Featured Match Kaymer vs Donald

By Rex HoggardFebruary 27, 2011, 11:42 pm

2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayMARANA, Ariz. – GolfChannel.com senior writer Rex Hoggard is at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain for the final round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He is providing a running blog for the championship match between (1) Martin Kaymer and (3) Luke Donald. Follow him on Twitter (@RexHoggard) for more updates or for complete scoring of the consolation and championship matches, click here.

 

 

(6:07 p.m. ET) It's official: Martin Kaymer is the new World No. 1 and Luke Donald is the WGC-Match Play Championship champion after beating the German 3-and-2 in Sunday's final match.

'You always have doubts after going five years on the U.S. Tour without a win,' Donald said. 'This is special.'


(5:56 p.m. ET) It's getting late early for Martin Kaymer at Dove Mountain, as they say in baseball.

The German missed a 6-foot birdie putt at the 15th hole to fall three holes behind Luke Donald with three holes to play. Dormie.


 

(5:32 p.m. ET) Echoes of 'Luuuka' greeted Luke Donald at the 13th hole on Sunday at Dove Mountain.

It's not that the gallery has anything against fellow finalist Martin Kaymer it's just that the Englishman Donald, who lives in Chicago, is the closest thing to an Anerican in the WGC final since Tiger Woods and Stewart Cink in 2008. And it might also have something to do with Donald's 2-up lead through 13 holes.


(5:15 p.m. ET) Martin Kaymer made a sloppy bogey at Dove Mountain's 12th hole, Luke Donald a steady par to move 2 up in the WGC final. 

Lost amid that scene was the fact nobody made an ace at the 12th this week to win the Cadillac Coupe on display adjacent the hole. Shame. 


(5:04 p.m. ET) This is the second consecutive year there has been a Donald in the WGC- Match Play final. Christian Donald caddies for Paul Casey, who finished runner-up to Ian Poulter last year.

His brother Luke is looking to do him one better, he leads Martin Kaymer by a hole following a 6 footer for birdie at Dove Mountain's 11th hole.


(4:33 p.m. ET) Luke Donald hit his approach at Dove Mountain's ninth into the desert left of the green and is forced to take an unplayable lie. He loses the hole to Martin Kaymer to move the match to all square.

Or, to put it another way, the finalist have played nine holes and accomplished nothing. 


(4:16 p.m. ET) The last two men standing at the WGC-Match Play continue to trade blows and birdies on Sunday.

Martin Kaymer got up-and-down at the par-5 eighth at Dove Mountain for birdoe to cut Luke Donald's lead to one hole.

And in case you wanted a weather update, it's cold and windy but at least it's not snowing.


(3:58 p.m. ET) Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald trade pars at Dove Mountain's seventh hole, the duo's first halve since the third.

Of course cold temperatures and chilling winds, not sportsmanship, may have been behind the duo's good-good move on the green.


(3:45 p.m. ET) Martin Kaymer is sporting a 'buff' again on Sunday. Not sure if it's fashionable but it certainly seems functional considering the conditions.

In an unrelated item Luke Donald missed his first putt in 79 holes, or so it seems, and drops a hole at Dove Mountain's sixth to lead 2 up.


(3:36 p.m. ET) Martin Kaymer will move to No. 1 in the World Ranking on Monday but he is not looking his world-beating best through five holes on Sunday at Dove Mountain.

The German pulled his drive into the desert at the fifth, took a drop and lost the hole with a bogey to fall three holes behind Luke Donald.


(3:23 p.m. ET) In the worst of the morning's weather Luke Donald hits his approach to 2 feet for a conceded birdie at Dove Mountain's fourth hole.

Martin Kaymer' birdie attempt from 8 feet runs wide and the German now finds himself in unfamiliar territory - 2 down.


(3:03 p.m. ET) Snow falling hard now, but neither Martin Kaymer nor Luke Donald seem to mind.

Both par the third hole at Dove Mountain and the Englishman remains 1 up.


(2:50 p.m. ET) Before Sunday's final at Dove Mountain Luke Donald had not trailed in 73 holes this week.

With a 23 footer for birdie at the second hole he continued that streak, going 1 up against Martin Kaymer.


(2:37 p.m. ET) For those curious as to why Luke Donald teed off first in his finals match with Martin Kaymer, a list that included Kaymer's caddie, we asked walking rules official Mark Russell.

'It's because of where they were in the bracket,' he said, although it seems Kaymer, No. 2 in the world entering the event, would have been higher.

Didn't seem to matter. Both parred the first hole. All square. 


(2:25 p.m. ET) Scratch that. It's snowing as the finalist head down first fairway. Surreal.
(2:13 p.m. ET) The final two-ball is still not to the first tee at Dove Mountain and a light snow is falling.

Just a hunch, but we're guessing Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald are happy this year's final was reduced to 18 holes.

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

"It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

"This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."

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Rahm (62) shoots career low round at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 10:33 pm

After a banner year in 2017, Jon Rahm found a way to add yet another accolade to his growing list of accomplishments during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Rahm got off to a fast start at La Quinta Country Club, playing his first seven holes in 6 under en route to a 10-under 62. The score marked his career low on the PGA Tour by two shots and gave him an early lead in an event that utilizes a three-course rotation.

La Quinta was the site of Adam Hadwin's 59 during last year's event, and Rahm knew full well that a quick start opened the door to a memorably low score.

"Any time you have that going for you, you get thoughts come in your head, 60, maybe 59," Rahm told reporters. "I knew that if I kept playing good I was going to have more birdie opportunities, and I tried not to get ahead of myself and I was able to do it."

Rahm birdied his first two holes before an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole sparked him to an outward 30. He added four more birdies on the inward half without dropping a shot.

The Spaniard is the highest-ranked player in the field this week, and while many players opted for a two-week stint in Hawaii he instead came home for some practice after opening the new year with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. That decision appears to have paid some early dividends as Rahm gets set to defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Low scores were plentiful on all three courses during the opening round, and Rahm remained pleased with his effort even though he fell short of matching Hadwin's sub-60 score from a year ago.

"That's golf. You're not going to make every single putt, you're not going to hit every shot perfect," he said. "Overall, you've got to look at the bigger picture. I birdied the last hole, had a couple of great sand saves coming in, shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for."