Woods Stricker rally to give US big lead at Presidents Cup

By Doug FergusonOctober 10, 2009, 11:31 pm
Presidents CupSAN FRANCISCO – This rally belonged to the Americans, the biggest by Tiger Woods.

Woods and Steve Stricker were on the verge of defeat for the first time at the Presidents Cup, trailing by one hole on the 17th green and facing a 25-foot birdie putt as the International team was 5 feet away from what appeared to be the winning putt.

It all changed so suddenly Saturday at Harding Park, from a probable tie to a 10-7 lead for the Americans.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods reacts to his birdie putt on 17 Saturday. (Getty Images)
Woods rolled in the long birdie, pumping his fists as it dropped in the side of the cup. Mike Weir’s miss was equally surprising, and it squared their foursomes match. The world’s No. 1 player then drilled a 3-iron to 8 feet for an eagle putt that was conceded for a 1-up victory over Weir and Tim Clark.

Ahead of them, Stewart Cink and Hunter Mahan trailed the entire back nine until they birdied the par-5 18th to earn a half against Vijay Singh and Robert Allenby.

Those two matches provided a three-point swing. For the longest time, it looked as though the teams would go into Saturday afternoon fourballs tied at 8. The rally gave the United States its largest lead of the Presidents Cup.

The International team picked up only one victory in alternate shot, with PGA champion Y.E. Yang and 18-year-old Ryo Ishikawa winning again, this time, 3 and 2, over Zach Johnson and Kenny Perry.

It needed to stay close in fourball in the afternoon to keep this contest close.

Phil Mickelson improved to 3-0 with a third partner when he and Sean O’Hair won three holes in a four-hole stretch and won, 5 and 3, over Retief Goosen and Camilo Villegas, the Colombian rookie who has yet to earn a point this week.

Justin Leonard and Jim Furyk had a relatively easy time in beating Adam Scott and Ernie Els.

The drama belonged to Woods and Stricker, who now have won all three of their matches.

They had played only 29 holes in winning their first two matches, losing only one hole, not making a single bogey and never trailing. That changed quickly against Clark and Weir, who told International captain Greg Norman they wanted America’s best team.

Then, they showed why.

The American duo made their first bogey when Woods hit a poor bunker shot at No. 2 that didn’t reach the green. They fell behind for the first time all week when Weir hit a high draw with his wedge to 2 feet for a conceded birdie at No. 5.

And it started to get away from them.

Stricker missed from 6 feet for par to lose the hole at No. 7, Woods missed a 4-foot par putt to lost the eighth hole, and Stricker missed from 8 feet for birdie with a chance to win the ninth hole.

Weir and Clark twice had a good chance to go 3 up on the back nine until Weir hit into a bunker and missed a 10-foot par putt, and Woods holed an 8-foot par on the 14th.

Stricker kept them in the game with a wedge to 3 feet for birdie on the 13th to the cut lead to one, then with a 6-foot par on the next hole to stay one hole down.

That set up the theatrics at the end.

Woods tried to drive 307-yard 17th hole, and just missed, the ball staying up on the slope in the bunker. Stricker blasted out to only 25 feet, slamming his club into the sand.

“It wasn’t looking too good up to that point,” Stricker said. “The stage is set and he comes through again. It’s pretty impressive.”

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

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: