Match-by-match: WGC-Dell Technologies, Day 5

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 26, 2017, 11:00 pm

Here's how things played out Sunday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin CC, where Dustin Johnson held off a hard-charging Jon Rahm to add another WGC trophy to his growing collection. Click here for the full bracket:


Dustin Johnson (1) def. Jon Rahm (21), 1 up: Johnson earned his third victory in as many starts, but it wasn't quite as easy as it appeared at the halfway point. The top seed stormed out to a huge lead, winning four straight holes from Nos. 3-6 and taking a 5-up lead through eight holes. But Rahm began to chip away, then kicked it into high gear with three birdies from Nos. 13-16. That cut Johnson's lead to 1 up with two holes to play, but Rahm couldn't get any closer as Johnson closed with a pair of pars for his second straight WGC title to further tighten his grip on the top spot in the world rankings.

Consolation match

Bill Haas (42) def. Hideto Tanihara (54), 2 and 1: Tanihara authored the shot of the tournament when he aced the par-3 seventh hole, and he carried a 2-up lead to the back nine. But Haas quickly turned the tables, winning four of the next five holes to take his first lead of the match. When Tanihara made a bogey on No. 17, all Haas needed was par to snag third-place honors for his best result since last year's Quicken Loans National.


Match 1: Jon Rahm (21) def. Bill Haas (42), 3 and 2: So dominant in his previous three matches, Rahm got off to a slower start Saturday morning. After he and Haas traded early lead back and forth, Haas squared the match at No. 7, and he'd never win another hole. Following five straight halves from Nos. 8-13, Rahm birdied 13, 15, and 16 to run away and secure his place in Sunday's final. Rahm, who already has a win to his credit this year at Torrey Pines, is a perfect 6-0-0 this week.

Match 2: Dustin Johnson (1) def. Hideto Tanihara (54), 1 up: The world No. 1 was pushed to the limit, but eventually found just enough to squeak past the bracket's lowest remaining seed. Johnson appeared to be cruising early, taking a 3-up lead to the eighth tee, but Tanihara eventually squared the match and forced Johnson to the 17th tee for the first time. There, the reigning U.S. Open champ stuffed a wedge for a pivotal birdie, then closed out the match with an up-and-down par on No. 18 to set up a much-anticipated duel in the final.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

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.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

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.

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LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

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:

"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."

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 3, Tiger Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:45 pm

After returning to competition at the Hero World Challenge in December 2016, Woods started the new year with an ambitious slate of tournament starts as he eyed his first full season since 2013. But he made it only three rounds, looking rusty en route to a missed cut at Torrey Pines before withdrawing abruptly in Dubai.

The “spasms” that led to that withdrawal turned out to be something far more serious, as Woods underwent his fourth and most invasive back surgery in April, a lumbar fusion. It brought with it an extensive rehabilitation, and at the Presidents Cup in September Woods humored the prospect that he might never again play competitive golf.

At Liberty National he also faced some scrutiny for an off-course incident from months prior. In May he was arrested for suspicion of DUI, an incident that produced a startling roadside video of an intoxicated Woods struggling to follow instructions from the arresting officer after driving erratically.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

While he was not drinking at the time, Woods was found to have a mix of several prescription medications in his system, including multiple painkillers. He checked himself into a private drug treatment program in July to address his dependency issues, and in October he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving.

But the incident was barely a memory when Woods again made a return to competition in the Bahamas at the tournament he hosts. This time around he exceeded nearly every expectation, twice shooting 4-under 68 while tying for ninth among the 18-man field. Having re-tooled his swing following fusion surgery, Woods appeared relaxed, happy and healthy while briefly taking the lead during the tournament’s second round.

What lies ahead for Woods in 2018 remains uncertain, as the stop-and-start nature of this past season serves as a cautionary tale. But after a harrowing arrest and another serious surgery, he seems once again focused on his game, intent on chasing down a new crop of elite talent, some of whom are barely more than half his age.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:30 pm