Featured Match Kaymer vs Mahan

By Rex HoggardFebruary 25, 2011, 10:16 pm

2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayMARANA, Ariz. – GolfChannel.com senior writer Rex Hoggard is at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain for the third round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He is providing a running blog for the match between (1) Martin Kaymer and (5) Hunter Mahan. Follow him on Twitter (@RexHoggard) for more updates or for complete scoring of all 32 matches, click here.

(6:14 p.m. ET) Although he’s been asked about a gazillion times, it seemed apropos to ask Martin Kaymer his thoughts on possibly unseating Lee Westwood atop the World Golf Ranking, a reality that is just two matches away at Dove Mountain.

“Of course it is somewhere in my mind,” Kaymer said following his 2-and-1 Round 3 victory over Hunter Mahan. “I know I can be No. 1, but it is not the most important thing to me right now.”

Kid’s good with a 3-iron and a microphone in his face.

(5:53 p.m. ET) Hunter Mahan's match with Martin Kaymer at Dove Mountain came down to a chip, of all things. But this was not the Ryder Cup although the result was the same.

Mahan, who lost his Monday single's match to Graeme McDowell following a poor chip last fall, pulled his approach left of the 17th green and managed to chip his third to just 20 feet. He conceded Kaymer's par and lost 2 and 1. This wasn't Celtic Manor, however.

'He made the mistake of hitting (his approach) further left than me and that's a really tough chip,' said Kaymer, who improved to 2-0 this week against Sean Foley students this week following his Round 2 shootout with Justin Rose.

(5:33 p.m. ET) Starting to feel like a Ryder Cup at Dove Mountain, at least it does in the Martin Kaymer-Hunter Mahan match.

Mahan rolled in a 20-footer for birdie at the 15th and the German answered with an 11-foot birdie putt at No. 16 to take a 1-up lead, his first lead of the match.

Ole, ole, ole.

(5:15 p.m. ET) Update from Dove Mountain's 15th hole: Four of the 12 players who made it to the drivable par-4 (about 343 yards) reached the green with their tee shots, including Martin Kaymer.

Didn't do the German much good, however, Hunter Mahan matched his birdie with a clutch 20-footer.

(5:06 p.m.) One top seed isn't going quietly at the WGC-Match Play. Martin Kaymer, the only top-seeded player remaining, squared his match with Hunter Mahan with a 10-footer for birdie at the 14th hole.

So far today the two have halved just six of 14 holes.

(4:53 p.m. ET) No chants of, 'USA, USA' coming from the crowd around the 13th green at Dove Mountain – one of the rowdiest spots all week.

They must not realize Hunter Mahan is American, or Martin Kaymer is German.

Good match either way. Kaymer cuts the lead to one hole when Mahan makes a mess of his third shot from a greenside bunker.

(4:24 p.m. ET) The difference in the day's high-profile two-ball has been Dove Mountain's par 5s, which have all gone Hunter Mahan's way.

Mahan eagled the par-5 second hole and birdied the eighth and 11th to go 4 under on them. His opponent Martin Kaymer is even-par so far on the par 5s, including a lipped out short putt at No. 8 for birdie and two trips to the desert at No. 11 to fall two holes down.

(3:48 p.m. ET) Maybe it's the golf course, a sprawling layout high in the Tucson hills, or maybe it's the format. Either way there is no way to deny the fact the WGC-Match Play is a putting contest.

Consider Hunter Mahan, who is just 1 up in his Round 3 match with Martin Kaymer despite hitting eight of nine greens on the front side.

(3:09 p.m. ET) Fortunate that officials sent Ben Crane out in the last group at Dove Mountain on Friday. Six holes in and his match is already a full hole behind.

Shame, really. Crane and Co. are missing a good show up ahead between Martin Kaymer and Hunter Mahan. The German rolled in a 20-footer at the sixth to square the match. For the record the duo has halved just three holes through seven.

(2:55 p.m. ET) Like Tiger Woods, Hunter Mahan works with Canadian swing whisperer Sean Foley and the thought occurs after five holes at Dove Mountain that Woods swings like Mahan more so than Mahan swinging like Woods.

Still, it seems to be working well. Mahan has the world-No. 1-in-waiting Kaymer 1 up.

(2:39 p.m. ET) Martin Kaymer can overtake world No. 1 Lee Westwood with a trip to Sunday's final at Dove Mountain.

He's certainly playing like a potential No. 1, holing a 25-footer for birdie at the third and dropping his approach 4 feet from the pin at the fourth (although he did miss the birdie putt) to cut Hunter Mahan's lead to 1 up.

(2:17 p.m. ET) Just spotted looping legend Fanny Sunesson trailing the Martin Kaymer-Hunter Mahan match at Dove Mountain.

