Match by match: Presidents Cup Day 2 fourballs

By November 18, 2011, 4:30 am

Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson (U.S.) d. Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa (International), 3 and 1

Forget Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods. The Americans have found a new juggernaut pairing in Simpson and Watson.

They beat Ishikawa and Els in a reprise of their Thursday foursomes match.

'We got off to a pretty good start, but the pins were very hard today and were tough to get close to,' Simpson said.

The Americans struck first with a Simpson birdie at the par-3 third hole before giving it back to a par by the Internationals at the fourth.

A birdie by Watson at the sixth and par by Simpson at the seventh allowed the Americans to regain a lead they would not relinquish. The teams each won two holes on the back nine before the Americans went dormie. A par at the 17th gave the first point of the session to Simpson and Watson.

Watson is pleased with his partner.

'He's doing good right now, and I'm riding his coattails pretty good, and somehow we got two W's out of it,' Watson said.

For the first time in Presidents Cup history, the same pair has gone out in the opening match of the first two sessions and won.


Aaron Baddeley and Jason Day (International) d. Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson (U.S.), 1 up

For the first time in his Presidents Cup career, Woods has begun 0-2.

Woods and new partner Johnson lost a closely contested match against Aussies Day and Baddeley.

Only three holes were won by either side in the entire match, with just one coming on the back nine. 

Woods won his first and only hole of the opening two sessions with a birdie at the par-4 fourth. The 14-time major winner made just one more birdie in the round - at the par-5 15th – but it was only good enough for a tie on the hole.

Baddeley could not sink a putt to win on the 17th hole for the second consecutive day, but made good on the 18th. Hitting an iron off the tee to insure placement in the fairway, Baddeley found the green and made a critical two-putt for the clinching par.

'I felt like I let him down yesterday, so it felt great to come through today,' Baddeley said afterwards.

If Woods loses his next match, it will equal the longest skid of his Presidents Cup career. He lost the final three pairs matches at Royal Melbourne in 1998.


Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk (U.S.) d. Adam Scott and Kyung-tae Kim (International), 2 and 1

Mickelson and Furyk may each be struggling with their form, but have managed to win both of their opening Presidents Cup matches. They never trailed against  Scott and Kim.

The newly minted Hall of Famer and Furyk each won two holes though both struggled to maintain confidence on the greens.

'This is crazy because when you get wind like this on greens that are 14 on the Stimpmeter, it's very hard to putt,' Mickelson said. 'I hit a couple of good putts early on that didn't go in [which] affected my confidence.'

A day after torching Royal Melbourne against Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, Scott could only manage one birdie on the round.

Furyk made several critical short putts down the stretch, posting the Americans' score on all but one hole of the back nine. 

The '03 U.S. Open champion said his team's point came in ugly fashion.

'We ham-and-egged it out there pretty well today,' Furyk said.


Geoff Ogilvy and K.J. Choi (International) d. Bill Haas and Nick Watney (U.S.), 1 Up

Watney barely contributed, with the Americans using his score on just four holes. Haas was responsible for both American wins, including an eagle at the par-4 11th. Haas drove the green from 333 yards, leaving a 7-footer for a deuce. 

The two wins by the FedEx Cup champion neutralized early wins by Ogilvy with birdies at the fifth and sixth holes. 

Ogilvy took the final hole won in the match at the 12th after both Haas and Watney made bogeys following errant drives. 

Choi became the leading player for the Internationals. He is the only player on the team to record two wins.


Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar (U.S.) d. Y.E. Yang and Robert Allenby (International), 4 and 3

Stricker did not win a hole. Kuchar's score was the one used in all five holes won by the Americans. The duo did need Stricker's score for seven halved holes.

Kuchar won three of four holes between the third and sixth, two of them with birdies. Until Kuchar made birdie at the 12th hole to go 3 up, Stricker carried the team.

The duo clearly worked well together, playing 6 under in 15 holes.

Yang was paired with Allenby as part of captain Greg Norman's strategy to create five teams with an Australian serving as sherpa to their partner around Royal Melbourne. The 2009 PGA champion did the bulk of the work, however, contributing on 10 holes.


Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel (International) d. Hunter Mahan and David Toms (U.S.), 2 and 1

Maybe all it took for Goosen to get on track at Royal Melbourne was to pair with a fellow South African.

Goosen and Masters champion Schwartzel jumped out to an early lead as Goosen won the second and third holes. Schwartzel extended the lead to 3 up with a birdie at the short par-4 11th. 

The Americans managed just a single win in the match, taking the 14th with a par after three players missed the green at the gusty par 3.

Toms and Mahan beat themselves by hitting just 14 of 34 combined greens in regulation.



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)

Spieth stalls on Moving Day at Australian Open

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 25, 2017, 4:30 am

Moving Day? Not so much for Jordan Spieth in Round 3 of the Emirates Australian Open.

Spieth, the defending champion and also a winner in 2014, continued to struggle with his putter, shooting 1-under 70 on Saturday at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney.

“I was leaving them short yesterday and today it was kind of misreading, over-reading. I missed a lot of putts on the high side – playing wind or more break,” he said. “I just really haven’t found a nice marriage between line and speed to get the ball rolling.”


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


The world No. 2 started the day eight off the pace and was unable to make a charge. He had three birdies and two bogeys, including a 4 at the par-5 finishing hole.

Spieth praised his ball-striking in the wind-swept conditions, but lamented his putting, which has hampered him throughout the week.

“Ball-striking’s been fantastic. Just gotta get the putts to go,” he said.

Spieth, who is scheduled to compete in next week’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, is still holding out hope for a third title in four years at this event. He fired a brilliant 63 in very windy conditions to prevail in ’14.

“Tomorrow is forecasted as even windier than today so you can still make up a lot of ground,” he said. “A few years ago I shot a final round that was a nice comeback and anything like that tomorrow can still even be enough to possibly get the job done.”

South Korean LPGA stars lead KLPGA team

By Randall MellNovember 24, 2017, 10:32 pm

South Korea’s LPGA team of all-stars took the early lead Friday on the Korean LPGA Tour in a team event featuring twice as much star power as this year’s Solheim Cup did.

Eight of the world’s top 20 players are teeing it up in the ING Life Champions Trophy/ Inbee Park Invitational in Gyeongju. There were only four players among the top 20 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings when the United States defeated Europe in Des Moines, Iowa.

Park led the LPGA team to a 3 ½-to-2 ½ lead on the first day.

Park, who has been recuperating from a back injury for most of the second half of this season, teamed with Jeongeun Lee5 to defeat Hye Jin Choi and Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4, in the lead-off four-ball match.

So Yeon Ryu and Park, former world No. 1s and LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Award winners, will be the marquee pairing on Saturday. They will lead off foursomes against Ji Young Kim and Min Sun Kim.

Nine of the 11 South Koreans who won LPGA events this year are competing. Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim are the only two who aren’t.

The fourball results:

LPGA’s Inbee Park/ Jeongeun Lee5 def. Hye Jin Choi/Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4.

LPGA’s Mirim Lee/Amy Yang def.  Ji Hyun Oh/Min Sun Kim, 3 and 1.

LPGA’s M.J. Hur/Mi Hyang Lee halved Ji Hyun Kim/Ji Young Kim.

KLPGA’s Ha Na Jang/Sun Woo Bae def. Sei Young Kim/Hyo Joo Kim, 5 and 4.

LPGA’s Na Yeon Choi/Jenny Shin halved Jin Young Ko/Da Yeon Lee

LPGA’s In Gee Chun/Eun Hee Ji halved Jeongeun Lee6/Char Young Kim.

NOTE: The KPGA uses numerals after a player’s name to distinguish players with the exact same name.

 

Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

Made Cut

The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

“I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

“You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

“The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

“I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “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.”

Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

“Oh, yeah,” he told Golf.com. “Way by.”

Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.


Missed Cut

Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

“That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.

Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

Images and footage from Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson's round Friday at Trump National in Jupiter, Fla., alongside President Donald Trump:



Original story:

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.



Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.