Match Play Weir Daly and More

By Brian HewittFebruary 25, 2004, 5:00 pm
If anybody had asked me, Id have told them that:
  • The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship is the golf equivalent of Coastal Carolina having a great shot at knocking off Duke in the first round in the NCAA mens basketball tournament. There are no upsets. Almost anything can happen in the relatively short span of 18 holes. Let me put it another way: Peter OMalley, head-to-head, against Tiger Woods over 72 holes? Woods wins 100 out of 100 times.
  • Thanks for the E-mails on the informal poll question on whos the best lefty in the world right now. The results are still pouring in but theres a pattern. Approximately 85 percent of the respondents are from Canada. Approximately 85 percent of that 85 per cent voted for Mike Weir. Approximately 50 percent of that 85 percent identify themselves as lefthanders. Conclusion: Canadians love Mike Weir almost as much as they love their golf. The positive energy emanating from north of the U.S. border is always a delight.
  • John Daly finishing in the top five for the second week in a row is, to me, almost more surprising than Daly winning the Buick Invitational, his first Tour victory in 10 years. If Daly 'top 10s' in Arizona this week in the Tucson Chrysler Classic, it will mark the first time in his career he achieves that milestone.
  • If I had to choose one player to make a 10-foot putt with my life on the line right now, it would be Mike Weir of Canada.
  • In case you havent noticed, Stuart Appleby is having that breakout year we've all been waiting for from him.
  • Among the names of players behind Thailands Thongchai Jaidee on the current Official World Golf Rankings are: Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Luke Donald, Skip Kendall and Harrison Frazar. One week J.D. the next week Jaidee.
  • Chris Riley is not a surprise any more. He is going to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Speaking of which, I am constantly amused at the questions U.S. Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton gets about possible wild card selections every time somebody plays well. Sutton smartly refuses to rule anybody out. He would be foolish do anything else.
  • If they want it, it can be arranged. The Tavistock Cup, scheduled to be played between members of Lake Nona (Faldo, Els, Goosen et al.) and Isleworth (Appleby, Allenby, OMeara, Hoch et al.) Mar. 29 could spin itself off. How? The members at Whisper Rock Golf Club in Scottsdale include Phil Mickelson, Billy Mayfair, Aaron Baddeley and Tim Herron, just to name a few. We will beat the (bleep) out of them,' says Gary McCord, also a Whisper Rock member.
  • Part of the reason there are no first time winners yet on the PGA Tour is because this is a Ryder Cup year.
  • My two Captains picks if the Ryder Cup was next week: U.S.: Justin Leonard and Jerry Kelly. Europe: Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald.
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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

    Getty Images

    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

    It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

    With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

    Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.