Stenson wins by 3 for Tour Champ., FedEx sweep

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 22, 2013, 9:47 pm

Having spent much of the day on cruise control, Henrik Stenson played steady on the last four holes to secure a three-stroke, wire-to-wire victory at the Tour Championship and capture the FedEx Cup. Here’s the skinny on the final day at East Lake:

The leaderboard: Henrik Stenson (-13), Steve Stricker and Jordan Spieth at -10, Webb Simpson (-9)

What it means: It’s a life-changing victory for Stenson, who in the past month matched his previous victory total (two) on the PGA Tour. With wins at the Deutsche Bank Championship and now the Tour Championship, the 37-year-old completed a remarkable career turnaround with a $10 million bonus. The Swede also is expected to move to No. 4 in the world rankings, his highest position since 2009. At this time last year, he was No. 117 in the world. He also became the first European player to win the FedEx Cup.

Round of the day: Spieth made seven birdies, including four in a row on Nos. 13-16, to pull within a shot of the lead. But his improbable charge came to an end on the 17th, when he caught his approach heavy and drew a buried lie in the greenside bunker, leading to a bogey. The closing 64 was still a fitting end to a remarkable freshman campaign for Spieth, 20, who became the first player since Tiger Woods (1996) to begin the year with no status and advance to the Tour Championship. He had nine top 10s this season and, including FedEx Cup bonus money, about $5 million in earnings.

Best of the rest: Stricker eagled the par-5 15th to pull within two shots of the lead, but he wasn’t able to apply any more pressure. He closed with 65. It was an even better finish for Webb Simpson, whose final-round 7-under 63 was the best round of the day and vaulted him into solo fourth.

Biggest disappointment: Tiger Woods shot 67 Sunday but still finished only in a tie for 22nd. It was a thoroughly disappointing playoff run for Woods, who after a T-2 at the opener failed to finish inside the top 10 in the next three limited-field events. The No. 1 seed entering the Tour Championship has failed to win the last four FedEx Cup titles.

Shot of the day: With Spieth and Stricker making a late push for the FedEx Cup title, Stenson’s last scary shot of the day was his approach on the par-4 17th. His fairway-bunker shot came out perfect and finished about 20 feet right of the hole. “I’ve lived in Dubai,” he said, “so I’m good out of the sand, obviously.”

Quote of the day: “I managed to come out of bad slumps twice, and it just shows to hang in there and try your best and good things will come your way eventually” – Stenson

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Watch: Reed races in 40-footer to put away Spieth

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 10:19 pm

Three up with three holes to play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Patrick Reed missed an opportunity to close out his match with Jordan Spieth when Spieth won the 16th hole with a birdie.

But Reed wouldn't let the match move to 18. Putting for birdie from the apron, 40 feet from the hole, at the par-3 17th, Reed raced in this putt to end the match.

With the win, Reed moved to 3-0-0 for the week and advanced to the weekend at Austin Country Club.

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Garcia's win-win situation: Move on or baby time

By Rex HoggardMarch 23, 2018, 9:45 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Given his status as one of Europe’s preeminent Ryder Cup players, Sergio Garcia’s record at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is nothing short of inexplicable.

In 15 starts at the event, the Spaniard has played the weekend just once – in 2010 when he lost in the semifinals to Ian Poulter – and since the event pivoted to round-robin play he’s never made it out of the group stages.

His fortunes have changed dramatically this year, with Garcia going undefeated in pool play and cruising to the Sweet 16 following a 3-and-1 victory over Xander Schauffele on Friday.

“I would love to have done a little better than I have,” said Garcia, who will play Kyle Stanley in the Round of 16 early Saturday. “I have had some good weeks here. But not probably as good as I should have. So hopefully this week it will be better.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

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Garcia made no secret of the source of his turnaround following the birth of his first child last Wednesday, a girl named Azalea. Even on Friday when he found himself 2 down through 11 holes and in danger of not advancing he kept an upbeat attitude.

“The way I looked at it, when I was 2 down, we're going to try to turn it around, but if we don't, it means that I get to spend more time with [his wife] Angela and Azalea for the weekend,” Garcia said. “I tried to look at it in a good way.”

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DeLaet: WGC's robin-robin format 'sucks'

By Grill Room TeamMarch 23, 2018, 9:20 pm

Graham DeLaet isn't teeing it up at Austin Country Club this week because he didn't qualify for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but that doesn't mean he lacks an opinion on the event's format.

DeLaet hopped on social media Friday during Day 3 of the WGC-Match Play to torch the round-robin format that's been in place for three years, saying he much preferred the single elimination that was in place when he played in 2014.

"Played Match Play in Tucson in 2014. Early group on Wednesday, lost. Threw clubs in my car and was on my couch in Scottsdale by 2:00 pm. Collect 30K and spend the weekend at home, he tweeted. "That’s a good format. This one sucks."

DeLeat's comments may be the strongest to date, but he's not alone in his opposition to pool play. Several players lamented Friday's "meaningless" matches earlier this week, and Henrik Stenson cited the lack of a do-or-die atmosphere as his reason for skipping the event.

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Watch: Kuchar makes ace at WGC-Dell Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 9:09 pm

In his bid to advance to the weekend at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Matt Kuchar aced the par-3 seventh hole Friday at Austin Country Club.

With an 8-iron from 181 yards, Kuchar landed his ball short of the flag and watched it roll and roll ... and drop.

The hole-in-one moved Kuchar 3 Up in match against Ross Fisher. 

The last hole-in-one at the Match Play came in Sunday's consolation match last year, when Hideto Tanihara aced the same hole before later losing to Bill Haas.