Weir Wins Masters Playoff

By Sports NetworkApril 13, 2003, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Mike Weir three-putted for bogey at the first playoff hole Sunday but still defeated Len Mattiace to win his first major championship, the 67th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.
 
'It's an unbelievable feeling. It's something I've dreamt of for a long time,' said Weir. 'It's a thrill. I have a tough time putting it into words because I probably won't do it justice.'
 
Mattiace fired an amazing round of seven-under 65 on Sunday to get into the clubhouse at seven-under-par 281. A bogey at the 18th cost Mattiace the outright win but Weir birdied 15 to match Mattiace at seven-under par. Weir parred the final three holes to polish off a round of four-under 68.
 
Mattiace, playing four groups ahead of Weir and third-round leader Jeff Maggert in the final group, drove right at 18 into the pine needles. He pitched out and played his third over the hole but two-putted for bogey.
 
'That 18th is a tough hole,' said Mattiace. 'I struggled with it all week. It's just a hard hole. I didn't quite hit the drive solid enough but I felt like laying it up. I still had a good chance for four.'
 
Weir birdied the 15th to match Mattiace at seven-under par. Weir parred his way in to the force the first sudden-death playoff at The Masters since Nick Faldo defeated Ray Floyd in the 1990 edition.
 
Weir and Mattiace both found the fairway on the 10th hole, the first extra hole of the sudden-death playoff. Mattiace pulled his approach left of the green and behind a tree while Weir's second landed 45 feet short of the hole.
 
Mattiace had no choice but to play a low shot right of the tree some 30 feet from the cup. Weir's birdie try ran seven feet past the hole but Mattiace's par-saving putt flew 18 feet past the stick. Mattiace missed that putt for bogey and Weir two-putted for the bogey and his first major title.
 
'It was a tough grind all week, mentally and physically,' said Weir, who pocketed $1,080,000 for the win. 'I was absolutely beat. I tried to gather myself on each putt. Every putt on this golf course is tough.'
 
Mattiace, a two-time winner in 2002, broke down after the playoff.
 
'I gave it my all today,' said Mattiace, whose previous best finish at a major was a tie for 24th at the 1997 U.S. Open. 'The intensity was so high and with the emotions of playing today and executing and shooting a great score, it all just came out.'
 
Weir earned his third title of 2003 and his sixth since joining the PGA Tour. His closest brush with a major title before this week was in the 1999 PGA Championship. Weir shared the 54-hole lead with Tiger Woods that year but carded a final-round 80 and tied for 10th.
 
Weir became the first Canadian to win a major championship and only the second left-handed player to earn a major title. Bob Charles captured the 1963 British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
 
Woods played a flawless round of 66 in Saturday's third round to get within four shots of the lead with one round to play. On Sunday, he double-bogeyed the third hole after a poor decision off the tee and never recovered, shooting a three-over 75 and tying for 15th at two-over-par 290. In the process, Woods' chances at becoming the first player to win three consecutive green jackets were thwarted.
 
Woods elected to hit driver at the short par-four third. His ball found the pine needles on the right side and he was forced to hit a wedge left-handed to advance the ball just short of the green. The two-time defending champion pitched his third through the green then left his chip on the fringe with his fourth shot. Woods finally knocked it on the green but missed the putt and left with double-bogey six.
 
'I made a mental blunder on three,' said Woods. 'I wanted to hit iron. It was a bad decision. Stevie (Williams, Woods' caddie) said it was a better play from down below. I went with it but ultimately it's the player's call and consequently I made the wrong decision.'
 
For the third year in a row, Phil Mickelson finished in third. Mickelson, the left-hander most would have thought would win a major title first, posted a four-under 68 to come in two strokes shy of the playoff.
 
'That's better than finishing fourth, I guess, but there's really no consolation out there,' said Mickelson, whose 68 was his lowest final round at The Masters. 'I know that if I just go out and play I'm going to have a shot on Sunday and it's fun to have a chance at winning.'
 
Jim Furyk carded a four-under-par 68 to take fourth at minus-four. Maggert had a wild round on Sunday with a triple-bogey and a quintuple-bogey but still managed a 75. He took fifth place at two-under-par 286.
 
It was the customarily wild Sunday at Augusta. The beginning of the round was highlighted by some amazing shots, first by Mickelson at the second. He drove into a hazard at the second hole but dropped and hit driver off the deck to 90 feet. Mickelson holed the astonishing putt for birdie then cracked a wide smile as he inched closer to the lead.
 
The lead belonged to Maggert but some bizarre circumstances dropped him from first. At the third hole, Maggert drove into a bunker on the left side. His second failed to get over the lip and the ball came back and struck him in the chest, incurring a two-stroke penalty. Maggert triple-bogeyed the hole and never recovered.
 
'I've been in situations like that where you want to be careful about the ball coming back and hitting your foot,' Maggert said. 'But the way the ball came back and bounced so high, I just heard it hit the lip of the bunker. The next thing I knew, it came back and hit me in the chest.'
 
The stage then belonged to Mattiace, who collected two early birdies to move up the leaderboard. He chipped in for birdie at the par-five eighth to get to three-under and trail Weir by one shot. Weir went ahead by two with a three- foot birdie at the sixth but Mattiace answered with a long birdie at the 10th.
 
Mattiace had 224 yards to the flag at the 13th and he nailed his second to 12 feet. He converted the eagle putt to get to minus-six and go one ahead of Weir.
 
Mattiace took advantage of the next par-five at Augusta, the 15th, when he two- putted from the back fringe for birdie. He went two strokes clear of Weir with that birdie but a seven-foot birdie at 16 gave him a three-shot cushion.
 
'Masters Sunday is unique in itself. I don't think there's anything like it,' said Mattiace. 'I was in one of those zones. I was in a very good place. I was hitting the shots just the way I was seeing it. That's all you want to do. It was a great feeling doing it.'
 
Weir also capitalized on the back-nine par-fives. He went through the green with his second at the 13th and his eagle try blew 10 feet past the hole to the fringe. Weir drained that putt to get within two but thanks to Mattiace's error at 18, Weir found himself only one back when he reached the 15th tee.
 
At the 15th, Weir drove into the left rough and decided to lay up short of the water that guards the putting surface. He wedged his third to three feet and sank the birdie putt to match Mattiace at seven-under par.
 
Weir parred in but it wasn't without some shaky moments. He left himself with four feet for par at 17 but converted that, then needed a six-footer at the last to force the playoff.
 
'I wouldn't wish that putt on anybody,' Weir said, referring to the putt at 18. 'If I miss that putt, I three-putted to lose The Masters. I really bore down there and told myself to trust my stroke.'
 
Ernie Els and Vijay Singh tied for sixth place at one-under-par 287. Scott Verplank (69), David Toms (74), Jonathan Byrd (72), 1998 Masters champion Mark O'Meara (71) and Jose Maria Olazabal (73), a two-time Masters winner, shared eighth place at even-par 288.
 
Related Links:
  • 2003 Masters Tournament Mini-Site
  • Tournament Coverage
  • Photo Gallery
  • Augusta National Course Tour
  • The Augusta National Membership Debate: A Chronology
  • Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.