US Takes Afternoon Foursomes 4-1

By Sports NetworkNovember 21, 2003, 5:00 pm
GEORGE, South Africa -- The United States captured four out five points in Friday's foursomes matches to surge into the lead after the second day of the Presidents Cup. The U.S. has a three-point lead at 9 1/2 - 6 1/2 at The Links Course at Fancourt Hotel & Country Club Estates.
Tiger Woods and Charles Howell III avenged their 5-and-3 loss in Friday morning's fourballs with a 1-up victory over Retief Goosen and Tim Clark.
Kenny Perry and Jerry Kelly led the charge in the foursomes, or alternate-shot format, with a 2-and-1 victory over Peter Lonard and K.J. Choi. Fred Funk, one of Jack Nicklaus' captain's picks, teamed with 2001 PGA Champion David Toms to trounce the International team of Robert Allenby and Stephen Leaney, 4 and 3.
Ernie Els and Adam Scott nearly coughed up a 3-up lead but pulled out a 1-up win over the American team of Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco. Mickelson is the only member of the U.S. team who has yet to collect a point.
Jim Furyk, the reigning U.S. Open champion, continued his strong play from the morning. In the fourballs, he teamed with Jay Haas to match the most lopsided win in Presidents Cup history with a 6-and-5 drubbing of Stuart Appleby and Scott.
In the foursomes, Furyk reunited with his World Cup partner from last week, Justin Leonard, and handled the highly-ranked International team of 2003 PGA Tour money leader Vijay Singh and Masters winner Mike Weir, 5 and 4.
Nicklaus' squad evened the matches Friday morning when they took three out of five fourball, or better-ball matches. Nicklaus switched some of his pairings and rested Davis Love III to nurse his sore neck and Jay Haas, who is 49 years of age.
Woods and Howell looked impressive in building a 4-up lead through 13 holes. Woods, however, missed a four-footer for a halve at the 16th and suddenly the Americans' lead was only 1-up.
The teams halved the 17th and Goosen gave the Internationals a good chance at a half point when he knocked the team's second to 10 feet at the par-5 18th. Clark never got the eagle putt on line and Woods delivered on his four-footer to halve the hole and win the match.
'I don't know if I could have lived that one down if I missed that one,' admitted Woods, who owns a 5-1 record in foursomes in three appearances at the Presidents Cup.
All of the other points for the U.S. were laughers. Perry and Kelly won four holes in a row, starting at the eighth and despite a pair of late birdie putts by Choi, the Americans closed out the match on No. 17.
Perry is now the only undefeated American at 3-0 and Kelly was just happy to get back into the mix. He sat out Friday morning's foursomes and in the afternoon, finally earned his first point in an international team competition.
'It was really hard to sit out this morning, but I told the guys that I was here for the team,' said Kelly. 'Mr. Nicklaus clearly knows what's going on because he had me fresh out there.'
Funk and Toms birdied the ninth to go 1-up and the Aussie duo failed to make either a birdie or a threat. They were dusted on the 14th hole and now Leaney is still winless in his Presidents Cup debut.
Furyk and Leonard were never in jeopardy Friday afternoon but Els and Scott nearly blew their huge lead to Mickelson and DiMarco. The International tandem made a triple-bogey and bogey at 12 and 13 to cut their lead to 1-up.
Scott ensured a two-putt birdie at the 16th to go 2-up with two to play. Mickelson cut that margin in half with a 25-foot birdie putt at 17 and the Americans seemed to have the advantage at the par-5 closing hole.
DiMarco hit his second shot to 10 while Scott's approach hit the green and rolled off the back. Els chipped in from behind the green to secure the International team's only point in foursomes.
'We played so well for 11 holes and then I lost the plot on 12 and hit it right,' said Els. 'But we hung in there.'
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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 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.

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    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.


    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.