Garcia Goosen Look to Turn Things Around

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Deutsche Bank Players ChampionshipFresh off the 135th Open Championship, the European Tour keeps the momentum going with another world class field assembling in Hamburg, Germany, for the Deutsche Bank Players Championship of Europe.
 
Although most of the top American players have flown back across the Atlantic - including the Open champ and three-time winner of this event Tiger Woods - the field still includes European Tour stars past, present and future set to do battle for the $4.5 million dollar purse.
 
No less than eight of the world's top-20 players will tee it up at Gut Kaden Golf Club, led by world No. 5 Retief Goosen and No. 9 Sergio Garcia.
 
Goosen, who was just four off the lead at the halfway point at Royal Liverpool, struggled a bit on the weekend, seemingly matching every birdie with a bogey and ultimately coming in a disappointing tie for 14th. Having played in this event every year dating back to 1995, Goosen has never visited the winner's circle but does have four top-10 finishes including a runner-up in 1999.
 
Perhaps the most interesting player to keep an eye out for, however, will be Garcia. The 26-year-old Spaniard again faltered in what was his best chance to garner the first major of his career. Paired with Tiger in the final round, Garcia quickly bogeyed two of the first three holes and was never a factor in the outcome, ultimately finishing in a tie for fifth.
 
Although it was Garcia's best finish in a major this year - after a 46th in the Masters and a missed cut at the U.S. Open - he has struggled for most of the season. He currently ranks 51st on the PGA TOUR's money list, well behind his earnings for the previous two seasons, where is ended up ranked 9th and 10th, respectively.
 
The other top-20 players joining Goosen and Garcia in the field will be 10th-ranked Luke Donald, David Howell (11), Colin Montgomerie (15), Henrik Stenson (17), Tim Clark (18), and Padraig Harrington (19). Howell, Monty and Harrington all missed the cut at Hoylake.
 
Last year's champ Niclas Fasth is set to defend the title he won when he birdied the third playoff hole to outlast Angel Cabrera.
 
American John Daly also returns to look to improve on his third place showing last year, just two shots out of the playoff.
 
Other top names teeing it up are Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Thomas Bjorn, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Cabrera, Michael Campbell and Lee Westwood. Westwood and Harrington are both past winners of this event.
 
Also in the field is Edoardo Molinari, the 2005 U.S. Amateur champion, who just completed his eligibility to play in the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.
 
The Italian, who is the brother of 2006 Telecom Italia Open winner, Francesco, turned pro after his playing in the Open Championship, where he was paired with Woods the first two days. He finished in a tie for 68th with 2004 champion Todd Hamilton.
 
Darren Clarke, who was scheduled to be in Germany, announced after missing the cut at the Open that he was taking an extended break from golf to be with his ailing wife.
 
The Golf Channel will televise all four rounds beginning Thursday at 9:30 a.m ET.
 
First prize for the Deutsche Bank Players Championship is $754,000.
 
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  • Thompson wins Race, loses tournament after short miss

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 8:52 pm

    The drama went down to the very last hole in the LPGA's final event of 2017. Here's how things ended up at the CME Group Tour Championship, where a surprising miss from Lexi Thompson opened the door for Ariya Jutanugarn to win in dramatic fashion:

    Leaderboard: Ariya Jutanugarn (-15), Lexi Thompson (-14), Jessica Korda (-14), Pernilla Lindberg (-13), Eun-Hee Ji (-13)

    What it means: There were scenarios aplenty entering the final round, with nearly every season-long accolade still hanging in the balance. Thompson appeared set to take them all as she sized up a 2-foot par putt on the final hole - a stroke that looked like it would take her to world No. 1 for the first time. Instead, the putt barely touched the hole and allowed Jutanugarn to rally to victory with birdies on the closing two holes. Thompson still took home $1 million for winning the season-long Race to the CME Globe, as it was a reverse scenario from last year when Jutanugarn won the $1 million but not the final tournament.

    Round of the day: Sei Young Kim made the day's biggest charge, turning in a 6-under 66 to close the week in a share of 11th at 10 under. Kim made eight birdies during the final round, including five over her first eight holes en route to her lowest round of the week while erasing a third-round 75.

    Best of the rest: Jutanugarn seemed like an afterthought as the tournament was winding down, but she kept her hopes alive with an 18-foot birdie on No. 17 and then capitalized on Thompson's mistake with a clutch birdie on the difficult final hole. It capped off a final-round 67 for the Thai who now ends what has been a tumultuous season with a smile on her face.

    Biggest disappointment: Thompson faced heartbreak after the penalty-shrouded ANA Inspiration, and she again must handle a setback after essentially missing a tap-in with everything on the line. Thompson can enjoy a $1 million consolation prize along with the Vare Trophy, but a tournament win would have clinched Player of the Year honors as well as her first-ever trip to world No. 1. Instead, she now has the entire off-season to think about how things went awry from close range.

    Shot of the day: There were only three birdies on No. 18 during the final round before Jutanugarn laced one down the fairway and hit a deft approach to 15 feet. The subsequent putt found the target and gave her win No. 7 on her young LPGA career.

    Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

    He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

    Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

    Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

    Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

    Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

    "I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

    The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

    Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

    "I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

    McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.