Top Three Seeds Go Down at Match Play

By George WhiteFebruary 20, 2002, 5:00 pm
Peter OMalley will win the World Golf Championships'Accenture Match Play Championship if the Tiger Woods Trend holds true.
 
OMalley created a sensational uproar when he defeated top-ranked Woods in the opening round, 2-and-1, Wednesday at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. And you can look it up ' the man who has defeated Woods has always won this tournament.
 
Jeff Maggert took Woods out in a semifinal in 1999 ' and won. Darren Clarke toppled him in the finals of 2000 ' another winner. Tiger, of course, didnt play last year.
 
Second-seeded Phil Mickelson also lost. John Cook, No. 63, pulled the upset, 3-and-2. No. 3 David Duval was shocked as well, losing to No. 62 Kevin Sutherland in 20 holes.
 
I had a no-lose situation, really, said Australian OMalley, ranked No. 68 in the world. No one expected me to win, so I can just go out there and play my game. And if I win, well, its great. If I dont, it doesnt really matter.
 
View Round 2 Match-Ups in the Tournament Bracket
 
OMalley dropped a 30-foot putt on the par-5 17th to win it. Woods was also putting for birdie - from only six feet - but the Australians bullseye ended it.
 
Thats the nature of the format, sighed Woods. Anything can happen.
 
'I played with him a couple of months ago in New Zealand and he played well. He had a chance to win the tournament. He's just real consistent, which I expected, and he played his normal game.'
 
OMalley won the ninth hole to go 1-up and led from then on. He was 3-up after a birdie at 15, but Woods fought back on 16 with a 25-foot putt. That meant OMalley was only 2-up with two holes to play. When Woods cozied the third shot at 17 up to six feet - and OMalley faced the 30-footer - it looked like a patented Woods rally. Then came OMalleys coast-to-coast putt.
 
Woods made just one birdie ' the long putt at the 16th.
 
He was a little bit frustrated in his game, said OMalley, but I think he was still pretty relaxed until probably I holed that putt at 15 (to go 3-up). I dont think he was ' he certainly was not on his game.
 
In other matches, Davis Love III only had one ironed shirt. Iron one, and you might have a chance to play again. Iron all six ' in case you survive to play six matches ' and the odds are you will lose.
 
Love survived to play another day ' which means he has to iron another shirt. He defeated Philip Price of Wales, 2-and-1.

When I was unpacking, I unpacked and lined up my shirts in the closet and Im like, Theres got to be a system to this, said Love. Its bad luck if you iron all your shirts for six days. It is a weird feeling. You dont know ' its not like you make your return flight. Its hard to figure out what to do.
 
And Love isnt about to commit the deadliest of sins. You dont want to get cocky and iron all your shirts and have it backfire on you. And you especially dont want to send cleaning out, because you can really get in trouble.
 
Love was 5-up after the 12th hole, but then Price came sneaking back, winning the 14th, 15th and 16th. Love won it on No. 17 when he was able to gain a tie.
 
When I got 5-up, I fell into the, Well, all Ive got to do is halve the hole, and I should have been trying to win every hole, said Love. Youve just got to play aggressively and play the golf course and not worry too much about him.
 
Sergio Garcia is the highest seed remaining, following his 3-and-2 victory over Lee Janzen. He will next face Charles Howell III. Howell, No. 36, defeated No. 29 Stewart Cink, 4-and-3.
 
The No. 5 seed, Ernie Els, advanced with a 4-and-3 win over Jeff Sluman. I knew it was going to be a tough day with Jeff, said Els. Hes that kind of player that never goes away. He doesnt hit too many bad shots and doesnt make too many mistakes.
 
Els made five birdies and only one bogey, so he matched Sluman for toughness. Els strung together three birdies on Nos. 12'14 to put it away.
 
Matt Gogel defeated Clarke. It was Gogels putting that won it. He (Clarke) didnt make his putts, and that left the door open for me, Gogel said.
 
I think (No. 9) was a momentum swing a little bit in the sense that I still had the honor (off the tee), and he reached the green (on the par-5 10th) in two and left his eagle putt about a foot short (for birdie). And I made a birdie from about 12 feet, so I didnt give up anything there.
 
In a rematch of the infamous Ryder Cup match of 1999, Jose Maria Olazabal defeated Justin Leonard, 1-up. The match was close throughout with Olazabal easing ahead by three holes at the turn, then hanging on as Leonard chipped in on 17 to send it to 18 with Olazabal ahead by only one hole. The Spaniard won the match when he and Leonard both parred.
 
Olazabal did not drive the ball particularly well. It has not been as consistent and as good as it has been the last few weeks, and thats the only shame on my part, Olazabal said.
 
First-Round Results from the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
 

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


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Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.