Match recaps: U.S. clinches cup

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 6, 2013, 8:23 pm

OVERALL: U.S. 18 1/2, INTERNATIONALS 15 1/2

SUNDAY SINGLES: INTERNATIONALS 7 1/2, U.S. 4 1/2

Match 23: Ernie Els (INTL) defeats Steve Stricker (USA), 1 up

What some said would be an impromptu putting lesson for Els – who struggled at times during the week on Muirfield Village’s greeens – turned into a match-play clinic with the South African never trailing and pulling away with a clutch birdie at No. 16.

Match 24: Hunter Mahan (USA) defeats Hideki Matsuyama (INTL), 3 and 2

For those who may have forgotten, Muirfield Village is a ball-striker’s golf course and Mahan put on a shot-making show. The American was 4 under through 16 holes and improved his Presidents Cup singles record to 3-1-0.

Match 25: Jason Dufner (USA) defeats Brendon De Jonge (INTL), 4 and 3

The laser-like iron play that helped Dufner win the PGA Championship this year was back on display to the misfortune of de Jonge. Dufner was all over the flagstick with stellar ball-striking.

Match 26: Jason Day (INTL) defeats Brandt Snedeker (USA), 6 and 4

The Australian went 5 under through 14 holes and blew away Snedeker to put the Internationals' first point on the board in the singles frame and ended his week with a solid 3-1-1 record.

Match 27: Graham DeLaet (INTL) defeats Jordan Spieth (USA), 1 up

For those who couldn’t make it to Muirfield Village for the conclusion of the final foursomes session on Sunday, the Canadian put on another show at the 18th hole, holing out for birdie at the last for the second time in less than seven hours to complete an inspiring week for the rookie.

Match 28: Adam Scott (INTL) defeats Bill Haas (USA) 2 and 1

The Masters champ hit his tee shot to 10 feet at the eighth hole, buried the birdie putt to take a 1-up lead and never looked back.

Match 29: Zach Johnson (USA) defeats Branden Grace (INTL), 4 and 2

Johnson was in command early and never wavered. He won the third hole, draining a 25-foot birdie to take a 1-up lead. He never trailed the rest of the way.

Match 30: Marc Leishman (INTL) defeats Matt Kuchar (USA), 1 up

This match was tight all the way, with Leishman looking as if he were going to give away his 1-up lead at the 18th hole. He buried a 14-foot putt for par there to halve the hole and win his match.

Match 31: Tiger Woods (USA) defeats Richard Sterne (INTL), 1 up

It was fitting that for a third straight Presidents Cup, the clinching point came from Tiger Woods. Hampered by a lingering back injury down the stretch, Woods won the 16th hole with a par to take the lead and didn’t relinquish it.

Match 32: Charl Schwartzel (INTL) defeats Keegan Bradley (USA), 2 and 1

After grabbing the lead on the 10th hole, Bradley lost three straight starting on No. 14, posting two double bogeys and a par on the par-5 15th. Schwartzel was solid if not spectacular throughout the round.

Match 33: Webb Simpson (USA) halved with Louis Oosthuizen (INTL)

Simpson grabbed the lead with a birdie on the second hole and never gave it up – until the final hole when, with the overall total no longer in doubt, he conceded to Oosthuizen, giving each a halve.

Match 34: Angel Cabrera (INTL) defeats Phil Mickelson (USA), 1 up

Each player believed this one was simply for pride – until things started tightening up. “I got to 12 or 13,” Mickelson said, “and they were like, ‘Your match is going to count.’ I was like, ‘What?’” As it turns out, it counted – but only for posterity’s sake. A par for Cabrera on the last was the difference.


SATURDAY/SUNDAY FOURSOMES: U.S. 3 1/2, INTERNATIONALS 1 1/2

Match 18: Jason Day/Graham DeLaet (INTL.) halve Keegan Bradley/Phil Mickelson (U.S.)

The session’s most heated match, with the Internationals rolling out to a 3-up lead before darkness halted play. The U.S. won the 14th, the first hole of the restart, but bogeyed the 16th to set up the week’s best exchange at the 18th when DeLaet chipped in from in front of the green and Bradley holed a 10 footer for the halve. And yes, there were plenty of fist pumps.

Match 19: Jason Dufner/Zach Johnson (U.S.) def. Richard Sterne/Marc Leishman (INTL.), 4 and 3

The only match from the final foursome session to finish on Saturday thanks to a fierce American rally. The Internationals built a 2-up lead before the Americans played their last eight holes in 6 under, including a holed-out wedge by Johnson at the 15th hole to complete the walk-off.

