Teams Tie US Retains UBS Cup

By Sports NetworkNovember 23, 2003, 5:00 pm
SEA ISLAND, Ga. --The U.S. team rallied with 6 1/2 points in Sunday's singles to tie the Rest of the World squad 12 - 12 to retain the UBS Cup.
'For the gallery, it had to be exciting,' said U.S. captain Arnold Palmer. 'I was watching and I got pretty damn excited.'
The Rest of the World team was in control of the tournament with Eduardo Romero clinging onto a 1-up lead over Scott Hoch with the 18th to play on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club.
Hoch's late bravado was preceded by several dominating victories by his teammates and the 48-year-old parred the hole to halve the match and secure the half-point necessary to keep the UBS Cup in the hands of the Americans.
'I don't know that we'll ever be lucky enough to have it happen quite as nice as it did this week,' said Palmer.
Hale Irwin, the all-time winner on the Champions Tour, got the charge going with a 7 and 5 thrashing of Bernhard Langer, a stark contrast of when the duo halved their singles match at the Ryder Cup in 1991.
'Just one of those days that had I been in his shoes it would have been a very discouraging day,' said Irwin. 'I can tell you what it's like to see your opponent really not give you any openings and continue knocking the flag down, and that's exactly what I had today.'
Bruce Lietzke, the winner of this year's U.S. Senior Open, disposed of Barry Lane, 6 and 5, and Mark O'Meara followed suit, disposing of Ian Woosnam by the same score.
In the opening match between the two captains, Tony Jacklin outlasted Palmer, his American counterpart, 1-up. Nick Faldo then defeated Curtis Strange, 2-up, to keep the Rest of the World in the game.
Senior British Open champion Tom Watson put together a gutsy performance against Colin Montgomerie.
Montgomerie fell 2-down with a bogey at the 12th but the Scot battled back as Watson double-bogeyed the par-4 14th.
Watson held a 1-up lead with one to play but Montgomerie birdied the last to halve the match.
'I needed that one at the last,' said Montgomerie. 'I was running out of options and I don't like running out of options.'
The Rest of the World kept the Americans at bay after Des Smyth beat Craig Stadler, 1-up, and Bill Longmuir took care of Rocco Mediate, 1-up, but the U.S. kept clawing back into the internationals' lead.
Raymond Floyd halved his match with Rodger Davis and Brad Faxon earned a point for the Americans with a 2 and 1 victory over Carl Mason.
Hal Sutton, who will captain the Americans at the 2004 Ryder Cup, defeated Vicente Fernandez, 2 and 1, but the Rest of the World, which had failed to win this event in its previous two attempts, still had a shot at the cup with Fernandez's countryman Romero in the last match.
Romero had a 2-up lead with four to play but Hoch pulled within one with an eagle at the par-five 15th.
'Everybody had so many close matches, even though there were some blowouts today,' said Hoch.
The cup then slid from the grasp of the Rest of the World team as the Argentinean Romero bogeyed the closing hole to halve his match with Hoch.
Related Links:
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.