OHernOh Well

By Brian HewittFebruary 23, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007- WGC-AccentureMARANA, Ariz. -- So Tiger Woods, the focal point of every tournament he enters, has lost in the third round at the WGC-Accenture Match Play to little-known Aussie named Nick O'Hern, the same player who stopped him in this event two years ago.
 
The streak that Tiger didn't really think was a streak is over now. Woods had won seven straight PGA TOUR events. Now he can focus on a streak that's more important to him: Winning his third straight major - at Augusta in April.
 
It was extremely interesting to note, after two rounds, the credentials of the other 15 players, besides Woods, that remained alive in the draw.
 
Henrik Stenson, the last man to beat Woods in a medal play event, earlier this year at Dubai, had stopped Zach Johnson and K.J. Choi.
 
Nick OHern, the last man to beat Woods prior to the third round in this event, had gotten past Lucas Glover and Rory Sabbatini.
 
Charles Howell III, who had a more recent winning streak than Woods by virtue of his win at the Nissan Open last week, had won both of his matches (Stuart Appleby, Sergio Garcia) before they reached the 16th hole.
 
Trevor Immelman, the last man to win a PGA TOUR event in which Woods was entered (last July at the Cialis Western Open) had dusted Thomas Bjorn and beaten Chris DiMarco.
 
Chad Campbell, the last man to beat Woods in this event, 1-up in the third round last year, had gotten past Angel Cabrera and upset Jim Furyk.
 
Shaun Micheel, the last player to beat Woods in an individual match play event (last year at the HSBC Match Play) had stunned Adam Scott and eliminated Rod Pampling.
 
Paul Casey, the last player to win an individual match play event in which Woods was entered (the same HSBC Match Play) had gotten by Mike Weir and Colin Montgomerie.
 
And finally Geoff Ogilvy, the last player to win a major championship (the 2006 U.S. Open) in which Woods was entered, had cruised past Steve Stricker and come from behind to beat Jose Maria Olazabal.
 
Almost everybody left in the field, it seemed, had a reason to believe that Woods had reason to believe that he had a score to settle.
 
And everybody knew how long Woods memory was. Asked before the tournament began to recount his earliest match play memories, Woods said, Yeah, I played in the Southern California Junior Match Play. We played at El Dorado and I lost in the quarterfinals. It as something that I didnt understand because I won, I think, two or three matches and got to the quarters. I shot 69 that day; got to the 18th hole and lost.
 
I didnt quite understand that. I just came home and told Dad, I dont understand. I shot a better score than he did, but he won the match. That doesnt seem right. He explained it to me. That was the first time I had ever experienced anything like that before. So we went out the next couple of days and played match play.
 
Woods said he thought he was 13 at the time and the name of the player who beat him, he thought, was James Mohan.
 
Somewhere, James Mohan is shivering.
 
Tiger learned. He won three straight U.S. Juniors in match play followed by three straight U.S. Amateurs in match play. He also won this event in 2003 and 2004. My, how he learned.
 
The whole idea is to put as much pressure as you can on your opponent right from the first tee until its over. Keep hitting a bunch of fairways, keep hitting the ball on the green, giving yourself chances and forcing your opponent to make a mistake. Thats the hard part. Thats also the fun part as well.
 
Against O'Hern, Woods never led.
 
Meanwhile the only fun last years champion, Ogilvy, was having in 2006 at this event was after the last hole. His first four matches went 19, 21, 21 and 19 holes, respectively. It was his first appearance in the WGC-Accenture Match Play and it was exhausting. In his third round victory over Mike Weir he was four down with four to play.
 
Psychologically, Ogilvy was just happy to be in the semi-finals. And it showed. Tom Lehman posed no problem in the semi-finals where Ogilvy won 4 and 3 and Davis Love III succumbed in finals 3 and 2.
 
The physical part wasnt so bad, Ogilvy said. We play all the time. But from a stress standpoint, he added, it was like three golf tournaments in one week.
 
And strategies are all over the map. Immelman insisted he played the guy, his opponent in match play. Stenson said, I think I try to play the course as well as I can and see where that takes you.
 
To the winner will go the spoils'$1.35 million and pile of FedExCup and world ranking points'and a well-earned rest.
 
I definitely had to take it easy for a few weeks, Ogilvy said of last year. I didnt play the week after. If I had, I would have been no good. The way I did it. And I drove home, too, from La Costa to Scottsdale, and that was a six-hour drive in the car, so it was lots of sleep the next few days.
 
Good sleep.
 
Ogilvy, Immelman, O'Hern, Campbell, Stenson, Justin Rose, Stephen Ames and Casey all advanced Friday.
 
As for Woods, right about know? You can be certain he's thinking more about the Masters than he is thinking about Nick O'Hern.
 
Related Links
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Match Play Brackets
  • Full Coverage - WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
  • Getty Images

    Davies a fitting winner of inaugural USGA championship

    By Randall MellJuly 15, 2018, 11:26 pm

    Laura Davies confessed she did not sleep well on a five-shot lead Saturday night at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

    It’s all you needed to know about what this inaugural event meant to the women who were part of the history being made at Chicago Golf Club.

    The week was more than a parade of memories the game’s greats created playing in the USGA’s long-awaited showcase for women ages 50 and beyond.

    The week was more than nostalgic. 

    It was a chance to make another meaningful mark on the game.

    In the end, Davies relished seeing the mark she made in her runaway, 10-shot victory. She could see it in the familiar etchings on the trophy she hoisted.

    “I get my name on it first,” Davies said. “This championship will be played for many years, and there will only be one first winner. Obviously, quite a proud moment for me to win that.”

