Soldiers Honored by TPC

By Associated PressApril 2, 2004, 5:00 pm
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Lt. Jesse White spent the last year telling stories about playing golf in Iraq. Now he has one to take back.
White was one of five Army soldiers honored Thursday at the Tournament Players Club after they created a golf course in Iraq and dubbed it TPC Mosul.
Gov. Jeb Bush and professional golfers Jim Furyk, Fred Funk and Frank Lickliter surprised the soldiers during the ceremony.
'It was awesome, just awesome,' said Maj. Spencer Smith, of Sterling, Va.
The soldiers and their families have spent the week at the TPC at Sawgrass as guests of the resort, playing a course much different than the one they constructed at the 101st Airborne's base near Mosul, Iraq.
White, from White Church, Tenn., carried three golf clubs with him when he was deployed to Iraq and created a three-hole course at the base. The course, set on hard ground in the desert, was later expanded to six holes.
The fairways and green are desert of course, and the only water hazard is an outhouse. To play nine holes, soldiers play the first six and then the first three again. White owns the nine-hole course record with a 31.
After several rounds, White and the others dubbed the course the TPC Mosul. When PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem heard about it last September, his staff adopted the battalion, sending e-mails, care packages, 1,300 pounds of food, plus clubs and hundreds of balls.
'We were so flattered Lt. White thought to name his course after ours that we had official 'TPC of Mosul' hats made and sent them to the soldier and his battalion,' Finchem said. 'We are honored to have Lt. White and his foursome here at Sawgrass for the week. It is our way of showing our appreciation for their service to our nation and to golf.'
Also honored were: Capt. Kate Blaise, of Macon, Mo.; Maj. Kirk Whitson, Rolla, Mo.; and Lt. Col. Jeff Kelley, of Signal Mountain, Tenn. All five soldiers are stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky.
'We are so proud of all of you. We are so proud of our military,' Bush said.
The PGA Tour's production department created a video showing the soldiers in Iraq, and even a few scenes of them playing at the TPC Mosul.
The video also highlighted some of their worst shots at the TPC Sawgrass, including shots from deep sand traps and thick rough and several balls dunked at the famed No. 17 island green.
White and the others returned home in February and expect to return to Iraq - and hopefully the TPC Mosul - in 2005.
Each of the soldiers was given TPC Mosul golf shirts and golf bags with three clubs. Blaise, a new golfer, was given a full set of clubs. They also received a framed picture of President Bush wearing a TPC Mosul golf hat.
In return, the soldiers gave Finchem a set of clubs with the 'Screaming Eagle' logo of the 101st Airborne on them.
'I don't know if I can play with clubs with screaming eagles,' Finchem said.
'It's better than a screaming bogey,' someone yelled from the crowd.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Getty Images

Watch: Reed races in 40-footer to put away Spieth

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 10:19 pm

Three up with three holes to play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Patrick Reed missed an opportunity to close out his match with Jordan Spieth when Spieth won the 16th hole with a birdie.

But Reed wouldn't let the match move to 18. Putting for birdie from the apron, 40 feet from the hole, at the par-3 17th, Reed raced in this putt to end the match.

With the win, Reed moved to 3-0-0 for the week and advanced to the weekend at Austin Country Club.

Getty Images

Garcia's win-win situation: Move on or baby time

By Rex HoggardMarch 23, 2018, 9:45 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Given his status as one of Europe’s preeminent Ryder Cup players, Sergio Garcia’s record at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is nothing short of inexplicable.

In 15 starts at the event, the Spaniard has played the weekend just once – in 2010 when he lost in the semifinals to Ian Poulter – and since the event pivoted to round-robin play he’s never made it out of the group stages.

His fortunes have changed dramatically this year, with Garcia going undefeated in pool play and cruising to the Sweet 16 following a 3-and-1 victory over Xander Schauffele on Friday.

“I would love to have done a little better than I have,” said Garcia, who will play Kyle Stanley in the Round of 16 early Saturday. “I have had some good weeks here. But not probably as good as I should have. So hopefully this week it will be better.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

Garcia made no secret of the source of his turnaround following the birth of his first child last Wednesday, a girl named Azalea. Even on Friday when he found himself 2 down through 11 holes and in danger of not advancing he kept an upbeat attitude.

“The way I looked at it, when I was 2 down, we're going to try to turn it around, but if we don't, it means that I get to spend more time with [his wife] Angela and Azalea for the weekend,” Garcia said. “I tried to look at it in a good way.”

Getty Images

DeLaet: WGC's robin-robin format 'sucks'

By Grill Room TeamMarch 23, 2018, 9:20 pm

Graham DeLaet isn't teeing it up at Austin Country Club this week because he didn't qualify for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but that doesn't mean he lacks an opinion on the event's format.

DeLaet hopped on social media Friday during Day 3 of the WGC-Match Play to torch the round-robin format that's been in place for three years, saying he much preferred the single elimination that was in place when he played in 2014.

"Played Match Play in Tucson in 2014. Early group on Wednesday, lost. Threw clubs in my car and was on my couch in Scottsdale by 2:00 pm. Collect 30K and spend the weekend at home, he tweeted. "That’s a good format. This one sucks."

DeLeat's comments may be the strongest to date, but he's not alone in his opposition to pool play. Several players lamented Friday's "meaningless" matches earlier this week, and Henrik Stenson cited the lack of a do-or-die atmosphere as his reason for skipping the event.

Getty Images

Watch: Kuchar makes ace at WGC-Dell Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 9:09 pm

In his bid to advance to the weekend at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Matt Kuchar aced the par-3 seventh hole Friday at Austin Country Club.

With an 8-iron from 181 yards, Kuchar landed his ball short of the flag and watched it roll and roll ... and drop.

The hole-in-one moved Kuchar 3 Up in match against Ross Fisher. 

The last hole-in-one at the Match Play came in Sunday's consolation match last year, when Hideto Tanihara aced the same hole before later losing to Bill Haas.