Kaymer cruises to U.S. Open title

By Will GrayJune 15, 2014, 11:59 pm

PINEHURST, N.C. – Martin Kaymer began the day with a five-shot lead, and the 29-year-old German finished off his coronation in emphatic fashion. Here’s how things ended up at the U.S. Open, where Kaymer won his second major title:

Leaderboard: Martin Kaymer (-9), Erik Compton (-1), Rickie Fowler (-1), Keegan Bradley (+1), Jason Day (+1), Henrik Stenson (+1), Dustin Johnson (+1), Brooks Koepka (+1)

What it means: Kaymer put on a clinic all week at Pinehurst No. 2, going wire-to-wire and winning by eight shots. Kaymer, who won the 2010 PGA Championship, now has multiple majors before age 30 – not to mention his Players Championship title from last month, or his Ryder Cup-clinching putt in 2012. Any  talk about him being the worst world No. 1 of all time is long forgotten.

Round of the day: Daniel Berger was a runner-up at the NCAAs last year, but has since turned pro and is in the midst of a successful season on the Web.com Tour. Berger fired a 4-under 66 Sunday to finish in a tie for 28th in his first U.S. Open appearance. He made five birdies against one bogey, and recorded the lowest score of the week by anyone not named Kaymer.

Best of the rest: Keegan Bradley had his eye on the Ryder Cup standings, and he made a big move up the American list after a 3-under 67 left him in a tie for fourth. Bradley’s round was highlighted by an eagle at the par-4 13th after he drove the green, and it was his third sub-par round of the week.

Biggest disappointment: Henrik Stenson looked to be the most likely player to make a move toward Kaymer during the final round, but instead the Swede went in the opposite direction. Stenson went 13 holes in the middle of his round without a birdie, playing the stretch in 5 over to forfeit any chance of notching his first major.

Shot of the day: Zach Johnson gave the crowd at the par-3 ninth hole reason to cheer when he made a hole-in-one, the only ace of the championship. Johnson hit a 7-iron from 172 yards that caught a ridge and funneled into the hole, causing Johnson to run to the gallery and high-five a line of fans. He finished at 2-over 72, good for a tie for 40th.

Quote of the day: “I’ve never gotten this far along in my story. It really hasn’t sunk in yet.” – Compton, who earned a Masters invite with his runner-up finish.


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With spotlight on, Reed tops Spieth in sloppy match

By Rex HoggardMarch 23, 2018, 11:05 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Jordan Spieth hit three shots out of play, had three three-putts and played his first three holes in his Day 3 match against Patrick Reed in 5 over par.

That’s not exactly what the golf world was hoping for when America’s top two match play competitors set out in the week’s most high-profile match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but then, after a trying few weeks, Spieth admitted he didn’t have high expectations at Austin CC.

“I didn't feel like [Reed’s] match play toughness had much to do with the match today,” said Spieth, who like Reed was undefeated through two days of pool play. “There were a lot of holes given to him. He had a lot of pick the ball up throughout the day.”

Although Spieth said he’s pleased with the progress he’s making in his game, there are issues - particularly with his putter - that still need to be worked out before next month’s Masters.

Reed didn’t seem to have the same concerns after winning the match, 2 and 1, and advancing to the weekend at the Match Play for just the second time in five starts.

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“It was just one of those days that with how the conditions were, it wasn't fun. It was hard, it was a grinder's day out there,” said Reed, who will face Alex Noren in Saturday’s Sweet 16. “You weren't going to see a ton of birdies.”

Reed took an early 2-up lead thanks to Spieth’s horrid start, which included his opening tee shot sailing out of bounds, but Spieth rallied with birdies at Nos. 9 and 10 to square the match. Reed pulled away with a birdie at No. 13 and closed the match with a 40-footer for birdie at the 17th hole.

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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.”

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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.