Clark derails Tigers comeback

By Associated PressFebruary 26, 2009, 5:00 pm
2007- WGC-AccentureMARANA, Ariz. ' One day after a ceremonious return to golf, Tiger Woods was on his way home.
 
Tim Clark of South Africa played 16 holes without a bogey and pulled ahead for good on the back nine Thursday, knocking Woods out of the Accenture Match Play Championship with a 4-and-2 victory.
 
Woods holed out a 50-foot bunker shot for birdie on the 14th hole and appeared to be making a run, but his tee shot on the 15th hole hit a cart path and went over a fence and out of bounds, costing him the hole.
 
Tim Clark
Tim Clark reacts after draining a long birdie putt. (Getty Images)
The good news for golf is that it probably wont have to wait eight months to see him again.
 
Woods likely will play in two weeks at Doral in the CA Championship, although he said he would wait to see how his left knee felt. This was his first tournament since reconstructive surgery on the knee one week after he won the U.S. Open in June.
 
Asked where he would go from here, Woods replied, To the airport.
 
Clark, a pesky opponent with a sharp short game, didnt give him much of a chance. He was 6-under par when the match ended on the par-3 16th hole, where he put his tee shot 4 feet away. The putt was conceded when Woods failed to chip in from just off the green.
 
I knew I had to play out of my mind to beat him, Clark said. Im very proud of the way I played.
 
Next up for Clark is 19-year-old Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, who birdied the last two holes to beat Hunter Mahan.
 
Woods, the defending champion, had gone 82 consecutive holes without trailing until he caught a plugged lie in a bunker on the sixth hole and failed to save par. He squared the match with a 10-foot birdie on the next hole, and it was tied at the turn.
 
Then, Clark took over.
 
Starting with the par-5 11th, he won three straight holes with birdies, and was poised to go 4 up when Woods went bunker-to-bunker on the 14th hole. Then came the biggest cheer of the day when Woods blasted out of the sand and into the cup for birdie.
 
The rally was on. And then it ended.
 
Woods tee shot on the 331-yard 15th hit a cart path right of the fairway and headed into the desert. Only when Woods reached the ball did he learn it had gone over a fence and out of bounds.
 
He flung his Tiger cover off the driver and walked back to the tee to play his third shot. Woods was so angry he declined a ride back to the tee. At least he was healthy enough for a long walk.
 
Woods drove the green on his next shot to 20 feet, but missed the par putt, and Clark was again in control.
 
Clarks victory means that Phil Mickelson, coming off a victory last week at Riviera, is the highest seed left in the tournament going into the third round. Mickelson, No. 5, again avoided a late meltdown and hung on to beat fellow Masters champion Zach Johnson, 1 up.
 
Vijay Singh, the No. 4 seed, lost his last three holes and was beaten by Luke Donald of England in 19 holes.
 
The only other top-10 players remaining were No. 8 seed Geoff Ogilvy, who won in 19 holes for the second straight day, this time against Shingo Katayama; and No. 9 seed Camilo Villegas, who beat Miguel Angel Jimenez, 5 and 4.
 
Villegas has played only 26 holes in two rounds.
 
It was a big day for England, which had five players advance to the third round, same as the Americans. Leading the way was Oliver Wilson, who made eight birdies and needed them all in a 2-and-1 victory over Anthony Kim.
 
Woods wound up playing 32 holes, and said everything felt great ' except for losing.
 
I was really pleased, walking down these cart paths, and obviously playing and getting into the rhythm of playing, Woods said. I have no soreness, have no pain. Now its just a matter of getting back and playing, and playing more rounds.
 
Woods again took an early lead with a majestic shot, this one a hard draw with a 3-wood, around a television tower and onto the green on the par-5 second hole. Clark tied the match with a putt that even he didnt think he would make.
 
He was on the back end of the fifth green, two tiers above the hole, when he jokingly asked Woods to move his marker one spot over. Moments later, however, Clark asked him to tamp down his coin. Then, his putt rolled right over Woods mark, down the ridge and broke left toward the cup. Clark raised his arm and pointed his index finger as the birdie putt made its final turn.
 
That squared the match, and Woods fell behind on the next hole when he caught a plugged lie in the bunker. It was the first time Woods had trailed in this tournament since K.J. Choi had a 1-up lead after one hole of their quarterfinal match last year.
 
Woods beat Clark, 5 and 4, in the second round two years ago. That wound up helping the South African.
 
I knew what to expect, Clark said. I knew how I reacted to it then, and I kind of knew a few things that I had to do differently. I just tried to calm myself down.
 
That wasnt easy on the 14th, when Clark was poised to put him away.
 
Woods was in the bunker when he holed it out for birdie, and Clark remembered what happened last year when Woods rallied from three holes down with a birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle blitz against J.B. Holmes.
 
I figured, Well, here we go. Its about to start now, Clark said. I figured the match was probably going to go to 18, even when I was 3-up with three to play. You fully expect him to do something.
 
Not many expected Woods to leave this early, and to be joined by so many other top players ' Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia losing on Wednesday, Woods and Singh joining them Thursday.
 

Related Links:
  • Match Play Scoring
  • Full Coverage ' Tiger's Return
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  • Full Coverage ' WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
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    Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

    Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

    Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

    The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

    In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

    "That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


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    "I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

    Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

    But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

    "Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

    "He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."

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    Koepka looking to make hay on Horrible Horseshoe

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:26 pm

    The Horrible Horseshoe - Nos. 3, 4 and 5 at Colonial Country Club - annually ranks as one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour.

    Consider Brooks Koepka undeterred.

    Last year's U.S. Open champ has played the stretch 2 over this week but knows that if he's going to have any chance at catching Justin Rose on Sunday, he's going to need take advantage of the par-5 first and then find a way to pick up shots on the Horseshoe.

    "I feel like just need to get off to a good start on this golf course," Koepka said after a third-round 67 Saturday. "If you can get 2 or 3 under through six holes, I think you'll be right there."

    Koepka will start the final round four behind Rose, as he looks to win for the first time since his maiden major victory last year.


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

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    The big-hitter missed nearly four months this year with a wrist injury and is progressing quickly in his comeback despite dislocating his wrist on two different occasions over the last two months.

    Koepka missed the cut with partner Marc Turnesa at the Zurich Classic in his competitive return before following up with a tie for 42nd at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 11th at The Players Championship.

    Now, thanks to a closing birdie Sunday, he finds himself playing alongside Rose in the final group on Sunday.

    "I feel like my game is coming around," he said. "[At Zurich], I was five days into touching clubs. I am finally finding a rhythm and feel like I'm getting really close. ...

    "Just want to get off to a good start [tomorrow]. That's really all I am trying to do. You put together a good solid round tomorrow, you never know what can happen. The important thing is we were just trying to get in that final group. I thought the putt on 18 was kind of big to get in that final group and play with Rosey."

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    Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

    On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take a four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

    Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

    What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up one to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made 17 birdies and just three bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentinian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.

    Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 7-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

    Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year.

    Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

    Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th.

    His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

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    McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

    By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

    They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

    England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

    Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

    Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.