Match 20: Bill Haas/Steve Stricker (U.S.) def. Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (INTL.), 4 and 3

A new partner for Stricker but a familiar result. The U.S. tandem was 6 under through 15 holes, a filthy alternate-shot card, and stunned what had become the International’s best team.

Match 21: Ernie Els/Brendon de Jonge (INTL.) vs. Tiger Woods/Matt Kuchar (U.S.), 1 up

The undefeated American power tandem rallies after falling three holes down through 14 holes with an eagle at the 15th and birdie at No. 16, but Kuchar fails to convert a 7 footer at the 17th to square the match and the Internationals provide their teams only full point in the session.

Match 22: Webb Simpson/Brandt Snedeker (U.S.) def. Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel (INTL.), 1 up

When the Internationals dissect what went wrong this week they may start with this match. The South Africans rolled out to a 3-up lead, playing the first eight holes in 4 under, but imploded when play resumed, playing Nos. 13 to 17 in 5 over to assure the Americans win the second foursomes frame.


SATURDAY FOURBALLS: U.S.  4, INTERNATIONALS 1

Match 13: Phil Mickelson/Keegan Bradley (USA) defeat Ernie Els/Brendon de Jonge (INTL), 2 and 1

Trailing 2 down at one point, Mickelson posted four consecutive birdies starting at the 11th hole to turn things around. He and Bradley improved to 5-1-0 as partners over the past two years.

Match 14: Jason Day/Graham DeLaet (INTL) defeat Steve Stricker/Jordan Spieth (USA), 2 up

After the match, Day said of his partner, “Oh, man. This guy is clutch.” Indeed, it was DeLaet who birdied 16 for a 1-up lead, but a tight approach on the final hole by Day eventually sealed the victory.

Match 15: Bill Haas/Webb Simpson (USA) defeat Angel Cabrera/Branden Grace (INTL), 4 and 3

The Wake Forest connection took the lead on the opening hole and never trailed in this one. Haas was especially on his game, hitting multiple approach shots so close that they led to conceded birdies.

Match 16: Brandt Snedeker/Hunter Mahan (USA) defeat Louis Oosthuizen/Carl Schwartzel (INTL), 2 up

You can’t win if you never lead and that was the issue facing the South African duo in this one.  In an evenly contested match, Mahan and Snedeker took a lead on the third hole, but never led by more than 2 up.

Match 17: Tiger Woods/Matt Kuchar (USA) defeat Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (INTL), 2 up

Facing a first loss together at 1 down with six to play, the U.S. duo caught fire. Woods birdied 13, Kuchar birdied 14, Woods eagled 15 and Kuchar birdied 18 to clinch it. They moved to 3-0-0 as partners this week.


FRIDAY FOURSOMES: U.S. 3, INTERNATIONALS 3

Match 7: Phil Mickelson/Keegan Bradley (USA) def. Jason Day/Graham DeLaet (INTL), 4 and 3. 

Mickelson and Bradley made eagle at the fifth to square the match and begin a torrid run of eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie on the way to a front-nine 30. After a rain delay halted play at the turn, they came out and won the first three holes to go 6 up with six to play.

Match 8: Ernie Els/Brendon de Jonge (INTL) def. Bill Haas/Hunter Mahan (USA), 4 and 3.

De Jonge continued his stellar play in his rookie Presidents Cup. He holed a birdie at the second hole with Els holing one at the third to put the Internationals 2 up in the match. They led the rest of the way.

Match 9: Steve Stricker/Jordan Spieth (USA) defeat Branden Grace/Richard Sterne (INTL), 2 and 1

The U.S. duo never trailed in this one, jumping to a 2 up lead at the turn and extending it to 4 up before Stricker holed a 6-foot par putt to close it out. The team’s oldest and youngest players are now 2-0-0 together and will be paired again in Saturday’s fourballs session.

Match 10: Angel Cabrera/Marc Leishman (INTL) defeat Webb Simpson/Brandt Snedeker (USA), 2 and 1

After an opening match thrashing, Cabrera and Leishman finally showed signs of life on the topsy-turvy back nine in this match. They won the 11th and 12th holes to go 2 up; lost the 13th and 14th to drop to all square; then won the 15th and 17th to win the match.

Match 11: Tiger Woods/Matt Kuchar (U.S.) def. Louis Ooshuizen/Charl Schwartzel (INTL.), 4 and 2

The American tandem of Carlton and Kuchar, sorry, Woods and Kuchar, were solid again, teaming to go 8 under through 16 holes and steamroll the South African tandem. The U.S. duo remains undefeated at Muirfield Village.

