Match-by-match results: WGC-Cadillac

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 29, 2015, 10:15 pm

The WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship got underway Wednesday at TPC Harding Park, where numerous high-seeded players fell to their lesser-seeded counterparts. As they say - anything can happen in match play. Follow along here for match-by-match updates from the first round of group play in San Francisco:

Group 1: (1) Rory McIlroy d. (56) Jason Dufner, 5 and 4: Dufner never put up a fight for the world No. 1. The two made matching birdies at the opening hole, then it was pars all the way in for McIlroy and five bogeys for Dufner.

Group 1: (19) Billy Horschel d. (36) Brandt Snedeker, 5 and 4: Horschel was hard to beat, going 6 under through 14 holes without making a single bogey. Snedeker had four birdies, but he made four bogeys and a double bogey, too.

Group 2: (2) Jordan Spieth d. (68) Mikko Ilonen, 4 and 2: It's hard to keep pace with a guy who makes seven birdies through 16 holes, which is what the Masters champ did on Wednesday.

Group 2: (27) Lee Westwood d. (41) Matt Every, 1 up: Westwood and Every combined for 10 bogeys and one double bogey. All square through 17, a par on the final hole was all Westwood needed to go 1 up and win the match.

Group 3: (24) Bill Haas d. (43) Brendon Todd, 3 and 2: Four birdies on the front nine helped Haas to a 4-up lead at the turn. Todd made birdies at 13 and 16, but those came too little, too late.

Group 3: (65) John Senden d. (3) Henrik Stenson, 19 holes: After leading, 1 up, from holes 15-17, Stenson made bogey at the 18th to allow Senden to extend the match. Another bogey by Stenson on the first extra hole gave Senden the win.

Group 4: (4) Bubba Watson d. (69) Miguel Angel Jimenez, 5 and 4: It never looked good for the Most Interesting Man in Golf. Jimenez made four bogeys and no birdies, which meant Watson didn't have to play lights-out. Watson had two birdies and only one blemish - bogey at the par-3 13th.

Group 4: (30) Louis Oosthuizen d. (34) Keegan Bradley, 6 and 5: In the major champ vs. major champ match, Oosthuizen was 4 under through 13, while Bradley had five bogeys to just two birdies in the same span. Oosty made eagle right out of the gate, and never lost a hole and never looked back.

Group 5: (5) Jim Furyk d. (64) George Coetzee, 3 and 2: Furyk was steady on the front nine, and a couple bogeys cost Coetzee. Furyk was 4 up after a birdie at the par-3 13th. Furyk gave one hole back at 14, but then cruised to his 3-and-2 win.

Group 5: (17) Martin Kaymer d. (45) Thongchai Jaidee, 3 and 1: When Kaymer went 1 up through 11, he never let up and a birdie at 14 and par at 17 helped him to a 3-and-1 victory.

Group 6: (60) Marc Leishman d. (6) Justin Rose, 3 and 2: Leishman scored the first upset of the day, knocking off Rose who won last week in New Orleans. The Aussie won the first hole and never trailed in the match.

Group 6: (35) Anirban Lahiri d. (23) Ryan Palmer, 4 and 2: Lahiri birdied the first hole and never looked back, carding six birdies across his first 14 holes without dropping a shot. As can sometimes happen in match play, Palmer lost despite playing 16 holes in 3 under.

Group  7: (49) Charley Hoffman d. (7) Jason Day, 4 and 3: This match was close for much of the day and all square through 11 holes. Hoffman pulled ahead with a birdie on No. 12, then a pair of Day bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14 allowed Hoffman to close out the match on the following hole.

Group 7: (25) Zach Johnson d. (39) Branden Grace, 2 up: Johnson was 1 up on Grace for most of the back nine, and a par to Grace's bogey at the 18th gave ZJ the 2-up win.

Group 8: (38) Charl Schwartzel d. (22) Victor Dubuisson, 5 and 4: When Dubuisson hit an errant tee shot at the 14th, he was already 4 down. Which is likely why he had little contemplation over conceding the 14th to Schwartzel, ultimately ending the match in favor of the major champ.

Group 8: (8) Dustin Johnson d. (58) Matt Jones, 3 and 1: The match was all square through 13, but thanks to DJ making birdies at Nos. 14 and 16, he gained control late. Jones bogeyed the 17th to give DJ the 3-and-1 win.