Sunesson, who caddies for Henrik Stenson, who lost earlier in the week, also works with Kaymer.

Her man is in trouble early after Mahan holed a 25-footer for eagle at the par-5 second hole. USA 2 up.

(2:02 p.m. ET) Tough crowd watching the Martin Kaymer-Hunter Mahan match. One member of the Dove Mountain gallery moaned 'Sure hope Hunter doesn't have to chip' after the American hit his approach shot into the first hole.

The dig was directed at Mahan's singles match on Monday at last year's Ryder Cup. Ouch.

Luckily Mahan hit the green and made par. Kaymer, a bogey. USA 1 up. 

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Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.

Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship

Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.

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Henley will try to put heat on Casey in final round

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:55 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – While it will be a tall task for anyone to catch Paul Casey at the Travelers Championship, the man who will start the round most within reach of the Englishman is Russell Henley.

Henley was in the penultimate group at TPC River Highlands on Saturday, but he’ll now anchor things during the final round as he looks to overcome a four-shot deficit behind Casey. After a 3-under 67, Henley sits at 12 under through 54 holes and one shot clear of the three players tied for third.

Henley closed his third round with a run of five straight pars, then became the beneficiary of a pair of late bogeys from Brian Harman that left Henley alone in second place.

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“Could have made a couple more putts, but to end with two up-and-downs like that was nice,” Henley said. “I felt a little bit weird over the shots coming in, put me in some bad spots. But it was nice to have the short game to back me up.”

Henley has won three times on Tour, most recently at the 2017 Houston Open, and he cracked the top 25 at both the Masters and U.S. Open. But with Casey riding a wave of confidence and coming off an 8-under 62 that marked the best round of the week, he knows he’ll have his work cut out for him in order to nab trophy No. 4.

“I think I can shoot a low number on this course. You’ve got to make the putts,” Henley said. “I’m definitely hitting it well enough, and if I can get a couple putts to fall, that would be good. But I can’t control what he’s doing. I can just try to keep playing solid.”

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Back from back injury, Casey eyeing another win

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:36 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Given his four-shot cushion at the Travelers Championship and his recent victory at the Valspar Championship, it’s easy to forget that Paul Casey hit the disabled list in between.

Casey had to withdraw from The Players Championship because of a bad back, becoming the only player in the top 50 in the world rankings to miss the PGA Tour’s flagship event. He flew back to England to get treatment, and Casey admitted that his T-20 finish at last month’s BMW PGA Championship came while he was still on the mend.

“I wasn’t 100 percent fit with the back injury, which was L-4, L-5, S-1 (vertebrae) all out of place,” Casey said. “Big inflammation, nerve pain down the leg and up the back. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Thanks in large part to a combination of MRIs, back adjustments and anti-inflammatories, Casey finally turned the corner. His T-16 finish at last week’s U.S. Open was the first event for which he felt fully healthy since before the Players, and he’s on the cusp of a second title since March after successfully battling through the injury.

“We thought we were fixing it, but we weren’t. We were kind of hitting the effects rather than the cause,” Casey said. “Eventually we figured out the cause, which was structural.”

Casey started the third round at TPC River Highlands two shots off the lead, but he’s now four clear of Russell Henley after firing an 8-under 62 that marked the low round of the week.

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Bubba thinks he'll need a Sunday 60 to scare Casey

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:15 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Perhaps moreso than at most PGA Tour venues, a low score is never really out of reach at TPC River Highlands. Positioned as a welcome change of pace after the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship offers a lush layout that often pushes the balance much closer to reward than risk.

This is where Jim Furyk shot a 58 on the par-70 layout two years ago – and he didn’t even win that week. So even though Paul Casey enters the final round with a commanding four-shot lead, there’s still plenty of hope for the chase pack that something special could be in store.

Count Bubba Watson among the group who still believe the title is up for grabs – even if it might require a Herculean effort, even by his standards.

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Watson has won the Travelers twice, including in a 2015 playoff over Casey. But starting the final round in a large tie for sixth at 10 under, six shots behind Casey, he estimates that he’ll need to flirt with golf’s magic number to give the Englishman something to worry about.

“My 7 under yesterday, I need to do better than that. I’m going to have to get to like 10 [under],” Watson said. “The only beauty is, getting out in front, you have a chance to put a number up and maybe scare them. But to scare them, you’re going to have to shoot 10 under at worst, where I’m at anyway.”

Watson started the third round three shots off the lead, and he made an early move with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 en route to an outward 32. The southpaw couldn’t sustain that momentum, as bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 turned a potential 65 into a relatively disappointing 67.

“Bad decision on the par-3, and then a very tough tee shot for me on 17, and it just creeped into the bunker,” Watson said. “Just, that’s golf. You have mistakes every once in a while.”