Goosen Lefty Beat Woods Daly in Final Battle

By Sports NetworkJuly 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. -- Retief Goosen birdied four of the last six holes Monday to give he and Phil Mickelson a 5 & 3 win over Tiger Woods and John Daly at the Battle at The Bridges (Hole-By-Hole Details).
Goosen and Daly both had played this past weekend at the Deutsche Bank Players' Championship of Europe in Germany. They both faced jet-lag issues, but overcame them. Daly seemed more affected as he played 36 holes on Sunday before flying to this event, while Goosen missed the cut after Saturday's second round.
Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen
Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen share the final trophy from this event.
'I'll tell you what, Goose was unbelievably good. I thought jet-lag might kick in, it should be pretty early in the morning for him Germany time, but it didn't work out that way,' said Woods, who hosted this event for the seventh time. 'We had a good chance, if I make those two putts on 10 and 11 we're only one back, unfortunately I didn't make them and Goose just buried us from there.'
'I'm feeling a little weak right now, but that's no excuse for playing that bad,' Daly said.
Woods gave his duo an early lead in the best-ball, match play event. He birdied the second from seven feet out to gain a 1-up lead at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe.
After the teams halved the third, Mickelson made an eight-foot birdie putt on the fourth to win the hole and square the match. Mickelson and Goosen would never trail again.
With Mickelson out of the fifth, Goosen missed a 12-foot birdie try, but was given his par. Woods missed the green right and pitched on. However, his par-saving putt missed left.
Daly, playing this event for the second time, pitched his third shot to eight feet. Then, like Woods, Daly was unable to make his par putt.
Goosen and Woods each birdied the sixth to halve the hole. Their partners, Daly and Mickelson, halved the next with birdies.
Mickelson, who lives nearby and practices on this course frequently, carried his team over the next two holes as he halved the eighth with Woods and the ninth with Daly, a two-time major champion.
Goosen, a two-time U.S. Open champion, then caught fire. He drained a 13-foot birdie on No. 10 then watched as Daly and Woods both missed birdie tries from shorter distances.
The South African gave his team a 3-up lead by making a 12-foot birdie putt at the 11th. Woods again had a chance to halve the hole, but his 10-foot birdie try lipped out.
Woods got his team back to 2-down with a birdie on the 12th. Goosen had missed a birdie try of his own.
Mickelson nearly holed his second shot at the par-four 13th. His shot came to rest within a foot of the hole and he was conceded the birdie. Woods had a chance to halve the hole, but his lengthy birdie attempt missed left and he dropped 3-down.
Daly nearly holed a birdie chip on the 14th and was given his par. Woods then missed a 20-footer for birdie, while Goosen calmly sank another birdie putt to give he and Mickelson a 4-up cushion with four to go.
It didn't take long for that pair to close out the match. Goosen dropped his shot within four feet of the cup at the par-four 15th. Woods' second shot came up short from a fairway bunker.
Daly's second stopped some 30 feet from the cup. Woods nearly hit the stick with his chip, but it rolled by the hole. Daly's birdie try slid by the right edge and he was conceded the par before Goosen kicked in his birdie putt for the 5 & 3 win.
'It's nice knowing these greens. If you read them right they're going to go in, especially if someone like Retief is rolling them,' said Mickelson. 'A year ago at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock, I wanted to break that putter of his and this week I just wanted to kiss it.'
'I started a little bit shaky, but Phil help guide me around here,' Goosen said. 'On the back nine we made some good putts, we combined very well.'
Goosen and Mickelson each received $600,000 for the win, while Woods and Daly got $250,000 apiece. A portion of each players' winnings will go to charity.
According to various reports, this is likely the last time this event will be played in its current format.
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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.