Woosnam Advances Into Semifinals

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 12, 2001, 4:00 pm
Four players advanced into the semifinals Friday at the Wentworth Club in Surrey, England, site of the Cisco World Match Play Championship.
The following are results from Day 2:
Ian Woosnam def. Colin Montgomerie, 4-and-3:
Ian Woosnam continued to surprise many with his sensational play on Friday, as the 43-year-old Welshman and two-time winner of this event (87 and 90) defeated Wentworth-veteran Colin Montgomerie 4-and-3.
Woosnam took control of the match early, going 3-up through the first 18 holes thanks to a round of 7-under 65.
He then continued his solid golf over the closing stretch of holes, never letting Montgomerie get within two holes of his pace, and closed out the match with par-4 at the 33rd (No. 15).
Woosie showed the same kind of game that has propelled him to a 4-and-3 victory over U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen on Thursday, as well as three top-4s this season in Europe, including a tie for third at the British Open.
For Montgomerie, Fridays loss marks the second consecutive year in which he has not won at Wentworth after an astounding stretch of three victories in a row dating back to the 99 Volvo PGA Championship.
He had received a by in the opening round.

Padraig Harrington def. Darren Clarke, 5-and-4:
Padraig Harrington took another resounding win Friday, beating Darren Clarke 5-and-4.
Two-up through the first 21 holes, Harrington caught fire, winning the 22nd, the 24th, 25th, and 26th to move to 6-up.
Clarke ' who also had a by in the opening round ' got two holes back through the 29th, but Harrington birdied the par-5 12th and then parred Nos. 13 and 14 to effectively close out the match.
The Irishmans big win came on the heels of a dominating win over Nick Faldo on Thursday, when he beat the six-time major champion 9-and-8.
He is scheduled to play Sam Torrance on Saturday.
Lee Westwood def. Thomas Bjorn, 1-up:
Defending champion Lee Westwood won two of his last four holes, including the closing par-5 18th, to edge Thomas Bjorn 1-up.
Bjorn had led the match throughout and was 1-up over Westwood through the 32nd hole of the day, but watched as the Englishman and last years Order of Merit champion eagled the par-5 15th and birdied No. 18 to finish in style.
Westwoods win last year at this event was one of five other triumphs on the season, but he has been virtually invisible in 2001, with just three top-10s in 16 events, none of which have come by way of victory.
He will next square off against Woosnam in his attempt to successfully defend.
Sam Torrance def. Vijay Singh, 1-up:
In the longest and perhaps most thrilling match of the afternoon, 48-year-old Sam Torrance came back with a final flury to defeat Fijian Vijay Singh 1-up on Friday.
Torrance birdied the 34th and 35th holes to move one-ahead of Singh, and then closed with a par at the last to stay in the running for his first-ever title at the World Match Play Championship.
The Ryder Cup captain for 2002 might not even have been in the field this week, but got the invite when Canadian Mike Weir withdrew.
His resounding win against Singh ' this events champion in 97 ' came after handing five-time winner Seve Ballesteros a defeat on Thursday.
Next on his list of challengers is Harrington.
Click Here for Scores from Thursday's First Round at the Cisco World Match Play Championship.
Saturdays scheduled semifinal matches from the Cisco World Match Play Championship:
Padraig Harrington vs. Sam Torrance
Ian Woosnam vs. Lee Westwood
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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.