Doglegs at the Masters

By Randall MellApril 12, 2009, 4:00 pm
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Argentinas Angel Cabrera defeated Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell in a playoff Sunday at the Masters, winning with a simple two putt for par at the second playoff hole, ending a thrilling day of unexpected twists and turns.
 
Heres a look at some of the key turning points:
 
  • Angels heavenly bounce
     
    Cabreras play at the first playoff hole wont go down as textbook closing, but hell remember the par he made there to advance as one of the best of his career.
     
    After pushing a poor tee shot into the trees along the 18th fairway, he got one of the most fateful bounces in Masters history. Trying to hook his second shot around a tree blocking his path to the green, Cabrera loudly cracked his second shot off another tree, only to discover that his ball kicked left and out into the fairway. His ball could have gone anywhere, including behind another tree or deeper into the tree line. Instead, Cabrera will remember the bounce the same way Fred Couples remembers how his tee shot at the 12th hole inexplicably clung on the bank above Raes Creek in the final round when he won in 92. Cabrera wedged his third shot to 6 feet and made the putt to advance to the second playoff hole.

     
  • Perrys shaky skull
     
    After hitting a fabulous 8-iron to six inches at the 16th hole to make birdie and take a two-shot lead, Perry knew the Masters was his to win or lose. I lost this tournament, Perry said. You can debate Perrys decision to hit driver at the 72nd hole with a one-shot lead, especially after he knocked it into a fairway bunker to set up a closing bogey, but Perry started unraveling at the 17th tee. He hit a series of shaky shots all the way home and into the playoff. The shot that hurt him most, though, was the bump-and-run chip shot he clumsily scooted all the way through the green at No. 17. He says he should have tried to spin a lob wedge instead of playing the bump. The poor chip set up the bogey-bogey finish.
     
    I skulled that shot on 17, Perry told the Golf Channel. I get under the gun and my right hand gets away from me, and I skulled it.
     
    About that decision to hit driver at the 72nd hole, Perry is one of the best drivers in the game. Its hard to fault him for not putting away a club that gives him such an advantage, a club that worked so magnificently all week, but he did hit that shaky tee shot at the 17th. And, he did watch Cabrera, another terrific long driver, pass on driver there and knock a 3-wood short of the fairway bunker.
     
    Given Perrys faith in his driver, though, its a debatable point.

     
  • Campbells nemesis hole
     
    Campbell bogeyed the 18th hole three of the five times he played it Masters week, but the missed birdie chance at the 72nd hole may haunt him most. Campbell had an 18-foot birdie chance there that could have won him his first major, but he pushed it right. A little while later, on the first playoff hole, Campbell found himself in prime position in the 18th fairway with a 7-iron in hand. After pushing his approach right and into the greenside bunker, he missed a 5-foot putt that would have kept him in the playoff. His putter also failed him at the 16th, where he missed a 5-footer for birdie.
     
    Its Campbells second runner-up finish in a major. In his other second-place finish, he watched Shaun Micheel beat him with a spectacular 7-iron to within three inches at the final hole of the 2003 PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
     
    I hit a good shot in there (at the PGA Championship), and I just got beat by a better shot, Campbell said. And today, I kind of blew it myself. I hit bad shots.

     
  • Leftys back nine stumbles
     
    Seven down at days start, Mickelson shot a spectacular front-nine 30 to get within one shot of the lead, only to come home in 37.
     
    Mickelson will dream of what might have been if he could take back three bad passes. If he could do that, he might be remembered for equaling the best final round in major championship history. Take back the 9-iron he hit into Raes Creek to make double bogey at the 12th, the 4-foot putt for eagle he missed at the 15th and the 5-footer for birdie at the 17th and Mickelson might be remembered with Johnny Miller for winning a major with final round 63.

     
  • Tigers stunning finish
     
    After making birdies at Nos. 13, 15 and 16 in an admirable fight to get himself in contention, Woods uncharacteristically stumbled home. He hit a poor chip 15 feet past the hole at the 17th to set up bogey there, then pushed his tee shot right in the trees at the 18th, setting up what will be remembered as his most human moment in a major. Trying to slice a shot around a tree, he cracked the shot off another tree and watched his ball ricochet deeper into the tree line to set up back-to-back closing bogeys.
     

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  • Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

    He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

    Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

    Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

    Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

    Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

    "I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

    The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

    Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

    "I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

    McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

    Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

    Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    "I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

    But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


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    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

    The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

    "I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."