Love, Furyk seek redemption at McGladrey

By Rex HoggardOctober 20, 2012, 11:24 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – This will likely stretch the boundaries of Davis Love III’s accommodating nature.

The host with the most will set out on Sunday afternoon in this idyllic slice of southern hospitality with visions of utter selfishness, the byproduct of three rounds of 66 or better on the Seaside Course and a share of the three-quarter pole lead with Jim Furyk, of all people.

Cue the screenwriters, who would struggle to conjure up a Love vs. Furyk finale at The McGladrey Classic given the events of the past few months.

Not after last month’s Ryder Cup, when Love captained America to its largest Sunday collapse and Furyk bogeyed his final two holes to drop a decisive singles match. Not after the season Furyk had, dropping decisions in heartbreaking fashion at the U.S. Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

This was supposed to be a soft sendoff for both players after what can only be described as bittersweet seasons, but instead we have high drama with the two tied at 13 under and two shots clear of the field.

“This is a perfect golf course for Jim,” said Love, the McGladrey host who has paused just long enough for a short paddle board session since America’s loss at Medinah. “He’s played well and I kept saying he was real close to an all-star, hero year and (on Saturday) he came out firing.”

Furyk’s quick start included three birdies through his first six holes to build a two-stroke lead at one point, but Love rallied with a clutch birdie putt at the last to set up a showdown that few this side of Brunswick, Ga., thought possible.

Sure, Furyk figures his play this season was every bit as consistent as he was in 2010, when he won three times and the FedEx Cup; and Love knows the Seaside Course better than anyone. But as the Europeans celebrated into the Chicago evening last month it was hard to imagine such a showdown.

For 69 holes at The Olympic Club in June Furyk was at his Open best until he yanked a hybrid tee shot left of the 16th fairway and never recovered. In August at Firestone he led by two strokes through 71 holes, double bogeyed the last and lost by one stroke. And then there was the Ryder Cup, where some considered him a questionable captain’s pick. He went 1-2-0 including Sunday’s singles loss to Sergio Garcia at the height of the American collapse.

But for Furyk, who played just three rounds of golf in the two weeks since Medinah, his cup, pardon the pun, is half full.

“There are a lot of similarities between this season and 2010,” said Furyk, who has rounds of 66-65-66 this week. “I’ve put myself in contention a lot more, my scoring average is better this year (69.8 in 2010 compared to 69.4 this season).

“But the differences are pretty glaring as well. I had a chance to win three events (in 2010) and closed out each one. This year is the exact opposite. This year I’ve found a way to lose those events.”

Furyk, one of the circuit’s most thoughtful types, had no interest in turning a possible victory on Sunday at Sea Island into some sort of season salvation. That’s not possible, not after everything that has happened.

Instead, the final round is the closing chapter of a year he is glad to be done with.

“Tomorrow is an opportunity,” he said, nothing more. No cosmic make-good, no vindication for all those missed chances.

In fact neither Furyk nor Love have much interest in history, be it recent or otherwise. The Sea Island host pegged his own event as a litmus test for his game, which suffered from neglect during his two-year stint as captain.

He played solid in Las Vegas and last week’s Open and found inspiration on the greens this week thanks a Brian Bateman’s putter and a challenge from his brother, Mark.

Following last year’s British Open Love went to his brother for putting help and Mark’s answer was “something different.” In practical terms that is Bateman’s putter, a belly version that Love allows to hover just below his shirt.

“This was my best Saturday putting for a while,” said Love, who has always been considered one of the game’s best ballstrikers but has struggled in recent years on the greens.

Through three rounds on his home course Love is second in putts per greens in regulation and, despite his accommodating nature, has embraced the role of spoiler, at least for one final round.

D.J. Trahan (66) and Arjun Atwal (69) are tied for third at 11 under and rising rookie Bud Cauley (68) is alone in fifth at 10 under, but for all practical purposes this is about Love and Furyk., longtime friends turned unlikely foes.

On his way out of the interview room Love was reminded that Furyk currently has 16 Tour titles. “I’d love to keep him from (victory No. 17),” Love said.

Hosting, it seems, does have its boundaries.

Getty Images

Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 6:35 pm

Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

(Note: Group winners are highlighted; * equals won in playoff)

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
(1) D. Johnson: 0-2-0 (2) J. Thomas: 2-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-2-1 (4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0
(32) K. Kisner: 1-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 2-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 3-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 2-0-0
(38) A. Hadwin: 1-0-1
(48) P. Kizzire: 0-2-0 (43) C. Reavie: 1-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-2-0
(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-1-0
(60) L. List: 0-2-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-1-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-1-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 1-2-0 (7) S. Garcia: 2-0-0 (8) J. Day: 1-1-0
(30) P. Cantlay: 1-1-0
(18) B. Harman: 2-0-1 (20) X. Schauffele: 2-0-0 (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-1-0
(46) C. Smith: 2-0-0 (44) J. Vegas: 0-2-1 (41) D. Frittelli: 0-2-0 (42) J. Dufner: 1-1-0
(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-2-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 2-1-0 (62) S. Sharma: 0-2-0 (56) J. Hahn: 1-1-0
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0 (10) P. Casey: 2-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-2-1 (12) T. Hatton: 2-0-0
(26) D. Berger: 0-2-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-2-0 (23) B. Grace: 1-1-1 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-2-0
(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-1-0 (35) B. Watson: 2-0-1 (36) B. Steele: 1-1-0
(58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 1-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-1-1 (55) A. Levy: 1-1-0
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 2-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-1-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 1-0-1
(29) T. Finau: 2-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-2-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-1-1 (27) R. Fisher: 1-1-0
(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-3-0 (37) W. Simpson: 1-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-1-0
(61) K. Na: 0-2-0 (59) C. Howell III: 3-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 1-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-1-1
Getty Images

