Tiger beats Jack in Ultimate Match Play final

By Randall MellFebruary 19, 2013, 11:00 am

When Jack Nicklaus lashed his opening tee shot in the finals of the Ultimate Match Play Championship, lightning slashed over Pebble Beach Golf Links and thunder cracked across the Monterey Peninsula.

Even the golf gods appeared to react to the Golden Bear’s perfect little fade into the first fairway in his epic showdown with Tiger Woods.

Woods, though, would bring down more thunder on this remarkable day.

In the end, at the Pebble Beach’s famed 17th hole, the cosmos hushed with Woods and Nicklaus stepping to the tee box. In fading light, the winds there died, the clouds stopped rolling, the surf quieted and even the sea lions stopped barking.

This is where the ultimate match was won.


Bracket Challenge: Make picks for WGC-Match Play

Ultimate Match Play Championship bios

Ultimate Match Play Championship overview


Leading 2 up, Woods opened the door for Nicklaus, carving a draw too hard into the wind at the classic back-left pin placement and watching it skip into the heavy rough behind the hole. Nicklaus made the most of the opportunity. With that famous waggle, then a cock of his head before the takeaway, Nicklaus lashed a low, knock-down shot into the wind, a bullet right at the flagstick. His ball, just as it did in the final round here when he won the ’72 U.S. Open, caromed off the flagstick, stopping inches from the cup for a sure birdie.

A colossal roar echoed over Stillwater Cove, but history wasn’t done repeating itself here.

Nicklaus marked his ball, but he wouldn’t get a chance to putt again.

Woods, with a hard, clever swipe of a wedge, popped his ball out of the rough and watched it track straight for the cup. With his ball slowing to a trickle, it appeared to stop on the lip, but only for an agonizing second. The ball had more wobble in it, one more quarter turn that toppled it into the hole.

Woods won in shades of Watson’s chip-in that beat Nicklaus here at the ’82 U.S. Open and in shades of Woods’ chip-in at Augusta National when he won The Masters in ’05 after holing out off 16th green.

Tiger beat the Golden Bear, 2 and 1.

The golf gods let it be known they were watching again.

The cosmos shook when Woods’ last shot disappeared, sending a minor tremor through the ground beneath the feet of all the fortunate patrons who were lucky enough to witness the ultimate showdown between the two greatest players who ever lived.

No matter how you imagined the Ultimate Match Play Championship would unfold, this is the result you wanted.

You wanted Woods winning it all.

Over five weeks, you cast your votes to determine who would win a match-play championship featuring the 16 greatest players who ever lived.

With nearly 22,000 votes cast in the final match alone, Woods claimed 58.1 percent of the vote to Nicklaus’ 41.9 percent.

That feels like a 2-and-1 victory.

Nicklaus advanced to the finals defeating Phil Mickelson with 93 percent of the vote in the first round, beating Gary Player in the quarterfinals with another 93 percent pull and eliminating Bobby Jones in the semifinals with 74.9 percent.

Woods made it to the finals defeating Seve Ballesteros with 79 percent of the vote in the first round, knocking out Tom Watson in the quarterfinals with another 79 percent pull and eliminating Ben Hogan in the semifinals with 64.5 percent.

While Woods had an answer to Nicklaus in our imaginary final of the Ultimate Match Play Championship, we now get to see if he has an answer in the real game, in Woods’ quest to surpass Nicklaus’ record of most professional major championship victories. The question whether Woods or Nicklaus is the greatest who ever played is a good debate even with Woods having 14 majors to Nicklaus’ 18, but if Woods ever passes Nicklaus, then Woods’ answer becomes definitive.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.