    Really, all 120 players in the field made their marks at Chicago Golf Club. They were all pioneers of sorts this past week.

    “It was very emotional seeing the USGA signs, because I've had such a long history, since my teens, playing in USGA championships,” said Amy Alcott, whose Hall of Fame career included the 1980 U.S. Women’s Open title. “I thought the week just came off beautifully. The USGA did a great job. It was just so classy how everything was done, this inaugural event, and how was it presented.”

    Davies was thankful for what the USGA added to the women’s game, and she wasn’t alone. Gratefulness was the theme of the week.


    Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Women’s Open


    The men have been competing in the U.S. Senior Open since 1980, and now the women have their equal opportunity to do the same.

    “It was just great to be a part of the first,” three-time U.S. Women’s Open winner Hollis Stacy said. “The USGA did a great job of having it at such a great golf course. It's just been very memorable.”

    Trish Johnson, who is English, like Davies, finished third, 12 shots back, but she left with a heart overflowing.

    “Magnificent,” said Johnson, a three-time LPGA and 19-time LET winner. “Honestly, it's one of the best, most enjoyable weeks I've ever played in in any tournament anywhere.”

    She played in the final group with Davies and runner-up Juli Inkster.

    “Even this morning, just waiting to come out here, I thought, `God, not often do I actually think how lucky I am to do what I do,’” Johnson said.

    At 54, Davies still plays the LPGA and LET regularly. She has now won 85 titles around the world, 20 of them LPGA titles, four of them majors, 45 of them LET titles.

    With every swing this past week, she peeled back the years, turned back the clock, made fans and peers remember what she means to the women’s game.

    This wasn’t the first time Davies made her mark in a USGA event. When she won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1987, she became just the second player from Europe to win the title, the first in 20 years. She opened a new door for internationals. The following year, Sweden’s Liselotte Neumann won the title.

    “A lot of young Europeans and Asians decided that it wasn't just an American sport,” Davies said. “At that stage, it had been dominated, wholeheartedly, by all the names we all love, Lopez, Bradley, Daniel, Sheehan.”

    Davies gave the rest of the world her name to love, her path to follow.

    “It certainly made a lot of foreign girls think that they could take the Americans on,” Davies said.

    In golf, it’s long been held that you can judge the stature of an event by the names on the trophy. Davies helps gives the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open the monumental start it deserved.

    Getty Images

    Suwannapura beats Lincicome in playoff for first win

    By Associated PressJuly 15, 2018, 10:49 pm

    SYLVANIA, Ohio - Thidapa Suwannapura won her first LPGA event on Sunday, closing with a 6-under 65 and birdieing the first playoff hole to defeat Brittany Lincicome at the Marathon Classic.

    The 25-year-old Thai player is the sixth first-time winner on tour this year. Her previous best finish in 120 starts was seventh at the 2014 Kingsmill Championship.

    Suwannapura picked up three strokes over her final two holes, making eagle on the par-5 17th and closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th at Highland Meadows to finish at 14-under 270.

    In the playoff, Suwannapura converted a short birdie putt after Lincicome hit her second shot into a water hazard and scrambled for par.

    Lincicome shot 67. She had a chance to win in regulation, but her birdie putt from about 10 feet did a nearly 360-degree turn around the edge of the cup and stayed out. Next up for the big-hitting Lincicome: a start against the men at the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship.

    Third-round leader Brooke Henderson led by two shots after six holes, but struggled the rest of the way. Back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes dropped her out of the lead. The 20-year-old Canadian finished with a 2-under 69, one shot out of the playoff.

    Getty Images

    Kim cruises to first win, final Open invite at Deere

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 9:38 pm

    Following the best week of his professional career, Michael Kim is both a winner on the PGA Tour and the 156th and final player to earn a tee time next week at The Open.

    Kim entered the final round of the John Deere Classic with a five-shot lead, and the former Cal standout removed any lingering doubt about the tournament's outcome with birdies on each of his first three holes. He cruised from there, shooting a bogey-free 66 to finish the week at 27 under and win by eight shots over Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Sam Ryder and Bronson Burgoon.

    It equals the tournament scoring record and ties for the largest margin of victory on Tour this season, matching Dustin Johnson's eight-shot romp at Kapalua in January and Molinari's margin two weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National.

    "Just super thankful," Kim said. "It's been a tough first half of the year. But to be able to finish it out in style like this means a lot."

    Kim, 25, received the Haskins Award as the nation's top collegiate player back in 2013, but his ascent to the professional ranks has been slow. He had only one top-10 finish in 83 starts on Tour entering the week, tying for third at the Safeway Open in October 2016, and had missed the cut each of the last three weeks.

    But the pieces all came together at TPC Deere Run, where Kim opened with 63 and held a three-shot lead after 36 holes. His advantage was trimmed to a single shot during a rain-delayed third round, but Kim returned to the course late Saturday and closed with four straight birdies on Nos. 15-18 to build a five-shot cushion and inch closer to his maiden victory.

    As the top finisher among the top five not otherwise exempt, Kim earned the final spot at Carnoustie as part of the Open Qualifying Series. It will be his first major championship appearance since earning low amateur honors with a T-17 finish at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, and he is also now exempt for the PGA Championship and next year's Masters.

    The last player to earn the final Open spot at the Deere and make the cut the following week was Brian Harman, who captured his first career win at TPC Deere Run in 2014 and went on to tie for 26th at Royal Liverpool.

    Getty Images

    Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

    Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

    Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

    Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.


    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


    "I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

    Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

    Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.