Poulter wins Match Play denies Donald top spot

By Associated PressMay 22, 2011, 8:24 pm

European TourCASARES, Spain – Ian Poulter denied Luke Donald a coveted place at the top of the world rankings on Sunday, beating his fellow Englishman, 2 and 1, in a scrappy final of the World Match Play Championship to claim his first title of 2011.

Second-ranked Donald could have risen to No. 1 for the first time, supplanting compatriot Lee Westwood, if he’d won the tournament in Andalusia, but he failed to find the ruthless form that swept him to the final.

Poulter, who ousted Westwood in the last 16, was 1 down to his Ryder Cup teammate on three occasions in an error-strewn match. But a marvelous 45-foot putt won the 12th hole and further birdies on the 14th and 16th sealed a jaded Donald’s fate.

“I didn’t play my best but I played the right shots at the right times,” said Poulter, whose 14th career title will lift him from No. 22 to a place inside the top 15 when the new rankings are released Monday. “It’s a very special day.”

Poulter picked up a winner’s check for $1.14 million and became the first player to win both Match Play titles either side of the Atlantic – he won the Accenture version last year.

Donald won the 2011 edition of that tournament in Arizona in February and came into the final on a 14-match winning streak in match play, which included victories in singles and doubles matches at last year’s Ryder Cup.

But just like he did last month – when he lost a playoff to Brandt Snedeker at The Heritage in South Carolina – Donald missed an opportunity to climb to No. 1, acknowledging tiredness had caught up with him in southern Spain.

“I just ran out of steam a little bit,” said Donald, who made only one birdie against Poulter. “I really didn’t play well. I had some opportunities on the greens that I usually can do in my sleep. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth.”

Poulter, who beat Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts at the first playoff hole in the second semifinal earlier Sunday, had been taken to at least 18 holes in his previous five matches on the Finca Cortesin course this week.

Donald, on the other hand, had marched relentlessly to the final despite struggling with a throat infection, looking imperious in his overwhelming defeat of third-ranked Martin Kaymer in the semifinal.

“He’s playing like a machine,” Kaymer said after his, 5-and-3, thrashing.

Poulter went 1 down to Donald on the eighth when, after slicing his tee shot into the bushes at the side of the fairway, he slipped down a bank trying to thrash away his second shot.

“I think my clothes were more hurt than I was,” said Poulter. He lost his treasured ball-marker in that tumble and asked a match referee to find it as Poulter played the ninth.

He got up unscathed from his fall to promptly concede the hole, shared the next three and then rattled in the match-turning putt on the 12th green to draw level. Poulter ultimately proved too strong down the finish, with Donald limping home with four bogeys on his card.

Poulter played 108 holes this week, scrapping his way to a first tournament win since the Hong Kong Open last November. The match-play format certainly is to his liking.

“Can we have 20 match-play events a year, please?” Poulter quipped. “It gets the adrenalin going more, gets me going more than if you’re just out there making birdies and winning easy matches. I just love it. It’s nice to have a good tussle.

“It doesn’t have to be picture perfect. You just have to get the job done.”

Poulter won on the seventh birthday of his only son, Luke.

“That makes it even more special,” said Poulter, who will fly to England on Sunday with Luke ahead of the PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Donald heads for the same event, where he gets another chance to dethrone Westwood.

“It’s the least of my worries,” Donald said of the battle for the No. 1 spot. “It will come if I keep playing the way I am.”

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Women's NCAA finals: Arizona vs. Alabama

By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 11:49 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s the SEC vs. the Pac 12 for the women’s NCAA Championship; Alabama vs. Arizona, to be more specific.

Both the Crimson Tide and Wildcats cruised in their respective semifinal matches Tuesday at Karsten Creek. Alabama easily beat USC, 3-1-1; Arizona defeated match-play juggernaut Stanford, 4-1.

Alabama’s top three players, Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight were unstoppable forces in both matches on the marathon day. Stacked in the top three positions in the semifinals all three won their matches on the 17th hole, making the last two matches inconsequential.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


Arizona, the eighth seed, won as decisively as second-seeded Alabama, but needed a miracle to be in this position in the first place.

Junior Bianca Pagdanganan drained a 30-footer for eagle on the last hole of stroke play on Monday to get the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor, which they won on the second hole. Then on Tuesday, presumably running on fumes, they downed top-seeded UCLA in the morning, then crushed Pac-12 foe Stanford in the afternoon.

Pagdanganan, Gigi Stoll and Hayley Moore each won both matches for Arizona on the hot, draining day.

“I don’t want to let them down so I do my best to rise to the occasion,” Pagdanganan said.

Said Arizona coach Laura Ianello: “How many players, when you tell them under pressure that you need them, can really handle it,” Ianello said about Pagdanganan. “This kid can.”

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:30 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals were contested Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live finals action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals (Click here to watch live)

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Fort Worth Invitational: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 10:30 pm

The PGA Tour makes the short drive from Dallas to Fort Worth and Colonial Country Club. Here are the key stats and information for this week. Click here for full-field tee times.

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.


Purse: $7.1 million

Course: Colonial Country Club (par 70, 7,209 yards)

Defending champion: Kevin Kisner. Last year he defeated Jordan Spieth, Sean O’Hair and Jon Rahm by one stroke


Notables in the field

Jordan Spieth

• Finished T-2, 1st and T-2 in last three starts in this tournament

• 52 under par at Colonial last five years (best of anyone by 27 strokes in that span)

• 100 birdies/eagles made here last five years (most of anyone in that span)


Rickie Fowler

• First start since missed cut at The Players

• More missed cuts (3) than top-10 finishes (2) in 2018


Jon Rahm at the 2018 WGC-Mexico Championship.

Jon Rahm

• Finished T-2 in this tournament last year (66 in final round)

• 17 top-5 finishes in 46 official worldwide individual starts as professional


Webb Simpson

• First start since Players victory (fifth PGA Tour win)

• Fifth on Tour in strokes gained: putting this season (177th two seasons ago)

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Maguire's storied Duke career comes to an end

By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 8:39 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – After losing in the quarterfinals here at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Duke coach Dan Brooks gathered his team and walked back toward the 18th hole. He wanted to get away and deliver a parting speech to senior Leona Maguire, one of the most important players in program history.

“I feel like I didn’t say enough, and I feel like I didn’t say it right,” he said afterward. “I guess that’s inevitable when dealing with a player who has meant so much.”

Maguire’s heralded Duke career came to an end Tuesday when she and her teammates dropped their quarterfinal match to Southern Cal, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2. Maguire did her part, winning, 1 up, against USC’s Jennifer Chang, but it still wasn’t enough.

Maguire will go down as one of the best players not just in Duke’s storied history, but all time in college golf. She’s a two-time Player of the Year. She finished with the best scoring average (70.93) in Division I women’s golf history. She had a record 32 competitive rounds in the 60s. She spent 135 weeks at the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, another record.

The 23-year-old from Ireland is the rare collegian who turned down guaranteed LPGA status to return to school to earn her degree and try to win a NCAA title with twin sister Lisa, the team’s No. 5 player. Ultimately, they never reached the championship match.

“I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said softly outside the clubhouse. “The experiences, the memories, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Maguire said that she’s turning pro soon and has a full schedule upcoming. She’ll play the ShopRite LPGA Classic and then try to capitalize on her full status on the developmental Symetra circuit.

Asked about her potential at the next level, Brooks said that Maguire can be a future Hall of Famer.

“She’s the hardest worker and the smartest player I’ve ever coached,” he said. “I’m really going to miss her.”