Battle at the Bridges - Hole-By-Hole
MATCH RESULTS: Mickelson/Goosen def. Woods/Daly, 5 & 3 (Full Report).
1st Hole - Par-five 522 yards
Woods lagged an eagle putt within inches of the cup and was conceded the birdie. Mickelson two-putted from about 40 feet for birdie to halve the hole.
2nd Hole - Par-three 182 yards
After Daly missed the green, Woods stuck his tee shot seven feet from the cup. Goosen also missed the green, then Mickelson knocked his tee ball to the left fringe. He missed his lengthy birdie putt before Woods drained his birdie try to win the hole.
3rd Hole - Par-four 405 yards
Daly missed a long birdie try, but was given his par putt to halve the hole with Mickelson. Lefty missed a 14-foot birdie try to the low side and was also given his par putt.
4th Hole - Par-three 195 yards
Mickelson drained an eight-foot birdie putt to win the hole. Daly splashed a poor tee shot into a greenside pond, then Woods flew his 35 feet over the pin. Mickelson knocked his to eight feet, then Goosen nearly holed his tee shot. It landed within inches of the hole and came to rest six feet away.
5th Hole - Par-four 466 yards
Goosen missed his 12-foot birdie putt but was given his par. Mickelson was out of the hole after flying the green with his second shot. Woods missed the green right, then missed a par try putt left of the hole. Daly's second shot bounced over the back, he pitched to eight feet but also missed his par putt giving Mickelson and Goosen the hole and their first lead.
6th Hole - Par-four 335 yards
Mickelson pulled his drive well left in the water before Goosen bombed his drive within 20 yards of the putting surface. Woods crushed his within 10 feet of the greens edge. Goosen's eagle chip lipped out, but he sank his five-foot birdie putt. Woods' chip came to rest next to Goosen mark. Woods also made his birdie putt to halve the hole.
7th Hole - Par-five 553 yards
Daly and Mickelson both got up and down for birdie to halve the hole. Goosen and Woods both missed their birdie tries from outside 10 feet.
8th Hole - Par-three 217 yards
Mickelson and Woods putted their birdie tries within three feet of the cup and were conceded their pars to halve the hole.
9th Hole - Par-five 571 yards
Daly and Mickelson were conceded short birdie putts. Mickelson's second came up short left in a bunker, but he blasted within two feet of the cup. Daly's four-iron second shot landed 20 feet past the cup and his eagle try came up just short of the cup, but he was given the birdie.
10th Hole - Par-four 395 yards
Goosen drained a 13-foot birdie putt to give he and Mickelson a 2-up lead. Daly missed a 12-foot birdie try after his pitch shot caromed off the pin and away from the cup. Woods had a chance to halve the hole, but missed a birdie try from within five feet.
11th Hole - Par-three 167 yards
Goosen sank a birdie putt from about 12 feet out to win the hole and go 3-up. Woods once again had a chance to halve the hole, but his 10-foot birdie try lipped out.
12th Hole - Par-four 426 yards
Woods spun his second past the cup and it stop 10 feet away. He rolled in that birdie putt to win the hole after Goosen missed his birdie try.
13th Hole - Par-four 379 yards
Mickelson stuffed his second shot within a foot of the cup and was conceded the birdie. Woods' second came to rest on the back of the green some 35 feet from the cup. His birdie putt just slid by the left edge giving Goosen and Mickelson a 3-up lead.
14th Hole - Par-four 449 yards
Goosen rolled in another birdie putt to win the hole and take a 4-up lead with four holes to go. Daly missed the green short, but nearly chipped in for birdie. He was given his tap in par. Woods missed his 20-foot birdie putt setting up Goosen for the win.
15th Hole - Par-four 411 yards
Goosen sank his fourth birdie in the last six holes to win the match. Woods missed the green short and tried the chip in, but missed it ran past the cup. Daly nearly sank a 30-footer for birdie, but it slid by the right edge giving Goosen and Mickelson the win.
NOTES: The format for play is best-ball, match play. Each golfer will play his own ball and the best score of the two will count for the team. This is the final season for this tournament.
Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake
Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.
While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.
“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.
Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.<
DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi
Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.
“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”
Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).
“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.”
Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.
Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace).
“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”
Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi
What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.
Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.
McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.
He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.
McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65).
Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds.
“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”
Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder
Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.
Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.
Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:
Filling in tomorrow for Corey Pavin that WD today @cbgolfchallenge I do things like this a lot to help events and asking for sponsors exemptions here but didn't get any help.— Ken Duke (@DukePGA) January 18, 2018
Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.
Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.