Internationals Rally for Lead

By Sports NetworkNovember 20, 2003, 5:00 pm
GEORGE, South Africa -- Masters champion Mike Weir and Nick Price twice overcame 2-down deficits on Thursday to defeat the American team of Phil Mickelson and David Toms, 1-up, on the first day of the Presidents Cup.
The International team took a 3 1/2 - 2 1/2 lead, a welcome change from the 2000 Presidents Cup when the Americans swept all five foursomes matches on Thursday morning.
The International team of Retief Goosen and PGA Tour money leader Vijay Singh handled United States rookies Chris DiMarco and Jerry Kelly, 3 and 2, in the second foursomes, or alternate-shot, match at The Links Course at Fancourt Hotel & Country Club Estates.
Tiger Woods and Charles Howell III earned the most decisive point on Thursday. The American duo dusted Stuart Appleby and K.J. Choi of the International team, 4 and 3 in the anchor match.
Davis Love III and Kenny Perry, with a combined seven wins on the PGA Tour in 2003, handled Peter Lonard and Tim Clark of the International team, 4 and 2.
The other two matches saw the American team take a lead into the closing holes only to squander it. U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard, who teamed up last week in a tie for fifth place at the WGC-World Cup, lost the final three holes to fall 1-down to hometown hero Ernie Els and Adam Scott.
Jay Haas and Fred Funk, the two oldest players in the competition and captain's picks by American leader Jack Nicklaus, lost the last two holes to earn a halve with Robert Allenby and Stephen Leaney.
In the opening match, Mickelson and Toms built 2-up leads twice but were 1-up with two holes to play, thanks to a spectacular bunker shot by Toms on the 16th.
At the par-3 17th, Mickelson pulled his shot into the rough while Weir, who overtook Mickelson as the top left-handed player in golf, knocked his tee ball on to the green. Price rolled home his birdie putt to draw even in the match.
'We needed something,' said Weir. 'It seemed like we were down all day. Pricey said, 'Get it on the green and I'll make it.' Phil will tell you, for a lefty, that's a tough shot.'
On the par-5 18th, Mickelson's second was nearly perfect but the ball trickled down the slope and Toms chipped over the green. Price chipped his team's third to five feet and Weir holed the birdie putt for the unlikely 1-up victory.
Another match the Americans seemed to have in hand was the Leonard/Furyk match. They were 2-up with three to play and Scott sank a clutch birdie putt on the 16th to cut the margin to 1-down.
Els holed a 20-footer for birdie at the 17th to square the match and once again the 18th at Fancourt stymied the U.S. Furyk's attempt at reaching the green in two sailed into waist-high rough and all Leonard could do was chip it 80 feet from the hole, where they made par.
Els closed out the match when he hit the team's third to two feet. The Americans conceded the birdie and the match.
'We finished strong,' understated Scott, playing in his first Presidents Cup.
Funk and Haas, the oldest team ever in Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup history, were 2-up with two to play. Haas missed the green with his tee ball at 17 and when Funk tried to chip on, his ball hit a rock and went flying backward over his head. Allenby left Leaney with an 18-footer for birdie but Leaney never got to hit the putt as the Americans conceded, squaring the match.
Haas once again missed the green, this time at 18 and Funk was unable to play out of the tall grass. Leaney hit a wedge to 12 feet with the team's third and the Americans made bogey the match was over as a draw.
Woods and Howell went 1-up on the third hole and never looked back. They got 2-up on the 10th and won the 14th and 15th holes to put the match away.
Love and Perry were 1-up after a win at the first and did not fall behind at any point. They were 4-up through 11 holes but Lonard and Clark won Nos. 13 and 14 to cut the lead in half. Love and Perry won the next two holes to earn the full point.
Goosen and Singh never built a bigger lead than 2-up until the 13th hole. Three holes later, the Internationals had closed out the excited rookies and it was the only match their side won from start-to-finish.
Related Links:
  • Presidents Cup Scoring
  • Full Coverage - Presidents Cup
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    The Social: G.O.A.T., after G.O.A.T., after G.O.A.T.

    By Jason CrookJanuary 23, 2018, 6:00 pm

    Tom Brady compares himself to Tiger Woods, who coincidentally is returning to the PGA Tour this week, Jordan Spieth hangs out with some decent company and kids these days ruffle some feathers with their friendships.

    All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

    Well, it’s finally Farmers Insurance Open week and Woods has been spotted practicing for his official return to the PGA Tour on Thursday.

    Some thought this day might never come after a 2017 filled with mostly downs for the 14-time major champ.

    But as he has taught the golf world time and time again, you just can't count Tiger out.

    So even as Jon Rahm attempts to overtake Dustin Johnson for No. 1 in the world this week at Torrey Pines, all eyes will be on one of the greatest we've ever seen do it, even if that guy is ranked No. 647 in the world.

    Speaking of greatness …

    There’s not many who can just offhandedly compare themselves to Tiger, but if anyone gets a pass, it’s Tom Brady.

    The 40-year-old New England Patriots quarterback led his team back to the Super Bowl for the second straight year despite playing the AFC title game with a cut on his throwing hand.

    When asked about it after the Patriots come-from-behind victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady answered, “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.”

    So there you have it. A 40-year-old Brady is winning AFC Championships with his C game. Good luck, Eagles; you’re going to need it.

    Also, if for some reason you wanted an update on Justin Thomas' life, it's still awesome:

    Yeah, that's last year's PGA Tour Player of the Year hanging with Cy Young winner Cory Kluber in a suite at the Patriots game and teasing us with a possible #SB2K18 cameo.

    Curtis Strange likes his competitive golf straight up, hold the friendliness.

