WGC-Accenture Match Play Round 1 results

By Will GrayFebruary 22, 2013, 1:24 am

After weather delays plagued the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship for much of Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, players are once again on the course at Dove Mountain. Check back here for recaps of matches as they finish to see which players have survived Round 1, and which players have already been sent home:

HOGAN BRACKET

(6) Matt Kuchar def. (11) Hiroyuki Fujita, 3 and 2: Kuchar was well ahead throughout the match Wednesday, and had a chance to close out Fujita both on his final hole yesterday and first hole today. It took until the 16th to end the match, but Kuchar advances.

(3) Sergio Garcia def. (14) Thongchai Jaidee, 20 holes: Garcia appeared in control of this match, holding a 2-up lead and standing on the 16th green when the horn blew Wednesday. He began his day Thursday with a three-putt from 12 feet, though, and Jaidee birdied No. 18 to force extra holes. After the Thai lipped out a birdie putt to win on the first extra hole, Garcia's two-putt birdie on the 20th ended Jaidee's comeback bid.

(10) Nicolas Colsaerts def. (7) Bill Haas, 5 and 4: One of the standouts from last year's Ryder Cup, Colsaerts defeated the 2011 FedEx Cup champion in convincing fashion. A 3-up leader to begin the day, the Belgian easily closed out Haas, who remains winless in this event after a third straight early exit. 

(2) Justin Rose def. (15) K.J. Choi, 2 and 1: After building an early 4-up lead Wednesday, Rose saw his advantage vanish as Choi battled back. The Englishman took back the upper hand Thursday, though, and held on for a narrow victory. An intriguing second-round matchup with Colsaerts now awaits.

(13) Marcus Fraser def. (4) Keegan Bradley, 1 up: Though it appeared that Bradley would seize momentum after holing out from the fairway for an eagle on the 10th hole, the little-known Australian was able stay in the match down the back nine. A birdie on the 17th gave him a 1-up lead, and Fraser pulled off the upset when both players bogied the home hole.

(12) Fredrik Jacobson def. (5) Ernie Els: After missing a short putt to make the playoff at last week's Northern Trust Open, Jacobson was able to bounce back against the British Open champion. The match was squared with only a few holes remaining, but Els saw two short putts slide by down the stretch, including a three-putt on the final hole that cost him the match.

(9) Robert Garrigus def. (8) Branden Grace, 3 and 2: Garrigus put together one of the more impressive performances Thursday, birdieing five of his first eight holes en route to a 4-up lead. He was able to keep the South African at bay across the back nine, maintaining at least a 4-up advantage from the seventh hole onward.

(1) Louis Oosthuizen def. (16) Richie Ramsay, 2 and 1: The former British Open champion appeared in trouble against the 2006 U.S. Amateur champion, as Ramsay held a 2-up lead after 11 holes. Oosthuizen won the next four holes in a row, though, bringing an end to any upset plans the Scot may have been formulating.


SNEAD BRACKET

(6) Bo Van Pelt def. (11) John Senden, 6 and 5: Senden got out to an early lead in this match Wednesday, but Van Pelt won six straight holes before play was halted. With only a chip and a conceded putt Thursday, Van Pelt closed out the Aussie to advance to the second round.

(3) Ian Poulter def. (14) Stephen Gallacher, 2 and 1: A champion here in 2010, Poulter continued the match play success that was on display at last year's Ryder Cup. Beginning Thursday's play with a 3-up lead and only six holes to go, he was able to finally close out the Scot on the 17th green.

(10) Thorbjorn Olesen def. (7) Jamie Donaldson, 3 and 2: One of the brightest young stars on the European Tour, Olesen never trailed in the match. A 3-up leader when play was halted Wednesday, the Dane was able to maintain that lead Thursday before closing out the Welshman on the 16th green.

(15) Tim Clark def. (2) Adam Scott, 2 and 1: In a battle of anchored putters, the diminutive South African emerged victorious. Scott began the day with a slim 1-up lead, but Clark battled back before taking the lead for good on the 16th hole, closing out the Australian one hole later.

(4) Steve Stricker def. (13) Henrik Stenson, 5 and 4: Despite making his first start since Kapalua, Stricker was staked to an early lead as Stenson bogeyed each of the first three holes Wednesday. The 2007 Match Play champ was never able to mount a rally, as Stricker held at least a 3-up lead from the fifth hole onward.

(5) Nick Watney def. (12) David Toms, 5 and 4: Though Toms has a solid history in this event, Watney never trailed in this match. Winning three straight holes from Nos. 10-12 allowed the Californian to take control of things, setting up an all-American second-round matchup with Stricker.

