Recaps from Day 3 foursomes and fourballs

By November 19, 2011, 7:11 am

Results from the Day 3 fourball matches at Royal Melbourne: 

Charl Schwartzel and Retief Goosen (International) d. Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson (U.S.), 2 and 1

It turns out that Simpson and Watson can be beaten after all. Despite staging a late comeback, the American duo suffered their first loss.

The Americans never led, falling behind after losing the first hole to a Schwartzel birdie. Goosen won Nos. 6 and 7, first with a 23-foot birdie putt and then a par 4 after the Americans could not get up-and-down for par.

Schwartzel increased the International lead at the tricky downhill par-4 11th, hitting his approach toward a tucked pin to 10 feet and making a rare birdie on the hole.

The Americans tried to fight back, taking the 14th with a Simpson par with the Internationals bunkered off of the tee at the par 3.  Watson won the 16th when he was the only player to find the green in regulation and make par.

It was too little, too late, however.

K.T. Kim and Y.E. Yang (International) d. Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson (U.S.), 1 up

Woods and Johnson fell for the second time in three matches together.

Yang made a birdie at the first to take the lead, which held up until Woods sank a 34-foot birdie - his second of the round - to square the match.

The teams traded wins on the 11th and 12th holes in birdie, with Yang and Woods each making 11-foot putts as weather became more of a factor around Royal Melbourne.

It was Kim, however, who put the dagger in the Americans' heart. Kim made the lone birdie at the par-5 15th, sinking a 28-footer to regain the lead for good. 

The Americans had looks for birdie at the final three holes, though none from particularly close range.

Woods and Johnson played terrific golf from tee to green, but their inability to make mid-range putts for hole-winning birdies left them in the loss column.

Geoff Ogilvy and K.J. Choi (International) d. Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar (U.S.), 1 up

Just three holes were won. The Internationals took a pair of holes to the Americans' lone win to earn a point.

Kuchar nailed down the only victory for the U.S. side at the par-3 fifth, making birdie from 22 feet. A hole later, Kuchar nearly holed out for eagle, but instead tied in birdie.

Choi responded at the eighth with a birdie bomb from 30 feet to square the match.

Perhaps using his experience at Royal Melbourne to his advantage, Ogilvy made a downhill 19-foot birdie putt at the tricky 11th. That putt proved to be the difference.

The American duo hit a lot of greens in regulation, but rarely gave themselves realistic chances for birdie. Stroking first putts from more than 20 feet, neither Stricker nor Kuchar was able to sink anything to swing the momentum in their favor.

With his neck needing rest, Stricker sat out the morning session. Perhaps the rust was an issue for the Wisconsin native as his characteristically strong putting stroke never really shined.

Hunter Mahan and Bill Haas (U.S.) d. Jason Day and Aaron Baddeley (International), 2 and 1

In the most volatile match of the second session, a dramatic finish allowed Mahan and Haas to steal a point from Day and Baddeley.

Baddeley opened with birdie to give his team the edge and the partisan Aussie crowd something to cheer. Haas answered with an eagle at the par-5 second hole.

The U.S. took control with consecutive wins at Nos. 6 and 7, riding a pair of Mahan approaches to a half-dozen feet to wins.

The first four holes of the back nine were won in pars by each side, with the Internationals taking the first two holes when the Americans missed efforts to halve the hole from inside 8 feet. 

Haas responded at the 12th and 13th, however, with putts of 12 and 8 feet, respectively, to win and re-establish the American advantage.

After halving the par-3 14th, the teams swapped wins at Nos. 15 and 16 to set up the climactic finale.

Both Americans found the green at the 17th, both inside of Day. The Aussie roused the crowd with a 32-foot birdie putt, but Mahan quickly silenced the crowd and ended the match when he made a 23-foot birdie bid of his own.

Nick Watney and Jim Furyk (U.S.) d. Adam Scott and Ernie Els (International), 1 up

Watney was the worst American player in the Friday fourball session. In his Saturday fourball with Furyk, however, Watney may have been the best.

With birdies on the fourth and fifth holes, Watney gave an advantage to the Americans with putts of 16 and 24 feet, respectively.

Els led his team to two consecutive wins at the ninth and 10th. On both holes, the Americans could not reach the green in regulation.

Watney struck back immediately at the 11th, hitting his approach shot to 4 feet. It was the shot of the session at the hole, which featured a tucked pin on a ridge.

Three holes later, Watney hit another crisp iron shot at the par-3 14th. After the Internationals could not make either of their birdie bids, Watney made his to nail down the final American win of the match.

Scott had the best chance to even the match at the 17th hole, but he missed a 9-foot birdie putt after a sterling approach. The Americans survived for the win when Scott was unable to make a birdie at the last hole. 

For the first time all week, Watney was a victor. He went 1-1-1, splitting time with Furyk and Bill Haas. Derided for making the team after a lackluster 2011 season, Furyk swept his four matches.

Results from the Day 3 foursomes matches at Royal Melbourne:

Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson (U.S.) d. Robert Allenby and Geoff Ogilvy (International), 3 and 2

Watson and Simpson continued their winning ways, defeating Royal Melbourne specialists Allenby and Ogilvy.

