David a Goliath in Match Play Final

By Sports NetworkFebruary 27, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayCARLSBAD, Calif. -- David Toms destroyed Chris DiMarco, 6 and 5, in Sunday's 36-hole final to capture the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at La Costa Resort & Spa.
The win was the most-lopsided in the history of the 36-hole final match, besting the previous mark of 4 and 3, which was the margin Darren Clarke defeated Tiger Woods by in 2000.
David Toms
David Toms put away the match early by winning eight of nine holes in the morning session.
'I thought I was going to go in early. I said yesterday he was going to hang in there no matter what the outcome, whether I was winning or he was winning,' said Toms, who pocketed $1,3000,000 for the title. 'Fortunate for me, I had a calm about me all week.'
DiMarco trailed 9-down after losing the 26th hole Sunday, but clawed back. He won the 27th, 28th and 30th holes to cut the margin, all the while never quitting despite the almost insurmountable deficit.
'There's drive in me,' said DiMarco. 'They got a good champion. David Toms is solid. He played very well today. My hat's off to him.'
Toms collected his first win of 2005, keeping up the streak of victories by top players on the PGA Tour. All seven winners on tour this season have been ranked in the top-20 in the world rankings.
This was also Toms' 11th win on the PGA Tour and his first since last year's FedEx St. Jude Classic. Toms gets his first WGC title and his second European Tour victory to go along with his 2001 PGA Championship.
Toms, who lost to Woods in the final in 2003, essentially put the tournament away after the opening 18 holes. He and DiMarco were even through nine holes, but Toms captured seven of the next eight holes. The only one Toms did not win was No. 12, which the pair halved.
During that span, Toms tallied five birdies and benefited from some sloppy play by DiMarco. DiMarco bogeyed 16 and 17 to give Toms a 7-up advantage, but DiMarco birdied the 18th to cut Toms' lead to 6-up before the final 18.
The duo halved the first five holes of the second 18 with pars before Toms took control. He rolled in a 4-foot birdie putt at six and one hole later, drained a 40-footer for birdie to win his second consecutive hole. Toms stood 8-up with 11 to play.
DiMarco made a mess of the 26th hole and lost with a bogey. He was 9-down with 10 to play, but the American Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup player did not go away so quietly.
At the ninth, DiMarco converted a 4-foot par putt to cut the margin. He won two in a row at the 10th when his 25-foot birdie putt fell into the hole and now it was a 7-down deficit.
The pair halved 11 meaning DiMarco was 7-down with seven to play and needed to win every hole coming in. He took care of business at the 12th with a 22-foot birdie putt, but the comeback was over on No. 13.
Both players found the fairway off the tee, and both players hit their second shots close. Toms was first to putt with a 7-foot try and poured it into the heart of the cup to close out his victory.
From Friday's third-round win against Phil Mickelson, Toms played nearly flawlessly. He dispatched higher-ranked opponent, Adam Scott, trounced Ian Poulter in the semifinals, then pummeled DiMarco.
Toms's showed no weaknesses during the tournament. His drives found the fairways, his iron play was amazing and Toms holed almost every putt inside 20 feet.
'I've won a few tournaments along the way, but I've never felt this at ease on the golf course,' admitted Toms. 'I felt really good. I felt like I could hit the shot no matter what it was.
'I have no idea how to explain it.'
DiMarco actually jumped out to the first lead of the match at three, but Toms squared the contest with a 4-foot birdie putt at the fourth. DiMarco once again took the lead with a 7-foot birdie putt at the sixth, but he found problems at the difficult, par-4 ninth.
With the honor, DiMarco's drive was ruined by a ringing cell phone during his backswing. The tee ball landed well left of the fairway and DiMarco was frazzled. He missed the green right with his second, then missed a 10-footer for halve, evening the match again.
That opened a gigantic door for Toms. In Saturday's semifinal against Ian Poulter, this stretch of holes around the turn afforded Toms a huge lead. The same could be said for Sunday's final.
Toms knocked a 9-iron to 6 feet to set up birdie and a win at the 10th, a hole he eagled from the fairway on Saturday. Neither player found the green in two at the par-5 11th, but DiMarco's chip from short of the green came up 8 feet short. Toms pitched to 4 feet and when DiMarco's birdie try failed to fall into the cup, Toms sank his for a 2-up lead.
DiMarco hit a solid approach to the 12 feet at No. 13, but Toms trumped him with a second shot that spun back to 2 feet. DiMarco's birdie try flew by the hole on the right side. Toms tapped in to move 3-up.
DiMarco chipped in for birdie twice on Saturday at the 14th hole. Sunday was a different story, however, as he missed the fairway, then had to lay up short of the putting surface. DiMarco's third went over the green and DiMarco did not have the magic he had on Saturday. Toms, whose approach stopped 7 feet from the hole, never needed to pull the putter out of the bag because DiMarco conceded the hole to fall 4-down.
Toms kept pouring it on his Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teammate. He hit his second at the stick, but spun the ball back to 9 feet. DiMarco left himself 25 feet for birdie, but missed the putt. Toms' birdie try fell right into the center of the cup for a 5-up margin.
Things got worse for DiMarco. At the par-3 16th, Toms came up short of the green on the fringe, but DiMarco hit his tee ball to 36 feet. DiMarco did not handle the downhill putt well, ramming it 15 feet past the hole. Toms stubbed his chip 4 feet short, but DiMarco did not convert his par putt. Toms did, and the rout was on as the former PGA Champion moved 6-up.
DiMarco collected another bogey at 17 when his drive missed the fairway. Tom's lead, almost insurmountable at this point, was 7-up.
Toms missed a 25-foot birdie putt at the par-5 closing hole. DiMarco read the line on Toms' putt and rolled in the 17-footer for birdie to temporarily stop the fantastic charge by Toms.
But DiMarco knew, barring a major meltdown, Toms had the trophy hoisted.
'The stretch on 9-17 got me. He won eight holes. That's pretty tough in match play,' said DiMarco.
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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 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."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    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.