Match recaps: U.S. clinches cup

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 6, 2013, 8:23 pm

OVERALL: U.S. 18 1/2, INTERNATIONALS 15 1/2

SUNDAY SINGLES: INTERNATIONALS 7 1/2, U.S. 4 1/2

Match 23: Ernie Els (INTL) defeats Steve Stricker (USA), 1 up

What some said would be an impromptu putting lesson for Els – who struggled at times during the week on Muirfield Village’s greeens – turned into a match-play clinic with the South African never trailing and pulling away with a clutch birdie at No. 16.

Match 24: Hunter Mahan (USA) defeats Hideki Matsuyama (INTL), 3 and 2

For those who may have forgotten, Muirfield Village is a ball-striker’s golf course and Mahan put on a shot-making show. The American was 4 under through 16 holes and improved his Presidents Cup singles record to 3-1-0.

Match 25: Jason Dufner (USA) defeats Brendon De Jonge (INTL), 4 and 3

The laser-like iron play that helped Dufner win the PGA Championship this year was back on display to the misfortune of de Jonge. Dufner was all over the flagstick with stellar ball-striking.

Match 26: Jason Day (INTL) defeats Brandt Snedeker (USA), 6 and 4

The Australian went 5 under through 14 holes and blew away Snedeker to put the Internationals' first point on the board in the singles frame and ended his week with a solid 3-1-1 record.

Match 27: Graham DeLaet (INTL) defeats Jordan Spieth (USA), 1 up

For those who couldn’t make it to Muirfield Village for the conclusion of the final foursomes session on Sunday, the Canadian put on another show at the 18th hole, holing out for birdie at the last for the second time in less than seven hours to complete an inspiring week for the rookie.

Match 28: Adam Scott (INTL) defeats Bill Haas (USA) 2 and 1

The Masters champ hit his tee shot to 10 feet at the eighth hole, buried the birdie putt to take a 1-up lead and never looked back.

Match 29: Zach Johnson (USA) defeats Branden Grace (INTL), 4 and 2

Johnson was in command early and never wavered. He won the third hole, draining a 25-foot birdie to take a 1-up lead. He never trailed the rest of the way.

Match 30: Marc Leishman (INTL) defeats Matt Kuchar (USA), 1 up

This match was tight all the way, with Leishman looking as if he were going to give away his 1-up lead at the 18th hole. He buried a 14-foot putt for par there to halve the hole and win his match.

Match 31: Tiger Woods (USA) defeats Richard Sterne (INTL), 1 up

It was fitting that for a third straight Presidents Cup, the clinching point came from Tiger Woods. Hampered by a lingering back injury down the stretch, Woods won the 16th hole with a par to take the lead and didn’t relinquish it.

Match 32: Charl Schwartzel (INTL) defeats Keegan Bradley (USA), 2 and 1

After grabbing the lead on the 10th hole, Bradley lost three straight starting on No. 14, posting two double bogeys and a par on the par-5 15th. Schwartzel was solid if not spectacular throughout the round.

Match 33: Webb Simpson (USA) halved with Louis Oosthuizen (INTL)

Simpson grabbed the lead with a birdie on the second hole and never gave it up – until the final hole when, with the overall total no longer in doubt, he conceded to Oosthuizen, giving each a halve.

Match 34: Angel Cabrera (INTL) defeats Phil Mickelson (USA), 1 up

Each player believed this one was simply for pride – until things started tightening up. “I got to 12 or 13,” Mickelson said, “and they were like, ‘Your match is going to count.’ I was like, ‘What?’” As it turns out, it counted – but only for posterity’s sake. A par for Cabrera on the last was the difference.


SATURDAY/SUNDAY FOURSOMES: U.S. 3 1/2, INTERNATIONALS 1 1/2

Match 18: Jason Day/Graham DeLaet (INTL.) halve Keegan Bradley/Phil Mickelson (U.S.)

