Final Round Viewers Guide

By Randall MellApril 11, 2009, 4:00 pm
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The best Sunday in golf awaits . . . Heres what to look for in the final round.


  • Old Man Marvel goes for history
    In an era in which fitness is becoming a larger part of golf, Kenny Perry is a marvel.
    If he wins the Masters, hell become the oldest player to win a major championship.
    Hes almost proud of the fact that he doesnt spend much time in gyms or working out.
    I cant really say Im working out or anything like that, Perry said. And I dont really watch what I eat, but yet, its working. So I havent changed anything.
    If he wins, Perry will surpass Julius Boros as the oldest major champion.
    Perry would be 48 years, eight months and two days old when slipping on the green jacket.
    Boros was 48 years, 4 months and 18 days old when he won the PGA Championship at Pecan Valley Country Club in San Antonio in 1968.

  • Angels heavenly run
    Angel Cabrera is vying to become the first player in 73 Masters to shoot four rounds in the 60s.
    Hes posted rounds of 68, 68 and 69.
    Ten other players have opened with three consecutive rounds in the 60s in past Masters, but none have been able to close with another.
    Trevor Immelman, the 2008 Masters champion, was the last to have the chance last year but closed with a 75.

  • When last is best . . .
    Perry and Cabrera will go off in the final pairing at 2:35 p.m.
    History likes the guys going off last on a Sunday at the Masters.
    The winner has come from outside the final pairing just once in the last 18 years (Zach Johnson in 2007).

  • Tiger vs. Phil . . . in the consolation bracket?
    The Masters will get that final-round Sunday showdown between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson after all, but barring dramatic charges it may feel like theyre dueling in the consolation bracket.
    Mickelson and Woods are tied for 10th and seven shots behind the leaders.
    The largest final-round comeback in Masters history is eight shots. Jackie Burke came from that far back to win in 1956. That was the year Ken Venturi seemed destined to go wire to wire as the first amateur to claim a green jacket, but Burke shot 71 with Venturi posting 80.
    Woods and Mickelson will go off together at 1:35 p.m., an hour before the leaders.
    Woods faces the prospect of going a fourth consecutive year without winning the Masters, his longest stretch without winning at Augusta National since he turned pro in 1996.
    Woods has made his Masters' living with big moves on Saturday, but his 70 in the third round probably wasnt big enough to give him a realistic shot at winning his 15th major championship and fifth green jacket. Woods, who has never won a major coming from behind in the final round, has never shot lower than a 68 in the final round of the Masters. His best final round in any major is 65, shot at the 2002 British Open at Muirfield, where he tied for 28th.
    Mickelsons best final round at the Masters is 68, shot in 2003, when he finished third. His best final round in a major is 67, shot at the 1998 PGA Championship at Sahalee, where he tied for 34th.

  • Tiger vs. Phil through the years
    Woods and Mickelson have played together 23 times in PGA Tour events.
    Woods scoring average is 69.00 compared with Mickelsons 70.26 in those pairings together.
    In the eight times theyve been paired together in majors, Mickelson has posted the lower score just once.

  • Furyks fueled by close calls
    Jim Furyks bid to win his second major is bolstered by memories of failed finishes at the U.S. Opens at Winged Foot (2006) and Oakmont (2007). He had chances to win down the stretch both times but ended up with back-to-back ties for second place.
    Ill be more comfortable in this position because of those tournaments, Furyk said. Ive been in this position before. Youre always anxious. Im sure Tigers anxious, as many events as hes won. So if I woke up tomorrow, and I wasnt anxious and I wasnt nervous and I wasnt excited, I would be one beat away from dead.

  • Strickers error-free play
    Steve Stricker has played his last 35 holes at Augusta National without a bogey, his longest bogey-free run in a major.

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  • Thompson wins Race, loses tournament after short miss

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 8:52 pm

    The drama went down to the very last hole in the LPGA's final event of 2017. Here's how things ended up at the CME Group Tour Championship, where a surprising miss from Lexi Thompson opened the door for Ariya Jutanugarn to win in dramatic fashion:

    Leaderboard: Ariya Jutanugarn (-15), Lexi Thompson (-14), Jessica Korda (-14), Pernilla Lindberg (-13), Eun-Hee Ji (-13)

    What it means: There were scenarios aplenty entering the final round, with nearly every season-long accolade still hanging in the balance. Thompson appeared set to take them all as she sized up a 2-foot par putt on the final hole - a stroke that looked like it would take her to world No. 1 for the first time. Instead, the putt barely touched the hole and allowed Jutanugarn to rally to victory with birdies on the closing two holes. Thompson still took home $1 million for winning the season-long Race to the CME Globe, as it was a reverse scenario from last year when Jutanugarn won the $1 million but not the final tournament.

    Round of the day: Sei Young Kim made the day's biggest charge, turning in a 6-under 66 to close the week in a share of 11th at 10 under. Kim made eight birdies during the final round, including five over her first eight holes en route to her lowest round of the week while erasing a third-round 75.

    Best of the rest: Jutanugarn seemed like an afterthought as the tournament was winding down, but she kept her hopes alive with an 18-foot birdie on No. 17 and then capitalized on Thompson's mistake with a clutch birdie on the difficult final hole. It capped off a final-round 67 for the Thai who now ends what has been a tumultuous season with a smile on her face.

    Biggest disappointment: Thompson faced heartbreak after the penalty-shrouded ANA Inspiration, and she again must handle a setback after essentially missing a tap-in with everything on the line. Thompson can enjoy a $1 million consolation prize along with the Vare Trophy, but a tournament win would have clinched Player of the Year honors as well as her first-ever trip to world No. 1. Instead, she now has the entire off-season to think about how things went awry from close range.

    Shot of the day: There were only three birdies on No. 18 during the final round before Jutanugarn laced one down the fairway and hit a deft approach to 15 feet. The subsequent putt found the target and gave her win No. 7 on her young LPGA career.

    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.