Match 12: Hideki Matsuyama/Adam Scott (INTL.) def. Jason Dufner/Zach Johnson (U.S.), 2 and 1

The Americans rallied when play resumed early Saturday with three consecutive birdies starting at No. 13, but Scott and Matsuyama close them out with steady pars at the 16th and 17th to keep the Internationals from dropping their eighth consecutive foursomes session.


THURSDAY FOURBALL: U.S. 3 1/2, INTERNATIONALS 2 1/2

Match 1: Jason Day/Graham DeLaet (INTL.) def. Brandt Snedeker/Hunter Mahan (U.S.), 1 up

The American duo grabbed a quick 3-up lead, but that differential was cut to 1 up by the turn and was erased on the 15th hole. Day’s lengthy birdie putt on the final green of his home course gave the Internationals their first point of the day.

Match 2: Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (INTL.) halve with Bill Haas/Webb Simpson (U.S.)

This one likely felt like a win for the Internationals, who never led in the match. Scott was the main man with an eagle and six birdies, but it was the rookie who came up big, hitting a laser at the last hole to claim a half-point.

Match 3: Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel (INTL.) def. Phil Mickelson/Keegan Bradley (U.S.), 2 and 1

Call it a Tale of Two Sides. The U.S. pair led after six of the front nine holes and never trailed, but the Internationals grabbed a lead on the 11th and never relinquished it, as a Schwartzel birdie on 17 sealed the deal.

Match 4: Steve Stricker/Jordan Spieth (U.S.) def. Ernie Els/Brendon de Jonge (INTL.), 1 up

Despite an absolute birdie barrage by first-timer de Jonge, the oldest and youngest members of the U.S. side took turns rolling in a bevy of putts themselves in a match that featured the best overall play by any foursome.

Match 5: Matt Kuchar/Tiger Woods (U.S.) def. Angel Cabrera/Marc Leishman (INTL.), 5 and 4

Woods and Kuchar combined to post eight birdies in 14 holes, following each victorious hole with a celebration directly out of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” As Kuchar said of the idea afterward, “That was definitely all me.”

Match 6: Zach Johnson/Jason Dufner (U.S.) def. Branden Grace/Richard Sterne (INTL.), 5 and 3

The U.S. tandem took a lead on the opening hole with a birdie from Johnson, then went 2 up with a second-hole birdie from Dufner and never led by less than that, easily disposing of the International team’s only all-rookie pairing.

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Lincicome grouped with two rookies in Barbasol

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 9:54 pm

Brittany Lincicome will tee it up with a pair of rookies when she makes her first start in a PGA Tour event Thursday at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, is scheduled to go off the 10th tee at 9:59 a.m. ET in the first round with Sam Ryder, 28, and Conrad Shindler, 29. They’re off the first tee Friday at 2:59 p.m. ET

Lincicome will become just the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event, joining Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie.

“The first three or four holes, I’ll be a nervous wreck, for sure,” Linicome said.

 

 

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Lincicome thrilled by reception from male pros

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 8:31 pm

Brittany Lincicome wondered how PGA Tour pros would greet her when she arrived to play the Barbasol Championship this week.

She wondered if there would be resentment.

She also wondered how fans at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., would receive her, and if a social media mob would take up pitchforks.

“I can’t stop smiling,” Lincicome said Tuesday after her first practice round upon arriving. “Everyone has been coming up to me and wishing me luck. That means a lot.”

PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, husband of LPGA pro Gerina Piller, welcomed her immediately.

Other pros sought her out on the practice putting green.

She said she was also welcomed joining pros at a table in player dining.

Fans have been stopping her for autographs.

“It has been an awesome reception,” said Dewald Gouws, her husband, a former long-drive competitor. “I think it’s put her much more at ease, seeing the reception she is getting. There’s a lot of mutual respect.”

Lincicome, 32, wasn’t sure if she would be playing a practice round alone Tuesday morning, but when she made her way to the first tee, Domenico Geminiani was there, just about to go off.

He waved Lincicome over.

“He said, `Hey, Brittany, do you want to join me?’” Gouws said. “Come to find out, Dom’s a pretty cool guy.”

Geminiani made it into the field as a Monday qualifier.

“The two of us were both trying to figure things out together,” Lincicome said.

Keene Trace will play to 7,328 yards on the scorecard. That’s more than 800 yards longer than Highland Meadows, where Lincicome finished second at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic last weekend. Keene Trace was playing even longer than its listed yardage Tuesday, with recent rains softening it.

Nicknamed “Bam Bam,” Lincicome is one of the longest hitters in the women’s game. Her 269.5 yard average drive is 10th in the LPGA ranks. It would likely be dead last on the PGA Tour, where Brian Stuard (278.2) is the last player on the stats list at No. 201.