    This, according to Curtis Strange.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ took to Twitter during the CareerBuilder Challenge to vent his frustration regarding the constant chit-chat and friendliness between Rahm and Andrew Landry:

    This, of course, makes sense in theory. But good luck watching golf – or really any sport – from here on out. Sure there will be a few old school guys who buck the trend here and there, but for the most part, it’s really hard to share a private jet/dinners/vacations/(insert awesome thing here) with someone, and then completely turn off the friendship coming down the stretch of a big tournament.

    Damn millennials. They ruin everything.

    By now you've all seen that poor Philadelphia Eagles fan who lost his battle with a subway station pillar (from multiple angles), so instead here is a video of a man attempting to stand on an egg. Bet you can't guess how that goes.

    Tony's gonna stand on an egg

    A post shared by theCHIVE (@thechive) on

    Seriously if you haven't seen the video of that Eagles fan, here's your last chance in this column. You'll be glad you did.

    Jordan Spieth, Michael Phelps and Bryce Harper walk on to a golf course … there’s no punchline, that actually happened last week in Las Vegas.

    Was the whole thing just a big advertisement for Spieth’s new Under Armour shoe? You bet.

    But that doesn’t make the optics of three of the biggest superstar athletes on the planet teeing it up for a round any less awesome.

    Off to the next. #Spieth2 #TEAMUA

    A post shared by Under Armour Golf (@uagolf) on

    The trio has three major wins, five All Star Game appearances and 28 Olympic medals between them, and there they were over the weekend just fake laughing for the camera and driving around individual golf carts with their own personalized logos on them.

    Just guys being dudes. Nothing better than that.

    Matt Kuchar. Still good at golf. Still overly polite. This according to European Tour pro Eddie Pepperell who had the privilege of hitting on the range next to Kuuuuuch in Abu Dhabi last week.

    That image is burned into your brain forever now, thanks Eddie. From now on when you think of Kuchar you're going to think of those Sketches ads and "oopsies."

    Which, I suppose is better than a, "Did you get that?"

    Blayne Barber's caddie, Cory Gilmer, collapsed and hit his head while at a restaurant at the Sony Open and has been mostly unconscious in the neurological intensive care unit ever since.

    The outpouring of love and support from the golf community has been overwhelming on social media, and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the mounting medical costs for Gilmer and his family.

    Check out the link below for more info or to donate to a worthy cause:

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    Top-ranked amateur wins LAAC, earns Masters invite

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 5:38 pm

    Joaquin Niemann walked Augusta National Golf Club as a patron last year. He’ll be a competitor in 2018.

    Niemann, the top-ranked amateur in the world, shot 8-under 63 Tuesday at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Santiago, Chile, to win the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    And with the title, both redemption and an invitation to the Masters Tournament.

    Full-field scores from the Latin America Amateur Championship

    Niemann finished runner-up in last year’s LAAC to fellow Chilean Toto Gana. He followed Gana around Augusta grounds, watching as his best friend played two rounds before missing the cut.

    Niemann, who was going to turn professional had he not won this week, started the final round one back of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz. Niemann was sluggish from the start on Tuesday, but then drove the 313-yard, par-4 eighth and made the eagle putt. That sparked a run of five birdies over his next six holes.

    Niemann was bogey-free in the final round and finished five shots clear of Ortiz, at 11 under.

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    Judges Panel, Host Announced for Wilson Golf's "Driver vs. Driver 2," Premiering This Fall on Golf Channel

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 23, 2018, 4:15 pm

    ‘Driver vs. Driver 2 Presented by Wilson Currently in Production; Sports Broadcaster Melanie Collins Returns to Host

    Morning Drive: Driver vs. Driver 2 Judges Announced

    Golf Channel and Wilson Golf announced today the panel of judges and host for the second season of Driver vs. Driver, the innovative television series that follows aspiring golf equipment designers as they compete for the opportunity to have their driver idea or concept transformed into the next great golf driver from Wilson. The show is currently in production and will premiere this fall.

    Joining judge Tim Clarke, President of Wilson Golf, are two newcomers to the series: 9-time National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star and current NHL on NBC hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick – an avid golfer with a single digit handicap and a self-described golf equipment junkie; and PGA Professional, golf coach, equipment reviewer and social media influencer Rick Shiels.

    “Golf is a big passion of mine, and personally I enjoy learning about new equipment and concepts,” said Roenick. “To be able to see this side of the business in how equipment is developed first-hand is fascinating. Being a part of the process in reviewing driver concepts and narrowing them down to an ultimate winning driver that will be sold across the country is a tremendous honor.” 

    “Jeremy, as an avid golfer, and Rick, as a coach, equipment reviewer and golf professional, bring incredible, real world insights and different perspectives to the show and this process,” said Clarke. “I’m excited to work alongside these two judges to push the boundaries of innovation and bring a next-generation driver to golfers around the world.”

    Sports broadcaster Melanie Collins returns as the host of Driver vs. Driver 2. Currently a sideline reporter for CBS Sports’ college football and basketball coverage, Collins hosted the inaugural season in 2016 and formerly co-hosted Golf Channel’s competition series, Big Break.

    Production for Driver vs. Driver 2 began in the fall of 2017 and will continue through the summer, including this week at the PGA Merchandise Show. The series is being produced by Golf Channel, whose portfolio of original productions include interview series Feherty hosted by Emmy-nominated sports personality David Feherty, high-quality instruction shows School of Golf, Golf Channel Academy and Playing Lessons and a slate of award-winning films.

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    Tiger Tracker: Farmers Insurance Open

    By Tiger TrackerJanuary 23, 2018, 4:00 pm

    Tiger Woods is competing in a full-field event for the first time in nearly a year. We're tracking him at this week's Farmers Insurance Open. (Note: Tweets read, in order, left to right)