Pairings: Saturday morning fourballs

By Jason SobelOctober 5, 2013, 12:36 pm

DUBLIN, Ohio – Fred Couples has always been a stick-with-what-is-working type of captain. His pairings for the Saturday morning fourballs session should come as no surprise.

The United States captain kept his three winning teams from the morning’s completed foursomes session together, using the tandems of Phil Mickelson/Keegan Bradley, Tiger Woods/Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth/Steve Stricker for a third consecutive session.

Additionally, Couples reunited two other teams from the opening fourballs session, pairing Bill Haas with Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker with Hunter Mahan.

In the first session that doesn’t feature every team member, Couples opted to rest Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson, who had the most holes to finish up in their foursomes match earlier in the morning.

“We saved them for the alternate shot,” he explained. “Obviously the hardest thing is to sit someone, and that's just the choice we made.”

As for Nick Price, he didn’t vary much with his selections, either.

The International captain called on four pairings for the third consecutive session: Ernie Els/Brendon De Jonge; Jason Day/Graham DeLaet; Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel; and Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama.

The only new team for Price will consist of Angel Cabrera playing with rookie Branden Grace.

“I felt Angel and Branden would do really well together in best ball,” the captain said. “They both hit the ball a long way. They are making a lot of birdies.”

Marc Leishman and Richard Sterne will each sit out the session for the International team.

Here are the five matches for Saturday morning’s fourballs session:

8:33 a.m.: Mickelson/Bradley (USA) vs. Els/de Jonge (INTL)

8:47 a.m.: Spieth/Stricker (USA) vs. Day/DeLaet (INTL)

9:01 a.m.: Haas/Simpson (USA) vs. Cabrera/Grace (INTL)

9:15 a.m.: Snedeker/Mahan (USA) vs. Oosthuizen/Schwartzel (INTL)

9:29 a.m.: Woods/Kuchar (USA) vs. Scott/Matsuyama (INTL)

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Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated” while taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor, he made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).

Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

“I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

“I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

“No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

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Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

“We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

“I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

“Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

“We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.

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Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For Erik van Rooyen familiarity has not bred contempt.

The South African, like many European Tour players, has been on a links golf odyssey the last three weeks, playing the Irish Open, Scottish Open and this week’s Open Championship in consecutive weeks, and the crash course paid off on Day 1 at Carnoustie when he opened with a 4-under 67 to assure himself a spot among the early leaders.

Although van Rooyen missed the cut last week just down the coast at Gullane Golf Club, he entered the final round in Ireland with a four-stroke lead.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I didn't pull it off the final day,” said van Rooyen, who closed with a 74 to tie for fourth place. “I still think I played pretty well. I was nervous. That's completely normal, and I'll learn how to deal with that. I'll take that experience into tournaments like this.”

Van Rooyen, who was alone in second place when he completed his round, began his round with back-to-back birdies and was bogey-free until the last hole. It was just what one would expect from a player who has immersed himself in links golf for the better part of a month.

“We've been playing nice golf now the last three weeks, so definitely used to the way this course is playing, definitely used to handling the wind,” he said. “So I'll be ready.”