Match by match: Recaps from Day 3 foursomes

By November 18, 2011, 11:26 pm

Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson (U.S.) d. Robert Allenby and Geoff Ogilvy (International), 3 and 2

Watson and Simpson continued their winning ways, defeating Royal Melbourne specialists Allenby and Ogilvy.

The Americans never trailed, winning the first two holes with birdies. The International duo pulled even with wins at the front-side par-3 third and fifth.

The teams traded wins at the eighth and ninth to make the turn all square. From then on, the Internationals did not win another hole.

Watson and Simpson won with a bogey at the par-4 12th when the Aussies took four to get on the green. The Americans sealed their third consecutive win with mid-range birdie putts at Nos. 14 and 16.

The pair who faced off in a playoff in New Orleans have now taken all three of their matches from the lead-off spot – a Presidents Cup first.


Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa (International) d. Bill Haas and Matt Kuchar (U.S.), 1 up

In their final match as a duo in this Presidents Cup, Ishikawa and Els went out as winners by the slimmest of margins.

The Americans led from the beginning, winning the opening two holes with a birdie and an eagle. Setting the tempo for the match, the Internationals answered by taking the par-3 third and fifth holes.

The U.S. duo rallied with winning pars at the sixth and seventh, taking advantage of inadequate approach play by the Internationals.

Haas bunkered the Americans on the 10th and 12th holes with his approach shots, leaving Kuchar to extricate halves from the sand. But he was unable to get the ball close enough for Haas to make sandies, so the Internationals again pulled even.

After the Americans won the 14th with a par, the Internationals took two straight holes to take the lead and keep it for good. Kuchar blasted his first putt at the par-5 15th some 20 feet past the pin, leading to a losing bogey.

To secure the win, Ishikawa sank critical putts to halve the final two holes. The Japanese star sank a 14-footer to make par at No. 17, then holed a tricky 5-foot par putt to secure the full point. 

Ishikawa is done for the day, as he will sit out in the afternoon fourballs. 


Hunter Mahan and David Toms (U.S.) d. Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel (International), 5 and 4

Mahan and Toms avenged a loss in the fourball session on Friday.

The Internationals won just a single hole, the fourth, to take the early advantage. Following that win, the South Africans lost four of the next five holes.

After Schwartzel short-sided his teammate at the fifth, a par was all the Americans needed to win. A hole later, Mahan holed out his second shot from 53 yards for an eagle at the short par-4 sixth. On the seventh, Mahan made a 21-foot birdie putt to go 2 up. Another International bogey at the ninth bookended the American run on the front side.

The Internationals failed to hit the green at Nos. 13 and 14 and were unable to get up-and-down for par on both holes, so the Americans won to close out the match.

Both foursomes matches won by Toms and Mahan were blowouts, including their 6-and-5 victory on Thursday.


Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson (U.S.) d. Adam Scott and K.J. Choi (International), 3 and 2

For the first time in this Presidents Cup, Woods came out a winner.

Woods teamed with Johnson to take out Scott and Choi. Woods and Steve Stricker had lost, 7 and 6, in the anchor match of the Thursday foursomes to the same duo.

The Americans got behind early after a three-putt at the par-3 third hole, but rallied with pars to win the seventh and eighth – the two longest par 4s on the front nine. Choi and Scott were unable to get up-and-down from inside 20 yards to halve both holes.

Choi made up for a poor pitch at the eighth with a tricky chip at the 11th, leading to a birdie to win the hole and square the match. It would be their final win, however.

The American duo closed out the match with wins in the final three holes, beginning with a concession at the 13th when the Internationals had 143 yards to go after Woods found the green for the U.S.

The Internationals three-putted the par-3 to lose the next hole, then split the 15th in par 5 before Woods drained a 16-foot putt to win the point.

With the exception of the final 16-footer Woods made to secure the win, the American duo made almost no putts of significant length. The longest putt the team made was 5 feet.


Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk (U.S.) d. Aaron Baddeley and Jason Day (International), 2 and 1

After 10 holes of their Saturday foursomes match, the American duo had no business winning a third consecutive match. 

Playing the final eight holes in 5 under, however, was enough to produce an astounding comeback.

Swapping early wins with the Americans at the first and third, the Aussie duo took control of the match with wins at Nos. 4 and 5. To close the front nine, the teams traded wins with par on the final two holes of the side.

The 10th hole may have been a turning point, however. The Americans were gifted a halve in bogey, then did not drop a shot or a hole for the remainder of the match.

The Americans rattled off three straight wins with birdies, making putts of 13, 25 and 20 feet, respectively. Suddenly, Furyk and Mickelson had turned a deficit into a stunning lead.

Two holes later, Furyk made a 21-foot birdie putt to win the par-5 15th, putting the squeeze on the Aussies. 

Mickelson secured the unlikely win on the penultimate hole in dramatic fashion. The four-time major winner made a putt of 52 feet, including a couple of feet of break, to make birdie and win the match. 

The undefeated duo, however, will not go for the sweep in the afternoon. Mickelson volunteered to sit for the first time in his Presidents Cup career.


Watch wall-to-wall coverage of the Presidents Cup live on Golf Channel. Tournament air times: Golf Channel Friday 3PM-midnight and Saturday 6:30PM-12:30AM. NBC coverage Saturday at 8AM and Sunday at noon. (Note: all times are ET)

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.