Stat attack!: Ryder Cup review

By John AntoniniSeptember 29, 2014, 12:38 am

With some time to reflect on the 40th Ryder Cup, which ended with a third-straight European victory before churchgoers on the West Coast had time to pray for an American victory at their morning services, the most important stat from the week might be the fact that European captain Paul McGinley is now 12-1 in team matches. In leading Europe to a dominant 161/2-111/2 victory at Gleneagles, McGinley outshined his American counterpart, Tom Watson. Perhaps it’s time we looked at the 47-year-old Dubliner as a key reason for Europe's dominance of this event in recent years. The only Cup McGinley wasn’t a part of since 2002? You’re right. It was 2008, the only American win in that span.

Paul McGinley’s career record as a member of European team competition

 Year Event Role Won/Lost
 2014 Ryder Cup Captain Won
 2012 Ryder Cup Assistant captain Won
 2011 Seve Trophy Captain Won
 2010 Ryder Cup Assistant captain Won
 2009 Seve Trophy Captain Won
 2009 Royal Trophy Player Lost
 2007 Royal Trophy Player Won
 2006 Ryder Cup Player Won
 2006 Royal Trophy Player Won
 2005 Seve Trophy Player Won
 2004 Ryder Cup Player Won
 2002 Ryder Cup Player Won
 2002 Seve Trophy Player Won

No majors, no mystery for McGinley

This is the fourth time since 1995 that the winning captain had never won a major, and the seventh time in 30 years that the winning captain had fewer major titles than the losing captain. The only American on that list is Paul Azinger, who led the U.S. to victory in 2008 over a Nick Faldo-led European squad at Valhalla.

Ryder Cup winning captains with fewer major titles than the losing captain: 1985-2014

 Year Winning captain (majors) Losing captain (majors)
 2014 Paul McGinley, Europe (0) Tom Watson, U.S. (8)
 2010 Colin Montgomerie, Europe (0) Corey Pavin, U.S. (1)
 2008 Paul Azinger, U.S. (1)            Nick Faldo, Europe (6)
 2002 Sam Torrance, Europe (0) Curtis Strange, U.S. (2)
 1995 Bernard Gallacher, Europe (0) Lanny Wadkins, U.S. (1)
 1987 Tony Jacklin, Europe (2) Jack Nicklaus, U.S. (18)
 1985 Tony Jacklin, Europe (2) Lee Trevino, U.S. (6)

The U.S. flops in foursomes

The American’s loss was primarily the result of abysmal play in foursomes, in which the U.S. failed to win any of the eight matches. Their 0-6-2 record was the worst in that discipline since a 1-3-4 mark in 2006. In the previous three Ryder Cups the Americans had a winning record in foursomes, combining for a 11-9-4 record.

This was the first time since 1967 that a team failed to win at least one match in a style of play in the Ryder Cup. That year the Europeans were 0-7-1 in four-ball play.

U.S. record in foursomes since 2002

 Year Record
 2014 0-6-2
 2012 5-3-0
 2010 3-4-1
 2006 3-2-3
 2006 1-3-4
 2004 2-6-9
 2002 4-3-1

McDowell’s perfect performance

Individually, Graeme McDowell was the only player who was unbeaten and untied in the matches, posting a 3-0-0 mark, including a 2-and-1 win over Jordan Spieth in singles. Justin Rose (3-0-2) and Victor Dubuisson (2-0-1) were also unbeaten for Europe, while Patrick Reed (3-0-1) never lost for the U.S.

One the other hand, American Bubba Waston and Europe’s Stephen Gallacher were the only players to fail to earn any points. Watson was 0-3-0 and Gallacher was 0-2-0 in limited play.

Players who were unbeaten and untied in the Ryder Cup since 2004

 Year Player Team Record
 2014 Graeme McDowell Europe 3-0-0
 2012 Ian Poulter Europe 4-0-0
 2012 Dustin Johnson U.S. 3-0-0
 2006 Scott Verplank U.S. 2-0-0
 2006 Darren Clarke Europe 3-0-0
 2006 Luke Donald Europe 3-0-0
 2006 Jose Maria Olazabal Europe 3-0-0

Players who failed to earn any points in the Ryder Cup since 2004

 Year Player Team Record
 2014 Bubba Watson  U.S.  0-3-0
 2014 Stephen Gallacher Europe 0-2-0
 2012 Steve Stricker U.S.  0-4-0
 2012 Peter Hanson Europe 0-2-0
 2006 Brett Wetterich U.S.  0-2-0
 2004 Kenny Perry U.S.  0-2-0
 2004 Fred Funk U.S.  0-3-0

Westwood reaches milestone

Lee Westwood, playing on his ninth Ryder Cup team (his squad has won seven times), became the eighth player to win at least 20 individual matches. Westwood’s milestone win came in Saturday’s foursomes, when he and Jamie Donaldson beat Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar, 2 and 1. Westwood is tied for third among Europeans with 20 wins and his 23 points is fourth in team history.

