U.S. leads Ryder Cup 10-6

By Jay CoffinSeptember 30, 2012, 12:01 am

MEDINAH, Ill. – Tiger Woods hasn’t won a match this week but the Americans have built a commanding 10-6 lead after two days at the Ryder Cup. Go figure.

It’s simple math: The U.S. must earn 4 1/2 of 12 possible points during Sunday singles at Medinah to claim its second consecutive home Ryder Cup over the reeling Europeans.

After entering the day with a 5-3 lead the U.S. won the morning foursomes 3-1 to put the pressure squarely on Europe to win the afternoon session to make these matches more interesting. Europe continued to struggle on the greens but managed a 2-2 tie in afternoon fourballs.

“We haven’t lost a segment yet,” U.S. captain Davis Love III said. “We'll go tomorrow and try to keep that string going.”

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The 10-6 U.S. lead is large, but it’s the same score that the Americans came back from to beat the Europeans in the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline, marking the biggest comeback in cup history.

Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson started off the afternoon with an easy 5-and-4 victory over Justin Rose and Francesco Molinari. The U.S. made nine birdies in a 12-hole stretch, including four consecutive by Simpson on Nos. 8-11.

“We got in our rhythm,” Watson said. “I did the par 5s and he did the rest and that’s pretty much all we did.”

Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar held a lead for most of the back nine against Nicolas Colsaerts and Paul Lawrie but made a hiccup bogey on No. 16 to square the match. But Johnson, who was even par for the first 16 holes, drained a 25-footer for birdie on the par-3 17th to help secure the match.

“It was probably the loudest roar I’ve ever heard,” Johnson said. “That was definitely, in that situation, one of the best putts I’ve ever made.”

Ian Poulter was the only bright-shining star for Europe. He moved his record to a spotless 3-0 paired with Rory McIlroy in a 1-up victory over Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson. McIlroy played poorly and contributed with only two birdies, but Poulter was possessed on the greens, making key putt after key putt during a five-birdie stretch on Nos. 14-18.

'Wow, five in a row,' Poulter said. 'It was awesome. I got world No. 1 by my side backing me up. It allows me to go ahead and hit some golf shots.'

Meanwhile, Woods is an imperfect 0-3 paired with Steve Stricker this week. They went 0-2 on Friday and both were benched for Saturday morning foursomes, it being the first time in Woods’ Ryder Cup career he hasn’t played in a session. The duo went out together fresh in the fourballs but were defeated by Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald, 1 down.

In fairness to Woods, Stricker was no help in either fourball match. Woods had five birdies on the back nine Friday and lost to a hot Colsaerts. He made another five back-nine birdies Saturday to cut a 4-down deficit through nine holes to 1 down after 13. But Donald made a kick-in birdie on No. 17 that sent Team Europe to the home hole with the lead.

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Rory: Phil said RC task force just copied Europe

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:21 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy quizzed Phil Mickelson about what the Americans got out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force’s overhaul.

McIlroy and Mickelson were paired together at Pebble Beach.

“Basically, all they are doing is copying what the Europeans have done,” McIlroy said.  “That's what he said.”

The Europeans claimed their sixth of seven Ryder Cups with their victory at Gleneagles in 2014. That brought about a sea change in the way the United States approached the Ryder Cup. Mickelson called out the tactics in Gleneagles of captain Tom Watson, who was outmaneuvered by European captain Paul McGinley.

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The Americans defeated Europe at Hazeltine two years ago with that new European model.

“He said the first thing they did in that task force was Phil played a video, a 12-minute video of Paul McGinley to all of them,” McIlroy said. “So, they are copying what we do, and it's working for them. It's more cohesive, and the team and the core of that team are more in control of what they are doing, instead of the PGA of America recruiting and someone telling them what to do.”

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Woods happy to help Furyk at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:58 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods didn't hesitate when Jim Furyk asked him to become a vice captain at the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Woods said Wednesday that Furyk asked he and Steve Stricker “a while ago” whether they were interested in being assistants in Paris as the Americans try to win a Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Woods said of Furyk, “and whatever he wants, whatever he needs, I’m there to help him. We’re worked well the last couple of years in the cups together.”

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Though Woods has said that he wants to be a playing vice captain, he has been an assistant at each of the past two international team competitions.

Furyk, Woods and Stricker were all assistants at Hazeltine, where the U.S. won in a rout.

“Jim is very detailed, very smart, very analytical, and he’s just a fantastic leader,” Woods said. “For him to ask Stricks and I together, it will be special for both of us.”

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Woods to hit '4 or 5' drivers each day at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:25 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Those hoping Tiger Woods will wield the driver early and often this week at PGA National likely will be disappointed.

Depending on wind direction, he said he will only hit “four or five” drivers each round.

During Wednesday’s pro-am, Woods hit driver on six holes. He found two fairways with the big stick and found the right rough four times, though a few of those misses were only a few yards off the fairway.

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In two starts this year, Woods has struggled mightily with every club off the tee, but driver has been especially troublesome. He has found only 36 percent of the fairways so far (30 of 84).

The Champion Course here is a par 70, with water and bunkers often lining the fairways. Putting the ball in play off the tee will be at a premium, and so Woods opted for a low, penetrating 2-iron six times in the pro-am.

Woods said he did not make any equipment changes following the missed cut at Riviera.