Four Englishmen Lead Dunlop Masters

By Sports NetworkMay 12, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourWARWICKSHIRE, England -- England's David Howell carded a 3-under-par 69 Thursday to grab a share of the lead after Round 1 of the Daily Telegraph Dunlop Masters. Howell was joined atop the leaderboard by fellow countrymen Brian Davis, David Lynn and Ben Mason.
 
Defending champion Barry Lane posted a 2-under-par 70. He was joined in a tie for fifth place by Stephen Dodd, Scott Drummond, Richard Finch, Pierre Fulke, Soren Hansen, Andrew McLardy and Angel Cabrera, who shared second place behind Lane last year.
 
Howell, a member of the victorious 2004 European Ryder Cup squad, got off to a quick start as he birdied the first. He came right back with a chip-in birdie on No. 2 on the Arden Course at the Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club.
 
The 29-year-old Howell dropped in his third birdie putt on the par-4 fourth. The 1999 Dubai Desert Classic winner again made it two in a row as he birdied the fifth to move to 4 under. He reeled off 12 consecutive pars before stumbling to a bogey at the last when he was unable to get up and down to save par.
 
'That is a pretty good score today,' said Howell. 'I played the tough holes really well, gave myself some birdie chances, but let myself down a little on the par-5s by not hitting the fairways and laying up all the time.'
 
Davis opened with a birdie on the fourth. However, he faltered to bogeys at six and nine to make the turn at plus-1. The Englishman jumped to minus-1 thanks to an eagle on the par-5 12th.
 
The 29-year-old, who won the 2004 ANZ Championship, slipped to another bogey on the par-4 14th but Davis closed with a flurry. He drained a birdie try on the 16th and came right back with a birdie on 17.
 
Davis capped his round off in fine fashion as he chipped in for his third straight birdie on No. 18 to end at minus-3.
 
'It was a real struggle,' Davis said. 'I putted really well, but just couldn't hit it. But I managed to get my way around. It was just one of those days to hang in there.'
 
Mason got going with a birdie on the par-4 second. He moved to 2 under with a birdie on the fourth. After stumbling to a bogey on No. 6, Mason holed consecutive birdie tries from the seventh to make the turn at minus-3.
 
Around the turn, Mason climbed to 4 under with a birdie on the par-5 12th. Mason slipped back to 2 under with bogeys on the 14th and 17th. He managed to share the lead as he rolled in a 6-foot birdie putt on the closing hole.
 
Lynn was the lone leader to begin his round on the 10th tee. He struggled to a bogey on that hole, but got back to even par with a birdie on the 12th. The Englishman tripped to another bogey on the 13th.
 
The 31-year-old notched back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17 to get to minus-1. Lynn again birdied consecutive holes from the third to join the leaders at minus-3. He picked up another birdie on the seventh, but stumbled to a bogey at the next to come in at 3 under.
 
Simon Khan, Peter Baker, Robert-Jan Derksen, Simon Dyson, Stephen Gallacher, Marcel Siem and Patrik Sjoland were the final players in red figures at 1-under-par 71.
 
Colin Montgomerie, the 1998 champion here, looked like he would end as one of the leaders as he went to the ninth, his last, at minus-3. However, after a lengthy delay on the tee, the Scotsman struggled to a triple bogey to finish at even-par 72.
 
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    McCarthy wins Web.com Tour Championship by 4

    By Associated PressSeptember 24, 2018, 2:14 am

    ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Denny McCarthy won the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship on Sunday to earn fully exempt PGA Tour status and a spot in the Players Championship.

    McCarthy closed with a 6-under 65 for a four-stroke victory over Lucas Glover at Atlantic Beach Country Club. The 25-year-old former Virginia player earned $180,000 to top the 25 PGA Tour card-earners with $255,793 in the four-event Web.com Tour Finals.

    ''It's been quite a journey this year,'' McCarthy said. ''The PGA Tour was tough to start out the year. I stuck through it and got my game. I raised my level and have been playing some really good golf. Just feels incredible to finish off these Finals. So much work behind the scenes that nobody really sees.''

    McCarthy finished at 23-under 261.


    Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship


    Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, closed with a 69. He made $108,000 to finish seventh with $125,212 in the series for the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200.

    Jim Knous earned the 25th and final card from the four-event money list with $41,931, edging Justin Lower by $500. Knous made a 5-foot par save on the final hole for a 71 that left him tied for 57th. Lower missed an 8-footer for birdie, settling for a 69 and a tie for 21st.

    ''It was a brutal day emotionally,'' Knous said. ''I wasn't quite sure how much my performance would affect the overall outcome. It kind of just depended on what everybody else did. That's pretty terrifying. So I really just kind of did my best to stay calm and inside I was really freaking out and just super psyched that at the end of the day finished right there on No. 25.''

    The top-25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list competed against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. Sungjae Im topped the list to earn the No. 1 priority spot of the 50 total cards.

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    LaCava pushed Woods to work on bunker game

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 24, 2018, 1:52 am

    ATLANTA – Last week as Tiger Woods prepared to play the season finale at East Lake he sent a text message to his caddie Joey LaCava that simply asked, what do I need to do to get better?

    Although when it comes to Woods his proficiency is always relative, but LaCava didn’t pull any punches, and as the duo completed the final round on Sunday at the Tour Championship with a bunker shot to 7 feet at the last the two traded knowing smiles.

