Isleworth Lake Nona Share Tavistock Cup

By Mercer BaggsMarch 29, 2005, 5:00 pm
04 Tavistock CupORLANDO, Fla. ' First it was halved. Then it was extended. And finally it ended in a draw.
The second-annual Tavistock Cup finished in a tie Tuesday, when a sudden-death playoff to determine the winner was called due to darkness.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods kept his Isleworth team alive by winning both of his possible two points in his foursomes match.
Host Isleworth Country Club and Lake Nona Golf and Country Club ended the one-day competition in an 8 -8 tie.
The two teams then sent out their two lowest scorers on the day for a playoff. Tiger Woods (66) and Lee Janzen (70) represented Isleworth, while South Africans Ernie Els (68) and Retief Goosen (67) played for Lake Nona.
And as it turned out, the tournament had quite a South African feeling in the end.
Playing a four-man, better-ball format, the two sides tied each of the three playoff holes contested. Officials and players from both sides agreed to call it a draw, as darkness enveloped Isleworth.
The first extra hole was halved with pars. Els made a 12-footer for par to keep his team alive. Both Woods and Janzen had birdie putts to win, but both missed.
Isleworth appeared to have the advantage on the second extra hole, until Goosen rolled in a 30-foot birdie. This time, Woods made his 18-footer for birdie to extend the match.
On the third and final hole of sudden death, both Woods and Janzen were outside of 25 feet for birdie, while Goosen and Els were inside of 15 feet. All four players missed their putts. And with sunlight rapidly dwindling, both sides shook hands on a tie.
The end was a familiar one to Els and Woods. The two battled one-on-one in a sudden-death playoff to determine the 2003 Presidents Cup in George, South Africa. After three holes, that event was also declared a draw due to darkness.
'Seems like we're making this a habit of this,' Els said, 'playing in the darkness and finishing in a tie.'
Said Woods, who thought the tie was fitting: 'The whole idea was to have fun and to entertain the crowd. I think we did that.'
The two teams split the purse (each player received $87,500) and will each get to showcase the trophy for six months over the next year, before the re-match is again contested at Isleworth in 2006.
The scheduled two-day tournament was reduced to just one day of competition after The Players Championship spilled over into Monday. Tuesday featured 17 singles matches between members and residents of the two Orlando enclaves.
After months of contending with inclement weather on the PGA Tour, beautiful blue skies and temperatures in the low 80s greeted the players ' as did Augusta-slick greens measuring 12 on the stimpmeter and a monster layout stretching 7,529 yards.
As was the case a year ago, a pair of helicopters transferred the away side to the oppositions course.
The format was Four-ball Singles Medal Match Play. Each player in the group played an 18-hole stroke-play match against each of the opposing two players. Each win was worth 1 point, while a tie was worth a point.
For example, in the first foursome out, Lake Nona picked up 3 of the available 4 points. Justin Rose shot 4-under 68 and Trevor Immelman shot 71 for Lake Nona. Isleworths Robert Allenby and Craig Parry shot 71 and 74, respectively. Since Roses score was lower than both Allenbys and Parrys, he collected 2 points. Immelman added another 1 points by beating Parry and tying Allenby. Allenby got Isleworth a point with his tie.
Because of Mondays cancellation, Mark McNulty (Lake Nona) and Scott Hoch (Isleworth) were added as an individual match to increase the odds of an outright team winner. Instead it had the exact opposite effect.
Hoch defeated McNulty, 72-77, to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
That didnt last long, however, as Rose and Immelman gave the visitors a 3 -1 advantage.
Lake Nona increased their lead to 6 -2 at the conclusion of the second foursomes match. Retief Goosen shot 5-under 67 to best both Stuart Appleby (73) and John Cook (76) of Isleworth, while Nick Faldo shot 75 to defeat Cook and lose to Appleby.
Annika Sorenstam, fresh off her eighth career major championship victory at last weeks Kraft Nabisco Championship, highlighted the third foursomes match.
Playing from the championship tees, Sorenstam tied or beat eight of the 17 other participants. Her 1-over 73, however, was not good enough to beat either of her two competitors in her match. Isleworth's Charles Howell III and Lee Janzen shot 72 and 70, respectively, to earn all four of their available points. Lake Nona's Ian Poulter had a 74.
'I was nervous,' said Sorenstam, who has 59 wins on the LPGA Tour. 'This is a tough golf course. We putted on greens that were running nine (on the stimpmeter at the Nabisco) and now it's like 12. It's also a very long course.
'But it was good fun. I learned something from these guys, and that's what I wanted to do.'
With the match now deadlocked at 6 points apiece, it all came down to the marquee final foursome. Isleworth's Mark O'Meara lost both of his possible points by shooting 77. Woods, though, saved his captain and his team by shooting 6-under 66. That was good enough to beat both Lake Nona captain Els (68) and Sergio Garcia (73).
'I didn't want to lose to them and they didn't want to lose to us,' said Woods, who earned an additional $100,000 for low medalist honors. 'But it was all for fun.'
Sans Tiger, Isleworth won the inaugural event at Lake Nona a year ago, 14 - 9 .
*While the event was reduced to a one-day competition, there was play at Isleworth on Monday. Six two-man teams competed in a better-ball, stroke-play exhibition. The field consisted primarily of Tavistock team members who had missed the cut at The Players Championship. Gary McCord, who did on-course commentary for The Golf Channel on Tuesday, teamed with Robert Allenby to shoot 5-under 67. They defeated Justin Rose and Ian Poulter, who also shot 67, in a playoff.
*Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam have been friends ever since they competed together in the 2001 Battle at Bighorn. Sorenstam said they keep in touch and encourage one another. She said they also like to needle one another, as well. 'I used to always kid him that I have 58 wins and he says, yeah, but I have eight majors,' said Sorenstam, who won her eighth career major and 59th tour title at last week's Kraft Nabisco Championship. 'I don't know what he's going to say now. He'll have a chance next week ( to win his ninth major) ... So I'll get to enjoy it for a little while.'
*Tiger Woods hit a remarkable hook shot around a tree on the first hole of sudden death. The low line drive took an almost immediate 90-degree turn after leaving the face of Woods' iron from the left rough. It then rolled up the fairway, onto the green and finished 12 feet from the pin. Several members from both teams applauded the shot. Mark O'Meara said of the shot: 'That's just sick.'
*Allenby, Retief Goosen, Stuart Appleby and Lee Janzen are on the commitment list for this weeks BellSouth Classic in Duluth, Ga.
* Team Lake Nona sported blue shirts and khaki pants, while Isleworth wore red tops and black bottoms. Some of the Isleworth players ' Tiger Woods among them ' opted for shorts.
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