Schwartzel wins the Masters after a wild day

By Associated PressApril 11, 2011, 6:30 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Charl Schwartzel should've known it was going to be a very good day at the very first hole.

After spraying his second shot far right of the green, he pulled out a 6-iron, chipped the ball off a patch of trampled-down grass, and watched it roll and roll and roll - right in the cup for an improbable birdie.

Think that was unexpected? The South African was just getting warmed up. He drilled his tee shot at No. 3 into the middle of the fairway, then holed out with a wedge from 114 yards for eagle.

Not a bad start.

It didn't even compare to the finish Sunday.

Schwartzel became the first champion in Masters history to close with four straight birdies, the capper to a final round like no other at Augusta National.

Tiger Woods charged. Rory McIlroy collapsed. And just about everyone else seemed to have a chance to win on the back nine.

'There's so many roars that go on around Augusta,' Schwartzel said. 'It echoes through those trees. There's always a roar. Every single hole you walk down, someone has done something.'

Especially on this day.

At one point or another, eight different players had at least a share of the lead. The list included Woods, making a fist-pumping, swaggering charge up the board. And Adam Scott, deftly carving up the greens with that long putter of his. And Jason Day, a Masters rookie who played like he owns the place. And Geoff Ogilvy, ripping off five birdies in a row on the back side. And Luke Donald, hitting the flag stick with a shot off one leg, then chipping in from the front of the green with his final swing.

The top six finishers each posted scores in the 60s on a steamy spring day.

The hottest one of all was a 26-year-old carrying on South Africa's proud golf tradition, winning on the 50th anniversary of countryman Gary Player becoming the first international winner at the Masters.

'I am absolutely delighted for Charl and South Africa. Congratulations and very well done to him. That is how you finish like a champion!' Player said on Twitter.

One by one, all the challengers for the green jacket fell aside as Schwartzel birdied 15 ... and 16 ... and 17 ... and, finally, 18 - even though all he needed at that point was an easy little two-putt to win.

'You know, I always thought if there was one (major) that I would win, it would be this one,' Schwartzel said. 'This is the sort of golf course that suits my eye.'

He was sure dialed in on those last four holes.

Schwartzel got up-and-down from behind the 15th green for birdie to briefly tie for the lead, only to have Scott stuff his tee shot within 2 feet up ahead on the par-3 16th. Schwartzel answered with a 15-foot birdie to catch Scott atop the leaderboard again.

Then came the pivotal 17th, where Scott hit into a pair of bunkers and had to work hard just to make par. Schwartzel came along next and was dead solid perfect with his first two shots, setting up a 10-footer for birdie. When it dropped, he had the lead all to himself for the first time all day.

He finished it off in style, curling a putt from 20 feet into the side of the cup for a 6-under 66, the best closing round at the Masters in 22 years. Schwartzel finished two strokes ahead of Scott and Day, a pair of Aussies who valiantly bid to be the first player from Down Under to win the green jacket.

Scott closed with a 67. Day shot 68. Neither score was good enough to beat Schwartzel's 14-under 274.

'I couldn't do any more than what I just did,' Day said. 'Me and Adam played wonderful golf out there today, but Charl played even better.'

Schwartzel had played in only one previous Masters - he tied for 30th a year ago - but he got a very helpful tutorial from a guy who's won more green jackets than anyone.

After finagling a lunch with six-time winner Jack Nicklaus at a charity function, he deftly broke the ice with one of their shared interests beyond the golf course.

'I've never met Jack. I was really excited,' Schwartzel recalled. 'I knew he sort of liked hunting a little bit. That's the way I got the conversation going, just by talking about hunting.'

Of course, the talk soon turned to Augusta National.

And, boy, did the Golden Bear open up.

'I'm thinking it's going to be just a vaguely quick little thing, and he actually took the time to take me through all 18 holes,' Schwartzel said. 'The way he used to think around Augusta. The way he used to play it, which flags he used to attack.'

Schwartzel sure put those lessons to good use Sunday. It was the sort of finishing kick that Nicklaus turned in a quarter-century ago for the last of his Masters wins.

For a while, Woods was the one rekindling memories of '86. Mired in the longest winless streak of his career and still tarnished by an embarrassing sex scandal, he ripped through the front nine with a 5-under 31 that erased his daunting seven-shot deficit coming into the round.

He made the turn with four birdies and an eagle on his card, the place in an uproar as they pondered the possibilities going to the decisive back nine.

Woods got through the 10th and the always-troublesome 11th with pars, setting himself to really attack the course through the heart of Amen Corner.

Instead, the course bit back.

After a long delay waiting to putt at the 12th, Woods missed a short one and took bogey. At the next hole, he wasted a perfect tee shot along the creek line and settled for par on a hole that played easier than any other all week.

The real backbreaker, though, came at the last of the par-5s. Woods gave himself a perfect look at the 15th with a tee shot to the top of the ridge, then jammed his approach within 5 feet of the cup for an eagle try that would've given him the outright lead.

