Woods Furyk Fall at Match Play

By Sports NetworkSeptember 14, 2006, 4:00 pm
HSBC World Mach Play ChampionshipsVIRGINIA WATER, England -- Tiger Woods had his winning streak snapped at five tournaments on Thursday when he was ousted by Shaun Micheel in the first round at the HSBC World Match Play Championship.
 
Woods fell 3-down after the first 18 holes, then could only trim his deficit to 1-down on the way to a 4-and-3 loss to the 2003 PGA champion.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods' five-tournament winning streak ended in his loss Thursday to Shaun Micheel.
'Sometimes it's easier to play as the underdog,' said Micheel, who went 5 under through 33 holes. 'Tiger is so strong mentally, which makes him difficult to play in match play.'
 
Looking nothing like the dominant player who has had fields battling for second place, Woods led for the first two holes of the match after Micheel bogeyed No. 1.
 
Micheel, who finished as runner-up to Woods at this year's PGA Championship, birdied the third hole to square the match, and Woods never led again.
 
'He did what he had to do today,' said Woods, who was 2 under. 'He kept the ball in play and kept putting the pressure on me. I didn't make any putts today and it was very frustrating and I couldn't put the pressure back on him.'
 
Micheel won three more holes in a row after No. 3, taking a 3-up lead when Woods missed a 5-foot par putt at the sixth.
 
Woods got within 2-down when Micheel bogeyed the seventh, but fell back to 3-down with a three-putt bogey at the ninth. He dropped as many as 4-down, but was able to keep it within three when he birdied the 18th and Micheel made bogey from a pair of bunkers.
 
A par at the 19th hole and a birdie at the 20th -- on a 15-foot putt at the Wentworth Club's par-3 second -- got Woods within 1-down. But Micheel made two birdies in a four-hole stretch to go 3-up.
 
Woods was still 3-down headed to the 30th hole -- the par-5 12th. He made his first birdie in 10 holes, but Micheel went 4-up when he made eagle.
 
Both players parred the next three to give Micheel the win.
 
'He beats most of us more times than we get a chance to beat him,' Micheel said. 'I finish second to him more times than he finishes second to me, but he didn't play his best today.'
 
Micheel was able to do what the rest of the field needed him to do -- knock off the player who was favored to walk away with the $1.86 million first-place prize.
 
The player who, in a six-week span, had won the British Open, the Buick Open, the PGA Championship, the Bridgestone Invitational and the Deutsche Bank Championship.
 
'This certainly wasn't expected,' Micheel said. 'I just was out trying to have a good day, play my game, hit the ball in the fairway and make my putts.
 
'We each had our share of bogeys and mishaps, but it feels really special to beat him. He played pretty well but did not make the putts he usually does.'
 
Also a surprise loser, Jim Furyk was knocked out when he dropped a 4-and-3 decision to European Ryder Cup rookie Robert Karlsson of Sweden.
 
Expected to anchor the U.S. Ryder Cup team with Woods and Phil Mickelson, Furyk entered the tournament ranked No. 2 in the world -- his highest ranking ever -- after winning the Canadian Open last week.
 
He didn't have a bogey until the 25th hole, but his steadiness wasn't enough. Karlsson shot a 64 to go 5-up after the first 18 holes and was never ahead by less than 3-up the rest of the way.
 
'This is just a fantastic bonus,' said Karlsson. 'Going against the second player in the world, you expect a pretty rapid exit.'
 
In three other matches involving players who will be at the K Club next week, Colin Montgomerie defeated David Howell, 1-up, in a match between Ryder Cup teammates; Paul Casey routed Retief Goosen, 6 and 4; and Luke Donald made it four victories for European Ryder Cuppers with a 1-up win over Tim Clark.
 
The European side was also encouraged by the news that teammate Darren Clarke, playing for the first time since the death of his wife, Heather, from cancer last month, shot a 4 under in the Madrid Open.
 
'It's nice to see him doing well. I wish him all the best this week,' Donald said. 'To play well this week and get a few competitive rounds under his belt, especially some rounds under par, will do him a lot of good.'
 
Not that all the players saw this week as a precursor to the Ryder Cup.
 
'This is one of the biggest tournaments I've ever played in, but it's definitely not a rehearsal for next week's Ryder Cup,' said Karlsson. 'It is a fantastic opportunity to practice some match play and an extra bonus that I get more than one game here.'
 
In the other matches Thursday, defending champion Michael Campbell opened with a 3-and-1 victory over Simon Khan; Mike Weir was a 3-and-2 winner over Adam Scott; and six-time Match Play champion Ernie Els was ousted by Angel Cabrera, 2 and 1.
 
Cabrera clinched that match when Els hooked his drive badly at the 35th hole, knocking into some trees and out of bounds.
 
Related Links:
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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.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    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.