(9) Scott Piercy def. (8) Paul Lawrie, 4 and 3: Piercy grabbed each of the first two holes in the match, and Lawrie was never able to recover. The long-hitting American went on to notch three birdies in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 12-15 to close out the Scot in convincing fashion.

(1) Luke Donald def. (16) Marcel Siem, 1 up: Donald appeared to have the match well in hand, making the turn with a 2-up lead, only to see the German win holes 10-12 to take a 1-up advantage. The Englishman quickly leveled the match, though, and a birdie on the 18th hole gave him the win just before darkness fell at Dove Mountain.


JONES BRACKET

(11) Jason Day def. (6) Zach Johnson, 6 and 5: Day was able to put the pressure on the former Masters champion early Wednesday, building a 6-up lead before play stopped. With three holes played Thursday, the Aussie completed the day's first upset.

(14) Russell Henley def. (3) Charl Schwartzel, 1 up: Henley got out to a 2-up lead early in the match, but the former Masters champ drew even when play stopped Wednesday. Henley was able to re-take the lead Thursday, and held on for a remarkable upset over the South African that was a popular pick to win it all this week.

(7) Jim Furyk def. (10) Ryan Moore, 4 and 2: Furyk never trailed in this match, amassing as much as a 4-up lead early in the back nine. The former U.S. Open champ moves on, largely thanks to four birdies across a five-hole stretch from Nos. 10-14.

(2) Bubba Watson def. (15) Chris Wood, 2 and 1: The reigning Masters champ received a stern test from Wood, as the Englishman trimmed Watson's advantage to 1-up with three holes remaining. After a long birdie putt on 16 and a conceded birdie from short range a hole later, though, the No. 2 seed in the Jones Bracket was able to advance. 

(13) Alexander Noren def. (4) Dustin Johnson, 6 and 4: Still looking to find his form since a season-opening win at Kapalua, Johnson was unable to win a single hole during his opening-round match. The Swede advanced easily, still with aspirations of cracking the top 50 in the world and qualifying for the WGC-Cadillac Championship in two weeks.

(5) Graeme McDowell def. (12) Padraig Harrington, 2 up: In one of the day's more anticipated matchups, the Ulsterman never trailed but did receive a challenge from Harrington. McDowell's 3-up lead was eliminated by three straight birdies from the three-time major champ at holes 13-15, but a bogey by Harrington on the 16th hole gave McDowell a lead that he would not again relinquish.

(16) Shane Lowry def. (1) Rory McIlroy, 1 up: In the day's biggest upset, the top overall seed in the tournament was ousted after just one round. Lowry chipped in twice to build a back-nine lead, then held off a late charge from the Ulsterman to secure the surprise win and advance to the second round.

(9) Carl Pettersson def. (8) Rickie Fowler, 19 holes: The Swede appeared ready to close out this match before darkness fell, but Fowler mounted a back-nine rally to extend matters to Friday. A birdie from Fowler on 18 Friday morning forced extras, but a wayward drive on the 19th gave the match to the Swede.


PLAYER BRACKET

(6) Hunter Mahan def. (11) Matteo Manassero, 5 and 4: Mahan got off to a hot start Wednesday, turning with a 4-up advantage when play stopped. He was able finish off the young Italian early Thursday, becoming the first defending champion since 2010 to win his opening match the following year.

(14) Richard Sterne def. (3) Jason Dufner, 1 up: Though Schwartzel got the pre-tournament billing as the hot player hailing from South Africa, Sterne has been no slouch in his own right. The Joburg Open champion held off a comeback from Dufner, closing out the American on the home hole to become the second No. 14 seed to advance to the second round.

(7) Martin Kaymer def. (10) George Coetzee, 2 and 1: The South African entered as one of the hotter players in this week's field, but was unable to overcome the 2010 PGA champion. Kaymer increased his lead to 2-up with an eagle on 13 and was able to hold on from there.

(15) Rafael Cabrera-Bello def. (2) Lee Westwood, 19 holes: Westwood led for nearly the entire match, and held a 2-up advantage heading to the 12th hole. The Spaniard rallied though, forcing extra holes when Westwood bogied the 18th and winning the match with a birdie on the first extra hole.

(4) Webb Simpson def. (13) David Lynn, 5 and 4: The reigning U.S. Open champion advanced easily Thursday, turning a 3-up lead at the turn into an even bigger advantage as the Englishman carded five bogeys in his first 11 holes.

(5) Peter Hanson def. (12) Thomas Bjorn, 3 and 2: The Dane held an early lead in this match, building a 2-up lead at the turn. Hanson went on to win five of the next six holes though to turn the tide, and will now face Simpson in the second round.

