Goose Cooked in Quarterfinals

By Associated PressFebruary 25, 2006, 5:00 pm
2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayCARLSBAD, Calif. -- Davis Love III reached the semifinals of the Match Play Championship for the third time Saturday, but never with a shot like this.
 
Tied with Padraig Harrington on the par-5 18th, and with the Irishman hitting a tidy wedge to 12 feet, Love holed out from 111 yards for eagle and a 1-up victory that sent him one step closer to a World Golf Championship that has teased him over its eight-year history.
 
Love was hammered by Tiger Woods in the semifinals in 2000, then lost to Woods again in the finals two years ago. At least he doesn't have to worry about Woods this year, since the world's No. 1 player was eliminated Friday.
 
Love is the highest seed remaining at No. 23 and faced Zach Johnson, a 3-and-2 winner over Retief Goosen, in the 18-hole semifinal Saturday afternoon.
 
Even with the biggest names no longer at La Costa, the golf was no less entertaining.
 
Marathon man Geoff Ogilvy continued his amazing run by going extra holes for the fourth straight day, a record at the Accenture Match Play Championship. This time, he hit the 18th green in two for a birdie to go overtime against David Howell, then holed a 20-foot birdie on No. 10 to beat the Englishman in 19 holes.
 
Ogilvy, unable to defend his title in Tucson this week because he qualified for the 64-man field at La Costa, now has played 80 holes in the first four rounds.
 
He next plays Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman, who outlasted Chad Campbell in a sloppy match that went 21 holes.
 
Winless the last three years on the PGA Tour, Love has never had such a great opportunity in the Match Play Championship, even though he wobbled after a great start against Harrington.
 
He shot 33 on the front and was 2 up on Harrington, holding onto a slim margin that finally disappeared when Love bogeyed the 17th to square the match. Harrington, who knocked out Vijay Singh in 19 holes on Friday, thought he might be going overtime again until Love's wedge landed behind the hole and spun back in for eagle.
 
'It's actually not a tough way to lose,' Harrington said. 'I was expecting Davis to get up-and-down on the last and I'd have to hole mine out to go to 19. I was prepared for that, but maybe not prepared for him holing out.'
 
Howell had Ogilvy on the ropes -- just about everyone has this week -- and could have ended the match with birdie putts of 12 feet on the last two holes. But he missed them both, and that was all Ogilvy needed to reach the semifinals in his debut at this tournament.
 
Goosen looked to be a lock for the semifinals with birdies on the first two holes, but that advantage ended quickly. Johnson birdied the next two holes to square the match, took the lead for good with a birdie on the par-5 11th and closed out the two-time U.S. Open champion on the 16th hole.
 
That assured an American in the 36-hole final for the eighth consecutive year.
 
As much satisfaction as Campbell took out of beating Woods, he felt equally miserable losing to Lehman.
 
The Texan had a 2-up lead at the turn until hitting some of his worst shots. Lehman had two putts to win the 10th, and then Campbell gave away the 11th -- a hook out-of-bounds, a topped 4-iron that squirted along the fairway and chunked chip that didn't reach the green.
 
Lehman twice hit into a hazard and halved the hole, but the Ryder Cup captain came through in the clutch.
 
With the match tied, Campbell holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole and looked like a winner. Lehman then made his 20-footer, raising his right fist as it was a foot from dropping.
 
Campbell, though he played poorly, showed plenty of fight. With his tee shot behind a small pine and Lehman already 10 feet from the cup on No. 10, Campbell punched out and hit wedge to 2 feet for a halve. On the next hole, No. 15, Campbell's tee shot stopped 18 inches from the hazard, and he escaped with another halve.
 
But he found the bunker on the par-3 16th, while Lehman hit his shot 7 feet away. Campbell came out heavy and missed the putt, conceding Lehman his birdie and the match.
 
Lehman was thrilled to get to the semifinals, but that was it.
 
'They should send us both home,' he said.
 
Related Links:
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    Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

    By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

    After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

    The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

    The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

    Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

    “I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

    In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.

    “It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

    The Tour did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the agreement or the end to the lawsuit.

    Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

    “It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”

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    PGA Tour Latinoamerica moving season finale to Doral

    By Nick MentaOctober 18, 2018, 2:36 pm

    PGA Tour Latinoamérica announced Wednesday that it will play its season finale, the Latinoamérica Tour Championship-Shell Championship, at Trump National Doral from Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

    The limited-field event will feature the top 60 players on the circuit's money list competing on Doral's Golden Palm Course.

