Match-by-match results: WGC-Cadillac Day 2

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 30, 2015, 8:07 pm

Play is underway on Day 2 at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship. Follow along here for match-by-match updates from TPC Harding Park:

Group 1: (18) Billy Horschel def. (53) Jason Dufner, 3 and 2: Horschel continues his roll, eliminating Dufner after birdies on four of his first 10 holes. While the former PGA champ will head home Friday, Horschel will have a Walker Cup rematch with McIlroy to decide the group.

Group 1: (1) Rory McIlroy def. (35) Brandt Snedeker, 2 up: McIlroy improves to 2-0, but Snedeker made him sweat. The world No. 1 played bogey-free golf and never trailed, closing things out when Snedeker's birdie putt on No. 18 failed to drop. He'll head into a winner-take-all match Friday with Horschel, while Snedeker and Dufner will face off for bragging rights and OWGR points.

Group 2: (2) Jordan Spieth def. (40) Matt Every, 4 and 3: Every grabbed an early 2-up lead, but Spieth's putter was unstoppable. He one-putted each of the last 10 greens, holing seven birdies for the second straight day to improve to 2-0 and eliminate Every from group play.

Group 2: (26) Lee Westwood def. (62) Mikko Ilonen, 1 up: Ilonen held a 3-up lead at the turn, but Westwood won four of the next five holes to take the lead. After the Englishman missed a short putt on No. 18 to end it, Ilonen followed suit to squander a chance to tie. Now Westwood, 42, plays Spieth, 21, with the winner advancing.

Group 3: (3) Henrik Stenson def. (42) Brendon Todd, 3 and 2: Stenson notched his first win of the week, but it still wasn't enough to keep alive his hopes of advancing. The Swede raced to an early lead after birdies on four of his first five holes, but the result of the other match in their group meant both players were eliminated.

Group 3: (60) John Senden def. (23) Bill Haas, 4 and 3: The Aussie pulled off his second straight upset, winning Nos. 12-14 to turn a 2-up lead into a decisive victory. While Senden was the lowest-seeded player in the group, he has already punched his ticket to the Round of 16 having already defeated Stenson on Wednesday.

Group 4: (4) Bubba Watson def. (33) Keegan Bradley, 4 and 2: The match was all square through 10 holes before Watson won three straight holes to take control. He improves to 2-0, while Bradley fell to 0-2 and became the first player officially eliminated from group play.

Group 4: (29) Louis Oosthuizen def. (63) Miguel Angel Jimenez, 2 up: Oosthuizen won each of the first two holes and never trailed in the match. While Jimenez squared things through 16 holes, Oosthuizen won each of the final two holes to eliminate the Spaniard and set up a winner-take-all match Friday with Watson.

Group 5: (44) Thongchai Jaidee def. (5) Jim Furyk, 3 and 1: Jaidee pulled off the first upset of the second day, winning each of the first four holes and holding a 5-up lead after six. Furyk fought back, but it wasn't enough. Both players are now 1-1.

Group 5: (59) George Coetzee def. (17) Martin Kaymer, 19 holes: Coetzee built a 3-up lead through 11 holes before Kaymer won three holes in a row to square the match. The German missed a short putt on No. 18 to close out the match, then Coetzee closed things out with a birdie on the first extra hole, leaving all four players in the group at 1-1.

Group 6: (60) Marc Leishman def. (23) Ryan Palmer, 4 and 3. After defeating Justin Rose on Thursday, Leishman had little trouble dispatching Palmer. He was 3 up at the turn, increased the lead to four holes when Palmer (0-2) bogeyed the 10th and cruised the rest of the way.

Group 6: (6) Justin Rose def. (34) Anirban Lahiri, 19 holes: The top seed in the group barely avoided elimination, as Rose never led in the match until closing out Lahiri in overtime. Both players move to 1-1, meaning they're both still alive to advance but will need some help from Leishman, who faces Lahiri Friday.

Group 7: (38) Branden Grace def. (7) Jason Day, 4 and 3: Grace eagled the first hole, birdied the second and never trailed. The South African played his first 12 holes in 6 under and moves to 1-1, while Day (0-2) will not advance.

Group 7: (49) Charley Hoffman def. (24) Zach Johnson, 2 and 1: Hoffman improved to 2-0 despite his standing as the lowest-ranked player in the group. The pair halved the first hole with birdies but played rather poorly from there, combining for seven bogeys and no birdies across the next 10 holes. Hoffman took command with a birdie on No. 16 and is in control of the group.

Group 8: (58) Matt Jones def. (21) Victor Dubuisson, 2 up: Jones never trailed in the match and won three of the first eight holes before the Frenchman battled back. After Dubuisson missed the green at No. 17, Jones rolled in a 16-foot birdie putt and closed things out with a birdie on the next hole to eliminate Dubuisson.