Most individual points in Ryder Cup history

 Player Team Points
 Nick Faldo Europe 25
 Bernhard Langer Europe 24
 Billy Casper U.S. 23.5
 Colin Montgomerie Europe 23.5
 Lee Westwood Europe 23
 Arnold Palmer U.S. 23

Most individual wins in Ryder Cup history

 Player Team Wins
 Nick Faldo Europe 23
 Arnold Palmer U.S. 22
 Bernhard Langer Europe 21
 Billy Casper U.S. 20
 Lanny Wadkins U.S. 20
 Colin Montgomerie Europe 20
 Lee Westwood Europe 20
 Seve Ballesteros Europe 20

On the other hand, Jim Furyk lost his 20th match during 2014, finishing with a 1-3-0 record to fall to 10-20-4 all time. He is one loss ahead of Phil Mickelson on the all-time list for Americans, and one shy of the all-time Cup record held by Europeans Christy O’Connor Sr., and Neil Coles.

Most individual losses in Ryder Cup history

 Player Team Losses
Neil Coles* Europe 21
 Christy O’Connor, Sr* Europe 21
 Jim Furyk U.S. 20
 Nick Faldo Europe 19
 Phil Mickelson U.S. 19
 Tiger Woods U.S. 18

*Played as Great Britain-Ireland

First-timers shine for the U.S.

If there was a bright spot for the American team is was the play of rookies Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Jimmy Walker. The trio combined for a 6-2-5 record, including a 4-0-2 mark in four-ball play. Reed was the only player without a loss for the U.S.

European rookies also had a wining record, led by Jamie Donaldson (3-1-0), who clinched the Cup for Europe with his singles win over Keegan Bradley, and Victor Dubuisson (2-0-1), who didn’t lost a match. 

Points breakdown at the Ryder Cup

 U.S. Four-ball Foursomes Singles Total
 Veterans 4-4-2 0-11-1 2-4-3 6-19-6
 Rookies 4-0-2 0-1-3 2-1-0 6-2-5
 Captain's picks 2-1-0 0-3-0 0-1-2 3-5-2
 Europe Four-ball Foursomes Singles Total
 Veterans 4-6-4 8-0-4 4-3-2 15-9-10
 Rookies 0-2-0 4-0-0 1-1-1 5-3-1
 Captain's picks 0-3-1 3-0-0 0-2-1 3-5-2

Individual rookie performances at the Ryder Cup

 Player Four-balls Foursomes Singles Total
 Patrick Reed 2-0-0 0-0-1 1-0-0 3-0-1
 Jordan Spieth 2-0-0 0-0-1 0-1-0 2-1-1
 Jimmy Walker 0-0-2 0-1-1 1-0-0 1-1-3
 Jamie Donaldson 0-1-0 2-0-0 1-0-0 3-1-0
 Victor Dubuisson 0-0-0 2-0-0 0-0-1 2-0-1
 Stephen Gallacher 0-1-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-2-0

Note: All stats and historic numbers are from the PGA of America Media Guide.

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(Not that) Jutanugarn shares lead with (not that) Ko

By Associated PressApril 22, 2018, 1:58 am

LOS ANGELES - A player eager for her first win and a rookie top the leaderboard at the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open. Lurking two shots back is a Hall of Famer.

Winless Moriya Jutanugarn overcame a poor start and birdied the 18th for a hard-earned 1-under 70 to tie rookie Jin Young Ko at 9 under on Saturday at Wilshire Country Club.

Ko shot a 66 in her bid to become the year's first two-time LPGA winner. She won the Women's Australian Open in February, her first victory as an official tour member after a successful run on the Korean LPGA circuit.

''I'm ready for win or top 10, so maybe tomorrow I will really focus on shot by shot,'' said Ko, who added an exclamation point to her golf bag for each of her wins on the KLPGA. ''I won 11 times, so if I win tomorrow, maybe I change to 12. I need more, I need every time motivation.''

Jutanugarn is trying to match younger sister Ariya as a tour champion. Seven-time winner Ariya was tied for 27th after a 72 in the third round.

