U.S. rallies to cut Europe's lead to one point

By Rex HoggardSeptember 27, 2014, 12:28 pm

GLENEAGLES, Scotland – On a markedly better day for scoring, the U.S. Ryder Cup team mounted a morning comeback Saturday, winning two of four fourball matches to cut Europe’s lead to a single point, 6 1/2 to 5 1/2.

The U.S. team was again led by the rookie duo of Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, who rolled over Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer, 5 and 3. In two matches this week, the young Americans haven’t been pushed past the 15th hole and will head out again for the afternoon foursomes session.

But the match of the morning was the day’s first game between Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson for Europe and Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar for the United States. Although the Europeans won, 3 and 2, the four players combined to play 16 holes in 21 under par, a cumulative fourball record.

“When you get into that mindset, and you just see the ball going in the hole and you sort of get those positive vibes, today was a day it all happened for me,” said Rose, who combined with Stenson to finish12 under par. “We knew we were up against it today with two great players. Matt and Bubba played really well.”

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The fast-paced match, however, was Europe’s only full point of the session and gave the visiting squad some much needed momentum going into the last team frame.

Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan got things going for the U.S. team, building an early 3-up lead against Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood en route to a 4-and-3 victory.

The morning’s final match was the closest, with the core of the European team, Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter, building a 2-up lead at the turn before Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler rallied to secure a crucial half point.

The matched turned for the Americans when Fowler chipped in from a greenside bunker at the 10th and Walker birdied two of the next three holes.

But Poulter finally wrenched himself out of an inexplicable slump this week when he chipped in at the 15th hole from the wrong side of a greenside bunker and charged in an birdie putt at the next hole to square the match.

“Funny things happen, don’t they? It was a time where we needed something to happen. Holing that (at No. 15) and turning one over on the next hole makes a difference,” said Poulter, who will not play in the afternoon session.

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Koepka primed for CJ Cup win and world No. 1

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 6:00 am

Brooks Koepka wants a 2-for-1 at the CJ Cup. If he can collect his second non-major PGA Tour victory he can become world No. 1 for the first time in his career.

He’s in great position to accomplish his goal.

Koepka eagled the par-5 18th en route to a 7-under 65 in the second round at Nine Bridges in Juju Island, South Korea. At 8 under par, he is one back of 36-hole leader Scott Piercy (65).

Koepka, currently ranked third in the world, began the day three shots off the lead, but rapidly ascended the leaderboard. He birdied four of his first eight holes before finding trouble at the ninth. Koepka hooked his tee shot out of bounds, but the ninth is a par 5 and he was able to salvage bogey.

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That was his only dropped shot of the day.

The reigning Tour Player of the Year birdied the 12th and 14th holes in his bid to keep pace with Piercy. Koepka was two back as he played his final hole, where he knocked his second shot to 10 feet. He deftly converted the eagle effort to tie Piercy and earn a spot in Saturday’s final twosome. Piercy later pulled a shot ahead with a birdie at the ninth, his final hole of the day.

Koepka has officially won four PGA Tour events, but three of those are majors (2017, ’18 U.S. Open; 2018 PGA). His lone non-major win was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

He can still reach world No. 1 with a solo second place, assuming Justin Thomas, currently world No. 4, doesn’t win this week.

That will take a mighty weekend effort by the defending champ.

Thomas also eagled the 18th hole to go from 1 over to 1 under. He shot 2-under 70 in the second round and is seven shots off the lead.

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'Go in'? Yes, JT wants an ace at the par-4 14th

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 5:11 am

Justin Thomas didn’t hesitate after hitting his tee shot on the 353-yard, par-4 14th in Round 2 of the CJ Cup.

“Go in,” he immediately said.

“Please go in,” he added.

Thomas’ tee shot was on a great line, but it landed just short of the green. Surprisingly, it took three more shots for his ball to "go in." After birdies on Nos. 12 and 13, Thomas parred the 14th.

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Watch: Dufner makes six (!) fist pumps after birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 4:53 am

Jason Dufner makes Ben Stein seem like Jonathan Winters. Dufner often looks mighty miserable for someone who plays golf for a living.

But not on Friday at the CJ Cup!

Dufner made a 20-footer for birdie at the 16th hole and “celebrated” with one-two-three-(pause)-four-five-six fist pumps. There could have been more, but the camera cut away.

That was Dufner’s third birdie on the back nine, which offset a triple bogey at the par-3 seventh, en route to an even-par 72. Good times.

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Watch: Paul C-ace-y makes hole-in-one at CJ Cup

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 2:35 am

Par-par-par-par-par-par. It was a boring second round over the first six holes for Paul Casey at the CJ Cup.

And then he aced the par-3 seventh.

Casey's tee shot from 176 tracked straight towards the hole and rolled in near the final revolution. That got him to 2 under par for the tournament. He was five off the lead, held by Chez Reavie, but bogeyed the ninth and 10th holes to give back those two strokes.

Hey, it's a no-cut event and a guaranteed paycheck. Drinks on Casey!