Blindsided Europe Leads Big - COPIED

By Sports NetworkSeptember 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
36th Ryder Cup MatchesSTRAFFAN, Ireland -- The European team took 2 1/2 points in the Saturday foursomes, the same point total the squad took in all four team sessions, and will carry a big 10-6 lead into the Sunday singles at the Ryder Cup.
 
Sergio Garcia completed a 4-0 team record this week as he and Luke Donald won the 15th and 16th holes to post a 2-and-1 victory over Phil Mickelson and David Toms in the first afternoon foursomes match.
 
Garcia is now a perfect 8-0 in foursomes in four career Ryder Cups.
 
For Mickelson, it ends a horrible team portion of the Ryder Cup. He went 0-3-1 and Toms was not much better as he went 0-2-1.
 
Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk earned some redemption from a Saturday morning fourball loss to Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood. The American pair, ranked first and third in the world, knocked off the Irish pair of Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley, 3 and 2, in the foursomes.
 
Paul Casey recorded the sixth ace in Ryder Cup history in the Saturday foursomes. He aced the par-3 14th, which gave him and David Howell a 5-and-4 win over Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson.
 
Vaughn Taylor made his Ryder Cup debut for the American team Saturday afternoon. He and Chad Campbell valiantly earned a halve against the veteran team of Colin Montgomerie and Westwood.
 
Campbell rolled a long eagle putt into concession range, but Westwood had a chance to win the match outright. Montgomerie gave him 12 feet for eagle, but Westwood's putt narrowly missed the hole, meaning the teams earned half a point.
 
In the morning fourballs, the two superstar teams for the U.S. got trounced.
 
Woods and Furyk lost to Clarke and Westwood, 3 and 2, while Mickelson and Chris DiMarco got beat by Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal by the same score.
 
Team rookie Johnson gave the Americans a lift in the fourballs. He recorded six birdies in his first 10 holes en route to a 2-and-1 win for himself and Scott Verplank against Harrington and Henrik Stenson.
 
Another first-timer, J.J. Henry, eagled the 16th and birdied 17 in the morning as he played with Cink against Casey and Robert Karlsson. Unfortunately for Henry, he three-putted the last for a par, while Casey kicked in a 5-footer for birdie to earn a halve.
 
If the U.S. is to come back on Sunday during the singles, they will match the largest final-day comeback in Ryder Cup history. The 1999 American team at Brookline came back from the same margin, which was the last time the U.S. won the Ryder Cup.
 
American captain Tom Lehman played a pivotal role in the comeback at Brookline. He led off on Sunday, hit every fairway en route to toppling Westwood to kickstart the rally.
 
Only three players on the U.S. side remain from that magical team - Woods, Mickelson and Furyk.
 
'It's imperative that we as a team get off to a quick start like we did in '99,' said Woods, who is 2-2 this week. 'In '99 I think we had six matches that we were up early and got points early, and hopefully we can do the same tomorrow.'
 
The European team, which returns six players from Brookline, is keenly aware of the margin and what happened seven years prior.
 
'Unfortunately, the last time we were 10-6 up, you know the result in 1999,' said Montgomerie. 'We are not complacent at all. The Americans have always come out as favorites in singles. I believe we've got the strongest 12 singles players we've ever had in Europe and we have a great chance of winning this thing tomorrow.'
 
Montgomerie has been the leader on this team, but unquestionably the best European player this week has been Garcia. He and Donald moved 1-up Saturday afternoon after the Americans made a mess of the seventh.
 
The Europeans moved 2-up, but America came back. Toms sank a 10-foot birdie putt to win 13, then Garcia missed an 8-foot par putt to lose 14 and square the match.
 
Toms drove into the water at 15 to squash any momentum the U.S. built. They lost that hole, then Donald drained a 15-foot birdie putt to win the 16th. The teams halved 17 to give Europe the win.
 
'We came back nicely,' said Garcia. 'We snuck one in there in 16. It was a birdie that no one expected, but we managed to gut it out.'
 
Woods and Furyk showed some of the strong play that they showed Friday morning in their victory. Woods knocked a 7-iron to 8 feet at the fourth to set up a birdie putt by Furyk. The U.S. took the fifth to move 2-up.
 
The Irish pair closed the deficit twice, but never took the lead. McGinley kicked in a 2-footer for birdie to win the 12th and cut it 1-down. Harrington and McGinley bogeyed 13 to give the U.S. back its 2-up advantage.
 
Furyk rolled in a long birdie putt at 15 and McGinley could not hole out from a closer distance, so the Americans moved 3-up with three to play. Furyk lagged a birdie try close at 16 and the European side conceded the match.
 
The tightest match of the Saturday fourballs featured Campbell and Taylor versus Montgomerie and Westwood.
 
The European team built a 1-up lead through six, but the Americans won seven and 10 to move 1-up. Montgomerie holed a 7-foot birdie putt at 12 to square the match.
 
Much like Toms, Taylor drove into the pond at 15. The U.S. lost that hole, but came back to win the 17th with par, drawing even with the Europeans with one hole to play.
 
Westwood missed his eagle chance to win, settling for a disappointing halve.
 
'I wish that putt had gone in,' acknowledged Westwood, who also went undefeated with a 2-0-2 mark. 'We hit two fantastic shots to get to that position, just a shame I couldn't finish it off.'
 
Howell and Casey jumped all over their American counterparts. Europe won holes two through five to go 4-up and the Americans never got closer. Howell ran home a seven-foot birdie putt at 12 to move 5-up with six to play.
 
The Europeans were 5-up with five to go on the 213-yard, par-3 14th tee. Casey hit a 4-iron and watched the ball roll into the cup for the first ace at the Ryder Cup since Howard Clark in the 1995 Ryder Cup.
 
'That's my first hole in one in a professional tournament, much less in a Ryder Cup,' said Casey. 'It's remarkable. I mean, we played great golf today.'
 
Related Links:
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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


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    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


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    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''