(16) Charles Howell III def. (1) Tiger Woods, 2 and 1: In the only opening-round match where neither player made a bogey, Howell never trailed. With the match all square, he grabbed the lead with a tap-in birdie at 15, then essentially sealed the victory with a lengthy birdie putt one hole later.

(8) Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano def. Francesco Molinari (2 up): This match was tight throughout, with things ending all square Thursday night with three holes remaining. The Italian bogeyed two of the three holes played Friday, though, and Fernandez-Castano joins countrymen Garcia and Cabrera-Bello in the second round.

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PNC Extends Title Sponsorship of PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 19, 2018, 1:00 pm

ORLANDO, Fla., April 19, 2018 – IMG and NBC Sports today announced that The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. has extended its contract as title sponsor of the PNC Father/Son Challenge, the tournament that pairs the games’ legends alongside their sons, daughters and grandchildren.

PNC’s multi-year extension as title sponsor keeps the PGA Tour Challenge Event in Orlando reflecting the bank’s commitment to Central Florida. PNC has served as title sponsor of the tournament since 2012. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, Grande Lakes will continue to play host to the PNC Father/Son Challenge. The 2018 PNC Father/Son Challenge will take place Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16, with television coverage on Golf Channel and NBC.

“The PNC Father/Son Challenge long ago became one of my family’s favorite golf tournaments,” said 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus. “I have had the pleasure of playing with my sons, and last year, partnering with my 15-year-old grandson GT was a thrill. I am delighted the event—a uniquely special one to us fathers and grandfathers, and perhaps to the many fans out there watching from home or outside the ropes—will continue for many years to come.”

“After our victory in 2016, I said that this win was as good as anything I have done in my career,” said former World No. 1 and major champion David Duval, who alongside his stepson Nick Karavites captured the 2016 title. “I felt blessed to have Nick inside the ropes with me and to have our family surrounding us all week. That’s what makes the PNC Father/Son Challenge so special, and I’m pleased to hear that PNC has extended its support of the event. This golf tournament means so much to all of us who are lucky enough to have the opportunity to play in this event.”

The tournament also holds three events in qualifier markets per year. This year they will be in Dallas, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

“The PNC Father/Son Challenge allows fans to see golf’s legends playing the game they love alongside those they love most,” said Alastair Johnston, vice chairman, IMG. “We are grateful for PNC’s ongoing support of this unique tournament and we look forward to returning to Orlando to celebrate golf and family for many years to come.”

Community support is a key aspect of the tournament and PNC’s sponsorship. PNC is committed to donating $150,000 annually to local non-profits over the life of its sponsorship. Across six previous years of title sponsorship, PNC has already donated $900,000 to Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation and the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to support the “Healthy Families Orange” program. Over the years, PNC has also had the opportunity through this tournament to co-host events for local women in business, to put on clinics and provide free access to the tournament for active military, and even provide a service dog for a local veteran.

"PNC's long-standing sponsorship of the Father/Son Challenge reflects the philanthropic values we share with the PGA Tour and the golf community, as well as our focus on strong relationships,” said Bill Demchak, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The PNC Financial Services Group. “As PNC Bank continues to expand its footprint, the PNC Father/Son tournament helps us gain visibility with new audiences and to strengthen the relationships we enjoy today with more than 8 million retail, wealth, and corporate and institutional banking customers across the country.”

“NBC Sports is extremely proud of our heritage as co-founder for the Father/Son Challenge, one of golf’s most special events that closes out the calendar year on the golf schedule,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports. “Our relationship with PNC Bank elevates this event each year as a must-attend and must-see event for players and fans alike, and we look forward to our continued relationship with PNC Bank for years to come.”

Past winners of the PNC Father/Son Challenge include some of the biggest names in golf including Raymond Floyd (1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001), Jack Nicklaus (1999), Bernhard Langer (2005-06, 2014), Davis Love III (2012) and David Duval (2016).  Masters champion Angel Cabrera and his son, Angel Cabrera Jr. captured the 2017 title.

To qualify for the PNC Father/Son Challenge, participants must have won either a major championship or THE PLAYERS Championship in their career. The professional’s partner must not currently hold a Tour card, and while the majority of partners in the history of the event have been the sons of the golf legends, the family-themed tournament has seen daughters, grandsons and one father – Justin Leonard’s dad, Larry – participate over the years.

The PNC Father/Son Challenge is operated in partnership by IMG and NBC Sports.

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Fire damages National Golf Links of America clubhouse

By Will GrayApril 19, 2018, 12:55 pm

A fire broke out Wednesday at National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., causing "extensive damage" to a portion of the historic course's clubhouse.

