U.S. maintains lead heading into singles

By Doug FergusonNovember 19, 2011, 4:38 am

MELBOURNE, Australia – On a wild day of weather, the Americans stayed in control at the Presidents Cup.

Tiger Woods finally won a point Saturday morning, then couldn’t buy a putt in the afternoon. Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson finally lost a match. Just when the International team was on the verge of keeping it close, the Americans won the last two matches.

A long, wet day at Royal Melbourne finally ended when Jim Furyk won his fourth straight match, teaming with Nick Watney for a 1-up win over Adam Scott and Ernie Els.

That gave the Americans a 13-9 lead, putting them in position to win the Presidents Cup for the fourth straight time.

The biggest comeback in this event was three points in 2003 by the United States, and that was for a tie in South Africa. The greatest rally in any cup competition was at Brookline in 1999 at the Ryder Cup, when the Americans overcame a four-point deficit.

The Americans were assured of leading the Presidents Cup after a 4-1 decision in foursomes Saturday morning, when Woods and Dustin Johnson won a match and two American teams remained perfect.

Hopeful of building the lead in the fourball matches in the afternoon, the International team fought back.

K.T. Kim holed a 6-foot par putt on the 18th hole to give him and Y.E. Yang a 1-up win over Woods and Johnson. Woods missed nine putts from about the 15-foot range or closer, including one on the last hole that would have earned a halve. Woods was assured of his first losing record in the Presidents Cup since 1998, which also was at Royal Melbourne.

The International team picked up two more wins to capture a session for the first time since singles in 2007.

Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel handed Watson and Simpson their first loss of the week. The Americans made only one birdie, a poor effort in fourballs even in a cold, steady rain as the wind picked up. Geoff Ogilvy and K.J. Choi hung on for a 1-up win over Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar.

As the temperatures kept plunging - some 25 degrees by the end of the day - the Americans heated up, along with the emotions.

Jason Day celebrated a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th to seemingly stay in the match, only for Hunter Mahan to bury his birdie putt from just outside 20 feet for a 2-and-1 win over Day and Aaron Baddeley.

Mahan flung his putter to the ground when it dropped and let out a roar.

“This is an Australian team we were playing here,” Mahan said. “You heard the crowd, so to win like that, it feels good.”

Ernie Els and Adam Scott put up a strong fight in the final match, both holing key putts down the stretch. Scott missed a 12-footer to square the match on the 17th, though, and missed from 25 feet on the last hole to allow Furyk and Watney a 1-up win.

Furyk is leading the way for the United States, a winner in all four of his matches. He and Phil Mickelson went to 3-0 as a team after winning their foursomes match Saturday morning. U.S. captain Fred Couples decided to rest Mickelson for Sunday’s finale.

That ended a streak of 32 consecutive matches played at the Presidents Cup for Mickelson.

Next up is 12 singles matches, with the United States needing only 4 1/2 points to keep the cup.

“We’ve got a shot,” Scott said. “It’s going to have to be a remarkable day tomorrow, but we have a shot at it. That’s all we ask for. It’s not over.”

Woods has played well, except on the greens. He carried the load for the second time in a loss, as Johnson contributed only one hole in their fourballs loss in the afternoon. Even so, Woods has a 1-3 record, matching his career low in these competitions. He also was 1-3 going into singles at Royal Melbourne in 1998, along with the Ryder Cup in 1999 and 2004.

Even the one point he won didn’t come easily.

He and Johnson trailed early in the match until winning consecutive holes with pars as Scott and Choi struggled. Woods and Johnson went 1 up on the 13th when the International team conceded before reaching the green, and the Americans went 2 up on the next hole after Scott and Choi made another bogey.

Woods closed out the match with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 16th.

“It was a day of patience,” Woods said. “The weather was kind of iffy, the greens are another different speed. They’ve got some pretty good, little tricky pins. I felt Dustin and I were playing well. We just kept putting on the heat, and eventually one would fall.”

The International team picked up its only point behind Els and Ryo Ishikawa. They went 1 up on the 16th when Bill Haas missed a par putt. Kuchar hit his approach on the 17th within a foot for a conceded birdie, but Ishikawa halved the hole with an 18-foot birdie putt as Els raised his hands in delight and wrapped his arms around the 19-year-old from Japan.

Ishikawa holed a 6-foot par putt on the last to secure the 1-up win.


Watch wall-to-wall coverage of the Presidents Cup live on Golf Channel. Tournament air times: Golf Channel Saturday 6:30PM-12:30AM. NBC coverage Saturday at 8AM and Sunday at noon. (Note: all times are ET)

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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."