    “We are very happy that we will continue playing the Latinoamérica Tour Championship-Shell Championship in South Florida, and Doral is a tremendous community that we know will open its arms to our players and this tournament,” PGA Tour Latinoamérica president Jack Warfield said in a statement.

    The PGA Tour ended its more than 50-year relationship with Doral and the resort's Blue Monster course back in 2016, when Cadillac's title sponsorship of the World Golf Championship lapsed as then-candidate Donald Trump was mounting his bid for the presidency.

    “We continue to stand by our earlier statement, and the statement of other golf organizations, that Mr. Trump's comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf,” then-PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in December 2015, referring to Trump's campaign rhetoric concerning Mexicans and Muslims.

    The event was moved to Mexico City in 2017 and renamed the WGC-Mexico Championship.

    The Latinoamérica Tour Championship was staged the last two years at Melreese Country Club in Miami, where David Beckham is currently attempting to build a stadium for his Major League Soccer expansion club, Inter Miami.

    PGA Tour Latinoamérica's release states that the move to Doral "keeps the event in this part of the Sunshine State and allows the tournament to maintain its ties to The First Tee of Miami as a charitable recipient and sponsor." Melreese, the city's only public golf course, is home to the First Tee of Miami, which naturally opposes Beckham's efforts to close the facility and repurpose the land.

    A November referendum will ask voters to decide if the city should negotiate a no-bid lease with Beckham's ownership group, which seeks to create a $1 billion dollar complex comprising of the proposed stadium, youth soccer fields, a park, commercial and retail space, and a hotel.

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    Im wins Web.com Player and Rookie of the Year awards

    By Nick MentaOctober 18, 2018, 1:22 pm

    Sungjae Im on Thursday was named the Web.com Tour's 2018 Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year.

    Im won twice on the Web.com this year, taking the season opener in January, The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, and the season finale in August, the WinCo Foods Portland Open, to become the first player in history lead the circuit's money list wire-to-wire.

    Im is the first Korean-born player to win the Web's POY award and, at 20 years old, its youngest recipient.

    In a player vote, Im bested Anders Albertson, Sam Burns, Kramer Hickok and Martin Trainer, 2018's only other two-time winner, for POY honors, and Burns, Hickock, Trainer and Cameron Champ for ROY honors.

    “My first year on the Web.com Tour was an incredibly happy time for me,” Im said, “and it’s pretty surreal that I was able to win the first and last tournament of the season. I honestly thought I would spend about two to three years on the Web.com Tour before making it to the PGA Tour, so I’m happy to have achieved my goal so soon. I’m grateful to have earned the Player of the Year honors and I hope to finish the remainder of the PGA Tour season on a good note.”

    In his first PGA Tour start, Im tied for fourth at the Safeway Open, earning $241,280, a little less than half of the $534,326 he amassed in 25 starts as the Web's regular-season money winner.

    Playing this week's CJ Cup in his native South Korea, Im opened with a 1-over 73 Thursday.

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    Former DJ advisor found guilty in embezzlement case

    By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 12:38 pm

    A federal jury has found Nathan Hardwick, a former advisor to Dustin Johnson, guilty of embezzling $26 million in funds from his now-bankrupt real estate closing firm, Morris Hardwick Schneider.

    Per Golf.com, citing Law.com, a 12-person jury convicted Hardwick of "one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 21 counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to federally insured banks."

    As for where exactly the money went, The Sun News of Myrtle Beach, once again citing Law.com, has the details:

    "The alleged spending included $18.47 million on gambling, private jet travel and women from 2011 through August 2014. The prosecution submitted two binders of documentation as evidence that Hardwick spent $4.39 million on “female social companions,” including one testifying witness who claimed to have met him through SugarDaddy.com."

    "Other alleged expenditures described in testimony include more than $7 million at casinos, more than $3 million with a bookie, $680,000 for a luxury condo at The St. Regis Atlanta, $273,000 on a diamond ring, $186,000 on a deposit for a party on a private island, and $635,000 on a trip to the 2014 British Open for golfing buddies that included a customized jet and round at St. Andrews."

    Johnson in 2014 sued Morris Hardwick Schneider over a $3 million loan he believed to be an investment. Instead, Johnson argued, the money was going to make up for shortages created by Hardwick's embezzlement. Johnson later amended his suit to argue that Hardwick, who previously served on the board of the Dustin Johnson Foundation, was being used as a "pawn" by the firm's other partners. 

    That suit was settled in 2016 for $2 million.