The putt lipped out. He settled for birdie. And everyone sensed that Woods, playing several groups ahead of the other contenders, had squandered his final chance. He limped to the finish with three straight pars for a 67 that left him tied for fourth with Ogilvy and Donald, four shots behind the winner.

'I got off to a nice start there and posted 31,' Woods said. 'And then on the back nine, I could have capitalized some more.'

At least he didn't finish like McIlroy.

The seemingly unflappable 21-year-old from Northern Ireland was leading through each of the first three days, and went into the final round with a four-stroke edge on the field. Even after a shaky front nine, the youngster made the turn still one shot ahead.

Then he fell apart.

McIlroy yanked his tee shot at the 10th into the trees left of the fairway, the ball ricocheting to a spot between two of the club's famous cabins. He pitched out through the fairway, knocked his next shot over by the scoreboard left of the green, hit another tree trying to get on and wound up with a triple-bogey 7.

Three-putts at the next two holes finished him off, though his misery lasted right to the end. He drove into a creek, missed two more short putts and signed for an 80 - the worst final round by a 54-hole Masters leader since Ken Venturi in 1956.

'I just hit a poor tee shot on 10 and it unraveled from there,' McIlroy said. 'I just sort of lost it ... and I couldn't get it back.'

Schwartzel had it all the way.

From start to finish.

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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.”

Geoff Ogilvy and family at the 2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play. Getty Images

Notes: Ogilvy moving family to Australia

By Doug FergusonMay 22, 2018, 6:55 pm

Geoff Ogilvy's immediate future involves fewer golf tournament and longer flights.

Ogilvy has been contemplating in the last few years moving back home to Australia, and after discussing it with his Texas-born wife, Juli, they plan to return to Melbourne shortly after Christmas.

Their daughter, Phoebe, turns 12 in October and will be starting the seventh grade in Australia. They have two sons, Jasper (10) and Harvey (8). The Ogilvys figured that waiting much longer to decide where to live would make it tougher on the children.

''We just talked about it, for lots of reasons, and we kept making pros and cons. Juli was strong on it,'' Ogilvy said. ''We're excited. I'm at the point where I'm not going to play 27 times a year. It's going to be brutal to play from there. But you've got to choose life.''

Ogilvy won the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and he counts three World Golf Championships among his eight PGA Tour victories. He also has won the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship and has reached No. 3 in the world.

His last victory was in 2014, and Ogilvy has slipped to No. 416 in the world.

He has been dividing some of his time with a golf course design business with projects that include Shady Oaks in Fort Worth, Texas, (including a ''Little Nine'' course that opened last year), a renovation in China and a 36-hole course called Peninsula Kingwood in Melbourne.

Ogilvy, who grew up at Victoria Golf Club, still has a home on the 14th hole of the West Course at Royal Melbourne. If he didn't move back home, Ogilvy figured he would be spending six months in Melbourne and six months in Scottsdale, Arizona.

''It's a feeling more than anything,'' he said. ''Scottsdale is dreamy. We live a great existence. I know what I'm getting there. If we didn't move back, we'd be a six-and-six family. The kids get out of school, and they're bounced back and forth. It's not good for continuity.''

As for golf?

Ogilvy narrowly kept his full PGA Tour card last year and this season has been a struggle. He hasn't sorted out what kind of schedule he would keep, understanding it would involve long trips from Sydney to Dallas.

The immediate goal would be to play a heavy fall schedule and miss most of the West Coast swing to get acclimated to the move.

''And then we'll start working it out,'' he said.


US OPEN QUALIFYING: The U.S. Open likes to consider its championship the most democratic of the majors, and it has it just about right again this year. With the addition of 23 players who became exempt by being in the top 60 in the world ranking, 77 players in the 156-man field are exempt from qualifying. That number could go up slightly with another cutoff for the top 60 the Sunday before U.S. Open week.

The U.S. Open is the only American major that does not offer automatic exemptions to PGA Tour winners. Five such winners from this season still face qualifying, including Patton Kizzire, who has won twice (OHL Classic at Mayakoba and Sony Open). The others are Austin Cook, Ted Potter Jr., Andrew Landry and Aaron Wise.

Kizzire is at No. 63 in the world, followed by Wise (66) and Landry (69). All have three weeks to crack the top 60.

Until 2011, the U.S. Open offered exemptions to multiple PGA Tour winners since the previous Open. It leans heavily on the world ranking, as do the other majors. It also awards recent major champions and top finishers from the previous U.S. Open, along with the Tour Championship field from the previous year, to reward a consistently strong season.

''All of the tours around the world have bought into the official world golf ranking rankings,'' said Jeff Hall, the USGA's managing director of rules and open championships. ''And this provides just the right place for us to be with exemptions. We don't have to get into the weighting of one tour over another, this championship versus that event, a week-to-week event. We focus on the official world golf rankings and it seems to get us the right players for our championship.''



FICKLE GAME: Careers can change quickly in golf. No one can attest to that as well as Michael Arnaud.

The 36-year-old Arnaud had never finished better than a tie for fifth in his 49 starts on the Web.com Tour, and that was three years ago. His career earnings were just over $130,000. He had only made it into one previous event this year, and he wasn't in the field at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina last week until Kent Bulle withdrew on the eve of the event.