Group 9: (70) Francesco Molinari d. (9) Adam Scott, 5 and 4: Scott opened his round with birdie to go to 1 up, but got to 2 down after bogeys at Nos. 3, 4 and 6. Molinari extended his lead with a couple birdies on the back nine to outlast the 2013 Masters champion.

Group 9: (37) Paul Casey d. (26) Chris Kirk, 22 holes: In the longest match of the day, it was the Englishman who came out on top. Neither player ever had more than a 1-up lead, and it was a bogey at the 22nd hole that was Kirk's undoing.

Group 10: (10) Sergio Garcia d. (57) Tommy Fleetwood, 2 up: Fleetwood was up for most of the day, but the match became all square after 15. Garcia went 1 up after Fleetwood conceded the 16th, then a par to Fleetwood's bogey at the 18th sealed the deal.

Group 10: (31) Jamie Donaldson d. (40) Bernd Weisberger, 1 up: After trailing for most of the front nine, Donaldson took a 1-up lead with a birdie at the ninth. Donaldson and Weisberger traded momentum on the back, but a bogey at the 17th proved costly for Weisberger who went to 1 down with 1 to play and then couldn't force extra holes.

Group 11: (46) Webb Simpson d. (27) Ian Poulter, 3 and 2: The major champion got off to a hot start and never let off, surprising more than just the match-play ninja Poulter along the way.

Group 11: (50) Gary Woodland d. (11) Jimmy Walker, 19 holes: It was an up-and-down match all day. Walker made birdie at the 18th to extend the match, then missed a short par putt on the first extra hole to give Woodland his first victory ever in the WGC Match Play.

Group 12: (53) Marc Warren d. (12) J.B. Holmes, 2 and 1: Holmes had six bogeys and a double bogey through 17 holes. Despite birdies at 8, 9, 12 and 15, the damage had been done and Holmes couldn't recover.

Group 12: (20) Brooks Koepka d. (46) Russell Henley, 1 up: The match was back-and-forth all day, and no one got more than 1 up. When Henley bogeyed the 17th, all Koepka needed was a par on 18 to win, 1 up.

Group 13: (13) Rickie Fowler d. (58) Harris English, 1 up: English led most of the front nine, but Fowler got the match back to all square on the ninth. Then, birdies at Nos. 10, 12 and 16 gave Fowler enough cushion that even a bogey at the 17th didn't deter him.

Group 13: (48) Shane Lowry d. (33) Graeme McDowell, 1 up: The match went all 18 holes, but there were only three holes all day in which Lowry wasn't leading. And of those three holes, the match was all square - G-Mac never led.

Group 14: (31) Hunter Mahan d. (41) Stephen Gallacher, 7 and 6: Mahan was 5 up at the turn, and with birdies at the 10th and 12th, sent Gallacher packing.

Group 14: (61) Ben Martin d. (14) Matt Kuchar, 1 up: Kuchar built an early lead and was 2-up after six, but Martin squared the match with birdies on Nos. 7 and 9. The pair were all square when Martin hit the shot of the tournament, a 243-yard ace on No. 17 to take the lead. He closed out Kuchar with a par on the next hole.

Group 15: (49) Danny Willett d. (29) Ryan Moore, 3 and 2: It was a ho-hum round from both of these guys, but Willett got to 1 up on 10 and never gave a hole back.

Group 15: (15) Patrick Reed d. (61) Andy Sullivan, 2 and 1: Reed was 2 down early, but got the match back to all square on the 10th. Sullivan conceded the 11th to give Reed his first advantage of the match, and despite a miscue at the 14th, was in control on the back nine.

Group 16: (16) Hideki Matsuyama d. (54) Alexander Levy, 5 and 4: Matsuyama opened with a birdie to go 1 up and the match never got back to all square. Matsuyama added four more birdies and recorded a lone bogey en route to his 5-and-4 win.

Group 16: (44) Joost Luiten d. (21) Kevin Na, 19 holes: Joost looked in control early in the match, but went to 1 down after a double bogey on the par-4 14th. With birdie at the 18th, Joost got the match back to all square. On the first extra hole, Na missed a 7-footer for par that would have sent the match to the 20th hole.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.