AUGUSTA, Ga. – Hideki Matsuyama hoped his play at the Masters would bring some joy to earthquake victims in Japan.
Now he's going to bring them some help.
The 19-year-old amateur will return Monday to Sendai and join relief efforts in the city that took the brunt of the March 11 earthquake and the tsunami that followed. Matsuyama is a student at Sendai's Tohoku Fukushi University.
'I think that it will be kind of a refreshing experience for me just away from golf and just to do something different,' Matsuyama said through an interpreter.
Matsuyama earned his spot at the Masters by winning the Asian Amateur last October. He was practicing in Australia when the quake hit and, after seeing the devastation in his city, debated whether he should even come to the Masters. But he decided playing well here was the best way he could help.
He was the only amateur to make the cut, and his 68 Saturday was the lowest by an amateur since James Driscoll's in the first round in 2001. Matsuyama shot a 74 on Sunday, but a birdie on 18 put him at 1 under for the tournament. His 287 was the lowest score by an amateur since Ryan Moore finished with the same total in 2005.
'There are some hard times right now in Japan, and hopefully my play was able to bring some encouragement to those who are in need right now,' he said.
Being at Augusta National was a welcome diversion for the teenager, and he'll carry the memories with him when he returns to the destruction and devastation in Sendai.
'There are so many great impressions, great memories from this tournament,' Matsuyama said. 'But as I came up the hill on the 18th hole and I heard the applause from the gallery, that just give me chills.'
Meanwhile, Ryo Ishikawa will be donating his winnings Sunday – $93,200 – to relief efforts after tying for 20th. The Japanese star announced last week that he is donating all of his 2011 earnings on the golf course to quake victims.
STRICKER'S SCHEDULE: Golf fans will be seeing a little less of Steve Stricker this summer.
Stricker said Sunday he plans to reduce his schedule, playing only 16 or 17 tournaments. The 44-year-old has two daughters, 12 and 4, and wants to be able to spend more time with them.
'It's just time to stay home a little bit more,' said Stricker, who still lives year-round in Madison, Wis.
This is not a step toward the Champions Tour, however.
Stricker won twice last year, and has three top-10 finishes already this year. He tied for fourth last week in Houston. He made seven birdies Sunday on his way to a 2-under 70, and finished the Masters tied for 11th at 5 under.
'If you looked at my last five wins, they were all coming off a week off or two weeks off,' Stricker said. 'So that kind of told me something, too, that it's not bad for me to come back and feel rested. And I work at it a lot at home, too. That's the goal, to stay home a little bit more and then be prepared and ready to play fewer tournaments than I've been playing.'
NO REPEAT: Phil Mickelson won't be rolling through the Krispy Kreme drive-thru in his green jacket anytime soon.
Lefty could never get his putter going, costing the defending champ any chance he had of winning a fourth Masters title. His 74 on Sunday was his worst round of the week, and he finished the tournament tied for 27th at 1 under.
'I struggled with the blade again today and it was a frustrating week, really, putting,' Mickelson said. 'I love these greens. I usually putt them very well, but I struggled this week.'
Mickelson plans to take the next three weeks off before playing Charlotte and The Players Championship.
'I'm excited about playing golf and finishing the year right,' he said. 'I feel like my game has been coming around, and I'm looking forward to getting back out and competing.'
AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE: The Aussies brought their own army to the Masters.
With Jason Day and Adam Scott playing together and in contention until the very end, their gallery Sunday was filled with giddy fellow Australians. One group of men wore suits that looked like Australia's Southern Cross flag, while three others sported shirts from Essendon, an Australian Rules football team.
John Duncan and 11 of his friends roamed Augusta National in matching bright orange shirts with 'US Masters Tour 2011' patches on the left sleeve.
'We were surprised to have three people on the leaderboard after the third day,' said Duncan, who is from Newcastle, in New South Wales. 'It's really good. The only problem is Geoff Ogilvy is two groups in front.'
No Aussie has ever won the Masters, but the tournament has special significance to Australians because of Greg Norman's heartbreaks here.
'We can win the other majors, but we can't win at the Masters for whatever reason,' Duncan said.
And the drought will extend for another year. Scott and Day finished two strokes behind Charl Schwartzel at 12 under, while Ogilvy was at 10 under.
'It'll happen someday,' Duncan said. 'And when it does, he'll never have to work another day.'
Notes Matsuyama headed from Augusta to Japan to help countrymen
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Hideki Matsuyama hoped his play at the Masters would bring some joy to earthquake victims in Japan.
Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3||Group 4|
|(1) D. Johnson: 0-1-0||(2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0||(3) J. Rahm: 0-0-1||(4) J. Spieth: 1-0-0|
|(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1||(21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0||(28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0||(19) P. Reed: 1-0-0|
|(38) A. Hadwin: 0-0-1
||(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0||(43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0||(34) H. Li: 0-1-0|
|(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
||(60) L. List: 0-1-0||(63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1||(49) C. Schwartzel: 0-1-0|
|Group 5||Group 6||Group 7||Group 8|
|(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0||(6) R. McIlroy: 0-1-0||(7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0||(8) J. Day: 1-0-0|
|(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
||(18) B. Harman: 0-0-1||(20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0||(25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0|
|(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0||(44) J. Vegas: 0-0-1||(41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0||(42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0|
|(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0||(51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0||(62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0||(56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0|
|Group 9||Group 10||Group 11||Group 12|
|(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0||(10) P. Casey: 1-0-0||(11) M. Leishman: 0-1-0||(12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0|
|(26) D. Berger: 0-1-0||(31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0||(23) B. Grace: 0-1-0||(22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0|
|(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0||(45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0||(35) B. Watson: 1-0-0||(36) B. Steele: 1-0-0|
|(58) I. Poulter: 1-0-0||(51) R. Henley: 0-1-0||(64) J. Suri: 1-0-0||(55) A. Levy: 0-1-0|
|Group 13||Group 14||Group 15||Group 16|
|(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0||(14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0||(15) P. Perez: 0-0-1||(16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1|
|(29) T. Finau: 1-0-0||(17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-0-0||(24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1||(27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0|
|(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0||(40) S. Kodaira: 0-1-0||(37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1||(47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0|
|(61) K. Na: 0-1-0||(59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0||(50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1||(54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1|
Romo starts hot, stumbles to 77 in PGA Tour debut
There was plenty of good, but also plenty of bad for Tony Romo in his PGA Tour debut.
Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 4-8.
The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:
But the back nine wasn't as kind for the 37-year-old, who dropped five shots in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 13-16. It added up to a 5-over 77 in the opening round, which left Romo ahead of only Guy Boros among the players who had finished in the morning wave.
"I hit two poor tee balls. Just didn't commit to it, and ultimately just got put in a tough spot where you're just trying to make par," Romo said. "I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up a couple times in some poor spots. But you learn the golf course as you play it throughout the week."
Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Romo was even par through 12 holes before a three-putt bogey from the fringe on No. 13. A nasty lie in the rough led to a double bogey on the par-5 14th, and Romo had to hit provisional tee shots on both Nos. 15 and 16. While he ultimately found his original ball on both holes, he left with a pair of bogeys.
"I really hit some good shots, and I'm close," Romo said. "I had a chance to be under par pretty easily there for a while, and then two or three shots on the back nine cost me. But that's golf."
Romo will tee off at 1 p.m. ET Friday in the second round alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.
Horschel, Kisner & Perez join "Feherty," Monday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET
Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner and Pat Perez – each winners of multiple events on the PGA TOUR – will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.
“This might be the biggest group of benign social deviants I’ve ever had the privilege of speaking to,” said Feherty. “They’ve been responsible for nine career wins on TOUR collectively, but they’re each also capable of getting into some mischief.”
The episode – filmed in Naples, Fla. – will touch upon several topics, including:
- Their respective upbringings and corresponding introductions to golf.
- Reflections on their junior golf and collegiate playing days, and how it helped prepare them to compete as a professional.
- Contemplating which mulligan(s) they’d take in their life if given the opportunity.
Future guests on Feherty this year include Paul Azinger, Stewart Cink, Boo Weekley and Paul Goydos, among others.
A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver and Golf Films.
Match-by-match: WGC-Dell Technologies, Day 2
Here is how things played out on Day 2 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, as 64 players take on Austin Country Club with hopes of advancing out of pool play. Click here for Day 1 match results:
Group 1: Dustin Johnson (1) vs. Adam Hadwin (38)
Group 1: Kevin Kisner (32) vs. Bernd Wiesberger (52)
Group 2: Justin Thomas (2) vs. Patton Kizzire (48)
Group 2: Francesco Molinari (21) vs. Luke List (60)
Group 3: Jon Rahm (3) vs. Chez Reavie (43)
Group 3: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (28) vs. Keegan Bradley (63)
Group 4: Jordan Spieth (4) vs. Haotong Li (34)
Group 4: Patrick Reed (19) vs. Charl Schwartzel (49)
Group 5: Hideki Matsuyama (5) vs. Cameron Smith (46)
Group 5: Patrick Cantlay (30) vs. Yusaku Miyazato (53)
Group 6: Rory McIlroy (6) vs. Jhonattan Vegas (44)
Group 6: Brian Harman (18) vs. Peter Uihlein (57)
Group 7: Sergio Garcia (7) vs. Dylan Frittelli (41)
Group 7: Xander Schauffele (20) vs. Shubhankar Sharma (62)
Group 8: Jason Day (8) vs. Jason Dufner (42)
Group 8: Louis Oosthuizen (25) vs. James Hahn (56)
Group 9: Tommy Fleetwood (9) def. Kevin Chappell (33), 7 and 6: Avenging an opening-day loss, the Englishman won the first four holes and needed to make only three birdies in a monster rout of Chappell. The 2017 Presidents Cupper made five bogeys and conceded two other holes but still has a chance to win the group.
Group 9: Daniel Berger (26) vs. Ian Poulter (58)
Group 10: Paul Casey (10) vs. Kyle Stanley (45)
Group 10: Matthew Fitzpatrick (31) vs. Russell Henley (51)
Group 11: Marc Leishman (11) vs. Bubba Watson (35)
Group 11: Branden Grace (23) vs. Julian Suri (64)
Group 12: Tyrrell Hatton (12) vs. Brendan Steele (36)
Group 12: Charley Hoffman (22) vs. Alexander Levy (55)
Group 13: Alex Noren (13) def. Thomas Pieters (39), 5 and 4: Noren made quick work of Pieters in what could be a match of future Ryder Cup teammates. Noren built a 4-up lead after seven holes and then cruised from there, moving to 2-0 this week and eliminating Pieters. In 30 holes this week, Noren has made 12 birdies and no bogeys.
Group 13: Tony Finau (29) vs. Kevin Na (61)
Group 14: Phil Mickelson (14) vs. Satoshi Kodaira (40)
Group 14: Rafa Cabrera Bello (17) vs. Charles Howell III (59)
Group 15: Pat Perez (15) vs. Webb Simpson (37)
Group 15: Gary Woodland (24) vs. Si Woo Kim (50)
Group 16: Matt Kuchar (16) vs. Yuta Ikeda (47)
Group 16: Ross Fisher (27) vs. Zach Johnson (54)