Internationals Sweep Fourballs

By Sports NetworkNovember 22, 2003, 5:00 pm
GEORGE, South Africa -- The International team swept all six Fourball matches Saturday to turn a three-point deficit into a three-point lead after the third day of the Presidents Cup.
 
The International side leads 12 1/2 - 9 1/2 and swept the Americans in a session for the first time in the competition's history. While the U.S. side has swept a session twice against the International side, Saturday's fourball debacle was the first time the Americans left a round pointless in either the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup since the Friday Fourballs in the 1989 Ryder Cup.
 
When the Americans swept the Internationals at the Presidents Cup, there were only five matches as this year is the first to feature six matches a session. In 1989, the Europeans took four matches, so Saturday's shutout might be the most dominant in an international, team match-play event.
 
'It was a dream day for us, really,' said Nick Price, who has played in all five Presidents Cups for the International side.
 
Tiger Woods and Charles Howell III, the only team on either side to stay intact for all four rounds of competition, fell to the International team of PGA Tour money list champion Vijay Singh and 2001 U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen, 2 and 1.
 
Phil Mickelson's 2003 Presidents Cup record fell to 0-4 Saturday as he and Fred Funk lost to Stephen Leaney and Peter Lonard, 2 and 1, in the opening match.
 
Ernie Els has gone the opposite way of Phil Mickelson. He and Tim Clark beat reigning U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk and 49-year-old Jay Haas, 3 and 2, in the second match to push Els' mark to 4-0 so far.
 
The third match was never close as K.J. Choi and Adam Scott dusted the American duo of Kenny Perry and Jerry Kelly, 5 and 4. Justin Leonard and Chris DiMarco nearly pulled off an amazing comeback after trailing Masters winner Mike Weir and Robert Allenby, 4-down with six to play. This was the only match to go 18 but the Americans could not win the closing hole at The Links Course at Fancourt Hotel & Country Club Estates and fell to the Internationals, 1-up.
 
The anchor match was close but the International team of Price and Stuart Appleby won two late holes and posted a 2-and-1 victory over the American team of Davis Love III and David Toms.
 
It will all come down to Sunday's 12 singles matches if the U.S. is to avoid losing the Presidents Cup. They will need to win eight points on Sunday if they are to avoid their second loss in as many tries on foreign soil.
 
The only other time they have failed to win the Cup was in 1998 at Royal Melbourne, the only other time the tournament was held outside the United States and the other time Jack Nicklaus captained the American squad.
 
Saturday's action featured heavy winds on the front nine, where par was a good score at The Links Course at Fancourt, which was designed by International team captain Gary Player.
 
The closest match of the day was the battle between Woods and Howell and Singh and Goosen. The International side was 1-up until the ninth when Woods canned a four-foot birdie putt to square the match.
 
The score remained tied until the short, par-4 14th. Woods' drive was short of the putting surface but he hit an awful chip that ran through the green 40 feet from the hole. Goosen was in a greenside bunker and blasted out to three feet and Howell missed an 18-footer for birdie after Woods missed his long birdie try. Goosen holed his birdie putt and moved his team 1-up with four to play.
 
Woods and Singh both knocked it close for birdie at 15 and both putts were conceded. The sides halved the 16th but Singh sank a 25-foot birdie putt to close out the match at the 17th.
 
'We had the strong team back together again,' said Singh, referring to his partnership with Goosen, that netted a 3-and-2 win in Thursday's foursomes matches. 'Retief played really well. He was in the match all the way. We hung in there and made a few coming in.'
 
Mickelson and Funk broke out to a 2-up lead through three holes but the Aussie rookie duo clawed back. Despite a 400-yard drive from Mickelson at the seventh, the International team won the hole to go 1-down, then won the ninth thanks to a chip-in birdie from the Internationals.
 
The International side pulled ahead with a 10-foot birdie by Leaney at the 13th then held on when Mickelson missed a 20-footer for par at the 17th and Funk drove into an unplayable lie.
 
Els and Clark had very little trouble with Furyk and Haas, a team that matched the largest margin of victory in Presidents Cup history with a 6-and-5 win in Friday's fourballs.
 
Els and Clark won the first, second and fourth holes to go 3-up around the turn and with a win at the 12th, they found themselves 4-up. The Americans did not give up as they won the 14th and Furyk drained a three-footer for birdie at 15 to cut the gap to 2-down but Els won the 16th with an eagle to close out the match.
 
'We let some shots go on the back nine,' said Els, who was 0-5 in the 2000 Presidents Cup. 'It's hard to describe. I only get my chance now and again in front of the hometown fans, so you want to try and show off.'
 
Weir and Allenby were 4-up through 12 holes but Leonard knocked his second to inches at the par-5 13th. The Americans won No. 14 and Leonard holed a 12-foot birdie putt at 15 to cut the margin to 1-down.
 
The U.S. could not win a hole the rest of the way so it was yet another point for the Internationals.
 
The anchor match was close until the short 14th. Appleby was in the greenside bunker and holed out to send his team 1-up. Appleby won the 16th and the match concluded at 17 when Toms missed a 30-foot birdie try and Love drove into a hazard and picked up his ball.
 
'The two on the par-4 was a great bunker shot,' said Price. 'That really swung things in our favor.'
 
Choi and Scott were 5-up at the turn and completed the slaughter at No. 14.

Related Links:
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.