US Wins Morning Fourball

By Sports NetworkNovember 21, 2003, 5:00 pm
GEORGE, South Africa -- The American team won three of five matches in Friday's fourballs to draw even at the Presidents Cup. The competition stands tied 5 1/2 - 5 1/2 with five foursomes matches scheduled for the afternoon at The Links Course at Fancourt Hotel & Country Club Estates.
Friday morning's featured match in fourballs, or better-ball, involved the American tandem of Tiger Woods and Charles Howell III, 4-and-3 winners on Thursday, against hometown favorite Ernie Els and Tim Clark of the International team.
Els and Clark came out victorious Friday as they won the first hole and never looked back en route to a 5-and-3 victory.
Masters champion Mike Weir ran his 2003 Presidents Cup record to 2-0 as he and Robert Allenby teamed to defeat the U.S. pair of Phil Mickelson and David Toms. The Internationals won, 3 and 1, and dropped the American duo to an 0-2 record after the U.S. side formed an impressive team at last year's Ryder Cup.
Kenny Perry and Davis Love III, who combined for seven wins on the PGA Tour this season, remain undefeated as they combined for a 2-and-1 win over South Africa's Retief Goosen and South Korea's K.J. Choi.
U.S. Open winner Jim Furyk and 49-year-old captain's pick Jay Haas each rebounded from disappointing losses on Thursday. They destroyed the International pair of Stuart Appleby and Adam Scott, 6 and 5, on Friday.
Americans Justin Leonard and Chris DiMarco pulled off a mild upset in fourballs when they bested PGA Tour money champion Vijay Singh and three-time major winner Nick Price, 1-up.
Thursday saw three of the six matches go to the 18th hole but only one made it that far Friday morning.
Perhaps the most shocking match saw Els and Clark stomp Woods and Howell. The young American team looked powerful in Thursday's alternate-shot format, beating Appleby and Choi, 4 and 3.
Els and Clark captured the first hole and went 3-up around the turn thanks to four birdies by Clark, who fired at the flags Friday morning. The U.S. fell 5-down after Els won the 10th and 11th holes and were closed out for good after they lost the 14th.
Weir and Allenby took a 1-up lead at the par-5 ninth and Mickelson and Toms never came back. The Internationals won the 10th and 15th holes to go 3-up and the match ended with an International team win on the 17th when Allenby knocked a 7-iron to 12 feet.
'My putter was good,' said Weir. 'Robert got us off to a nice steady start and I started to play better and roll a few putts in. The putts I made he was in there nice and close which let me free-wheel it a little bit.'
Perry and Love fell 1-down on the fifth hole but won back-to-back holes, starting at the eighth to go 1-up. After wins at the 12th and 14th, the U.S. was in command and polished off the match at the par-3 17th.
'Any time I hit a bad shot he was always right there and kept us right in the match,' said Love, referring to Perry. 'If it was not for a couple of putts that didn't go in we would have finished earlier.'
Furyk and Haas went 1-up on the fourth, then were 6-up by the time they walked off the 11th green. The teams halved No. 12 but that was all as this U.S. team matched the most lopsided victory in fourball history at the Presidents Cup.
DiMarco nearly holed a 70-footer for eagle at the last but settled for a conceded birdie and the victory.
Related Links:
  • Presidents Cup Scoring
  • Full Coverage - Presidents Cup
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

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    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.