International Team Takes Early Lead

By Sports NetworkSeptember 22, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 PresidentGAINESVILLE, Va. -- The International side took a 3 1/2 - 2 1/2 lead after Thursday's six foursomes matches at The Presidents Cup at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.
 
The International side made a big statement in the opening match as two-time U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen and Adam Scott dispatched world No. 1 Tiger Woods and Fred Couples, 4 and 3.
 
David Toms, Mike Weir and Trevor Immelman
Mike Weir and Trevor Immelman gave David Toms and Stewart Cink little to smile about.
The second match was halved between Americans Jim Furyk and Fred Funk and Internationals Vijay Singh and Mark Hensby.
 
Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco hung on for a full point for the U.S. side when they beat Nick O'Hern and Tim Clark, 1-up.
 
The fourth contest easily went to the American team of Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank. They trounced Peter Lonard and Stuart Appleby, 4 and 2.
 
Reigning U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell and Angel Cabrera took out one of the best American teams, Davis Love III and Kenny Perry. The International captured the match, 2 and 1.
 
Thursday's final match was the most lopsided. The International team of Trevor Immelman, a surprising captain's pick by Gary Player, and Mike Weir, having one of his worst seasons, destroyed Stewart Cink and David Toms, 6 and 5.
 
'I think we're a little disappointed,' admitted American captain Jack Nicklaus. 'Tomorrow is another day. We're basically a half-point behind.'
 
Woods and Couples never got on track Thursday, specifically Couples, who hit only one fairway.
 
The International side won the fourth, then Couples missed a 3-footer at the sixth to drop the Americans 2-down. Scott rolled in a 7-footer for birdie at the seventh to go 3-up, but the Americans answered with a win at the ninth to make the turn 2-down.
 
Couples drained a 25-footer for birdie at the par-5 10th, but Goosen ran in a 15-footer on top of his to halve the hole. The Internationals won the 12th, then the U.S. pair was in trouble at 14.
 
Goosen, as he did all afternoon, lagged a long birdie try to tap-in range. Woods missed the green with his approach, then Couples duffed his chip. Woods had to hole his chip to halve the hole and extend the match, but his chip hit the back of the cup, but rimmed out.
 
'Some of the shortcomings for me come out in alternate-shot,' admitted Couples. 'Today I was out-classed by three guys and I couldn't help Tiger at all.'
 
The first match to make it the distance was the second match. Furyk injured his rib cage on the second hole, but recovered enough to help the U.S. take a 1-up lead at the turn.
 
The lead changed five times in the next five holes, but when Hensby stroked home a 3-footer for par, the International side led 1-up through 16.
 
Hensby went from hero to goat quickly as he lost his ball off the tee at 17. The Americans won with a routine par to square the match, then it was off to the closing hole.
 
At the 18th, Singh drove right in the trees, but Hensby failed to reach the green with the team's second. Funk barely got over a bunker with his second, but ended up with a great shot that stopped 20 feet from the hole.
 
Singh chipped to 3 feet, and Furyk barely missed his birdie try. The Americans conceded the Internationals very missable putt to give the sides a half.
 
The next match also went the distance, as Mickelson and DiMarco squandered a 2-up lead with seven holes to play. O'Hern hit a spectacular second shot to the par-5 12th to set up a short eagle putt by Clark. They squared the match one hole later.
 
The U.S. won the 14th to briefly go 1-up, but the Internationals won the next hole to draw even. Mickelson missed an 8-footer for birdie that would have given them a 1-up lead, but they got a reprieve when O'Hern's 3-footer for par did not fall.
 
DiMarco had a good look at birdie at 17 that would have closed the match, but both pairs left with pars. At 18, both teams had birdie putts from around 20 feet and neither converted, giving the U.S. their 1-up win.
 
'Chris and I were playing very well,' said Mickelson. 'We hit two bad shots on the back side that gave them a couple of holes. We were able to gut it out down the stretch.'
 
The fourth match went the Americans' way once they took the fourth hole. The sides traded wins at six and seven and when Appleby drove in a hazard at eight, the Internationals lost the hole and fell 2-down.
 
The Americans won No. 11 to move 3-up. The sides halved the next four holes and the Americans had two putts from 20 feet to win the match on 16. Verplank, the only rookie for Nicklaus' squad, rolled in the birdie putt to end the contest.
 
'We weren't quite in rhythm, but near the middle of the round, then at the turn, we started stringing together good shots and good putts,' said Verplank. 'I knew we were going to be a good team and today, we were.'
 
Love and Perry drew even when Perry sank a 12-foot birdie putt at the 11th. The two sides remained even until Campbell and Cabrera won the 14th. Perry missed an 8-foot par putt at the 16th and the U.S. were 2-down with two to play.
 
Perry atoned for the miscue at 16 with a 25-foot birdie putt at the 17th. Unfortunately for the U.S., Campbell ran home a 15-footer to halve the hole and win the match, 2 & 1.
 
'I think we gelled very well together as a team,' said Campbell. 'On the back nine, we holed a few crucial par putts, then I managed to finish off on 17.'
 
The anchor match was never close as Weir sank a 7-foot birdie putt on the first. The Internationals kept it going with wins at four, five, nine, 10 and 12 to make short work of the American team.
 
On Friday, there will be six four-ball matches with five foursomes and five four-balls on Saturday. All 12 players are in on Sunday for the singles matches.
 
Related Links:
  • Scoring - Presidents Cup
  • Full Coverage - Presidents Cup
  • Getty Images

    McIlroy 'committed to everything ... ran out of holes'

    By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 7:08 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy summed it up: “I don’t really feel like it’s a defeat. I feel like it’s a good week.”

    McIlroy, in search of his fifth major, tied for the lead at The Open late on Sunday at Carnoustie when he made eagle on the par-5 14th hole. An hour later, he had made five consecutive pars to close out a 1-under 70 and tie for second place with Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

    That group ended two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. McIlroy thought it was realistic to squeeze one more shot out of his round, but he never though it was possible to squeeze out two.

    “I committed to everything,” he said. “I hit the shots when I needed to. I made good swings on 17 and on 18. I just ran out of holes.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    McIlroy hasn’t played poorly this year, but this hasn't been a year that would rank as a total success. He took the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and collected a second-place finish at the BMW PGA Championship. He had a legitimate chance to win the Masters before a terrible Sunday round, and then missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month at Shinnecock Hills.

    Sunday at Carnoustie, McIlroy bogeyed two of his first five holes and quickly became an afterthought. When others faltered, McIlroy birdies Nos. 9 and 11, then eagled 14 to vault back into the picture.

    “I’m happy with how I played,” he said. “I didn’t get off to a great start, but I hung in there, and I battled back.

    “So I’ll look back at this week and be very encouraged about what I’ve done and the golf that I played. I feel like that will stand me in good stead for what’s coming up.”

    McIlroy is scheduled to play the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks, followed by the PGA Championship and the FedExCup Playoffs.

    Getty Images

    Edoardo, other pros congratulate Francesco on Twitter

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:54 pm

    Francesco Molinari played a bogey-free weekend at Carnoustie to claim Italy's first claret jug.

    His rock-solid performance in the final round earned him his share of social media plaudits.

    Here's a collection of Twitter hat-tips, and we start off with Frankie's brother, Dodo.

    Getty Images

    Woods: Fan who yelled had 'tipped back a few'

    By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 6:37 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee and thought he needed birdie to have a chance to win The Open. He pulled driver out of his bag, a sign he wanted to boot the ball as far down the fairway as possible.

    Woods took a mighty swat and - right in the middle of his downswing - someone yelled. Woods flinched.

    Luckily his ball still found a decent spot just off the right of the fairway.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I’ve had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it,” Woods said Sunday at Carnoustie after shooting 71 to tie for sixth place. “They tipped back a few, and it’s late in the day.

    “Unfortunately, that’s part of what we have to deal with in today’s game. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be in social media or whatever it may be. That was too close to the game of play.”

    Woods hit his approach to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt. He tapped in for par to shoot even par and finish 5 under for the week, in a tie for sixth.

    Getty Images

    Pros melt down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:30 pm

    Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and, for a little while, took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

    His fellow pros were watching and tweeting like your average fans.

    We compiled some of their missives below:

    Woods would go on to finish in a tie for sixth at 5 under par for the week.