Spain Overtakes England in World Cup

By Sports NetworkNovember 20, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 WGC-EMC World CupSEVILLE, Spain -- The Spanish duo of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Sergio Garcia combined to fire an 11-under 61 in a better-ball format to take a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the World Golf Championships - World Cup. The Spaniards stand at 24-under-par 192.
England's Luke Donald and Paul Casey, who held the lead entering round three, managed a 4-under 68. They stand alone in second place at 23-under-par 193.
The South African team of Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini, who are the defending champions, posted an 8-under 64 to climb into a share of third place at 21-under-par 195. They are joined there by Sweden (Joakim Haeggman & Fredrik Jacobson), Ireland (Padraig Harrington & Paul McGinley) and the United States (Scott Verplank & Bob Tway).
The Spanish duo began the day six strokes behind the Englishmen. Jimenez and Garcia combined to post back-to-back birdies from the third at Real Club de Golf Sevilla to get to minus-15.
An eagle at the par-5 fifth by Garcia moved the Spaniards to minus-17 and within three shots of the English lead.
The Spanish team got rolling again with a birdie at the par-5 ninth. They came right back with a birdie on 10 and made it three straight at the 11th. That moved them to 20 under par and within two strokes of the lead.
The Spaniards kept their charge going with a birdie at the 13th. They briefly joined England atop the leaderboard with a birdie at the 14th. However, England birdied the 13th two groups behind the Spanish team to reclaim the lead at 23 under.
Garcia's second eagle of the round, from 6 feet out at 16, jumped the Spanish team to minus-11 for the day and 24 under par overall, which gave them the outright lead for the first time in the round. They parred the final two holes to remain one clear of the field.
'We are definitely pleased with the result,' said Garcia. 'We made a couple of big putts and we gelled very well. When I was out of a hole Miguel was right in the thick of it and when he was a bit out, I was in. That was important. The support of the crowd helps us. The crowds have been unbelievable.'
England's lead grew quickly to six strokes when they birdied the first hole. As other teams began to close in on them, they picked up another birdie at the fourth that got them to 21 under and padded their lead to four strokes.
A birdie at the ninth moved England to minus-22, but Spain and the United States got within one shot with a Spanish birdie at 13 and an American eagle at the same hole.
The Englishmen birdied the par-5 13th to regain the outright lead for the final time in the round. They could only par the final five holes to close one stroke behind the Spaniards.
'Obviously it was frustrating for us today,' Donald said. 'Fortunately we had a lead to work with and although we've lost it, we are still very much in the hunt. If we play like we did in the foursomes we can still win it.'
The Japanese team of Shigeki Maruyama and Hidemichi Tanaka posted a 7- under 65 to move to 20-under-par 196, where they stand alone in seventh.
The Dutch duo of Robert-Jan Derksen and Maarten Lafeber fired a 9-under 63 to jump to 19-under-par 197. They share eighth place with the Australian pair of Stephen Leaney and Nick O'Hern, who posted a 65.
Austria's Martin Wiegele and Markus Brier, who gained entry into the event when the team from Thailand withdrew, carded a 68. They are joined in 10th place at 18-under-par 198 by the Welsh pairing of Bradley Dredge and Phillip Price, who posted an 8-under 64.
Related links:
  • TV Airtimes

  • Leaderboard - WGC - World Cup

  • Full Coverage - WGC - World Cup
  • Getty Images

    Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

    Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

    Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

    There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.

    Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

    The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

    Getty Images

    Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

    Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

    Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

    It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

    While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.

    Getty Images

    McIlroy (T-3) notches another Abu Dhabi close call

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:08 pm

    Rory McIlroy's trend of doing everything but hoist the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is alive and well.

    Making his first start since early October, McIlroy showed few signs of rust en route to a tie for third. Amid gusty winds, he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish the week at 18 under, four shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who rallied to win this event for the second consecutive year.

    The result continues a remarkable trend for the Ulsterman, who has now finished third or better seven of the last eight years in Abu Dhabi - all while never winning the tournament. That stretch includes four runner-up finishes and now two straight T-3 results.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy is entering off a disappointing 2017 in which he was injured in his first start and missed two chunks of time while trying to regain his health. He has laid out an ambitious early-season schedule, one that will include a trip to Dubai next week and eight worldwide tournament starts before he heads to the Masters.

    McIlroy started the final round one shot off the lead, and he remained in contention after two birdies over his first four holes. But a bogey on No. 6 slowed his momentum, and McIlroy wasn't able to make a back-nine birdie until the closing hole, at which point the title was out of reach.

    Getty Images

    Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

    The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

    Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

    Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

    Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.