Upsets Aplenty at Match Play But Is That Upsetting

By George WhiteFebruary 26, 2002, 5:00 pm
Congrats are in order to Kevin Sutherland. He was as shocked as we were that he defeated the greatest players in the world to win the Accenture Match Play title. He did it with a driver that wasnt working, but a short game that certainly was. He played six guys, one by one, that were ranked ahead of him, and one by one they all fell.
 
The point here isnt to make light of his victory. He might still have won if the conditions were different, such was the state of his game and his putter.
 
No siree! The point is, how do so many of the worlds best players fall to the lesser ones? You can understand two or three, but when 11 of the worlds top 13 go to the showers the first two rounds, some kind of negative mojo must be at work. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and David Duval ' the top three ' were only in town long enough for a quick cup of coffee and a Danish. They all lost in the first round.
 
Woods has been searching for something lost for quite awhile now. The worlds best player ' over-all, at least ' has been taken down a rung or two over the past eight months. Mickelson was more of a shock, but dont forget, he missed the cut at nearby Torrey Pines only two weeks before. Duval led, 2-up, with two holes remaining in the first round against eventual champion Sutherland, but managed to salvage a defeat from the jaws of victory.
 
Has this whole world gone topsy-turvey? Should we just throw out the world rankings and replace it with a simple worlds top 100, worlds second 100, worlds third 100, etc?
 
In a word ' no. And on the issue of why the carnage the last week, you need look no further than La Costa.
 
La Costa is a beautiful golf course in an area of stunning Pacific Ocean vistas, and the setting is perfect for a tournament of this size and magnitude. But, it is resort, with a resorts clientele and a resorts degree of difficulty.
 
That evens out the field considerably. And in a tournament where the 64th seed is still an awfully good player, that is all that needs to be done to have upsets all over the place. The course isnt difficult enough to sort out the exceptional from the very good. Everyone can find the fairway with a driver, and even if they cant, everyone can hit the green with their approach shot. The tournament then becomes a putting contest.

Of course, there are probably less than 10 courses in the U.S. capable of separating the great from the merely good. And none is in Southern California. None is in Florida, where the PGA Tour also is considering having the Match Play. In short, weather limits the geographical considerations ' the tournament must be played in February and there are only so many courses which can hold a tournament at that time.
 
So you can get some prodigious upsets ' No. 64 seed Peter OMalley, coming all the way from Australia a couple of nights before, beats Tiger Woods, who went home the week before to practice for this one. The No. 63 seed, John Cook, defeats No. 2 Mickelson rather easily, 3 and 2.
 
But why not just throw them all into the pot and see who comes out the victor? After all, they are the top 64 (minus an injured player or two) in the world out of 30 or 40 million golfers. The winner does deserve it ' he just played six different world-class players, and he beat them all in five days. The years to come will see many more upsets, but is that such a bad thing?
 
Jeff Maggert, the 24th seed, won the first one in 1999. Darren Clarke, the 19th seed, came from Northern Ireland to upset Tiger Woods in the second. The Match Play moved to Australia for the third one last year and more than 40 didnt attend. But the winner was Steve Stricker, ranked 91st in the world at the time. And this year it was Sutherland, ranked No. 65 in the world. The best in the world have taken a hammering at match play.
 
There were undoubtedly lots of folk who would rather have seen Woods vs. Mickelson in the championship match instead of Sutherland vs. No. 45 Scott McCarron. But Sutherland vs. McCarron was the offer, and it was a good storyline, not the least of which were two guys, both raised in the Sacramento area, both within one year of each other who were rivals in high school.
 
If you want Woods vs. Mickelson, better wait until July when they have a pick of ALL of the golf courses. Otherwise, better get ready for lots of upsets, because there is going to be no favorites when they all get together on a resort golf course. The top 64 are invited, and any of the 64 has a real chance of winning.
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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1

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Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”

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Kisner not expecting awkward night with Spieth

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:33 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It might get awkward in that star-studded rental house Saturday night.

Two of the three Open co-leaders, Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner, are sharing a house this week near Carnoustie. Though it’ll be late by the time they both get back to the house Saturday night, they’ll have plenty of time to kill Sunday morning, with their tee times not until nearly 3 p.m. local time.

