Bubba on a roll as the kids go home

By Doug FergusonFebruary 26, 2011, 3:24 am

2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayMARANA, Ariz. – J.B. Holmes and Bubba Watson are in the quarterfinals of the Match Play Championship, and it’s not hard to figure out how they got there.

In fact, you could say it’s elementary.

Holmes has five of the longest drives this week at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, including a 400-yard shot in the opening round. He wasn’t always straight, but he was long enough to keep himself in the game and win the last two holes against Jason Day on Friday.

Watson didn’t win his match against Geoff Ogilvy on the par-5 11th hole, but it sure felt that way. Already 2 up in his match, Watson was 290 from the hole when he ripped a 3-iron with a tight draw that bounded onto the green and settled about 15 feet away.

Tiger Woods was knocked out of the first round of the Match Play Championship for only the second time in his career.

“I knew if I hit a bullet 3-iron, it could roll up close,” Watson said. “We were just thinking about getting it on the green. We were thinking about missing it left, so we’d have an easy chip up on the slope. I knew it was good. I saw where it was running and it worked out in my favor again. I swung as hard as I could at a low, bullet 3-iron.”

Three holes later, the match was over, 6 and 4.

WGC-Match Play TV Schedule
(All Times Eastern)

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Sat:
9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Sun: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.




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Sat:
2 - 6 p.m.
Sun: 2 - 6 p.m.
“It’s never fun to lose,” said Ogilvy, a two-time champion of this fickle event. “But it’s the first time I’ve played OK and lost. He played well. He hit great shots. I didn’t play that bad. I didn’t play ‘6-and-4’ bad.”

That set up more fireworks for Saturday morning – Holmes vs. Watson, two of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour, head-to-head on a course nearly 7,800 yards long in the high desert with wind expected to top 20 mph.

“It should be fun,” Holmes said. “Me and Bubba move it out there pretty good.”

Their explosive play shifted the focus from youth to power in the third round, as the kids got sent home – 17-year-old Matteo Manassero, 22-year-old Rickie Fowler and the 23-year-old Day all lost their matches.

The youngest player still around also is the best – Martin Kaymer, the highest seed left at No. 2. The “Germanator” can move up to No. 1 in the world if he wins two matches on Saturday to reach the championship match.

“If I can get up one more spot in the world rankings, of course I wouldn’t mind it,” Kaymer said. “But I think I’ll have a chance the next few weeks, months, as well.”

Getting to Saturday wasn’t easy, of course. Kaymer trailed by two holes until winning the 13th and 14th, then surged ahead on the par-3 16th when he hit a 3-iron into a stiff breeze to 12 feet for birdie.

Even so, it was the end that was painful to watch as it stirred Ryder Cup memories of Mahan.

Kaymer was 1 up and went long and left with his approach. Mahan did the same, and needed to at least escape with par to have any chance. Instead, he muffed yet another chip that barely got up the hill, well short of the green. He chipped long and made double bogey.

Mahan also flubbed a chip at the Ryder Cup on the 17th hole, although he was a long shot to win his match against Graeme McDowell. Still, it was an image that sticks among the key moments from Wales, and his finish against Kaymer won’t help erase that memory.

Kaymer advances to play Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, at 47 the oldest player in the field, who gave Ben Crane another short day at the office. Crane, whose 8-and-7 win on Thursday was the second-largest margin in tournament history, didn’t make a birdie until the 11th hole against Jimenez and lost, 7 and 6.

With cold weather due on the final day, the schedule was changed to avoid frost delays. The quarterfinals will be Saturday morning, followed by the semifinals. The 18-hole final match will be Sunday afternoon.

In other matches:

– Matt Kuchar won three straight holes to start the back nine as Fowler ventured into the desert, and while the kid tried to rally, Kuchar closed him out on the 17th hole.

– Luke Donald never trailed in beating Manassero, although the Italian teen pushed him to the 16th hole.

– Ryan Moore holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 19th hole to defeat Nick Watney, who had birdied the last two holes to extend the match. In a cruel example of match play, Watney had nine birdies in 19 holes and lost, while Kuchar made only three birdies in 17 holes to beat Fowler. Moore is the lowest seed still alive at No. 48.

– Y.E. Yang continued his surprising run by beating McDowell, winning the last three holes with birdies, including a chip-in from behind the 16th green for a 3-and-2 victory.

Tiger Woods and Thomas Bjorn shared a moment after Woods was ousted from the first round. 'The game of golf needs him back at his best,' Bjorn said.

Watson’s performance has been so dominant that he has led every hole he has played for three days. He has won the opening hole all three rounds and closed out matches on the 16th hole, 13th hole and 14th hole.

“Hit a lot of good putts, a lot of good iron shots. Haven’t missed that many fairways, probably no more than five all three days,” Watson said. “So it’s been good so far. And I’ve won every time, so it works out.”

No one feels more grateful than Holmes, who didn’t even get into the 64-man field until Tuesday when Tim Clark withdrew. He took over the No. 22 seed in the bracket, but technically could be considered No. 65. The lowest seed to win was Kevin Sutherland at No. 62 in 2002.

Holmes only saw this course for the first time Wednesday when he beat Camilo Villegas. He is not driving it straight, but it is going long. That power figures to be on full display against Watson on Saturday.

And if this format were not already unpredictable, watch out for the wind.

“If that puts more people in the desert, that will give me an advantage,” Holmes said. “I’ve been practicing out of there.”

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2018 NCAA Golf Championships TV Schedule

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 12:29 pm

Golf Channel will shine a spotlight on college golf across the next two weeks at the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf National Championships. With more than 60 hours of live tournament and news coverage on-site from Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater Oklahoma (Monday-Wednesday May 21-23 and May 28-30), Golf Channel’s coverage connects 18 straight days of live tournament golf.

Watch live coverage of the NCAA Golf Championships beginning Monday, May 21 at 4pm ET on Golf Channel and streaming.

Keep up with the social media conversation by following Golf Channel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Join in by using #NCAAGolf 

Golf Channel NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May 21: Individual National Championship  4-8 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 22:Quarterfinals, Team Match Play 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 22: Semifinals, Team Match Play 4-8 p.m. (Live)

Wednesday, May 23:Team Match Play National Championship 4-8 p.m. (Live)

 

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May 28: Individual National Championship 4-8 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 29: Quarterfinals, Team Match Play 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 29: Semifinals, Team Match Play 4-8 p.m. (Live)

Wednesday, May 30: Team Match Play National Championship 4-8 p.m. (Live)

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AT&T Byron Nelson purse payout: Wise a millionaire

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 12:05 pm

PGA Tour rookie Aaron Wise earned his first Tour title on Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Trinity Forest:

1 Aaron Wise -23 $1,386,000
2 Marc Leishman -20 $831,600
T3 Branden Grace -19 $400,400
T3 J.J. Spaun -19 $400,400
T3 Keith Mitchell -19 $400,400
T6 Ryan Blaum -16 $257,950
T6 Kevin Na -16 $257,950
T6 Jimmy Walker -16 $257,950
T9 Adam Scott -15 $207,900
T9 Charles Howell III -15 $207,900
T9 Kevin Tway -15 $207,900
12 Brian Gay -14 $177,100
T13 Rory Sabbatini -13 $148,867
T13 Ethan Tracy -13 $148,867
T13 Matt Jones -13 $148,867
T16 Russell Knox -12 $115,500
T16 Hideki Matsuyama -12 $115,500
T16 Bronson Burgoon -12 $115,500
T16 Derek Fathauer -12 $115,500
T16 Joel Dahmen -12 $115,500
T21 Jordan Spieth -11 $80,080
T21 Billy Horschel -11 $80,080
T21 Robert Garrigus -11 $80,080
T21 Peter Uihlein -11 $80,080
T21 Martin Piller -11 $80,080
T26 Tyler Duncan -10 $55,825
T26 Anirban Lahiri -10 $55,825
T26 Parker McLachlin -10 $55,825
T26 Martin Flores -10 $55,825
T26 J.T. Poston -10 $55,825
T26 Shawn Stefani -10 $55,825
T32 Cody Gribble -9 $39,116
T32 Johnson Wagner -9 $39,116
T32 Geoff Ogilvy -9 $39,116
T32 Nick Taylor -9 $39,116
T32 C.T. Pan -9 $39,116
T32 Scott Piercy -9 $39,116
T32 Nicholas Lindheim -9 $39,116
T32 Fabian Gomez -9 $39,116
T32 Beau Hossler -9 $39,116
T32 Nate Lashley -9 $39,116
T42 Zac Blair -8 $23,184
T42 Abraham Ancer -8 $23,184
T42 Maverick McNealy -8 $23,184
T42 Denny McCarthy -8 $23,184
T42 Jonathan Byrd -8 $23,184
T42 Eric Axley -8 $23,184
T42 Sam Ryder -8 $23,184
T42 Brian Stuard -8 $23,184
T42 J.B. Holmes -8 $23,184
T42 Sung-hoon Kang -8 $23,184
T42 Andrew Putnam -8 $23,184
T53 Ben Crane -7 $17,659
T53 Steve Wheatcroft -7 $17,659
T53 Troy Merritt -7 $17,659
T53 Patrick Rodgers -7 $17,659
T53 Corey Conners -7 $17,659
T53 Robert Streb -7 $17,659
T59 Ryan Armour -6 $16,632
T59 Peter Malnati -6 $16,632
T59 Vaughn Taylor -6 $16,632
T59 Dominic Bozzelli -6 $16,632
T59 Adam Schenk -6 $16,632
T59 Hudson Swafford -6 $16,632
T59 Michael Thompson -6 $16,632
T66 Matt Atkins -5 $15,862
T66 Roberto Diaz -5 $15,862
T66 T.J. Vogel -5 $15,862
69 Sang-Moon Bae -4 $15,554
T70 Tom Lovelady -3 $15,246
T70 Cameron Percy -3 $15,246
T70 Rod Pampling -3 $15,246
73 Brian Davis -1 $14,938
74 Mark Wilson 1 $14,784
75 Robert Allenby 2 $14,630
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Howell, Uihlein qualify for U.S. Open via OWGR

