Great Britain and Ireland Take Two-Point Lead
Two matches went down to No. 18 at Druids Glen Golf Club. The first of the two saw the Continental Europe team's Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez defeat Steve Webster and Paul Casey, 1-up.
The Great Britain & Ireland team avenged the earlier loss when Irishmen Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley bested Frenchmen Thomas Levet and Raphael Jacquelin, 1-up.
The remaining matches were not as close. Colin Montgomerie, the Great Britain & Ireland team captain, teamed with Andrew Oldcorn to beat Niclas Fasth and Robert Karlsson 2-and-1.
Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke of the Great Britain & Ireland team rebounded from a shocking loss in the morning greensome matches by trouncing Thomas Bjorn and Alex Cejka 3-and-2.
'This is the way it goes,' said Continental Europe's captain Seve Ballesteros. 'The Great Britain & Irish team just played a little better, that's why they're ahead. Simple as that.'
'Good afternoon because it was a tough morning,' said Montgomerie. 'This afternoon was going our way, then it wasn't and then it was again.'
The first match to hit the closing hole did so because Olazabal ran home a 12-foot birdie putt at No. 17 to give his team a 1-up lead. Neither team played well off the tee at 18 with Olazabal in the right side of the fairway behind a tree and Webster in a fairway bunker.
Casey could not reach the green from the bunker so he pitched out but his ball landed in the right rough. Jimenez hit a poor approach as well, knocking his shot into the left rough under a tree.
Webster mis-hit the team's third and almost landed in a stream right of the putting surface. He missed the water and Casey flopped his shot six feet from the hole.
Olazabal pitched his shot high in the air to avoid low tree branches and stopped it 40 feet from the cup. Jimenez left Olazabal with three feet for bogey after Webster holed his clutch bogey save.
Olazabal, a two-time Masters champion, stroked home the putt to preserve the 1-up victory.
Back on the 18th tee, Harrington found the fairway while Levet landed in the same fairway bunker that Casey blasted out of 15 minutes earlier. Jacquelin also had to pitch out rather than go at the green but his shot found the rough well short of the putting surface, while McGinley missed the green left with his approach.
Levet missed the putting surface with his team's third shot but Jacquelin chipped seven feet past the cup. Harrington, who is currently ranked ninth in the world, hit a poor chip that came up 15 feet short of the hole.
McGinley's par save lipped out but the bogey putt was conceded. Levet had seven feet to halve the match but his putt never came close and the win belonged to Great Britain & Ireland.
Montgomerie and Oldcorn birdied two of their final three holes, including a chip-in by Oldcorn on the 15th. That was enough to propel the Scottish duo into the first win of the afternoon session.
Clarke and Westwood, Ryder Cup partners in 1999, won five of six holes in the middle of their match to cruise to their victory.
Full scores from the Seve Trophy
CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.062 million
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:
|T20||Charles Howell III||-14||$57,754|
|T36||Tyrone Van Aswegen||-12||$27,189|
|T69||Billy Hurley III||-6||$11,623|
After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...
Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).
Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.
It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard
On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...
There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.
He sure looks like the real deal, though.
His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.
Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner
Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2
With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.
He picked up one more No. 2, too.
The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.
In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.
Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.
“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”
Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.
Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.
He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.
Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title
Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.
His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.
“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."
Tom Brady, postgame, on wearing the wrap on his hand: “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) January 22, 2018
Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.
Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.