Group 8: (37) Charl Schwartzel def. (8) Dustin Johnson, 20 holes: Johnson built a lead on the front nine and held a 3-up advantage through 11 holes, but Schwartzel chipped away and ultimately squared things with a birdie on No. 18. The South African never led in the match until a 20th-hole birdie improved his record to 2-0, dropping Johnson to 1-1.

Group 9: (25) Chris Kirk def. (64) Francesco Molinari, 2 and 1: Molinari won the first hole and led through much of the opening nine, but Kirk squared things on No. 8 and never trailed after No. 11. Neither player made a birdie over the last nine holes of a relatively uneventful match, and both are now 1-1 for the week.

Group 9: (36) Paul Casey def. (9) Adam Scott, 1 up: Casey improves to 2-0 and will face Molinari Friday with a chance to win the group. Scott got off to a strong start but bogeyed three of his final six holes, effectively ending his week that never got off the ground as his putting woes continue.

Group 10: (39) Bernd Wiesberger def. (10) Sergio Garcia, 2 and 1: Garcia appeared in control, with a 2-up lead after 10 holes, before the Austrian rallied. Wiesberger made four birdies in a six-hole stretch from Nos. 11-16, and now both players sit at 1-1 for the week.

Group 10: (54) Tommy Fleetwood def. (30) Jamie Donaldson, 21 holes: The longest match of the day went to Fleetwood, who recorded his seventh birdie of the day on the 21st hole. Donaldson had a chance to take control of the group, but now all four players sit at 1-1 heading into the final day.

Group 11: (50) Gary Woodland def. (27) Ian Poulter, 3 and 2: Poulter is heralded as a match-play wizard, but he was eliminated after making only one birdie in his second match. Woodland won five of the first eight holes and cruised to victory, improving to 2-0 for the week.

Group 11: (46) Webb Simpson def. (11) Jimmy Walker, 19 holes: Simpson's affinity for San Francisco continues, as he erased an early 2-down deficit, squared the match with an eagle on No. 18 and won it when Walker mis-fired in extra holes. The result sets up a winner-take-all match between Simpson and Woodland, the group's lowest-seeded players.

Group 12: (12) J.B. Holmes def. (45) Russell Henley, 19 holes: Neither player led by more than one hole in this match, which reached a low point when No. 13 was halved with double bogeys. Holmes squared the match with a birdie on No. 16, then won when Henley found trouble in sudden death. Henley is eliminated from the group.

Group 12: (19) Brooks Koepka def. (51) Marc Warren, 20 holes: Koepka was 3 down with three holes to play, but staged a furious comeback to square the match and then won it by stuffing his approach to the second extra hole. The loss drops Warren to 1-1 and means Koepka can win the group by defeating Holmes on Friday.

Group 13: (13) Rickie Fowler def. (47) Shane Lowry, 1 up: Lowry led for much of the way before Fowler caught fire with his putter, holing three putts of more than 15 feet to square the match. He won with a birdie on No. 18 and became the first player to officially advance out of group play.

Group 13: (55) Harris English def. (32) Graeme McDowell, 2 and 1: McDowell held a 3-up lead through eight holes, but English rallied to win five of the next six holes. The result dropped the Ulsterman to 0-2, while English moved to 1-1 but was eliminated when Fowler defeated Lowry.

Group 14: (14) Matt Kuchar def. (41) Stephen Gallacher, 3 and 2: Gallacher held a 2-up lead at the turn before Kuchar won six of the next seven holes, including an eagle on No. 12. At 0-2, Gallacher is eliminated while Kuchar remains in the mix at 1-1.

Group 14: (31) Hunter Mahan def. (61) Ben Martin, 5 and 3: Mahan could be the hottest player in the field, and he has yet to drop a single hole through three matches. He didn't have to work very hard against Martin, who bogeyed three of his first seven holes and failed to make a single birdie.

Group 15: (57) Andy Sullivan def. (28) Ryan Moore, 3 and 2: Sullivan won two of the first four holes and never trailed, playing 16 holes in 5 under to move to 1-1. Moore's birdie run on Nos. 12-14 was too little too late, and at 0-2 he is eliminated.

Group 15: (48) Danny Willett def. (15) Patrick Reed, 2 and 1: A rather surprising result considering Reed's match-play acumen, but Willett was nearly mistake-free and took a 3-up lead when his drive at the par-4 12th left a tap-in eagle. He moves to the top of the group at 2-0, while Reed drops to 1-1 and needs help to advance.

Group 16: (21) Kevin Na def. (54) Alexander Levy, 3 and 1. Na (1-1) handed the Frenchman his second loss by going 1 up with a birdie at the first hole and never surrendering the lead.

Group 16: (16) Hideki Matsuyama def. (44) Joost Luiten, 2 up. Matsuyama (2-0) put the match away by eagling the par-5 final hole, reaching the green in two and draining an 11-foot putt.

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Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.