Battle at the Bridges - Hole-By-Hole
MATCH RESULTS: Mickelson/Goosen def. Woods/Daly, 5 & 3 (Full Report).
1st Hole - Par-five 522 yards
Woods lagged an eagle putt within inches of the cup and was conceded the birdie. Mickelson two-putted from about 40 feet for birdie to halve the hole.
2nd Hole - Par-three 182 yards
After Daly missed the green, Woods stuck his tee shot seven feet from the cup. Goosen also missed the green, then Mickelson knocked his tee ball to the left fringe. He missed his lengthy birdie putt before Woods drained his birdie try to win the hole.
3rd Hole - Par-four 405 yards
Daly missed a long birdie try, but was given his par putt to halve the hole with Mickelson. Lefty missed a 14-foot birdie try to the low side and was also given his par putt.
4th Hole - Par-three 195 yards
Mickelson drained an eight-foot birdie putt to win the hole. Daly splashed a poor tee shot into a greenside pond, then Woods flew his 35 feet over the pin. Mickelson knocked his to eight feet, then Goosen nearly holed his tee shot. It landed within inches of the hole and came to rest six feet away.
5th Hole - Par-four 466 yards
Goosen missed his 12-foot birdie putt but was given his par. Mickelson was out of the hole after flying the green with his second shot. Woods missed the green right, then missed a par try putt left of the hole. Daly's second shot bounced over the back, he pitched to eight feet but also missed his par putt giving Mickelson and Goosen the hole and their first lead.
6th Hole - Par-four 335 yards
Mickelson pulled his drive well left in the water before Goosen bombed his drive within 20 yards of the putting surface. Woods crushed his within 10 feet of the greens edge. Goosen's eagle chip lipped out, but he sank his five-foot birdie putt. Woods' chip came to rest next to Goosen mark. Woods also made his birdie putt to halve the hole.
7th Hole - Par-five 553 yards
Daly and Mickelson both got up and down for birdie to halve the hole. Goosen and Woods both missed their birdie tries from outside 10 feet.
8th Hole - Par-three 217 yards
Mickelson and Woods putted their birdie tries within three feet of the cup and were conceded their pars to halve the hole.
9th Hole - Par-five 571 yards
Daly and Mickelson were conceded short birdie putts. Mickelson's second came up short left in a bunker, but he blasted within two feet of the cup. Daly's four-iron second shot landed 20 feet past the cup and his eagle try came up just short of the cup, but he was given the birdie.
10th Hole - Par-four 395 yards
Goosen drained a 13-foot birdie putt to give he and Mickelson a 2-up lead. Daly missed a 12-foot birdie try after his pitch shot caromed off the pin and away from the cup. Woods had a chance to halve the hole, but missed a birdie try from within five feet.
11th Hole - Par-three 167 yards
Goosen sank a birdie putt from about 12 feet out to win the hole and go 3-up. Woods once again had a chance to halve the hole, but his 10-foot birdie try lipped out.
12th Hole - Par-four 426 yards
Woods spun his second past the cup and it stop 10 feet away. He rolled in that birdie putt to win the hole after Goosen missed his birdie try.
13th Hole - Par-four 379 yards
Mickelson stuffed his second shot within a foot of the cup and was conceded the birdie. Woods' second came to rest on the back of the green some 35 feet from the cup. His birdie putt just slid by the left edge giving Goosen and Mickelson a 3-up lead.
14th Hole - Par-four 449 yards
Goosen rolled in another birdie putt to win the hole and take a 4-up lead with four holes to go. Daly missed the green short, but nearly chipped in for birdie. He was given his tap in par. Woods missed his 20-foot birdie putt setting up Goosen for the win.
15th Hole - Par-four 411 yards
Goosen sank his fourth birdie in the last six holes to win the match. Woods missed the green short and tried the chip in, but missed it ran past the cup. Daly nearly sank a 30-footer for birdie, but it slid by the right edge giving Goosen and Mickelson the win.
NOTES: The format for play is best-ball, match play. Each golfer will play his own ball and the best score of the two will count for the team. This is the final season for this tournament.
Casey in line to make Ryder Cup after Travelers T-2
Despite coughing up a four-shot lead at the Travelers Championship, England's Paul Casey moved into a qualifying position to make his return to the Ryder Cup this fall in Paris.
Casey struggled Sunday at TPC River Highlands, shooting a 72 as Bubba Watson raced to victory with a 63. But a four-way share of second place was still good enough to lift Casey into fourth place among those not already qualified on the World Points list, with the top four Europeans from that list in August punching their tickets to Le Golf National.
Casey has played in three Ryder Cups before, but none since 2008. After renouncing his European Tour membership a few years ago, he reinstated it for the 2018 season in order to be eligible to return to the biennial matches.
Here's a look at the updated standings for Europe, with the top four players from each points list ultimately joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn:
1. Tyrrell Hatton
2. Justin Rose
3. Tommy Fleetwood
4. Francesco Molinari
5. Thorbjorn Olesen
6. Matthew Fitzpatrick
1. Jon Rahm
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Alex Noren
4. Paul Casey
5. Matthew Fitzpatrick
6. Ian Poulter
On the American side of the ledger, Watson jumped two spots to fifth with his third win of the year and seemingly locked up his spot on the squad, while Bryson DeChambeau moved inside the top eight with a top-10 finish in Connecticut.
Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship earning automatic bids:
1. Brooks Koepka
2. Dustin Johnson
3. Patrick Reed
4. Justin Thomas
5. Bubba Watson
6. Jordan Spieth
7. Rickie Fowler
8. Bryson DeChambeau
9. Webb Simpson
10. Phil Mickelson
11. Matt Kuchar
12. Brian Harman
Watson cracks top 15 in world with Travelers win
After his third win in the last five months, Bubba Watson is back on the cusp of the upper echelon in the world rankings.
Watson started the year ranked No. 89 in the world, but after a three-shot victory at the Travelers Championship the southpaw moved up seven spots to No. 13 in the latest rankings. It marks his best position since a missed cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February 2017.
Watson stayed one spot behind Paul Casey, who was one of four runners-up in Connecticut and rose one position to 12th as a result. Beau Hossler's T-2 finish helped him jump 24 spots to No. 64, while J.B. Holmes went from 93rd to 75th with the same result. Stewart Cink, who grabbed a share of second with a final-round 62, went from No. 149 to No. 95 and is back inside the top 100 in the world rankings for the first time since September 2011.
Matt Wallace, who won the BMW International Open on the European Tour, went from 91st to 66th.
There was only one change among the top 10 in the rankings, as an idle Jon Rahm moved past Jordan Spieth at No. 5 despite Spieth's T-42 finish at TPC River Highlands. At No. 6, Spieth is at his lowest point in the rankings since before last summer's victories at Travelers and The Open.
Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Rahm. Spieth slid to No. 6, with Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.
Poised to return to competition this week at the Quicken Loans National, Tiger Woods fell three spots to No. 82 in the latest rankings.
After Further Review: Spieth needs a break
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On Jordan Spieth's much-needed break ...
Jordan Spieth is heading for a break, and that’s probably a good thing.
Spieth just wrapped a run of six events in seven weeks that featured largely underwhelming results. A third-place finish at the Masters that stemmed from a nearly-historic final round deflects attention away from the fact that Spieth has yet to enter a final round this year less than six shots off the lead.
A return to his home state didn’t work, nor did a fight against par at Shinnecock or a title defense outside Hartford where everything went so well a year ago. His putting woes appear to have bottomed out, as Spieth finished 21st in putting at Travelers, but now the alignment issue that plagued his putting appears to have bled into other parts of his game.
So heading into another title defense next month at Carnoustie, Spieth plans to take some time off and re-evaluate. Given how fast things turned around last summer, that might prove to be just what he needs. - Will Gray
On the difference between this week and last week ...
There wasn’t a single outraged tweet, not a lone voice of descent on social media following Bubba Watson’s victory at the Travelers Championship, a 17-under par masterpiece that included a closing loop of 30.
Nobody declared that golf was broken, no one proclaimed the royal and ancient game a victim of technology and the age of uber athletes. The only response was appreciation for what Watson, a bomber in the truest form, was able to accomplish.
At 6,840 yards, TPC River Highlands was built for fun, not speed. Without wild weather or ill-advised hole locations and greens baked to extinction, this is what the best players in the game do, and yet no one seemed outraged. Weird. - Rex Hoggard
On the emergence of another LPGA phenom ...
Add another young star to the favorites list heading to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes outside Chicago next week.
Nasa Hataoka, the 19-year-old Japanese standout who needed her rookie season last year to acclimate to the LPGA, broke through for her first LPGA title Sunday at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
This wasn’t a surprise to LPGA followers. Hataoka won the Japan Women’s Open when she was 17, the first amateur to win a major on the Japan LPGA Tour, and she has been trending up this year.
Her tie for 10th at the U.S. Women’s Open three weeks ago was her fourth consecutive top-10 finish. She won going away in Arkansas, beating a deep field that included the top nine in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings. She outplayed world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson on Sunday. - Randall Mell
Bubba waiting for Furyk's text about Ryder Cup
CROMWELL, Conn. – After winning his third PGA Tour title in the span of five months, Bubba Watson is now waiting by his phone.
Watson’s victory at the Travelers Championship, his third at TPC River Highlands since 2010, accompanies recent victories at both the Genesis Open and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play from earlier this year. It also moved the southpaw from No. 7 to No. 5 in the latest U.S. Ryder Cup standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically.
After serving as an assistant captain at Hazeltine despite ranking No. 7 in the world at the time, Watson made it clear that he hopes to have removed any doubt about returning to the role of player when the biennial matches head to Paris this fall.
“It still says in my phone that (U.S. captain) Jim (Furyk) hasn’t texted me yet. So I’d really like for him to say I’m going to pick you no matter what,” Watson said. “The motivation is I’ve never won a Ryder Cup, so making the Ryder Cup team and trying to win a Ryder Cup as a player would be another tournament victory to me. It would be a major championship to me just because I’ve never done it, been a part of it.”
Watson turns 40 in November, and while he reiterated that his playing career might not extend too far into the future as he looks to spend more time at home with son Caleb and daughter Dakota, he’s also hoping to make an Olympic return in Tokyo in 2020 after representing the U.S. in Rio two years ago.
“Talking about the Olympics coming up, that’s motivating me,” he said. “It was the best experience of my life to watch all the other events, and then the golf tournament got in the way. I’d love to do it again. I’d love to watch all the events and then have to play golf as well.”