until stalling on the back nine. The idea of fourball is for both players to have a look at birdie. On several holes, it was either Stricker or Woods in play, yet they still managed to build a 3-up lead at the turn.

“You want two on each hole – two balls in the fairway and two balls on the green, always putting a lot of pressure on your opponent,” Woods said. “We didn’t do that, it seemed like, on the front nine especially. It was one ball in, and that one ball was making birdies. So we did well.”

It was the first time Woods has won his opening two matches in his 12 years playing the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup.

In the first all-Asian pairing since 1998 at Royal Melbourne, PGA champion Y.E. Yang and 18-year-old Ryo Ishikawa built a 4-up lead through six holes and, after hitting bump around the turn, poured in on for a 4-and-3 victory over Kenny Perry and Sean O’Hair.

“He’s young, but he definitely doesn’t play young,” Yang said. “I told him on the first tee that we should have fun, and we did have fun. And we had a win, as well.”

In the other match, Zach Johnson made sure the International team couldn’t turn in one last rally. He holed an 8-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to give him and Hunter Mahan a 2-and-1 victory over Robert Allenby and Camilo Villegas.

The Americans have never lost on home soil and have a 5-1-1 lead in the series. Saturday could prove pivotal if they want to continue those trends, with five foursomes matches in the morning and five fourballs matches in the afternoon.
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Watch: Fathauer dunks one off flagstick for eagle

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 17, 2018, 7:45 pm

The NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest will take place Saturday night in Los Angeles, but Derek Fathauer kicked things off a little early with this eagle in the third round of the Genesis Open.

Playing his second shot on the par-4 third hole at Riviera Country Club, Fathauer dunked one off the flagstick and into the hole for an eagle-2:

The shot got the the 32-year-old, in search of his first PGA Tour victory, under par for the round and into the mix early on Moving Day.

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Luiten in three-way tie at Oman Open

By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 4:17 pm

MUSCAT, Oman - Joost Luiten showed a return to form after a mediocre 2017 as he moved into a three-way tie for the lead in the Oman Open on Saturday.

The Dutchman shot a second straight 6-under 66 - the joint best score of the day - to move to 12-under 204. He was joined at the top by Matthew Southgate (69) and Frenchman Julien Guerrier (66) after the third round at the Greg Norman-designed Al Mouj Golf Club.

England's Chris Wood (69), another man on the comeback trail, was in fourth place at 11 under, but it could have been a lot better if not for a bogey-bogey finish. Adrian Otaegui (66) was a shot behind Wood while pre-tournament favorite, France's Alexander Levy (67), was at 9 under.

The 90th-ranked Luiten credited some hot iron play for his success after a cracked driver set him back last year when he had just two top-10 finishes the whole season.


Full-field scores from the NBO Oman Golf Classic


''I cracked my driver in my first tournament of the year in Abu Dhabi and it took me almost six months to get another one that I really liked. Once you are not driving the ball well, it puts pressure on other parts of your game,'' said the 32-year-old Luiten. ''My iron play did not get me into trouble at all today.''

Southgate was quick off the block with three birdies in his first three holes. But the Englishman then made two bogeys and a double bogey in his next four holes, and a birdie on the ninth saw him make the turn at even-par.

That forced him to think differently for the back nine and he was rewarded with three birdies.

''It was quite funny really,'' Southgate said. ''We birdied the ninth and I walked off and said to my caddie Gary ... 'We've just shot level par, so let's just pretend that we've made nine solid pars and that we haven't holed a putt and haven't made a birdie. Let's just start again on the 10th'.''

The 32-year-old Guerrier started his round with a monster 48-foot birdie putt and had an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys.

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J.Y. Ko increases lead; Lydia focuses on positives

By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 3:33 pm

ADELAIDE, Australia - Jin Young Ko continued her domination of the Women's Australian Open, shooting a 1-under 71 Saturday to increase her lead to four strokes after three rounds.

The South Korean, who led after each of the opening two rounds of the LPGA tournament, had a three-round total of 11-under 205 at Kooyonga Golf Club.

Australian golfer Hannah Green moved into second place after the round of the day, a 66.

Green, 21, is seeking to become the first Australian to claim her national crown since Karrie Webb won the last of her five titles in 2014. Webb, who is playing a part-time schedule in 2018, missed the cut Friday by one stroke.

Green birdied her first three holes on Saturday and then added two more on the eighth and ninth. Two more birdies followed on the back nine with her only dropped shot a bogey on the 17th.


Full-field scores from the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open


"I was very pleased with my ball striking," Green said. "I have put myself in contention so I'm very happy with how things are panning out.

"It was a real shame about Karrie missing the cut, but I know she has got different plans."

South Korea's Hyejin Choi (70), was tied for third, five strokes behind. Australia's top-ranked golfer Minjee Lee was tied for fifth after a 69, six off the lead.

Former No. 1 Lydia Ko shot a 71 and was eight strokes behind.

"It's always nice to be able to start the season on a good note, and I've obviously got tomorrow," Lydia Ko said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to finish off on a high note."

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Cantlay, McDowell, Saunders share lead at Riviera

By Doug FergusonFebruary 17, 2018, 3:51 am

LOS ANGELES - Tiger Woods waited 12 years to get back to Riviera and lasted only two days.

Woods had three straight bogeys early on the back nine Friday and didn't play well enough to make up for his misses. He had a 5-over 76 and missed the cut in the Genesis Open for the first time in nine appearances as a pro.

He was at 6-over 148, one shot worse than his PGA Tour debut as a 16-year-old at Riviera.

''I missed every tee shot left and I did not putt well, didn't feel very good on the greens,'' Woods said. ''And consequently, never made a run. I knew I had to make a run on that back nine, and I went the other way.''

Patrick Cantlay ran off three straight birdies toward the end of his morning round, starting with a tap-in on the par-3 sixth when he missed a hole-in-one by a fraction of an inch, and shot a 69. He was tied with Graeme McDowell (66), the former U.S. Open champion who is trying to work his way back from a two-year slump.

They were at 7-under 135.

Sam Saunders also was at 7 under, making back-to-back birdies until it was too dark to continue. He had three holes remaining in his second round. Ryan Moore bogeyed his final hole for a 68 and was one shot behind at 136.

Rory McIlroy overcame a few short misses on the front nine for a 69 and was at 2-under 140.


Full-field scores from the Genesis Open

Genesis Open: Articles, photos and videos


Cantlay was coming off a three-putt bogey when his tee shot at the par-3 sixth - the hole with a bunker in the middle of the green - landed above the flag and to the right, and then rolled back down the slope just over the right edge of the cup.

''I actually missed a little to the right, but it's a bowl back there so as long as you get the number right, it should be pretty close,'' Cantlay said.

He followed with a short iron into 5 feet for birdie, a 15-foot birdie on the next hole and then a wild drive that led to a bogey on his final hole.

McDowell has gone 59 starts worldwide since his last victory and has fallen out of the top 200 in the world. He had missed four straight cuts dating to late last year, though he felt he was hitting it well in practice. What helped was seeing some good scores.

''All I'm missing is a couple little numbers and a little bit of confidence,'' McDowell said.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson shot a 69 and gets to stick around for the weekend. He was at 1-over 143. Bubba Watson, who won in 2014 and 2016, has fallen out of the top 200 in the world after a two-year drought. He shot a 70 and was at 4-under 138, and then headed for the NBA All-Star weekend to play in the celebrity game.