“I think if I keep it in the fairway, I’ll be all right,” Lincicome said.

Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA winner, with two major championships among those titles. She is just the sixth woman to compete in a PGA Tour event, the first in a decade, since Michelle Wie played the Reno-Tahoe Open, the last of her eight starts against the men.

Lincicome will join Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Wie in the elite ranks.

Zaharias, by the way, is the only woman to make a 36-hole cut in PGA Tour history, making it at the 1945 L.A. Open before missing a 54-hole cut on the weekend.

What are Lincicome’s expectations?

She would love to make the cut, but . . .

“Just going to roll with it and see what happens,” she said. “This is once in a lifetime, probably a one-and-done opportunity. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

Lincicome grew up playing for the boys’ golf team at Seminole High on the west coast of Florida. She won a couple city championships.

“I always thought it would be cool to compete against the guys on the PGA Tour,” Lincicome said. “I tend to play more with the guys than women at home. I never would have gone out and told my agent, `Let’s go try to play in a PGA Tour event,’ but when Tom Murray called with this opportunity, I was really blown away and excited by it. I never in a million years thought I would have this opportunity.”

Tom Murray, the president of Perio, the parent company of Barbasol and Pure Silk, invited Lincicome to accept one of the tournament’s sponsor exemptions. Lincicome represents Pure Silk.

Lincicome said her desire to play a PGA Tour event is all about satisfying her curiosity, wanting to know how she would stack up at this level. She also wants to see if the experience can help take her to the next level in the women’s game.

As a girl growing up, she played Little League with the boys, instead of softball with the girls. She said playing the boys in golf at Seminole High helped her get where she is today.

“The guys were better, and it pushed me to want to be better,” Lincicome said. “I think playing with the guys [on the PGA Tour], I will learn something to take to LPGA events, and it will help my game, for sure.”

Lincicome has been pleased that her fellow LPGA pros are so supportive. LPGA winner Kris Tamulis is flying into Kentucky as moral support. Other LPGA pros may also be coming in to support her.

The warm fan reception Lincicome is already getting at Keene Trace matters, too.

“She’s already picked up some new fans this week, and hopefully she will pick up some more,” Gouws said. “I don’t think she’s putting too much expectation on herself. I think she really does just want to have fun.”

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Stunner: Inbee Park steps aside for Int. Crown

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 4:00 pm

There was a big surprise this week when the LPGA announced the finalized lineups for the UL International Crown.

Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park won’t be teeing it up for the host South Koreans Oct. 4-7 in Incheon.

She has withdrawn, saying she wanted another Korean to be able to experience the thrill of representing her country.

It’s a stunner given the importance the LPGA has placed on taking the UL International Crown to South Korea and its golf-crazy allegiance to the women’s game in the Crown’s first staging outside the United States.

Two-time major champion In Gee Chun will replace Park.

"It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” Park said. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea, and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown.”

Chun, another immensely popular player in South Korea, was the third alternate, so to speak, with the world rankings used to field teams. Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko were higher ranked than Chun but passed because of commitments made to competing in a Korean LPGA major that week. The other South Koreans who previously qualified are So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim.

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Na: I can admit, 'I went through the yips'

By Rex HoggardJuly 17, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following his victory two weeks ago at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, Kevin Na said his second triumph on the PGA Tour was the most rewarding of his career.

Although he declined to go into details as to why the victory was so gratifying at The Greenbrier, as he completed his practice round on Tuesday at the Open Championship, Na shed some light on how difficult the last few years have been.

“I went through the yips. The whole world saw that. I told people, 'I can’t take the club back,'” Na said on Tuesday at Carnoustie. “People talked about it, 'He’s a slow player. Look at his routine.' I was admitting to the yips. I didn’t use the word ‘yip’ at the time. Nobody wants to use that word, but I’m over it now so I can use it. The whole world saw it.”


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Na, who made headlines for his struggles to begin his backswing when he found himself in the lead at the 2012 Players Championship, said he asked other players who had gone through similar bouts with the game’s most dreaded ailment how they were able to get through it.

“It took time,” he said. “I forced myself a lot. I tried breathing. I tried a trigger. Some guys will have a forward press or the kick of the right knee. That was hard and the crap I got for it was not easy.”

The payoff, however, has steadily arrived this season. Na said he’d been confident with his game this season following a runner-up showing at the Genesis Open and a fourth-place finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, and he felt he was close to a breakthrough. But being able to finish a tournament like he did at The Greenbrier, where he won by five strokes, was particularly rewarding.

“All good now,” he smiled. “I knew I was good enough to win again, but until you do it sometimes you question yourself. It’s just the honest truth.”