Match by match: Presidents Cup Day 1 foursomes

By November 17, 2011, 6:29 am

Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson (U.S.) d. Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa (International), 4 and 2

The Americans struck first, with Simpson and Watson closing out Els and Ishikawa on the 16th hole.

The Internationals got out to an early 2-up advantage, taking two of the first four holes. But they would not win another hole for the remainder of the match.

Simpson and Watson reeled off three consecutive hole wins to take control of the match, with all of the putts made by Simpson, the PGA Tour's money-list runner-up.

Admitting nerves on the first tee, Simpson said Watson was able to put him at ease.

The American duo played a bogey-free round of 7 under for their 16 holes together, making them a team likely to be seen again this week.

Adam Scott and K.J. Choi (International) d. Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker (U.S.), 7 and 6

It's rare when the first two points decided in a Presidents Cup session come from the opening and anchor matches. It's even more surprising when the anchor team is Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.

'Unfortunately they got off to a quick start, and this course is so tough, we were just a little bit on the wrong side of the slopes,' Woods said.

The International team played well, shooting 4 under for a dozen holes – winning on each hole where they made birdie. A bomb by Scott at the par-4 11th sealed the Americans' fate, though Woods and Stricker dug their own graves with a trio of bogeys that cost them three more holes.

Woods and Stricker went undefeated in four matches together at the '09 Presidents Cup at Harding Park. In that quartet of matches, the pair never went more than six holes without registering a birdie. They made none in a dozen holes on Thursday.

The duo was 8 under in two foursomes matches in San Francisco, but was 3 over against Scott and Choi.

Hunter Mahan and David Toms (U.S.) d. Kyung-tae Kim and Y.E. Yang (International), 6 and 5

Mahan and Toms did not play extraordinary golf, but it was good enough.

Mahan and Toms opened with a birdie to take the advantage, winning a half-dozen more holes before closing out the match with a birdie at the par-4 13th.

The American team was 3 under on the round, playing even after birdies on Royal Melbourne's opening trio of holes.

Yang, who complained about the green speeds earlier in the week, failed to get acclimated to the putting surfaces. The longest putt he made was a 9-foot par save to halve the eighth hole.

Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk (U.S.) d. Retief Goosen and Robert Allenby (International), 4 and 3

Teaming together for the first time in a dozen years, Mickelson and Furyk played like old buddies.

Mickelson and Furyk fell behind after a bogey at the par-3 third hole, but did not lose a hole through the conclusion of the match. The veteran Americans took charge in a 6-hole stretch, winning five times between the seventh and 12th holes.

After the win at the 12th, the Americans halved the final three holes.

The only other occasion in which Furyk and Mickelson teamed up was in a losing effort to Sergio Garcia and Jesper Parnevik in a fourball match at the 1999 Ryder Cup.

Bill Haas and Nick Watney (U.S.) halved with Geoff Ogilvy and Charl Schwartzel (International)

The Internationals took the early advantage, winning two of the first six holes with birdies.

Haas and Watney finally got on the board with a birdie at the ninth hole, their first of the match, when Haas made a 16-footer.

After halving the next four holes, the Internationals won the par-3 14th after Haas was too strong out of the greenside bunker, leading to a bogey.

The Americans rallied, however, with two consecutive wins helped by poor ball-striking by Schwartzel. His drive at the par-5 15th forced Ogivly to lay up, while his approach shot to the 16th was nearly 30 yards off line.

Perhaps rattled by the setting, both sides struggled to halve the final two holes in par and bogey, respectively.

For Haas and Watney, it was quite an escape; the Americans never held the lead in the match.

Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar (U.S.) halved with Aaron Baddeley and Jason Day (International)

The last match on the course in the opening session may have been the biggest morale booster for Fred Couples' squad.

Standing 3 down on the 12th tee, Johnson and Kuchar rallied to halve their match with Aussies Baddeley and Day. 

All four players were competing in their first Presidents Cup match, and it showed early for the Americans.

After trading birdies at the first two holes, the Americans lost three of the next six. Kuchar, then Johnson, missed par putts from inside 5 feet on the seventh and eighth to fall 3 down. 

The Internationals showed their nerves coming down the stretch, losing the 12th after Baddeley thinned a short pitch shot that led to a bogey. 

Nevertheless, Day and Baddeley were dormie on the 17th tee. The Internationals took three putts to get down, allowing the Americans to extend the match with a par. 

At the final tee, Baddeley followed a solid drive by Kuchar by taking a 3-inch divot with a 3-wood. Unable to advance the ball to the green, Day and Baddeley were forced to try to sink a 30-foot putt to save par and the point. Instead, the Americans made par and a great escape.

Watch wall-to-wall coverage of the Presidents Cup live on Golf Channel. Tournament air times: Golf Channel Thursday 5:30PM-midnight, Friday 3PM-midnight and Saturday 6:30PM-12:30AM. NBC coverage Saturday at 8AM and Sunday at noon. (Note: all times are ET)

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

"He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

"I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

"From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

"And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

"There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."