North on Top at Kroger Senior Classic

By Sports NetworkSeptember 6, 2002, 4:00 pm
MAINEVILLE, Ohio -- Andy North fired an 8-under-par 64 to take the first-round lead Friday at the Kroger Senior Classic. North finished two shots ahead of Bob Gilder and Mike Smith.
Hubert Green, who won this event in 2000, finished three shots off the pace alongside Gil Morgan and Ed Dougherty at 5-under-par 67.
North had no problems at TPC at River's Bend en route to his best round of 2002. He earned his first birdie of the day at the par-4 third and hit a pitching-wedge to 10 feet at the par-3 seventh for another birdie.
The two-time U.S. Open winner added an eagle at the par-5 eighth to make the turn at minus 4.
North continued his fine play on the inward nine with a four-foot birdie at the par-5 11th. He knocked his second shot to 10 feet for birdie at the 15th and drained a 35-footer for birdie at No. 17.
The 52-year-old found a bunker at the closing par-5 but recovered with a birdie to complete a bogey-free round.
'A good solid round today,' said North. 'Today was a perfect day to play. It's always nice to get off to a good start.'
North is looking for his first Senior Tour victory since he joined the circuit in 2000. The television golf analyst was the runner-up at the 2001 Emerald Coast Classic and earned his first top-10 finish of 2002 at the 3M Championship in August.
'I think my television work has helped me,' said North. 'The last month I started hitting the ball better. I feel I'm on track and hit some good shots. I'm very encouraged.'
Gilder, who has been one of the hottest golfers on tour with three victories since July including last week's Allianz Championship, started with three birdies on the front nine before the shot of the day at the par-3 12th.
The 51-year-old hit an 8-iron off the tee and the ball found the cup on the fly.
'I didn't realize until we walked on the green,' said Gilder.
Gilder birdied the last to match Smith, who had taken the early clubhouse lead with a 66 of his own. His round featured a stretch of five straight birdies starting at the par-3 fifth.
Jim Dent, who captured the inaugural event in 1990, carded a 4-under-par 68 to finish in a tie for seventh. Dent was joined by 1996 winner Isao Aoki, Dana Quigley, Allen Doyle and John Harris.
Tom Kite, Don Pooley, Jim Colbert, Bruce Fleisher and Larry Nelson share 12th place at 3-under-par 69.
Defending champion Jim Thorpe finished one shot further back at 2-under-par 70.
Full-field scores from the Kroger Senior Classic
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Watch: Reed races in 40-footer to put away Spieth

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 10:19 pm

Three up with three holes to play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Patrick Reed missed an opportunity to close out his match with Jordan Spieth when Spieth won the 16th hole with a birdie.

But Reed wouldn't let the match move to 18. Putting for birdie from the apron, 40 feet from the hole, at the par-3 17th, Reed raced in this putt to end the match.

With the win, Reed moved to 3-0-0 for the week and advanced to the weekend at Austin Country Club.

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Garcia's win-win situation: Move on or baby time

By Rex HoggardMarch 23, 2018, 9:45 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Given his status as one of Europe’s preeminent Ryder Cup players, Sergio Garcia’s record at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is nothing short of inexplicable.

In 15 starts at the event, the Spaniard has played the weekend just once – in 2010 when he lost in the semifinals to Ian Poulter – and since the event pivoted to round-robin play he’s never made it out of the group stages.

His fortunes have changed dramatically this year, with Garcia going undefeated in pool play and cruising to the Sweet 16 following a 3-and-1 victory over Xander Schauffele on Friday.

“I would love to have done a little better than I have,” said Garcia, who will play Kyle Stanley in the Round of 16 early Saturday. “I have had some good weeks here. But not probably as good as I should have. So hopefully this week it will be better.”

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Garcia made no secret of the source of his turnaround following the birth of his first child last Wednesday, a girl named Azalea. Even on Friday when he found himself 2 down through 11 holes and in danger of not advancing he kept an upbeat attitude.

“The way I looked at it, when I was 2 down, we're going to try to turn it around, but if we don't, it means that I get to spend more time with [his wife] Angela and Azalea for the weekend,” Garcia said. “I tried to look at it in a good way.”

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DeLaet: WGC's robin-robin format 'sucks'

By Grill Room TeamMarch 23, 2018, 9:20 pm

Graham DeLaet isn't teeing it up at Austin Country Club this week because he didn't qualify for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but that doesn't mean he lacks an opinion on the event's format.

DeLaet hopped on social media Friday during Day 3 of the WGC-Match Play to torch the round-robin format that's been in place for three years, saying he much preferred the single elimination that was in place when he played in 2014.

"Played Match Play in Tucson in 2014. Early group on Wednesday, lost. Threw clubs in my car and was on my couch in Scottsdale by 2:00 pm. Collect 30K and spend the weekend at home, he tweeted. "That’s a good format. This one sucks."

DeLeat's comments may be the strongest to date, but he's not alone in his opposition to pool play. Several players lamented Friday's "meaningless" matches earlier this week, and Henrik Stenson cited the lack of a do-or-die atmosphere as his reason for skipping the event.

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Watch: Kuchar makes ace at WGC-Dell Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 9:09 pm

In his bid to advance to the weekend at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Matt Kuchar aced the par-3 seventh hole Friday at Austin Country Club.

With an 8-iron from 181 yards, Kuchar landed his ball short of the flag and watched it roll and roll ... and drop.

The hole-in-one moved Kuchar 3 Up in match against Ross Fisher. 

The last hole-in-one at the Match Play came in Sunday's consolation match last year, when Hideto Tanihara aced the same hole before later losing to Bill Haas.