Poulter encouraged by runner-up finish in Turkey

By Ryan LavnerNovember 16, 2014, 2:50 pm

Ian Poulter hit a spectacular bunker shot Sunday to set up a 6-foot birdie putt that would put him in a playoff with Brooks Koepka at the Turkish Airlines Open.

To avoid standing in his playing competitor’s line, Poulter allowed Lee Westwood to putt first, from virtually the same spot.

Westwood made it.

Poulter stepped in, missed his putt low, lost by one and said afterward that it was “probably a bad thing” that he watched Westwood’s birdie putt. 

“I think he pushed it slightly and it fell in the right edge,” Poulter said. “I knew my putt was going to break right to left. I hit what I thought was right edge on a decent pace, and it broke across the hole. 

“So I don’t know whether he pushed his too much, or whether I read way too much into it. It might have been better if I had to hit my putt first.”

It was a disappointing end to a strange weekend for Poulter, who had a six-shot lead after 36 holes but found himself trailing by one heading into the final round. His final-round 67 wasn’t enough to catch Koepka (65), who earned his first European Tour title.

“To have a bad round on Saturday is inexcusable, and that’s what happens,” Poulter said of his third-round 75, which left him one back of little-known Wade Ormsby. “There are good players out here week-in and week-out, and you need to play four good rounds of golf. It’s that simple.”

Still, the runner-up finish – on the heels of last week’s T-6 in Shanghai – represents progress for Poulter, considering 2014 was one of the most disappointing years of his career. Battling injuries, he recorded just one top 10 on the PGA Tour and didn’t rise to the occasion at the Ryder Cup, recording a 0-1-2 record. 

His recent equipment change (from Cobra to Titleist) has taken quicker than anticipated, however, and Poulter now says he’s playing “great” heading into next week’s season finale in Dubai.

“To come into the back-end of the year as bad as 2014 has been, the last two weeks have been pretty good,” he said. “For me to play this well over this stretch of tournaments with new equipment in the bag is very pleasing. That was potentially a worry. 

“Sitting at 44 in the world is not the best scenario to be in” – the top 50 at year’s end are exempt into all 2015 majors and WGC events – “but to know I can play well with the new equipment, I can’t be any happier with that.”

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking 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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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.