All-American Final at La Costa

By Sports NetworkFebruary 26, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayCARLSBAD, Calif. -- It will be an All-American final Sunday at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at La Costa Resort & Spa.
 
David Toms, who won the Sam Snead bracket, defeated Ian Poulter, the 11th seed who came out of the Gary Player bracket, 3 and 2, in one semifinal match on Saturday. Toms' play around the turn was brilliant with a tap-in birdie, a hole-out eagle and a 5-wood inside 2 feet for a conceded eagle.
 
David Toms
This is the second time in three years that David Toms has reached the 36-hole final.
Toms will face Chris DiMarco, the representative of the Bobby Jones bracket, who dispatched the lone remaining No. 1 seed, Retief Goosen, 2 and 1. DiMarco benefited from a poor decision by Goosen on eight and chipped in for birdie on the 14th for the second time on Saturday.
 
This is the fourth consecutive year that it will be an All-American final. Kevin Sutherland defeated Scott McCarron in 2002, while Tiger Woods beat Toms in 2003, and Davis Love III in last year's championship.
 
The finalists took very different paths to Sunday's 36-hole championship.
 
Toms, the 2001 PGA Champion, fell 1-down after a bogey at seven, but squared the match at the par-5 eighth. Poulter knocked his third over the green, then chipped 8 feet past the hole. He missed the par putt to leave the pair even heading to nine.
 
The ninth, which was shortened to a par-3 the first two days because of damage from rain, played as a par 4 on Saturday. Toms, not one of the longer hitters on tour, used a utility club for his second and stiffed it four feet from the hole. He converted the birdie try to go 1-up and kick off an amazing run of golf.
 
At the 10th, Poulter already played his second when Toms hit his wedge approach over the hole. The ball spun back into the cup for eagle and a 2-up lead.
 
The par-5 11th afforded Toms another chance to show off his shot-making. Poulter hit a spectacular second shot 18 feet from the hole, but Toms knocked a 5-wood inside 2 feet and was conceded the eagle. Poulter missed his opportunity for a halve and suddenly found himself 3-down after two eagles and a tap-in birdie from his opponent.
 
'That was a pretty special shot I hit on 10,' admitted Toms, a product of LSU. 'Then to back it up after he hit a great shot at 11 with a gimme, that was pretty special. It was perfect.'
 
Poulter finally got a win at the par-3 12th when he sank a 20-foot birdie putt. The duo halved the next three holes, then Toms hit a 6-iron 8 feet past the flag at 16. Poulter missed a 30-footer and Toms rolled his birdie putt in to earn a berth in the final for the second time in three years.
 
'Other than the putter today, everything else felt great,' said Toms. 'I missed a couple of fairways, which I haven't done all week, but the game feels really good right now. I'm excited for tomorrow.'
 
He will face his Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teammate, DiMarco on Sunday.
 
It looked more like Goosen, the two-time U.S. Open champion, would be in the final after the first three holes. DiMarco missed a 5-foot birdie putt at the third that would have halved the hole, so instead, he found himself 3-down after three.
 
'I was just trying to tie a hole after that,' said DiMarco. 'I was like, 'lets try not to lose 8 and 7 today.''
 
But DiMarco hung in and at the fifth, he converted a 6-foot par putt to halve the hole. Goosen hit a terrible 6-iron at the seventh, and DiMarco drained a 5-footer to win the hole and cut the gap to 2-down.
 
Things definitely started going DiMarco's way at the par-5 eighth. Goosen drove into a tree and after an exhausting search that featured his caddie climbing the tree shaking branches, a ball fell out. It was not Goosen's, but the South African elected to concede the hole.
 
If Goosen would have taken a drop, he could have still gotten up and down for par. He did not make DiMarco take another shot and now Goosen's lead was only 1-up.
 
'You never know what's going to happen there. I definitely wouldn't have said, 'lets go,'' admitted DiMarco, who had not trailed in a match until the semifinal. 'It was a key thing. It's a par 5 and probably his advantage. For me to walk off 1-down there was big.'
 
DiMarco played outstanding on the back nine. The two halved the 10th with birdies, then DiMarco tied the match with a 4-footer for birdie at 11. He took the lead with a 22-foot birdie putt at 13 and went 2-up at the 14th.
 
During his quarterfinal match with Stewart Cink Saturday morning, DiMarco missed the green at 14 and chipped in for birdie. The semifinal saw the same thing happen as DiMarco chipped in for birdie and the hole.
 
Goosen would not go away quietly. He birdied the par-5 15th to cut the deficit to 1-down. The pair halved the 16th and Goosen looked to be in control at 17. He had 25 feet to win the hole, but missed left. DiMarco was short of the green in three and chipped seven feet short of the hole. He made the putt and Goosen needed to tap in his short save to go to 18. Goosen's putt lipped out and DiMarco will now have 36 holes against a friend and former SEC rival for his biggest win on tour.
 
'David is a great player,' said DiMarco, a graduate of the University of Florida. 'It's going to be fun tomorrow. We're both going to want to win tomorrow. Going around 36 holes with one of your good friends is going to be fun.'
 
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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


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    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


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    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


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    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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    Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

    Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

    They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

    It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

    “I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

    The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.