Bad Day for Big Names at La Costa

By Sports NetworkFebruary 24, 2006, 5:00 pm
2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayCARLSBAD, Calif. -- Friday at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship was a bad day for the higher-seeded players.
In the eight third-round matches, Retief Goosen, the No. 1 seed in the Sam Snead bracket, was the only higher-ranked player to advance to Saturday's quarterfinal.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods' reaction on the 16th says it all during his third-round loss to Chad Campbell.
Tiger Woods, the No. 1 seed in the Bobby Jones bracket, lost 1-down to fifth-seeded Chad Campbell. David Toms, the No. 2 seed and 2005 champion, lost to American Ryder Cup captain, the 11th-ranked Tom Lehman, 4 and 3.
Phil Mickelson, the second seed in the Ben Hogan bracket could not get anything going on Friday and fell 3 and 1 to No. 3 David Howell. That sets Howell up for a quarterfinal match with Geoff Ogilvy, the 13th seed. Ogilvy won the last four holes against ninth-ranked Mike Weir, then eagled the third extra hole for the 1-up win.
Vijay Singh, tops in the Gary Player bracket, hit two terrible 3-woods late in his match against No. 5 Padraig Harrington and fell 1-down in 20 holes. Harrington meets former runner-up, Davis Love III. Love, sixth in the bracket, toppled last year's runner-up, Chris DiMarco, 3 and 2.
Goosen bested No. 4 Luke Donald, 1-up. The two-time U.S. Open champion will meet No. 15 Zach Johnson on Saturday. Johnson moved on with a 4 and 3 thrashing of No. 11 Shingo Katayama.
Campbell won the fourth hole with a birdie, then eventually built a 3-up lead through 10 holes when he rolled in a long birdie putt at 10. Woods chipped in for eagle to win the par-5 11th and captured 12 to cut the deficit to 1-down.
Campbell converted an 8-footer for birdie to take 13 and go 2-up. Unfortunately, the 19th-ranked player in the world made a mess of 14 and lost the hole. The pair halved the next three holes with pars before heading to La Costa's par-5 closing hole.
Woods drove well right of the fairway at 18 while Campbell came to rest in the left fairway bunker. Campbell laid up down the fairway, while Woods went after the green with his second, but missed right. Campbell's third spun back to 25 feet and Woods pitched to 12 feet.
Campbell lagged his par putt close enough for Woods to concede par. Woods, who holed a similar putt to win on 18 on Thursday against Robert Allenby, never flirted with the hole and was eliminated.
'He played really well,' acknowledged Woods, a two-time winner of this championship. 'I thought I did pretty good today. I didn't make a bogey and lost the match. It's frustrating.'
Weir, the 2003 Masters champion, was 4-up with four to play, then dropped the next four in a row, some with bogeys and some because of Ogilvy's outstanding play.
Neither did anything spectacular on the first two extra holes, but Ogilvy hit the best shot of the day on Friday at the par-5 third. He knocked a 3-iron from 240 yards inside 4 feet. Weir made a slightly longer putt for birdie, but Ogilvy converted the eagle putt to move on to the quarterfinals.
The Singh/Harrington match came to the 18th with the players even. Singh hit a terrible 3-wood well left of the green with his second, while Harrington laid up from the right rough. Singh got a free drop, then pitched 30 feet short of the flag while the Irishman hit his third 11 feet left of the hole.
Singh's birdie putt missed left, opening the door for Harrington. After studying the putt from every direction, Harrington's putt looked on its way to falling underground. Harrington pumped his fist, but the ball lipped out of the hole.
On the first extra hole, Singh hit another poor 3-wood that cost him any chance. Harrington two-putted from 15 feet to move on to his quarterfinal date with Love.
'Eventually he didn't finish off the match, really, and then I got a couple of breaks,' said Harrington. 'It was more or less up to Vijay. I just hold on in there and really I really struggled with my shots today, worse than yesterday. I don't know what it's going to be like tomorrow.'
Donald made a valiant effort against Goosen and holed a 20-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the last. With the added pressure, Goosen, a semifinalist last year, drained a 4-footer to win the match.
On Saturday, there will be four quarterfinal matches in the morning, then the two semifinal matches in the afternoon. Sunday's action will feature the 36-hole championship and a consolation match for third place.
Related Links:
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up right where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.