Woods Kuehne Rally to Win Battle at Bridges


2004 Lincoln Financial Battle at the BridgesRANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. -- Tiger Woods and Hank Kuehne rallied from a 2-down deficit to win four straight holes en route to a 2 & 1 win over John Daly and Phil Mickelson on Monday in the Battle at the Bridges.
Woods played hard over the first two holes, as he was given his birdie putt to halve the first hole and won the second hole courtesy of a seven-foot birdie putt.
Mickelson and Daly took charge from there though. Woods and Kuehne both struggled to bogeys at the third, while Mickelson rolled his 15-foot birdie try within inches of the cup and was given the par putt to halve the match.
At the par-3 fourth, Daly knocked a 6-iron to 20 feet. After Woods and Kuehne missed birdie tries, Daly ran his birdie putt into the hole for the win and a 1-up lead.
Kuehne found water off the fifth tee. He tried to play out to help Woods, who was under the lip of a bunker, but Kuehne made a mess of the hole. Woods pitched out of the bunker and knocked his third onto the green. Mickelson meanwhile, left his second shot short of the green. Woods went on to two-putt for bogey, while Mickelson got up-and-down for par and his teams' third straight win to go 2-up.
The match settled down with the teams halving the next seven holes. Daly and Kuehne played the sixth head-to-head as Woods and Mickelson both found water off the tee. Daly and Kuehne each left their birdie tries within inches of the hole and were given their par putt.
Daly got up-and-down for birdie from a greenside bunker at the par-5 seventh. Woods and Kuehne were both looking at birdie putts from within five feet. Daly and Mickelson seemed to disagree, but gave the Woods/Kuehne duo their birdie to remain 2-up.
Woods and Daly halved the par-5 ninth with birdies. Kuehne and Mickelson both sank short birdie putts at the 10th to halve that hole. Mickelson, Woods and Kuehne all missed birdie putts on the 11th, and their pars meant the match remained 2-up in favor of Mickelson and Daly.
'The front nine I needed a little something because that was pretty ugly,' Kuehne said of his play. 'He got it going a little bit there and I kind of helped him on some other holes.'
All four players made par as they missed birdie putts on the 12th, with Woods having the best chance, missing from 12 feet.
'John and I had some chances to extend the lead, and it just goes to show you when you're 2-up you've got to push harder get to three,' Mickelson said. 'We didn't do it.'
Things quickly turned in favor of the top player in the game and his long- hitting partner. Woods dropped his second shot within eight feet at the 13th. He sank that putt to get his duo within 1-down. Kuehne took over from there.
Kuehne, the 1998 U.S. Amateur champion, dropped his second shot inside eight feet at the 14th. Daly nearly chipped in for birdie, but his chip rattled the pin and spun out. Mickelson's birdie try then lipped out. Kuehne stepped up and drained his birdie to even the match.
At the par-4 15th, Kuehne bombed his drive nearly 320 yards uphill. He knocked a sand-wedge within 12 feet of the cup and converted that birdie putt. Mickelson had a chance to halve the hole, but missed his birdie try to give Woods and Kuehne a 1-up lead.
Woods took over at the 16th, a long par-5. He ripped a five-iron from over 210 yards onto the green some 22 feet from the cup. Mickelson pitched his third to five feet and Daly missed his eagle attempt. Then, Woods drained his eagle putt to win the hole and take a 2-up lead.
'Well they were 5-under through their that four-hole stretch and it was just some great playing,' said Mickelson. 'It's unfortunate, but boy did they play well on the back nine.'
The foursome headed to 17 with Mickelson and Daly needing a win. Daly, Mickelson and Woods all had birdie putts. Daly went first from just outside 20 feet, but was unable to convert. Mickelson followed with his 22-foot birdie try. That putt slid by the right edge.
Woods, who has played in all six Battle at the Bridges, rolled his birdie try within inches of the hole and was conceded the putt and the match.
'We got it going a little bit there on the back nine,' Woods said. 'It was nice to get a couple of putts to go in and get some momentum and we built upon that. Hank got it going on the back nine and made some birdies.'
With the win, Kuehne and Woods split $1 million, while Mickelson and Daly share $400,000. Daly and Mickelson also won all four long drive competitions for another $150,000 per player.