Matches Tied After Morning Session

By Sports NetworkSeptember 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 PresidentGAINESVILLE, Va. -- The United States captured three points in Saturday morning's five foursomes matches to tie the Presidents Cup at 8 1/2 - 8 1/2.
Retief Goosen and Adam Scott halved their match with the American tandem of Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank in the opening tilt.
Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco used an ace to play perhaps the best U.S. golf in alternate-shot in years as they blew out Michael Campbell and Angel Cabrera, 5 and 3.
Tim Clark and Nick O'Hern overcame a 2-down with six to play deficit to beat Americans David Toms and Fred Funk, 2 and 1. The anchor match went to the U.S. when Stewart Cink and Davis Love III topped Trevor Immelman and Mike Weir, 1-up.
The marquee match on Saturday morning featured the top two players in the world. Tiger Woods, No. 1, and Jim Furyk gutted out a tough halve against world No. 2 Vijay Singh and Stuart Appleby.
Woods and Furyk were 2-up on the front nine, but the Internationals won three holes in a row from the eighth to move in front. The Americans tied it at 11, but Singh drained a 7-footer to win the 12th.
Singh hit his tee ball to 3 feet at the par-3 14th to set up birdie and give his team a 2-up lead. The U.S. took the 15th, but the International side took 16 when Furyk missed a 6-footer to halve.
The U.S. needed to win the last two holes to earn a halve and Woods started them off when he hit the approach to 8 feet at 17. Appleby missed from slightly farther away and Furyk ran it home to cut the margin to 1-down.
At 18, both Woods and Singh hit long drives into the fairway. Appleby hit a poor second to 40 feet, but Furyk hit a spectacular shot that stopped 3 feet from the hole.
Singh hit a solid putt that left a conceded par, but Woods converted the little putt to erase the 2-down deficit with two to play and get the Americans a crucial halve.
'We got off to such a great start and we let it slip away,' said Woods. 'Jimmy putted beautifully all day. What an absolute grinder. This guy's got so much guts, it's frightening.'
The Love/Cink pairing was 4-up with six to play, but Weir, the 2003 Masters champion, got the flat stick going. He drained a 15-foot birdie putt to win the 13th, then holed a 12-footer at the 15th to get within 2-down. The Internationals won the 16th to get 1-down, then a very interesting situation occurred at 17.
Cink knocked the Americans' approach inside 2 feet. Weir said, 'Good shot, Stewie,' which Love misunderstood to be a concession before picking up the ball. The Internationals brought out rules officials and it was determined that the Americans would have to mark the ball.
Weir, who wanted the mark to be there as an aiming tool, rolled in a 8-footer for birdie, then picked up the mark, conceding the putt. The Americans were 1-up with one to go and the sides halved 18 with pars, giving the U.S. the full point.
'When I looked up and saw his face, I knew he thought he hadn't said it was good,' said Love. 'It was my fault. That's the way it goes. He handled it real well.'
Leonard and Verplank got a 1-up lead when Goosen missed a short putt at the 12th. The Internationals knotted it up one hole later, but the U.S. pair reclaimed their 1-up advantage with a win at the 14th.
The International team squared the match with a win at No. 15, then things got interesting at No. 17. Verplank knocked his team's approach to 6 feet, while Scott could only manage to hit his side's second to 45 after Goosen drove in the rough. Goosen lagged his birdie try to a foot, and Leonard pulled his putt, never hitting the hole.
With one hole to play, Verplank and Scott both drove into the rough. Leonard and Goosen both hit the green, although the Americans were twice as far as their opponents. Verplank hit a solid birdie putt that missed the hole and Scott came up short with his birdie try.
Both sides conceded the par putts and remained undefeated in this Presidents Cup.
Mickelson and DiMarco lost two of the first four holes, but sneaked a win in at the second. They were 1-down, but won the fifth to tie the match, then took No. 6 to move 1-up.
DiMarco hit a 7-iron at the seventh and the ball landed right of the hole. It caught a slope and poured right into the center of the cup for the first ace in Presidents Cup history and the first hole-in-one by an American in either the Presidents or Ryder Cup.
'It was a good one to get us 2-up,' said DiMarco.
The Americans began rolling putts. They won the ninth and 10th, before dropping 11. The U.S. came back with a win at the 12th and the Internationals lost an opportunity when Campbell missed a 6-footer at 14 that could have won the hole.
DiMarco sank a 15-footer to win the 15th and tie the matches.
'This has been working out very well,' said Mickelson. 'We have the same demeanor. We're really having a lot fun. When you're having fun, you're going to play better golf.'
O'Hern and Lonard won 13, 14, 15 and 17 to shock the U.S. side and take a full point.
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.