Goosen Seizes US Open in Battle Against Brooks
Goosen seized the day against Mark Brooks, winning the U.S. Open playoff Monday with an even-par 70 against Brooks 72. He seized the day when Tiger Woods couldnt ' after winning four straight majors, Woods had struggled all four rounds and finished in a tie for 12th. And he saved the day for South Africa, proving for one day at least that the countrys best golfer was not named Ernie Els or Gary Player.
I worked awfully hard out there today, said Goosen. Its been a long week and it feels like a year out there. I played awfully well the entire week. What can I say - its amazing.
Retief Goosen comments on his U.S. Open win
Throughout the tournament, Goosen played with a steady hand. He made all the up-and-downs, and his putting was beyond reproach save the 2 -foot miss at 18 on Sunday that sent this one into the playoff. Goosen was, without a doubt, the best player in the tournament.
He hit two great shots on 18 yesterday and he should have won then, said Brooks. Like I said yesterday, if Id have finished at 5-under (Brooks finished at 4-under), theres no way he would have three-putted.
Today was just one of those weird days. I got punished severely for being in the rough so much. And that was the difference.
Brooks got started early with a 9-iron to five feet at the third, but Goosen came back to tie it up with a beautiful tee shot on the par-3 6th. He arched his iron to within five feet and canned the putt.
Brooks hung his tee shot to the right on the seventh hole and had to dig it out. He wedged it on to the green 12 feet away and just missed the par putt, Goosen now taking the lead. Brooks missed the green on the par-3 eighth, dumping it in a bunker, but he hit a nice blast and canned the putt for par, remaining one behind Goosen.
Mark Brooks talks about losing the Monday playoff
Brooks continued his subpar play at the ninth, shoving his drive into the crowd and this time failing to make par. He battled a tree in getting it back out to the fairway, then failed to get it up-and-down and made bogey. Goosen, meanwhile, was tightening the noose a little more, making birdie at the ninth with a 15-foot putt. That gave Goosen a three-shot cushion as the second nine began.
Brooks problems continued at No. 10, where he once again drove into the right rough and made bogey. And Goosen was brilliant again, arching an iron to with 12 feet and sinking the putt for birdie. By now the South African had a five-shot lead and the championship was no longer in doubt.
The tournament was delayed by thunderstorms Thursday, but Brooks said it wasnt really a factor. It meant for some very long days as the large field slogged through the first tee only on Thursday and Friday, and the tournament didnt get back on schedule until Saturday evening. But by Monday, there was absolutely no effect on the two opponents.
Weve had a lot of long days the last month or so on Tour, played 36 somewhere. And we ran out, back and forth at Memorial, said Brooks. So it was good preparation.
Tulsa, incidentally, was far different from the venue of Goosens last outing eight days ago - the Forest of Arden Golf Club near Birmingham, England. His tie for fifth there was a prelude to what happened this week.
Last week we got windburn, this week sunburn, said Goosen. It was very cold there, especially the first two rounds. I dont know, the wind chill must have been nearly zero.
He came to Tulsa and the temperature most of the week hovered around 90.
Goosen is debating seriously whether now to use his Open championship and the resulting $900,000 to play the U.S. tour next year.
Ive enjoyed it out here this week, he said. The crowds have been great. When it was my turn to play, it was dead quiet. And when I made a putt, I got a good clap. It was great. It was a great feeling. I enjoyed every moment of it.
U.S. Open Playoff Scoring
U.S. Open Playoff Stats
Snedeker starts slow in effort to snag Masters invite
Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.
Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.
Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.
World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.
Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.
Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain
The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.
Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.
"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."
Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.
Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.
Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.
Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.
Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.
Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match
The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.
LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:
Who ya got in H.O.R.S.E. between @TigerWoods & his caddy Joe LaCava??? We've got some inside info from LaCava himself and we're taking Joey @CarlPaulsonGolf @dennispaulson62 pic.twitter.com/9l6NSoxQre— Inside the Ropes (@SiriusXMITR) December 14, 2017
"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."
It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.
"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."