“Everybody is probably going to get treatment and eating and trying to find a bed,” Kisner said. “I’m sure there’ll be some conversations. There always are. Everybody has a few horror stories or good laughs over something that happened out there. That will probably be the end of it.”

One thing they’re almost certain to discuss is the weather.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


After three days of mostly benign conditions, Sunday’s forecast calls for warm temperatures and wind gusts up to 25 mph.

“When you watch any TV, that’s all they talk about – how Sunday’s coming,” Kisner said. “It’s going to be a true test, and we’ll get to see really who’s hitting it the best and playing the best.”

Zach Johnson is also in the house – along with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner – and he rode to the course Saturday with Kisner, with whom he played in the final group, at 4 p.m. It’s unclear whether the co-leaders Sunday will have a similar arrangement.

This is the third year that Spieth and Co. have shared a house at The Open, though Kisner is a new addition to the group.

“It’s the end of the week,” Kisner said. “Everybody’s got a lot of stuff going on. Everybody’s going their separate ways tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we’ll all sit around and laugh on the couch and talk about why that guy’s making so many birdies.”

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Final-round tee times for the 147th Open Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:26 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth begins his quest for a second consecutive claret jug and fourth major overall at 9:45 a.m. ET Sunday at Carnoustie, playing alongside Xander Schauffele. This marks the first time Schauffele has ever held a 54-hole lead in his career.

The Kevins – Kisner and Chappell – are in the penultimate group, 10 minutes earlier at 9:35 a.m. Kisner is tied with Spieth and Schauffele at 9 under par. Chappell is two shots back at 7 under.

But it’s the next group that has people interested the most. Tiger Woods is paired with Francesco Molinari at 9:25 a.m. Woods, in search of his 15th major championship and first in 10 years, shot a third-round 66 to vault into a tie for sixth place, four shots behind the lead. He began the day six shots behind. Molinari has two wins and two second-place finishes in his last four events.

Rory McIlroy was within striking distance of the lead but bogeyed two of the last three holes to drop into a sixth-place tie. He is paired with 2017 Open runner-up Matt Kuchar at 9:05 a.m.

3:00AM ET: Beau Hossler

3:10AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Rafa Cabrera Bello

3:20AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Si-Woo Kim

3:30AM ET: Luke List, Keegan Bradley

3:40AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

3:50AM ET: Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Dunne

4:00AM ET: Cameron Davis, Brooks Koepka

4:10AM ET: Brett Rumford, Kevin Na

4:20AM ET: Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey

4:30AM ET: Gavin Green, Ryan Fox

4:45AM ET: Shubhankar Sharma, Gary Woodland

4:55AM ET: Sam Locke (a), Masahiro Kawamura

5:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Rhys Enoch

5:15AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Jason Day

5:25AM ET: Adam Hadwin, Yuta Ikeda

5:35AM ET: Sung Kang, Brandon Stone

5:45AM ET: Thomas Pieters, Stewart Cink

5:55AM ET: Lee Westwood, Julian Suri

6:05AM ET: Tom Lewis, Marc Leishman

6:15AM ET: Ross Fisher, Jason Dufner

6:30AM ET: Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed

6:40AM ET: Phil Mickelson, Eddie Pepperell

6:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Bernhard Langer

7:00AM ET: Michael Kim, Patrick Cantlay

7:10AM ET: Shaun Norris, Lucas Herbert

7:20AM ET: Sean Crocker, Louis Oosthuizen

7:30AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Satoshi Kodaira

7:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Danny Willett

7:50AM ET: Haotong Li, Kyle Stanley

8:00AM ET: Chris Wood, Byeong Hun An

8:15AM ET: Erik Van Rooyen, Yusaku Miyazato

8:25AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

8:35AM ET: Adam Scott, Charley Hoffman

8:45AM ET: Justin Rose, Austin Cook

8:55AM ET: Tommy Fleetwood, Zach Johnson

9:05AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Rory McIlroy

9:15AM ET: Webb Simpson, Alex Noren

9:25AM ET: Francesco Molinari, Tiger Woods

9:35AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Kevin Chappell

9:45AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele