Daly Still Has Shot at The Masters

By Associated PressMarch 21, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Bay Hill InvitationalORLANDO, Fla. -- John Daly looked like a lock to make the Masters with four holes to play.
It all changed with more signature moments Sunday in the Bay Hill Invitational persented by MasterCard, a tournament that always seems to have the last laugh.
'I did the best I could,' Daly said. 'One of these years, I'm going to finish strong on this golf course.'
John DalySunday would have been a great time for that.
Daly is trying desperately to qualify for the Masters, and he was in great shape coming down the stretch at Bay Hill. He was 11 under par, tied for third, which would have been enough to move him into the top 50 and keep him comfortably inside the top 10 on the PGA Tour money list.
Those are the two final criteria for getting to Augusta National. The cutoff is next week.
Daly usually hits driver on the par-4 15th, taking it out over the houses and around the trees. This time, the drive went a little too far right and disappeared among the cars by the NBC television compound, well out-of-bounds. He had to hit again from the tee, and made double bogey.
'It was a little windy,' Daly said. 'I didn't think it would be out of bounds. It was weird, because it ended up way right of where I hit it.'
That dropped him into a tie for sixth, but Daly bounced back with a 25-foot eagle on the par-5 16th.
Then, his tee shot on the par-3 17th nearly dropped back into the water.
Daly chipped to 8 feet and made bogey. Still, he was in a tie for fifth, poised to gain valuable world ranking points.
His drive on the final hole ricocheted off a TV truck that holds the camera, which was a huge break - otherwise, it would have landed in the lake. Daly was aiming to the left front of the green.
'It squirted right,' he said. 'What can you do?'
He watched it splash into the water, and he was hitting fourth shot to the green, landing it some 80 feet away. Three putts later, Daly had a triple bogey and was tied for 10th.
Chad Campbell's victory bumped Daly down one notch to No. 9 on the money list. Instead of cracking the top 50 in the world ranking, he likely will be in the mid-50s when the ranking is published Monday.
The good news? He still has The Players Championship, the richest purse in golf.
'I feel like I've played well enough,' Daly said. 'I think there are a lot of guys that won tournaments last year after Augusta that should be in it. I've always believed if you win a tournament out here, you should be playing there, at least Augusta and the U.S. Open. But they have their rules.'
Daly got into position for the Masters by winning the Buick Invitational, his first victory on the PGA Tour in nine years. And despite the wild finish, he is playing some of his best golf.
'I hate to end like that because I love the way I'm playing,' he said.
It could have been worse.
Six years ago, Daly made an 18 on the par-5 sixth hole in the final round. In 2000, he closed with an 87.
He was steady most of the week, although the big numbers didn't help his cause.
'There's not many guys who could make five doubles and a triple and still finish in the top 10,' Daly said. 'I'm setting records everywhere.'
His math was a little off -- he only made four double bogeys and a triple bogey this week at Bay Hill.
Still, the only math that matters is calculating his money and world ranking.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - Bay Hill Invitational

  • Full Coverage - Bay Hill Invitational

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    Down seven pounds, Thomas can gain No. 1

    By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 11:29 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – On March 7, Justin Thomas had his wisdom teeth removed, and just when he was recovering from that, he was slowed by a bout with the flu.

    In total, he estimates he lost about seven pounds, and he admitted on Saturday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to play the event.

    “I had a pretty serious conversation with my dad on Monday if I was going to play,” Thomas said. “I never want to play in a tournament, first off, if it's going to hurt my health. If I was sick or really sick, me trying to play this week wasn't going to do me any good.”

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    Thomas went on to explain he was “50/50” whether he’d play the World Golf Championship, but decided to make the start and it’s turned out well for the world’s second-ranked player.

    After going undefeated in pool play, Thomas cruised past Si Woo Kim, 6 and 5, in the round of 16 and secured himself a spot in the semifinals with a 2-and-1 victory over Kyle Stanley in the quarterfinals. If Thomas wins his semifinal match against Bubba Watson on Sunday, he’s assured enough points to overtake Dustin Johnson atop the Official World Golf Ranking.

    “I don't care when it happens; I just hope it happens and it happens for a while,” Thomas said when asked about the possibility of becoming world No. 1. “I don't know what to say because I've never experienced it. I don't know what's going to come with it. But I just hope it happens tomorrow.”

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    Garnett's six-shot lead dwindles to two in Punta Cana

    By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 10:57 pm

    PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic - Brice Garnett took a six-stroke lead into the wind Saturday in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. He came out with a two-stroke advantage.

    Garnett bogeyed three of the final six holes in the wind and rain for a 3-under 69 and a 16-under 200 total.

    ''Once we made the turn coming back, all those holes coming in toward the north, it was all we wanted and then some,'' Garnett said. ''I kind of took advantage of some holes going out, some holes downwind, some par 5s, and then we were just trying to leave it in the right spot those last four or five holes. Pars are pretty good scores on those holes.''

    Canadian Corey Conners was second after a 67, and Tyler McCumber also had a 67 to get to 12 under. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo dropped out Friday, finishing last in the 132-man field in his PGA Tour debut. He shot 77-82 playing as an amateur on a sponsor exemption.

    A stroke ahead after each of the first two rounds, Garnett opened with a bogey, birdied Nos. 2, 4 and 6, eagled the par-5 seventh, and made two more birdies on the par-3 ninth and par-5 12th. He bogeyed the par-4 13th, par-5 15th and par-3 17th.

    Full-field scores from the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship

    ''I looked once and the lead was a little bigger than what it is now,'' Garnett said. ''The eagle was huge, kind of gave me that confidence that I can push it on out and stretch it a little bit more. That wind was tough and I'll take a two-shot lead into tomorrow.''

    The 34-year-old Garnett is winless on the PGA Tour. He won twice last year on the Web.com Tour.

    ''You've got another 18 holes. So much can happen,'' Garnett said. ''Just going to try to keep the golf ball in front of me. I have that self-belief this week and that's what I had last year when I won, so I'll just keep my head down and just keep going.''

    Conners had five birdies and a bogey on the front nine and added a birdie on No. 12.

    ''Really happy with the round,'' Conners said. ''I got off to a nice start, made a bunch of birdies on the front nine and kind of held it together on the back nine. It was playing really difficult. The wind was really blowing out there, made things challenging.''

    McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, has played his last 39 holes with a bogey.

    ''Second shots have been pretty solid,'' McCumber said. ''Putting pretty well, short game is pretty good. Just really being in the right areas and staying below the hole.''

    Tom Lovelady was fourth at 11 under after a 68. Seamus Power (71), Denny McCarthy (71) and Seungsu Han (72) were 10 under.

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    Poulter incorrectly told he's in Masters before loss to Kisner

    By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 10:33 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Ian Poulter was not happy, and it was only partially because of his blowout loss to Kevin Kisner in Saturday’s quarterfinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

    Following his morning victory in the round of 16 over Louis Oosthuizen, the Englishman was incorrectly informed that by making it to the Elite 8 at Austin Country Club he was assured enough Official World Golf Raking points to move into the top 50 and qualify for the Masters in two weeks.

    “I should never listen to other people,” Poulter said following his 8-and-6 loss to Kevin Kisner in the quarterfinals. “When you finish a round of golf and the press and everybody is telling you you're in the Masters, and then you get a text message 10 minutes before you tee off to correct everybody, to say, ‘Oh, we've made a mistake, actually, no, that was wrong, you're not in. You need to go and win.’

    “Not that that's an excuse in any form or factor, it's a little disappointing.”

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    Poulter actually needed to advance to the semifinal round to move into the top 50. Instead, his last chance to qualify for the Masters is to win next week’s Houston Open, although he was unsure if he’d play the event.

    “I don't know yet, I haven't decided,” said Poulter when asked if he’d play next week. “I'm tired. It's been a long week. It's been a draining week. I'll wait until Monday night and if I have the energy then I will.”

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    Not DJ, not Poulter: Kisner most proud to take down Kuchar

    By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 9:34 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – On his way to this week’s Final Four at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Kevin Kisner has beaten world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and the European match play ninja Ian Poulter. But neither match could compare to his duel with Matt Kuchar early Saturday.

    “I was more jacked to beat [Kuchar], really. Kuch is such a good player and our games are so similar,” said Kisner, who defeated Kuchar in the round of 16, 1 up. “We both made eight birdies this morning and I barely snuck out of there. I thought it was a lot of fun.”

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    By comparison, his quarterfinal bout against Poulter wasn’t nearly as electric. Kisner won two of the first four holes when the Englishman made bogey (No. 3) and when he was conceded the fourth hole, hecruised to an 8-and-6 victory for the week’s most lopsided win.

    “I don't know Ian that well, so I don't really have a history with him, other than watching him kill us in the Ryder Cup,” Kisner laughed.

    Things won’t get any easier for Kisner on Sunday when he’ll play Alex Noren in the semifinals. The Swede has been dominant this week and is considered one of Europe’s top players heading into this year’s Ryder Cup.