Usually when one of the Thai sisters is in the lead, the other will watch when her round is finished.

''If she's not too lazy, she is probably going to come out,'' Moriya said about Ariya.

Playing in an all-Korean threesome, Hall of Famer Inbee Park was two shots back in third after a 69. Her birdie putt for a share of the lead on 18 slid just by the hole. The group drew a large contingent of Korean fans.

Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open

''I kind of started off a little bad. I was able to come back strong, so I'm really happy with that,'' Park said. ''I left a few putts out there. The greens around this golf course are just really tough. You just don't know what's going to happen.''

Moriya Jutanugarn's round included a double bogey on the par-4 first hole and a bogey on the par-4 sixth. She eagled the par-4 14th after holing out from the fairway 93 feet away. The ball took once bounce and went in, eliciting a stunned look from Jutanugarn before she high-fived her caddie.

''Today was kind of a pretty rough day for me with not a very good start and like trying to come back,'' Jutanugarn said. ''I just try to play my game and be patient out there I think is the key.''

Jutanugarn, the second-round leader, read the break perfectly on a long putt to make birdie on 18 and share the lead with Ko.

Playing two groups ahead of Jutanugarn, Caroline Inglis also eagled the 14th from 180 yards. She briefly jumped up and down and smiled after three bogeys and a double bogey. She shot a 69 and was four shots back in a tie for sixth with Minjee Lee.

''It was like one bounce and then it like trickled in,'' Inglis said.

Aditi Ashok eagled 14 early in the round.

Ko did some scrambling of her own. Her ball found a sandy hazard on the 17th with a scoreboard and a winding creek in between her and the green 190 yards away. Her approach landed just off the green and she made par. Her round included six birdies and a bogey on 16.

Eun-Hee Ji (70) and American Marina Alex (72) were tied for fourth at 6 under.

Top-ranked Shanshan Feng shot a 70 and was in a six-way tie for 12th at 2 under.

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Defending champs Singh, Franco take senior lead

By Associated PressApril 22, 2018, 12:15 am

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco took the third-round lead Saturday in the windy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Singh and Franco shot a 7-under 47 in wind gusting to 20 mph on the Top of the Rock par-3 course to get to 19-under 145, a stroke ahead of the teams of David Toms-Steve Flesch and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett.

''It was a tough day,'' Singh said. ''The wind was swirling, have to get the club right and we made some putts. Carlos played really well on the back nine and I played really well on the front nine, so we ham-and-egged it a little.''

Toms and Flesch also shot 47, and Broadhurst and Triplett had a 33 on the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course.

''We just paired well together,'' Toms said. ''I don't think either one of us played great. We picked each other up out there.''

Wind and rain is expected Sunday when the teams finish at Top of the Rock, again playing the front nine in alternate shot and the back nine in better ball.

''Make as many birdies as possible and see what happens,'' Singh said. ''That's all we can do.''

Singh and Franco are trying to become the first to successfully defend a title since Jim Colbert and Andy North in 2001. Singh won the Toshiba Classic in March for his first individual senior title.

Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf

Flesch won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic last week in Georgia for his first senior victory.

Tom Lehman and Bernhard Langer had a 34 at Mountain Top to join Spanish stars Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jose Maria Olazabal at 17 under. Jimenez and Olazabal had a 33 at Mountain Top.

''It's great for me to be able to play with him as a team member,'' Olazabal said. ''We do have great memories from the Ryder Cup and other events, and it's always a great pleasure to play with a great player and a friend.''

Langer took the final-round forecast in stride.

''We've done it hundreds of times before and we'll probably do it again,'' Langer said. ''We'll make the best of it. We both have a good attitude. We're known to play in all sorts of weather and I just look forward to playing one more day with my partner here.''

Wisconsin neighbors Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly were 16 under after a 48 at Top of the Rock.

John Daly and Michael Allen, the second-round leaders after a 46 at Top of the Rock, had a 37 at Mountain Top to drop into a tie for seventh at 15 under.

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Landry shares Valero lead, eyes first career win

By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 11:15 pm

After coming up just short of a breakthrough win earlier this season, Andrew Landry has another chance to earn his maiden victory at the Valero Texas Open.

Landry came within inches of winning the CareerBuilder Challenge in January, ultimately losing to Jon Rahm in a four-hole playoff. He struggled to find form in the wake of his close call, missing the cut in each of his four starts following his runner-up finish in Palm Springs.

But Landry took some time off to welcome his first child, Brooks, last month and he made it to the weekend in his first start back last week at the RBC Heritage, where he finished T-42. He made a move up the standings Saturday at TPC San Antonio with a bogey-free 67, and at 13 under shares the lead with Zach Johnson heading into the final round.