The Americans never trailed, winning the first two holes with birdies. The International duo pulled even with wins at the front-side par-3 third and fifth.

The teams traded wins at the eighth and ninth to make the turn all square. From then on, the Internationals did not win another hole.

Watson and Simpson won with a bogey at the par-4 12th when the Aussies took four to get on the green. The Americans sealed their third consecutive win with mid-range birdie putts at Nos. 14 and 16.

The pair who faced off in a playoff in New Orleans have now taken all three of their matches from the lead-off spot – a Presidents Cup first.

Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa (International) d. Bill Haas and Matt Kuchar (U.S.), 1 up

In their final match as a duo in this Presidents Cup, Ishikawa and Els went out as winners by the slimmest of margins.

The Americans led from the beginning, winning the opening two holes with a birdie and an eagle. Setting the tempo for the match, the Internationals answered by taking the par-3 third and fifth holes.

The U.S. duo rallied with winning pars at the sixth and seventh, taking advantage of inadequate approach play by the Internationals.

Haas bunkered the Americans on the 10th and 12th holes with his approach shots, leaving Kuchar to extricate halves from the sand. But he was unable to get the ball close enough for Haas to make sandies, so the Internationals again pulled even.

After the Americans won the 14th with a par, the Internationals took two straight holes to take the lead and keep it for good. Kuchar blasted his first putt at the par-5 15th some 20 feet past the pin, leading to a losing bogey.

To secure the win, Ishikawa sank critical putts to halve the final two holes. The Japanese star sank a 14-footer to make par at No. 17, then holed a tricky 5-foot par putt to secure the full point. 

Ishikawa is done for the day, as he will sit out in the afternoon fourballs. 

Hunter Mahan and David Toms (U.S.) d. Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel (International), 5 and 4

Mahan and Toms avenged a loss in the fourball session on Friday.

The Internationals won just a single hole, the fourth, to take the early advantage. Following that win, the South Africans lost four of the next five holes.

After Schwartzel short-sided his teammate at the fifth, a par was all the Americans needed to win. A hole later, Mahan holed out his second shot from 53 yards for an eagle at the short par-4 sixth. On the seventh, Mahan made a 21-foot birdie putt to go 2 up. Another International bogey at the ninth bookended the American run on the front side.

The Internationals failed to hit the green at Nos. 13 and 14 and were unable to get up-and-down for par on both holes, so the Americans won to close out the match.

Both foursomes matches won by Toms and Mahan were blowouts, including their 6-and-5 victory on Thursday.

Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson (U.S.) d. Adam Scott and K.J. Choi (International), 3 and 2

For the first time in this Presidents Cup, Woods came out a winner.

Woods teamed with Johnson to take out Scott and Choi. Woods and Steve Stricker had lost, 7 and 6, in the anchor match of the Thursday foursomes to the same duo.

The Americans got behind early after a three-putt at the par-3 third hole, but rallied with pars to win the seventh and eighth – the two longest par 4s on the front nine. Choi and Scott were unable to get up-and-down from inside 20 yards to halve both holes.

Choi made up for a poor pitch at the eighth with a tricky chip at the 11th, leading to a birdie to win the hole and square the match. It would be their final win, however.

The American duo closed out the match with wins in the final three holes, beginning with a concession at the 13th when the Internationals had 143 yards to go after Woods found the green for the U.S.

The Internationals three-putted the par-3 to lose the next hole, then split the 15th in par 5 before Woods drained a 16-foot putt to win the point.

With the exception of the final 16-footer Woods made to secure the win, the American duo made almost no putts of significant length. The longest putt the team made was 5 feet.

Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk (U.S.) d. Aaron Baddeley and Jason Day (International), 2 and 1

After 10 holes of their Saturday foursomes match, the American duo had no business winning a third consecutive match. 

Playing the final eight holes in 5 under, however, was enough to produce an astounding comeback.

Swapping early wins with the Americans at the first and third, the Aussie duo took control of the match with wins at Nos. 4 and 5. To close the front nine, the teams traded wins with par on the final two holes of the side.

The 10th hole may have been a turning point, however. The Americans were gifted a halve in bogey, then did not drop a shot or a hole for the remainder of the match.

The Americans rattled off three straight wins with birdies, making putts of 13, 25 and 20 feet, respectively. Suddenly, Furyk and Mickelson had turned a deficit into a stunning lead.

Two holes later, Furyk made a 21-foot birdie putt to win the par-5 15th, putting the squeeze on the Aussies. 

Mickelson secured the unlikely win on the penultimate hole in dramatic fashion. The four-time major winner made a putt of 52 feet, including a couple of feet of break, to make birdie and win the match. 

The undefeated duo, however, will not go for the sweep in the afternoon. Mickelson volunteered to sit for the first time in his Presidents Cup career.

Watch wall-to-wall coverage of the Presidents Cup live on Golf Channel. Tournament air times: Golf Channel Saturday 6:30PM-12:30AM. NBC coverage Saturday at 8AM and Sunday at noon. (Note: all times are ET)

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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."