Featured Match Els vs Overton

By Randall MellFebruary 23, 2011, 1:20 am

2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayMARANA, Ariz. – GolfChannel.com senior writer Randall Mell is at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain for the opening round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He is providing a running blog for the match between Ernie Els and Jeff Overton. Follow him on twitter (@RandallMell) for more updates or for complete scoring of all 32 matches, click here.


 (4:07 p.m. ET) Ernie Els could only laugh at the weird twists and turns in his victory against Jeff Overton in 19 holes Wednesday at the Accenture Match Play Championship.

After losing the first three holes of the day, bouncing back to win five in a row in the middle of the round, Els won when Overton got himself in trouble in the desert. Els won after Overton pulled his approach shot left at the first extra hole (No. 1) into thick brush and couldn’t free himself.

“It’s crazy,” Els said. “It was a weird game, really weird. It was ugly.”

Els missed a couple of short putts early, hit just one of his first six greens in regulation and still managed to win.

After being eliminated in the first round five times in 10 previous starts at the Accenture Match Play Championship, Els was happy to advance, no matter how awkwardly. It was his first win in extra holes in this event. He lost the three other times he advanced to sudden death.

“My failure rate is pretty good here in extra holes,” Els said.

Els will meet J.B. Holmes in the second round.

“I’ve got some work to do,” Els said. “I need to play better tomorrow. This course suits J.B. Holmes to a tee.”

(2:44 p.m. ET) Els and Overton couldn't make putts most of the day, but they dropped some big ones coming home.

Overton's 10-foot par putt at 18 sends this to extra holes.

Els made a big par-saving 8-footer at the 17th.

(2:05 p.m. ET) Els lost the 15th hole without ever stepping on the green.

He is getting a good look at the desert today. He found his ball in the scrub brush aside the 15th fairway but couldn't make an escape.

It is all square with three to play.

(1:55 p.m. ET) Els turned to his caddie with more bewilderment on his face after pushing another tee shot right into rattlesnake country at the short par-4 15th.

Els is 1 up with four to go.

You get the feeling this won't be about who wins the match but who loses it.

(1:15 p.m. ET) Ernie Els has turned into a formidable locomotive.

With his victory at the 11th hole, he has won five holes in a row to go 2 up on Jeff Overton.

(12:23 a.m. ET) Match play is a strange animal.

After losing the first three holes, Els wins the final three on the back nine to square the match.

Momentum is a fickle master in this format. Els has it now with Overton looking shaky. Els got up and down at the ninth when Overton couldn't.



(12:23 a.m. ET) 'Can't make a 4-footer to save my life . ... Ridiculous!'

Those weren't the mutterings of Els coming off the seventh green, but of Overton after he missed a short putt for par.

Els is rallying in a match distinguished by some shaky putting all around.

With Overton's miss at No. 7 and Els' big birdie after escaping from some desert scrub brush following a wayward drive at the eighth, Els is only 1 down now.

 (11:47 a.m. ET) Els got one back at the fifth hole when Overton three-putted for a bogey to move Els to within 2 down, but he gave that right back at the sixth hole.

Els mis-clubbed in the wind, leaving his 185-yard approach short in the bunker and made his third bogey in six holes. Els has hit just one green in regulation over the first six holes.

 (11:28 a.m. ET) Ernie Els' putting is a problem early. He's missed back-to-back 3 1/2 footers for par. With a chance to win the hole at No. 4, he pushed a short putt right. With Overton also making bogey, Els is still 3 down.

Els would be 2 over through four, Overton 1 under.

(11:03 a.m. ET) Ernie Elis is off to a shaky start. Els missed a 3-1/2 footer for par at the third hole and is 3 down to Overton after three. Overton birdied the second hole for birdie-birdie start.

Els is 10-11 overall in Accenture, Overton is 0-0.

(10:30 a.m. ET) Tough start for Ernie Els, who is 1 down to Jeff Overton after the first hole.

Els had a rough time in this event from 2006-08 and was eliminated in the first round each of those years. In 10 Accenture starts, Els has been sent packing five times after one round. Jonathan Byrd embarrassed him in '08, routing him 6 and 5 in the opening match.

In '09, Els rebounded strong, advancing all the way to the quarterfinals before losing. Back in '01, he made it all the way to the semifinals, losing to Pierre Fulke. That's the farthest Els has advanced in this.

Last year, the Big Easy beat Ryan Moore 4 and 3 in the first round and then lost to Retief Goosen in 20 holes in the second round. 

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.