Featured Match Kaymer vs Watson

By Rex HoggardFebruary 26, 2011, 11:01 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 fifth round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He is providing a running blog for the match between (1) Martin Kaymer and (5) Bubba Watson. Follow him on Twitter (@RexHoggard) for more updates or for complete scoring of all four matches, click here.


(7:35 p.m. ET) With one scrambling par against Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer put to rest the question that has been dogging him since, well the last time he beat Watson at the 2010 PGA Championship.

“It took me only five years to become No. 1 (in the World Golf Ranking),” Kaymer said following his 1-up victory over Watson in Saturday’s semifinal match at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship which will assure him enough ranking points to overtake Lee Westwood. “It’s a very proud moment for me and my family.”

Now the only thing the German has to worry about is Luke Donald, who he will face in Sunday’s 18-hole final.

(6:54 p.m. ET) Martin Kaymer scrambled for par at Dove Mountain's 17th hole on Friday to defeat Hunter Mahan but a Xerox effort on Saturday against Bubba Watson wasn't good enough to close out his semifinal match.

Watson carved his approach from the left rough to 6 feet and made the birdie to extend the match.

The American had a lot practice dealing with pressure in his quarterfinal match against J.B. Holmes, who had Watson five down with eight holes to play Saturday morning.

(6:41 p.m. ET) Both Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer missed the green at the par-3 16th hole at Dove Mountain and the last thing Watson wants is to get into a chipping contest with a European, just ask Hunter Mahan.

Watson made bogey, Kaymer a par. Europe 2 up with two to play.

(6:17 p.m. ET) Martin Kaymer hit his drive in a fairway bunker at Dove Mountain's 14th hole, left his approach short of the green and hit a poor chip to 20 feet. It all added up to a bogey and an all square match with Bubba Watson.

It's worth pointing out the other semifinal match was completed more than an hour and a half ago.

 (6:00 p.m. ET) Martin Kaymer seems destined to overtake Lee Westwood atop the world golf ranking, a victory Saturday in the quarterfinals against Bubba Watson is all he needs, but the German is not looking his world-beating best at Dove Mountain.

Although he's carved out a 1-up advantage over Watson through 13 holes, Kaymer has missed putts of 10 and 12 feet at Nos. 11 and 12 and left his 23-footer for eagle at the 13th hole 3 feet short.

(5:48 p.m. ET) Bubba Watson is all square in his semifinal match against Martin Kaymer at Dove Mountain.

At this point in his quarterfinal match against J.B. Holmes he was five down with eight holes to play.

All square must feel like a two-touchdown advantage.

(5:36 p.m. ET) From behind the 11th green Martin Kaymer leaves his chip for eagle 10 feet short and fails to convert the birdie putt to loose the hole and square his match with Bubba Watson.

As Watson says at the end of his Tweets 'urwelcome.'

After halving five of the first seven holes the two have now gone four consecutive without a halve. 

(5:19 p.m. ET) It was classic match play. From a troubled lie in the desert right of Dove Mountain's 10th fairway Martin Kaymer managed to hit his approach to 20 feet and two-putt for par. 

From the middle of the fairway Bubba Watson airmails the green and misses his par attempt to fall behind for the first time since he won the second hole with a conceded eagle. 

(5:06 p.m. ET) Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson turned all square at Dove Mountain but it's been anything but stellar. 

After the first two holes, which were conceded, the two have a best-ball card of just 2 under. 
By comparison, Luke Donald, who made quick work of Matt Kuchar in the day's other semifinal (6 and 5), has birdied 39 percent of the holes he has played this week.

(4:48 p.m. ET) They say length rules in match play, a truth at least partially supported by J.B. Holmes and Bubba Watson's play this week at the WGC-Match Play and proven again on the eighth hole late Saturday.

Watson outdrove his semifinal opponent Martin Kaymer by 66 yards, flying his tee shot into the second fairway, hit his second left of the green and chipped to 4 feet for birdie to go 1 up.

(4:14 p.m. ET) Martin Kaymer pushed his drive into the desert right of the fifth fairway but scrambled for par to remain all square with Bubba Watson.

That exceeds the number of times he visited the desert during his Round 3 match against Hunter Mahan on Friday. But the German's wayward game has more to do with conditions, gusts are reaching 35 mph, than nerves.

(3:49 p.m. ET) Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson traded pars at Dove Mountain's third hole to remain all square. 

This is notable only because the two had not finished a hole in their semifinal match. Much like any other Saturday two-ball.

(3:38 p.m. ET) Still feeling like the PGA Championship at Dove Mountain.

Martin Kayner gets sideways with the Arizona desert at the par-5 second and concedes the hole. All square and sloppy.

(3:26 p.m. ET) Starting to feel like the PGA Championship early at Dove Mountain. Martin Kaymer is 1 up through one hole.

(3:23 p.m. ET) Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer finally began their semifinal match at Dove Mountain at 1:15 p.m. (MT).

We spotted Watson, whose quarterfinal match with J.B. Holmes went extra holes, getting a quick bite to eat but the turnaround was so quick he didn't even have time to Tweet.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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How The Open cut line is determined

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 am

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

How old is it?

It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

Where is it played?

There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

Where will it be played this year?

At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

Who has won The Open on that course?

Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

Who has won this event the most?

Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

What about the Morrises?

Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

Have players from any particular country dominated?

In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

Who is this year's defending champion?

That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

What is the trophy called?

The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

Which Opens have been the most memorable?

Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.