By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 11:02 am

Charles Howell III and Peter Uihlein both used strong play at the AT&T Byron Nelson to maintain their positions inside the top 60 in the latest Official World Golf Ranking, thereby ensuring exemptions to next month's U.S. Open.

Howell moved up three spots to No. 56 in the world thanks to a T-9 finish at Trinity Forest. He'll make his 10th career U.S. Open appearance, but just his second since 2009. Howell missed the cut at Olympic in 2012.

Uihlein finished T-21 in Dallas, which was barely enough to hold onto a top-60 spot as he actually fell two positions to No. 59. The former U.S. Amateur champ will make his third U.S. Open appearance and second in as many years.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


The drama for the final spot came down to the wire on Sunday, where Adam Scott's bid to unseat Chesson Hadley at No. 60 came up just short. Needing a solo ninth-place finish, Scott ended up in a three-way tie for ninth to begin the new week at No. 61. Hadley, who didn't play the Nelson, remained No. 60 and will make his U.S. Open debut.

Others to punch tickets to Shinnecock Hills include No. 52 Luke List, No. 53 Chez Reavie and No. 57 Dylan Frittelli. A second and final top-60 cutoff will be done based off the June 11 world rankings following the FedEx St. Jude Classic, with U.S. Open sectional qualifying conducted in England and the U.S. on June 4.

The only change among the top 10 in the rankings this week came at No. 10, where Paul Casey moved past Tommy Fleetwood despite an off week for both players. Justin Thomas remains world No. 1 for a second week, followed by Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose. Rickie Fowler remains No. 6, with Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Casey rounding out the top 10.

Taking the week off following a T-11 finish at The Players Championship, Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 82.

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After Further Review: Nelson lost in the shuffle?

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 3:40 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the Nelson's future ...

If the goal was “different” by bringing the AT&T Byron Nelson to Trinity Forest, consider it achieved. But bringing a world-class field south of Dallas could still be tricky.

Yes, the tournament can always rely on local resident and AT&T spokesman Jordan Spieth to throw his hat in the ring. But even with Spieth strolling the fairways this week, the field strength was among the worst all season for a full-point event.

The debut of the sprawling, links-like layout likely did little to sway the undecideds, with only the third round offering the challenging conditions that course co-designer Ben Crenshaw had envisioned. And the schedule won’t do them any favors next year, as a revamped itinerary likely puts the Nelson right before the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.

The course will inevitably get better with age, and Spieth expects positive word of mouth to spread. But it might be a while before the stars truly align for an event that, for the moment, feels lost in the shuffle of a hectic schedule. – Will Gray


On Jordan Spieth's putting ...

Jordan Spieth’s putting is plainly bad right now, but it isn’t going to stay this bad forever.

He is the second ranked player on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, just like he was last year. This putting slump has lingered, but it’s unfathomable to think this guy just forgot how to putt.

Sooner rather than later he’s going to remember he’s Jordan Spieth and the 40-footers are going to start pouring in. He’ll be telling Greller to go get the ball because he’s too far away and the tee is in the other direction.

Bottom line, the ball striking is for real and the putting slump will pass. He’ll win soon – maybe even as soon as this week. – Nick Menta


On golf and gambling ...

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court over tuned a federal ban on sports betting in most states, a move the PGA Tour and many professional sports leagues embraced as a tool to both build fan interest and grow revenue.

Experts estimate sports betting could become a $150-$200 billion annual industry, and even a small piece of that could be significant for golf, but there will be risks.

Unlike any other sport, golf is played on multiple fields simultaneously, which inherently creates risks when gambling is introduced to the equation. Although the Tour has gone to great pains to head off any potential problems, like all bets gambling comes with great rewards, and great risks. – Rex Hoggard