Running blog: WGC-Accenture Match Play Day 4

By Rex HoggardFebruary 25, 2012, 10:26 pm

MARANA, Ariz. – Day 4 of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship is under way at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain. senior writer Rex Hoggard is on site with a running blog of the fourth-round action. (Click for Scoring)

All times ET

5:43 p.m.: Another match ends early at Dove Mountain with Rory McIlroy rolling over Sang-Moon Bae, 3 and 2.

The Lee Westwood-Martin Laird match is the only match still on the course with the Englishman 3 up through 15 holes.

5:26 p.m.: Good match play hole, this 15th at Dove Mountain. 

Rory McIlroy's 3-wood tee shot rolls back off the front edge of the putting surface, Sang-Moon Bae's driver finishes pin high right of the green.

Bae misses his birdie putt, McIlroy makes and goes 3 up. The crowd is entertained. Brilliant.

4:48 p.m.: It is shaping up to be a best-case-scenario for WGC-Accenture Match Play officials, with Lee Westwood 3 up in his match against Martin Laird and Rory McIlroy 1 up on Sang-moon Bae.

If either player wins this week they go to No. 1 in the world and, as if that's not enough subtext, it creates an interesting showdown between International Sports Management's top client (Westwood) and the firm's best former player McIlroy, who bolted ISM late last year.

4:26 p.m.: Rory McIlroy makes a mess of the 10th hole, hitting into the desert for the second time today, and drops into a tie with Sang-Moon Bae.

The way the afternoon matches are shaping up this morning's blowouts were little more than an under card for today's matinee.

3:47 p.m.: Following Matt Kuchar’s 7-and-5 loss to Hunter Mahan in the quarterfinals at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship he jokingly said he’d like to “punch (NBC Sports analyst) Nick Faldo in the back of the head,” in his post-match interview.

Kuchar later told GTC that he intended the comment to be a joke and that he has no ill will toward Faldo.

“I think I have a silly sense of humor and Nick’s a big boy. I don’t want any piece of him,” Kuchar smiled. “It was just a joke.”

Kuchar caught up with Faldo in the Dove Mountain parking lot before leaving and apologized personally. “He said it was fine. Really, I meant nothing by it,” Kuchar said.

3:15 p.m.: On Friday Lee Westwood talked about the extended session he had with Pete Cowan earlier this week to improve his chipping and the extra work seems to be paying off.

At the par-4 fourth hole Westwood managed to float his second shot to 10 feet from a difficult lie. Although he missed the birdie putt, and remains 1 down to Martin Laird, it is clear he’s made progress to improve the weakest areas of his game.

2:47 p.m.: Martin Laird birdies the first hole to go 1 up against Lee Westwood, who had not trailed in a single match this week, while Matt Kuchar continues to head for an early exit at Dove Mountain.

Kuchar hasn’t made a birdie in his match with Hunter Mahan and is 6 down through 10 holes.

1:51 p.m.: Matt Kuchar three-putts the seventh to go 4 down to Hunter Mahan in his quarterfinal match at Dove Mountain.At this rate he may be finished with his day before the third match of the day tees off (2:05 p.m. ET).

1:35 p.m.: More surprises from the morning's second game. 

Matt Kuchar, 1 down after a rinsed tee shot at the third, three-putted the fifth hole and airmailed the green at No. 6 to fall three holes behind Hunter Mahan.

For the day Kuchar is 3 over. 

1:12 p.m.: With a wedge in his hand from the fairway, Hunter Mahan hits his approach into the back bunker at No. 4 but he scrambles for par and Matt Kuchar fails to convert his 15-foot birdie putt. 

Neither American seems to have their best stuff so far this morning.

12:59 p.m.: Not the prettiest of starts for the all-American tandem of Hunter Mahan and Matt Kuchar at Dove Mountain. 

After trading pars on the first two holes, Kuchar's tee shot at the third finds the water and he goes 1 down heading to the driveable par-4 fourth hole.

12:38 p.m.: Peter Hanson rolled past Brandt Snedeker on Friday, birdieing his first three holes on his way to a 5-and-3 victory. Saturday at Dove Mountain is turning out to be a different story. 

Hanson bogeyed the first to fall 1 down to Mark Wilson and scrambled for birdie at the second to keep pace.

11:55 a.m.: For all but two of today’s Elite Eight at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship today’s quarterfinal round will be a new experience.

Only Matt Kuchar and Rory McIlroy have experience this deep into the Match Play, with the American advancing to the consolation match last year and the Ulsterman making it to the quarterfinals in 2009.

Lee Westwood, who plays Martin Laird in the day’s anchor match, had never advanced past the second round in 11 previous Match Plays while rookie Sang-Moon Bae is making his first Match Play start and Mark Wilson was bounced in Round 2 at his first Match Play last year.

Watch live coverage of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Golf Channel, Saturday noon-2PM ET; Sunday 8AM-1PM ET. NBC coverage can be seen live Saturday/Sunday, 2-6PM ET.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.