    “We had a talk last week about his bunker game and I said, ‘I’m glad you kept that bunker game stuff in mind,’” LaCava said. “I told him he was an average bunker player and he worked at it last week. There were only two bunker shots he didn’t get up-and-down, I don’t count the last one on 18. He recognized that after two days. He was like, ‘What do you know, I’m 100 percent from the bunkers and I’m in the lead after two days.”


    Final FedExCup standings

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    For the week, Woods got up-and-down from East Lake’s bunkers seven out of nine times and cruised to a two-stroke victory for his first PGA Tour title since 2013. That’s a dramatic improvement over his season average of 49 percent (100th on Tour).

    “His bunker game was very average coming into this week,” LaCava said. “I said you’ve got to work on your bunker game. If you had a decent bunker game like the Tiger of old you would have won [the BMW Championship].”

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    For Woods, is this only the beginning?

    By Damon HackSeptember 24, 2018, 1:42 am

    If this is Tiger Woods nine months into a comeback, wait until he actually shakes the rust off.

    This was supposed to be the year he kicked the tires, to see how his body held up after all those knives digging into his back.

    To see if a short game could truly be rescued from chunks and skulls.

    To see if a 42-year-old living legend could outfox the kids.

    On the final breath of the PGA Tour season, it was Tiger Woods who took ours away.

    Playing alongside Rory McIlroy on Sunday at the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club – and one group behind the current World No. 1 and eventual FedEx Cup champion Justin Rose – Woods bludgeoned the field and kneecapped Father Time. 

    It was Dean Smith and the Four Corners offense.  Emmitt Smith moving the chains. Nolan Ryan mowing them down.

    And all of a sudden you wonder if Phil Mickelson wishes he’d made alternate Thanksgiving plans.

    Even if everybody saw a win coming, it was something else to actually see it happen, to see the man in the red shirt reach another gear just one more time.

    Win No. 80 reminded us, as Roger Maltbie once said of Woods when he came back from knee surgery in 2009: “A lot of people can play the fiddle. Only one guy is Itzhak Perlman.”

    It wasn’t long ago that Tiger Woods seemed headed toward a disheartening final chapter as a broken man with a broken body.


    Final FedExCup standings

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    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    He would host a couple of tournaments, do some great charity work, shout instructions into a walkie talkie at the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, and call it a career.

    There would be no Nicklaus 1986 Masters moment, no Hogan Mystique at Merion.

    He would leave competitive golf as perhaps both the greatest to ever play the game and its greatest cautionary tale.

    Willie Mays with the New York Mets. Muhammad Ali taking punishment from Larry Holmes.

    But then Brad Faxon and Rickie Fowler started whispering at the end of 2017 that Tiger was healthy and hitting the ball hard. 

    There was that hold-your-breath opening tee shot at the Hero World Challenge, a bullet that flew the left bunker and bounded into the fairway.

    Rollercoaster rides at Tampa and Bay Hill, backward steps at Augusta and Shinnecock, forward leaps at The Open and the PGA.

    He switched putters and driver shafts (and shirts, oh my!) and seemed at times tantalizingly close and maddeningly far.

    That he even decided to try to put his body and game back together was one of the all-time Hail Marys in golf.

    Why go through all of that rehab again?

    Why go through the scrutiny of having your current game measured against your untouchable prime?

    Because you’re Tiger Woods, is why, because you’ve had way more wonderful days on the golf course than poor ones, despite five winless years on the PGA Tour.

    Suddenly, Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour wins is in jeopardy and Jack Nicklaus, holder of a record of 18 major championships, is at the very least paying attention.

    Woods has put the golf world on notice.

    It won’t be long until everyone starts thinking about the 2019 major schedule (and you’d better believe that Tiger already is).

    The Masters, where he has four green jackets and seven other Top 5 finishes. The PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, where he won in 2002 by 3. The United States Open at Pebble Beach, where he won in 2000 by 15.

    The Open at Royal Portrush, where his savvy and guile will be a strong 15th club.

    But that’s a talk for a later date.

    Tiger is clearly still getting his sea legs back.

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    Nonfactor McIlroy mum after lackluster 74

    By Mercer BaggsSeptember 24, 2018, 1:04 am

    ATLANTA – Rory McIlroy didn’t have anything to say to the media after the final round of the Tour Championship, and that’s understandable.

    McIlroy began the final round at East Lake three shots behind Tiger Woods. He finished six back.

    McIlroy closed in 4-over 74 to tie for seventh place.

    In their matchup, Woods birdied the first hole to go four in front, and when McIlroy bogeyed the par-4 fourth, he was five in arrears. McIlroy went on to make three more bogeys, one double bogey and just two birdies.


    Final FedExCup standings

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    McIlroy was never a factor on Sunday and ultimately finished tied for 13th in the FedExCup standings.

    The two rivals, Woods and McIlroy, shared plenty of conversations while walking down the fairways. On the 18th hole, Woods said McIlroy told him the scene was like the 1980 U.S. Open when people were shouting, “Jack’s back!”

    “I said, ‘Yeah, I just don’t have the tight pants and the hair,’” Woods joked. “But it was all good.”

    It’s now off to Paris for the upcoming Ryder Cup, where Woods and McIlroy will again be foes. It will be McIlroy’s fifth consecutive appearance in the biennial matches, while Woods is making his first since 2012.