Arnaud tied the course record with a 60 in the second round. He closed with a 63 and won by five shots.

He won $126,000 and moved to No. 13 on the money list, giving him a reasonable chance to reach the PGA Tour if he finishes the season in the top 25.

''A lot of people kept pushing me when I wanted to step away from it,'' Arnaud said. ''My wife was one of those that told me to take the chance and go. Low and behold it really paid off.''


SHINNECOCK SAVANT: Rory McIlroy is excited to get back to Shinnecock Hills for the U.S. Open, a course he already has played a few times.

Equally excited is his manager, Sean O'Flaherty, who knows the course on New York's Long Island better than McIlroy.

O'Flaherty spent two summers as a caddie at Shinnecock Hills.

He went to college at Trinity in Dublin, had friends in the Hamptons and came over during the summer months in 2002 and 2003 to work as a caddie.

''I got to know a lot of members,'' O'Flaherty said. ''I can't wait. To me, it's the best course in the world.''


DIVOTS: Justin Thomas won the Honda Classic on Feb. 25 at No. 4 in the world. No one from the top 10 in the world has won a PGA Tour event since then, a stretch of 12 tournaments. ... Guy Kinnings is leaving IMG after nearly 30 years to become the deputy CEO and Ryder Cup director of the European Tour. He will report directly to European Tour chief Keith Pelley. ... The LPGA tour will play in China during its fall Asia swing at the Buick LPGA Shanghai at Qizhong Garden Golf Club. The tournament will be Oct. 18-21, one week before the men play the HSBC Champions at Sheshan International in Shanghai. ... Alice Chen of Furman has been selected for the Dinah Shore Trophy, awarded to top college women who excel in golf, academics and work off the golf course. ... The Irish Open is going to Lahinch Golf Club in 2019, with former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley serving as the tournament host.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Matt Kuchar, Peter Uihlein and Jhonattan Vegas are the only players to compete in all five Texas events on the PGA Tour this year.


FINAL WORD: ''The sum of his shots seems to add up to slightly less than the sum of the shots from another guy.'' - Geoff Ogilvy on Jordan Spieth.

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Arizona's run continues, knocks off top seed to reach semis

By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 6:35 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 1 seed in match play has still never won the women’s NCAA Championship.

That dubious distinction continued Tuesday at Karsten Creek when Arizona knocked out top-seeded UCLA on the final hole of the final match.

With the matches tied at 2 apiece, the anchor match between Arizona junior Bianca Pagdanganan and UCLA freshman Patty Tavatanakit was tied on the 18th hole, a par 5 that’s reachable in two shots by many.

Tavatanakit was just short of the green in two and Pagdanganan, the Wildcats’ hero from Monday when she made eagle on the last hole to give her team a shot at match play, blasted her second shot onto the green. Tavatanakit failed to get up and down – missing a 4-footer for birdie – and Pagdanganan two-putted for birdie to give Arizona the victory.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


“We’re lucky to be in match play,” Arizona coach Laura Ianello said. “Let’s ride the highs. Why not?”

Arizona will now face Stanford in the semifinals. The Cardinal, the 2015 champion and 2016 runner up, has qualified for match play in each of the past four seasons. They beat Northwestern, 3-2, in the quarterfinals to advance.

USC will face Alabama in the other semifinal, meaning three Pac-12 teams have advanced to the Final Four. The Crimson Tide had an easy go of it in their quarterfinal match against Kent State, winning 4-1. The decisive victory gave Alabama extra rest for its afternoon match.

USC beat Duke, 3-1-1, in the other quarterfinal, pitting teams that have combined to win nine NCAA titles in the past 20 years. But neither team has had much success in the past four years since the championship turned to match play. Not only has neither team won, neither has even reached the championship match.

Duke’s Leona Maguire won the first match and the second match was halved, but USC swept the last three matches with Gabriela Ruffels, Alyaa Abdulghany and Amelia Garvey all winning to propel the Trojans into the semifinals.

Alabama (2) vs. USC (3)

2:30PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (A) vs. Jennifer Chang (USC)

2:40PM ET: Kristen Gillman (A) vs. Amelia Garvey (USC)

2:50PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (A) vs. Allisen Corpuz (USC)

3:00PM ET: Lakareber Abe (A) vs. Alyaa Abdulghany (USC)

3:10PM ET: Angelica Moresco (A) Gabriela Ruffels (USC)


Stanford (5) vs. Arizona (8)

3:20PM ET: Emily Wang (S) vs. Gigi Stoll (A)

3:30PM ET: Shannon Aubert (S) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (A)

3:40PM ET: Mika Liu (S) vs. Haley Moore (A)

3:50PM ET: Albane Valenzuela (S) vs. Sandra Nordaas (A)

4:00PM ET: Andrea Lee (S) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (A)

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

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 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 were contested Tuesday morning with semifinals in the afternoon. The finals are being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

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

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Tuesday
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals (Click here to watch live)

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals