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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  • Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose shot a 7-under 65 Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the European Tour's season-ending Tour Championship.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for an overall 15-under 201. The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is chasing his second Race to Dubai title but leading rival Tommy Fleetwood is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    U.S. Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Order of Merit crown, is tied for 13th on 10 under.

    Fleetwood needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”