"I just did everything really good," Landry told reporters. "I was staying patient and just trying to make a bunch of pars. This golf course can come up and bite you in a heartbeat, and I had a couple bad putts that I didn't really make. I'm happy with it, it's a good 5-under round. Gets me in the final group tomorrow and we'll see what happens."

Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos

Landry started the day one shot off the pace and in the final group with Johnson and Ryan Moore, and at one point he took sole possession of the lead after birdies on three of his first six holes. Now he'll have another chance in the day's final tee time where he's grouped with Johnson and Trey Mullinax, who sits one shot back after firing a course-record 62 in the third round.

For Landry, it's another opportunity to break into the winner's circle, and it's one for which he feels prepared after coming so close three months ago.

"I mean, I don't want to go too deep into it because I don't want to sound cocky or anything, but I just believe in myself. There's no other explanation for it," Landry said. "You can totally get out here and play with Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, two top players in the world, and you can go out there and fold under pressure or you can learn a lot.

"Zach's always been a role model to me the way he plays golf, I feel like we have very similar games, and it's just going to be fun tomorrow getting to play with him again."

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Z. Johnson, Landry share 54-hole Texas Open lead

By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 10:56 pm

SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson birdied the par-5 18th Saturday at the Valero Texas Open for a share of the third-round lead with Andrew Landry, a stroke ahead of record-setting Trey Mullinax.

Johnson shot a 4-under 68, holing a 10-footer on 18 to match Landry at 13-under 203 at TPC San Antonio's AT&T Oaks. Landry birdied the 16th and 17th in a 67.

Johnson won the event in 2008 and 2009, the last two times it was played at LaCantera. The 42-year-old Iowan is trying to win for the first time since the 2015 British Open.

''I've got 18 holes to get to that point,'' Johnson said. ''I've got to do exactly what I did on the back side and that was give myself opportunities on every hole. I'm putting great, I'm seeing the lines well, my caddie's reading the greens well, so it's just a matter of committing and executing down the stretch.''

The 30-year-old Landry is winless on the tour.

''I'm a good putter and I just need to give myself a lot of opportunities tomorrow like I did today,'' Landry said. ''I'll be looking forward to tomorrow.''

Mullinax had a course-record 62. He played the back nine in 7-under 29, going 6 under on the last five with eagles on the par-5 14th and 18th and birdies on 16 and 17. He also birdied Nos. 10 and 12 and bogeyed 11.

''It's probably one of the best rounds I've ever had,'' Mullinax said. ''To go out there and shoot 62 on a hard golf course is really good.''

Johnson played the front nine in even par with two birdies and two bogeys. He birdied Nos. 11, 14, 15 and 18 on the back nine.

Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos

''Different wind today early on, misjudged some numbers, misjudged some wind, made some bad swings, all of the above,'' Johnson said. ''But truthfully, my short game was actually pretty good, my putting was great. I missed some putts, but I hit some really good ones, hit some lines and I gave myself opportunities especially on the back side.''

Landry had a bogey-free round.

''I just did everything really good,'' Landry said. ''I was staying patient and just trying to make a bunch of pars. This golf course can come up and bite you in a heartbeat.''

Ryan Moore was two strokes back at 11 under after a 70. Sean O'Hair had a 65 to join 2015 champion Jimmy Walker (67), Chris Kirk (68) and 2013 winner Martin Laird (69) at 9 under.

''I just feel like I'm getting closer and closer to playing better and better golf, more solid golf, putting rounds together,'' Walker said. ''I'm excited for the opportunity tomorrow.''

Mullinax has made 42 of 44 putts from inside 10 feet this week.

''They just kind of remind me of greens from home,'' Mullinax said. ''My caddie, David (Flynn), has been reading them really well. We trusted each other on our reads and I've been hitting good putts. Been working hard on putting on the weeks off that I've had so it's good to see some results.''

The 25-year-old former Alabama player chipped in for the eagle on 14 and the birdie on the par-3 16th.

''It was just a little bit down the hill,'' he said about the 16th. ''All you had to do was just land it just past that little light grass spot. My caddie told me just read it like a putt, so I tried to just read it like a putt and it went in.''

On 18, he hit a 3-iron from 255 yards to 15 feet to set up his eagle putt. He broke the course record of 63 set by Matt Every in 201 and matched by Laird in 2013. The tournament record is 60 at LaCantera, by Bart Bryant in 2004 and Johnson in 2009.