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Cantlay recalls agony of first trip to Augusta

By Rex HoggardFebruary 16, 2018, 2:45 am

LOS ANGELES – Patrick Cantlay will return to the Masters this spring for the first time since 2012, but neither journey down Magnolia Lane compares to his first trip to Augusta National.

In 2011, Cantlay was a freshman at UCLA and the Bruins played the annual college event in Augusta, Ga., which is held the weekend before the Masters.

“My coach made us all go to the Masters and watch on Monday the practice round, and I was miserable,” he said on Thursday following a first-round 66 that left him tied for the lead at the Genesis Open.

For all those who pine to attend the Masters, understand that Cantlay had his reasons for being less than thrilled to attend the tournament.

“I missed playing in the Masters, I lost to Peter Uihlein in the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur that summer,” he explained. “I felt like I should have been playing and I was miserable.”

Full-field scores from the Genesis Open

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The highlight of the day, however, came when Cantlay found a spot next to the practice putting green and he watched two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw work his magic.

“Every putt would roll down there. He was hitting big lag putts down there like this, maybe this much [inches] short, this much past, every one exactly the same, working on his speed, big high lines,” Cantlay recalled.

Vijay Singh was also practicing his putting that day, but the contrast in styles was evident.

“Vijay was hooked up to a machine like this, this left hand low, he had four people, he'd hit three, they'd go 8 feet by, a foot short,” Cantlay said. “He'd turn around, he'd look at the guys, they'd talk, and then he'd go to the next one.”

The divergent styles stood out to Cantlay, who would tie for 47th the next year at the Masters.

“I remember seeing the difference between Crenshaw and Vijay in putting and I thought, wow, there's a way I want to do it,” he said.

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Watch: Reed races in 40-footer to put away Spieth

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 10:19 pm

Three up with three holes to play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Patrick Reed missed an opportunity to close out his match with Jordan Spieth when Spieth won the 16th hole with a birdie.

But Reed wouldn't let the match move to 18. Putting for birdie from the apron, 40 feet from the hole, at the par-3 17th, Reed raced in this putt to end the match.

With the win, Reed moved to 3-0-0 for the week and advanced to the weekend at Austin Country Club.

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Garcia's win-win situation: Move on or baby time

By Rex HoggardMarch 23, 2018, 9:45 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Given his status as one of Europe’s preeminent Ryder Cup players, Sergio Garcia’s record at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is nothing short of inexplicable.

In 15 starts at the event, the Spaniard has played the weekend just once – in 2010 when he lost in the semifinals to Ian Poulter – and since the event pivoted to round-robin play he’s never made it out of the group stages.

His fortunes have changed dramatically this year, with Garcia going undefeated in pool play and cruising to the Sweet 16 following a 3-and-1 victory over Xander Schauffele on Friday.

“I would love to have done a little better than I have,” said Garcia, who will play Kyle Stanley in the Round of 16 early Saturday. “I have had some good weeks here. But not probably as good as I should have. So hopefully this week it will be better.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

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Garcia made no secret of the source of his turnaround following the birth of his first child last Wednesday, a girl named Azalea. Even on Friday when he found himself 2 down through 11 holes and in danger of not advancing he kept an upbeat attitude.

“The way I looked at it, when I was 2 down, we're going to try to turn it around, but if we don't, it means that I get to spend more time with [his wife] Angela and Azalea for the weekend,” Garcia said. “I tried to look at it in a good way.”

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DeLaet: WGC's robin-robin format 'sucks'

By Grill Room TeamMarch 23, 2018, 9:20 pm

Graham DeLaet isn't teeing it up at Austin Country Club this week because he didn't qualify for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but that doesn't mean he lacks an opinion on the event's format.

DeLaet hopped on social media Friday during Day 3 of the WGC-Match Play to torch the round-robin format that's been in place for three years, saying he much preferred the single elimination that was in place when he played in 2014.

"Played Match Play in Tucson in 2014. Early group on Wednesday, lost. Threw clubs in my car and was on my couch in Scottsdale by 2:00 pm. Collect 30K and spend the weekend at home, he tweeted. "That’s a good format. This one sucks."

DeLeat's comments may be the strongest to date, but he's not alone in his opposition to pool play. Several players lamented Friday's "meaningless" matches earlier this week, and Henrik Stenson cited the lack of a do-or-die atmosphere as his reason for skipping the event.

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Watch: Kuchar makes ace at WGC-Dell Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 9:09 pm

In his bid to advance to the weekend at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Matt Kuchar aced the par-3 seventh hole Friday at Austin Country Club.

With an 8-iron from 181 yards, Kuchar landed his ball short of the flag and watched it roll and roll ... and drop.

The hole-in-one moved Kuchar 3 Up in match against Ross Fisher. 

The last hole-in-one at the Match Play came in Sunday's consolation match last year, when Hideto Tanihara aced the same hole before later losing to Bill Haas.