The session’s most heated match, with the Internationals rolling out to a 3-up lead before darkness halted play. The U.S. won the 14th, the first hole of the restart, but bogeyed the 16th to set up the week’s best exchange at the 18th when DeLaet chipped in from in front of the green and Bradley holed a 10 footer for the halve. And yes, there were plenty of fist pumps.

Match 19: Jason Dufner/Zach Johnson (U.S.) def. Richard Sterne/Marc Leishman (INTL.), 4 and 3

The only match from the final foursome session to finish on Saturday thanks to a fierce American rally. The Internationals built a 2-up lead before the Americans played their last eight holes in 6 under, including a holed-out wedge by Johnson at the 15th hole to complete the walk-off.

Match 20: Bill Haas/Steve Stricker (U.S.) def. Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (INTL.), 4 and 3

A new partner for Stricker but a familiar result. The U.S. tandem was 6 under through 15 holes, a filthy alternate-shot card, and stunned what had become the International’s best team.

Match 21: Ernie Els/Brendon de Jonge (INTL.) vs. Tiger Woods/Matt Kuchar (U.S.), 1 up

The undefeated American power tandem rallies after falling three holes down through 14 holes with an eagle at the 15th and birdie at No. 16, but Kuchar fails to convert a 7 footer at the 17th to square the match and the Internationals provide their teams only full point in the session.

Match 22: Webb Simpson/Brandt Snedeker (U.S.) def. Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel (INTL.), 1 up

When the Internationals dissect what went wrong this week they may start with this match. The South Africans rolled out to a 3-up lead, playing the first eight holes in 4 under, but imploded when play resumed, playing Nos. 13 to 17 in 5 over to assure the Americans win the second foursomes frame.


SATURDAY FOURBALLS: U.S.  4, INTERNATIONALS 1

Match 13: Phil Mickelson/Keegan Bradley (USA) defeat Ernie Els/Brendon de Jonge (INTL), 2 and 1

Trailing 2 down at one point, Mickelson posted four consecutive birdies starting at the 11th hole to turn things around. He and Bradley improved to 5-1-0 as partners over the past two years.

Match 14: Jason Day/Graham DeLaet (INTL) defeat Steve Stricker/Jordan Spieth (USA), 2 up

After the match, Day said of his partner, “Oh, man. This guy is clutch.” Indeed, it was DeLaet who birdied 16 for a 1-up lead, but a tight approach on the final hole by Day eventually sealed the victory.

Match 15: Bill Haas/Webb Simpson (USA) defeat Angel Cabrera/Branden Grace (INTL), 4 and 3

The Wake Forest connection took the lead on the opening hole and never trailed in this one. Haas was especially on his game, hitting multiple approach shots so close that they led to conceded birdies.

Match 16: Brandt Snedeker/Hunter Mahan (USA) defeat Louis Oosthuizen/Carl Schwartzel (INTL), 2 up

You can’t win if you never lead and that was the issue facing the South African duo in this one.  In an evenly contested match, Mahan and Snedeker took a lead on the third hole, but never led by more than 2 up.

Match 17: Tiger Woods/Matt Kuchar (USA) defeat Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (INTL), 2 up

Facing a first loss together at 1 down with six to play, the U.S. duo caught fire. Woods birdied 13, Kuchar birdied 14, Woods eagled 15 and Kuchar birdied 18 to clinch it. They moved to 3-0-0 as partners this week.


FRIDAY FOURSOMES: U.S. 3, INTERNATIONALS 3

Match 7: Phil Mickelson/Keegan Bradley (USA) def. Jason Day/Graham DeLaet (INTL), 4 and 3. 

Mickelson and Bradley made eagle at the fifth to square the match and begin a torrid run of eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie on the way to a front-nine 30. After a rain delay halted play at the turn, they came out and won the first three holes to go 6 up with six to play.

Match 8: Ernie Els/Brendon de Jonge (INTL) def. Bill Haas/Hunter Mahan (USA), 4 and 3.

De Jonge continued his stellar play in his rookie Presidents Cup. He holed a birdie at the second hole with Els holing one at the third to put the Internationals 2 up in the match. They led the rest of the way.

Match 9: Steve Stricker/Jordan Spieth (USA) defeat Branden Grace/Richard Sterne (INTL), 2 and 1

The U.S. duo never trailed in this one, jumping to a 2 up lead at the turn and extending it to 4 up before Stricker holed a 6-foot par putt to close it out. The team’s oldest and youngest players are now 2-0-0 together and will be paired again in Saturday’s fourballs session.

Match 10: Angel Cabrera/Marc Leishman (INTL) defeat Webb Simpson/Brandt Snedeker (USA), 2 and 1

After an opening match thrashing, Cabrera and Leishman finally showed signs of life on the topsy-turvy back nine in this match. They won the 11th and 12th holes to go 2 up; lost the 13th and 14th to drop to all square; then won the 15th and 17th to win the match.

Match 11: Tiger Woods/Matt Kuchar (U.S.) def. Louis Ooshuizen/Charl Schwartzel (INTL.), 4 and 2

The American tandem of Carlton and Kuchar, sorry, Woods and Kuchar, were solid again, teaming to go 8 under through 16 holes and steamroll the South African tandem. The U.S. duo remains undefeated at Muirfield Village.

Match 12: Hideki Matsuyama/Adam Scott (INTL.) def. Jason Dufner/Zach Johnson (U.S.), 2 and 1

The Americans rallied when play resumed early Saturday with three consecutive birdies starting at No. 13, but Scott and Matsuyama close them out with steady pars at the 16th and 17th to keep the Internationals from dropping their eighth consecutive foursomes session.


THURSDAY FOURBALL: U.S. 3 1/2, INTERNATIONALS 2 1/2

Match 1: Jason Day/Graham DeLaet (INTL.) def. Brandt Snedeker/Hunter Mahan (U.S.), 1 up

The American duo grabbed a quick 3-up lead, but that differential was cut to 1 up by the turn and was erased on the 15th hole. Day’s lengthy birdie putt on the final green of his home course gave the Internationals their first point of the day.

Match 2: Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (INTL.) halve with Bill Haas/Webb Simpson (U.S.)

This one likely felt like a win for the Internationals, who never led in the match. Scott was the main man with an eagle and six birdies, but it was the rookie who came up big, hitting a laser at the last hole to claim a half-point.

Match 3: Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel (INTL.) def. Phil Mickelson/Keegan Bradley (U.S.), 2 and 1

Call it a Tale of Two Sides. The U.S. pair led after six of the front nine holes and never trailed, but the Internationals grabbed a lead on the 11th and never relinquished it, as a Schwartzel birdie on 17 sealed the deal.

Match 4: Steve Stricker/Jordan Spieth (U.S.) def. Ernie Els/Brendon de Jonge (INTL.), 1 up

Despite an absolute birdie barrage by first-timer de Jonge, the oldest and youngest members of the U.S. side took turns rolling in a bevy of putts themselves in a match that featured the best overall play by any foursome.

Match 5: Matt Kuchar/Tiger Woods (U.S.) def. Angel Cabrera/Marc Leishman (INTL.), 5 and 4

Woods and Kuchar combined to post eight birdies in 14 holes, following each victorious hole with a celebration directly out of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” As Kuchar said of the idea afterward, “That was definitely all me.”

Match 6: Zach Johnson/Jason Dufner (U.S.) def. Branden Grace/Richard Sterne (INTL.), 5 and 3

The U.S. tandem took a lead on the opening hole with a birdie from Johnson, then went 2 up with a second-hole birdie from Dufner and never led by less than that, easily disposing of the International team’s only all-rookie pairing.

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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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.


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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.