According to a 27East.com report, an initial call was made to the Southampton police department about a fire on the roof of the clubhouse at 11:34 a.m. With the club's gates too narrow to fit a fire truck through, more than 100 firefighters from various departments helped douse the flames by transporting water up a hill to the east side of the clubhouse.

The fire was reportedly extinguished by 2:30 p.m., with no injuries requiring medical attention. According to a Golf Digest report, the club was undergoing construction on its outdoor eating area known as "the Birdcage" and that most of the club's historical documents reside on the opposite end of the clubhouse from where the fire broke out and was contained.

Opened in 1911, National Golf Links of America was designed by C.B. MacDonald and hosted the inaugural Walker Cup in 1922. The biennial matches returned in 2013 to NGLA, which is often rated among the top courses in the U.S. and sits adjacent to Shinnecock Hills, site of this summer's U.S. Open.

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Chappell returns to Valero as defending champ

By Will GrayApril 18, 2018, 9:48 pm

It's impossible for any of the players at this week's Valero Texas Open to forget who captured the trophy last year.

That's because most players stay at the JW Marriott hotel that's a short walk from the first tee at TPC San Antonio, and the defending champion's face is emblazoned on the hotel's room keys. This week, that honor belongs to Kevin Chappell.

"You get some sly comments from players about their room key," Chappell told reporters Wednesday. "'Oh, I'm tired of looking at you.' And I'm saying, 'Believe me, I'm tired of being in everyone's room.'"

The position of defending champ is one Chappell relishes this week as he returns to the site of his maiden PGA Tour victory. A one-shot win over Brooks Koepka led to a euphoric celebration on the 72nd green, and it helped propel Chappell to his first career spot on the Presidents Cup team in October.

Chappell has missed the cut each of the last two weeks, including the Masters, but he also recorded top-10 finishes at the CareerBuilder Challenge, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Arnold Palmer Invitational. It's reason enough for Chappell to feel optimistic heading back to a course where he was a runner-up in 2011 and finished T-4 in 2016.

"This year's been a little bit of a strange year for me. I usually don't find form until about here, usually a slow starter," Chappell said. "But having three top-10s before this event, I've kind of found some form. I'm looking to turn those top-10s into top-5s, and the top-5s into wins. That's the challenge moving forward this year."

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Scott returns to Valero with major streak in jeopardy

By Will GrayApril 18, 2018, 8:34 pm

Adam Scott is back in the Lone Star State as he looks to keep alive a majors streak that has stretched across nearly two decades.

The Aussie tends to play a relatively light schedule during the spring, often times skipping every event between the Masters and The Players. But this time around he opted to return to the Valero Texas Open for the first time since 2011 in an effort to capitalize on the form he found two weeks ago at Augusta National, where he tied for 32nd.

"Hopefully kind of pick up where I left off on the weekend, which was really solid, and get a bit of momentum going because that's what I haven't had this year," Scott told reporters. "Trying to put four good rounds together and get the most out of my game for a change."

Scott has won each of the four stroke-play events held annually in Texas, completing the so-called "Texas Slam" before the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play relocated to Austin. That includes his win at TPC San Antonio back in 2010, when he closed with rounds of 66-67 for a one-shot victory.

After a seven-year hiatus, Scott is back San Antonio after a solid but underwhelming spring stretch. He cracked the top 20 at both the Honda Classic and Valspar Championship, but his worldwide top-10 drought stretches back nearly a year to the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June. As a result, the former world No. 1 has dropped to No. 59 in the latest rankings.


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"I'm trying to be really in tune with where my game's at and identify why I'm just not having better results," Scott said. "To kind of change that, I've got to change something, otherwise I'm just going to do the same thing."

That ranking will become even more important in the coming weeks as Scott looks to keep his streak of consecutive majors intact. He has played in 67 straight dating back to The Open in 2001, second only to Sergio Garcia's 75 among active players. But Scott's five-year exemption for winning the 2013 Masters has run its course, meaning he is not yet exempt for the upcoming U.S. Open.

Barring a win next month at TPC Sawgrass, Scott's only way to avoid a trip to sectional qualifying will be to maintain a position inside the top 60 in the world rankings on either May 21 or June 11.

The key for Scott remains easy to identify but hard to fix. While he ranks fifth on Tour this season in strokes gained: tee-to-green, he's 194th in strokes gained: putting. Scott won in consecutive weeks in 2016 with a short putter, but otherwise has largely struggled on the greens since the anchoring ban took effect more than two years ago.

"Hopefully a quick turnaround here and things start going in the right direction, because I think I can have a really great back end of the season," Scott said. "My ball-striking is where I want it; I like where my short game's at. I just need to get a bit of momentum going on the greens. It's easy to do that on the putting green at home, but that doesn't always translate out here. I think I've just got to make it happen out here."