GBI Dominates Singles Wins Seve Trophy

By Sports NetworkSeptember 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourBILLINGHAM, England -- Great Britain & Ireland won the Seve Trophy for a third straight time by taking six of the 10 singles matches from Continental Europe on Sunday and halving two more.
 
The win was secured before three pairings had even finished their matches when Thomas Levet conceded Bradley Dredge's par at the 17th hole to give GB&I a 15-10 lead.
 
Only 14 1/2 points are needed to win, and captain Colin Montgomerie's team ended with a 16 1/2 - 11 1/2 victory.
 
'I'm delighted, especially coming back the way we did,' said Montgomerie, whose team trailed 4-1 after the first day of four-ball on Thursday. 'To win the singles 7-3 was a real team effort.'
 
Montgomerie lost his match to Continental Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal, 2 and 1, in the first match play meeting between the pair since Olazabal beat the Scotsman in the final of the 1984 British Amateur.
 
Olazabal was happy with his win, which he clinched with a birdie at the 17th.
 
'I have to say it felt good,' he admitted.
 
But the Spaniard probably can't help but think his team squandered a chance for its first Seve Trophy since winning the inaugural event in 2000.
 
'It's something that doesn't feel good in the system,' said Olazabal, who assumed captain duties from injured countryman and trophy namesake Seve Ballesteros.
 
'But obviously I have to congratulate the Great Britain & Ireland team. They played better than we did.'
 
The captains were the third group to finish Sunday. But despite Olazabal's spirited win, the GB&I side only needed three more points to win at that point with seven pairings left on the course.
 
David Howell had already rolled to a 6 and 5 victory over Thomas Bjorn, while Paul Casey had already beaten Niclas Fasth 4 and 3. Montgomerie's side also scored points from Graeme McDowell's 5 and 4 win over Maarten Lafeber, Stephen Dodd's 2 and 1 victory against Jean-Francois Remesy and Paul McGinley's 1-up win over Miguel Angel Jimenez.
 
Continental Europe picked up its second singles win -- after the fact -- with Emanuele Canonica's 2 and 1 victory over Padraig Harrington.
 
The other two matches were halved: Englishman Ian Poulter parred 17 to square his match with Peter Hanson; and the final match of the day between Sweden's Henrik Stenson and Nick Dougherty ended when both players conceded birdies at 18.
 
Dredge was the only player in the field without a point entering the singles matches on Sunday. His clinching 2 and 1 victory over Levet should go a long way in helping him forget the penalty he incurred for having too many clubs in his bag during the second round of fourball matches on Friday.
 
The Welshman stepped up his game on Sunday, and Friday's mistake was more of an afterthought than anything else once GB&I wrapped things up.
 
'I practiced a bit and counted the clubs, things like that,' Dredge joked when asked what he did to improve his play after the first three days. 'You know, the basics.'
 
Levet had fallen 3-down to Dredge after missing a five-foot par putt at 13, but he won two of the next three holes to pull within 1-down. However, he pulled his tee shot into the left rough at the par-3 17th and didn't make the green until his third shot.
 
Dredge landed his tee shot within 22 feet, and after lipping out a birdie putt, he was conceded par for the win.
 
With his team needing just five points to win at the beginning of the day, Howell made a statement for GB&I by dominating Bjorn. He opened with an eagle at the par-5 first, made the turn at 2-up and moved 5-up with winning birdies at 10 and 12 and a winning par at 11.
 
The match was all but over at that point, but for good measure Howell rolled in a 4-foot putt at the 13th to clinch the 6 and 5 victory and give the GB&I team a 10 1/2 - 8 1/2 lead.
 
Casey took control of his match with Fasth by moving 4-up with a winning par at the 11th and a 3-foot birdie putt at the 12th. McDowell clinched his victory over Lafeber with a 12-foot birdie putt at the 14th.
 
Hanson and Poulter halved their match moments later to make the score 13-10, and Dodd and Remesy were the next to finish when Dodd rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at 17 for the win.
 
Remesy needed to make a tricky right-to-left putt to halve the hole, but he missed, leaving GB&I within just one-half point of winning.
 
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.