Match-by-match: WGC-Dell Technologies, Day 3

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 5:44 pm

Here is how things played out on Day 3 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, as 64 players take on Austin Country Club with hopes of advancing out of pool play. Click here for Day 2 match results:

Group 1: Dustin Johnson (1) vs. Kevin Kisner (32)

Group 1: Adam Hadwin (38) vs. Bernd Wiesberger (52)

Group 2: Justin Thomas (2) vs. Francesco Molinari (2)

Group 2: Patton Kizzire (48) vs. Luke List (60)

Group 3: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (28) def. Jon Rahm, 4 and 3: Unbeaten through two days, Aphibarnrat put the hammer down on Rahm, last year’s finalist. Barnrat needed only three birdies to secure the group win, while Rahm dropped to 0-2-1 for the week.

Group 3: Chez Reavie (43) vs. Keegan Bradley (63)

Group winner: Kiradech Aphibarnrat

Group 4: Jordan Spieth (4) vs. Patrick Reed (19)

Group 4: Haotong Li (34) vs. Charl Schwartzel (49)

Group 5: Hideki Matsuyama (5) vs. Patrick Cantlay (30)

Group 5: Cameron Smith (46) vs. Yusaku Miyazato (53)

Group 6: Brian Harman (18) def. Rory McIlroy (6), 5 and 3: Harman took advantage of McIlroy’s missed putts and uncharacteristic mistakes to build a 3-up advantage on the front nine, then cruised to a lopsided victory. At 2-0-1, Harman wins the group, while McIlroy can begin his prep for Augusta.

Group 6: Jhonattan Vegas (44) vs. Peter Uihlein (57) def. Jhonattan Vegas (44), 4 and 3: Even though Uihlein won the first two holes on his way to routing Vegas, it wasn’t enough for the former U.S. Amateur champion to advance. He finished the week 2-1.

Group winner: Brian Harman

Group 7: Sergio Garcia (7) vs. Xander Schauffele (20)

Group 7: Dylan Frittelli (41) vs. Shubhankar Sharma (62)

Group 8: Jason Day (8) vs. Louis Oosthuizen (25)

Group 8: Jason Dufner (42) vs. James Hahn (56)

Group 9: Tommy Fleetwood (9) vs. Daniel Berger (26)

Group 9: Kevin Chappell (33) vs. Ian Poulter (58)

Group 10: Paul Casey (10) vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick (31)

Group 10: Kyle Stanley (45) vs. Russell Henley (51)

Group 11: Marc Leishman (11) vs. Branden Grace (23), halved: Already eliminated, Leishman kept Grace from reaching the pool-play playoff by never trailing in the match. Though the South African holed a 25-footer on 17 to extend it, both players halved the 18th hole with birdies, including a 6-footer from Leishman, to earn a half-point.

Group 11: Bubba Watson (35) vs. Julian Suri (64), halved: Needing just a half-point to advance, but two down with two to go, Bubba stuffed his tee shot on 17, then hit his driver pin-high on the home hole. After Suri couldn’t get up-and-down for birdie, Watson sank his 8-footer for the halve. It's the second consecutive year in which Watson has won his group.

Group winner: Bubba Watson

Group 12: Tyrrell Hatton (12) vs. Charley Hoffman (22)

Group 12: Brendan Steele (36) vs. Alexander Levy (55)

Group 13: Alex Noren (13) vs. Tony Finau (29)

Group 13: Thomas Pieters (39) vs. Kevin Na (61)

Group 14: Phil Mickelson (14) def. Rafa Cabrera Bello (17), 1 up: Mickelson needed help to advance, but he took care of Cabrera Bello, making birdie on the last two holes to edge the Spaniard. The group was already decided, however, with Howell closing out his match while the other group played the 18th hole.

Group 14: Charles Howell III (59) def. Satoshi Kodaira (40), 2 and 1: Needing just a halve to advance, Howell won the 14th and 16th holes with par to gain a 2-up advantage and complete a perfect week in pool play. It’s the second year in a row that Howell has won his group.

Group winner: Charles Howell III

Group 15: Pat Perez (15) vs. Gary Woodland (24)

Group 15: Webb Simpson (37) vs. Si Woo Kim (50)

Group 16: Matt Kuchar (16) vs. Ross Fisher (27)

Group 16: Yuta Ikeda (47) vs. Zach Johnson (54)

Getty Images

Watch: Rory finds trouble, and more trouble, and more ...

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 4:33 pm

Rory McIlroy was in a must-win situation against Brian Harman in order to have a chance to advance to the one-and-done portion of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

And, as you can see, McIlroy did not get off to an ideal start on Friday.

McIlroy lost the third, fifth and ninth holes at Austin Country Club. Harman led, 3 up, at the turn.

Getty Images

Watch: Stefani makes hole-in-one, has no clue

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 3:18 pm

Shawn Stefani made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th in the second round of the Corales Puntacana Resorts and Club Championship.

However, he never saw it go in.

Stefani knew he hit a great shot, and this isn't shown in the video below, but he just questioned everyone around him if they saw the ball go into the hole.

A Golf Channel cameraman finally gave him the news and Stefani responded with an enthusiastic thumbs up.