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.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: