Singh Ends Tigers Reign

By Sports NetworkDecember 6, 2004, 5:00 pm
PGA TourPONTE VERDA BEACH, Fla. -- First, Vijay Singh took the money title. Then he took the No. 1 spot in the World Rankings. On Monday, he captured another one of Woods' honors.
Singh was voted the PGA Tour Player of the Year by his peers on Monday. That snapped Woods' five-year stranglehold on the award. Woods, Masters champion Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els also appeared on the ballot.
Singh lost a tight battle to Woods last year for the Jack Nicklaus Trophy, an award voted on by the players. Singh won the money title in 2003, but only visited the winner's circle four times. Woods won five times, but became the first player to capture the award without winning a major since Fred Couples in 1991.
The 2004 season was a different story for Singh. He won at Pebble Beach to start the year, then took back-to-back starts at the Houston Open and HP Classic of New Orleans. In between wins at Pebble Beach and Houston, Singh tied for sixth at the Masters, an event he won in 2000.
Singh was not much of a factor at either the U.S. Open or British Open, but came back to the tour and outlasted John Daly and Tiger Woods down the stretch to win the Buick Open.
His next victory was his biggest. Singh did not card a single birdie in the final round of the PGA Championship, but reached a playoff with Chris DiMarco and Justin Leonard. Singh collected his first birdie on Sunday on the first playoff hole and went on to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy for the second time.
Singh closed the gap on Woods' reign atop the world ranking thanks to his third major victory, but it was a showdown on Labor Day that propelled Singh to first.
Singh, at one point tied with Woods late on the back nine, won the Deutsche Bank Championship and ended Woods' streak of 264 consecutive weeks atop the World Rankings.
The No. 1 player in the game did not rest after ascending to the top. He came out the next week and beat crowd favorite Mike Weir in a playoff at the Canadian Open.
Two weeks later, Singh won the 84 Lumber Classic. He tied for second at Disney World, then recorded his final win of the season at the Chrysler Championship. Singh took ninth at the Tour Championship.
All totaled, Singh won nine times, finished as runner-up twice and notched 18 top-10s. He won his second consecutive money title with a single-season tour record of $10,905,166.
Singh also won the Vardon Trophy for low scoring average (68.84) and led the tour in total birdies and total eagles. He finished second in 2004 in greens in regulation.
Singh was not the only player to win hardware on Monday. Todd Hamilton, who defeated Els in a playoff to capture the British Open, was named Rookie of the Year. Former British Open champion and PGA Championship winner John Daly was selected as the Comeback Player of the Year.
Hamilton, who also won the Honda Classic, finished higher than Zach Johnson, Ryan Palmer and Vaughn Taylor, all winners in their first years on the PGA Tour.
Daly picked up his fifth PGA Tour title, and first since winning the 1995 British Open, when he defeated Chris Riley and Luke Donald in a playoff to win the Buick Invitational. He had gone 189 starts in between the two triumphs. Daly was chosen over Joey Sindelar, who won for the first time since 1990, and Bart Bryant, who picked up his first career win this season.
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Down seven pounds, Thomas can gain No. 1

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 11:29 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – On March 7, Justin Thomas had his wisdom teeth removed, and just when he was recovering from that, he was slowed by a bout with the flu.

In total, he estimates he lost about seven pounds, and he admitted on Saturday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to play the event.

“I had a pretty serious conversation with my dad on Monday if I was going to play,” Thomas said. “I never want to play in a tournament, first off, if it's going to hurt my health. If I was sick or really sick, me trying to play this week wasn't going to do me any good.”

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Thomas went on to explain he was “50/50” whether he’d play the World Golf Championship, but decided to make the start and it’s turned out well for the world’s second-ranked player.

After going undefeated in pool play, Thomas cruised past Si Woo Kim, 6 and 5, in the round of 16 and secured himself a spot in the semifinals with a 2-and-1 victory over Kyle Stanley in the quarterfinals. If Thomas wins his semifinal match against Bubba Watson on Sunday, he’s assured enough points to overtake Dustin Johnson atop the Official World Golf Ranking.

“I don't care when it happens; I just hope it happens and it happens for a while,” Thomas said when asked about the possibility of becoming world No. 1. “I don't know what to say because I've never experienced it. I don't know what's going to come with it. But I just hope it happens tomorrow.”

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Garnett's six-shot lead dwindles to two in Punta Cana

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 10:57 pm

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic - Brice Garnett took a six-stroke lead into the wind Saturday in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. He came out with a two-stroke advantage.

Garnett bogeyed three of the final six holes in the wind and rain for a 3-under 69 and a 16-under 200 total.

''Once we made the turn coming back, all those holes coming in toward the north, it was all we wanted and then some,'' Garnett said. ''I kind of took advantage of some holes going out, some holes downwind, some par 5s, and then we were just trying to leave it in the right spot those last four or five holes. Pars are pretty good scores on those holes.''

Canadian Corey Conners was second after a 67, and Tyler McCumber also had a 67 to get to 12 under. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo dropped out Friday, finishing last in the 132-man field in his PGA Tour debut. He shot 77-82 playing as an amateur on a sponsor exemption.

A stroke ahead after each of the first two rounds, Garnett opened with a bogey, birdied Nos. 2, 4 and 6, eagled the par-5 seventh, and made two more birdies on the par-3 ninth and par-5 12th. He bogeyed the par-4 13th, par-5 15th and par-3 17th.

Full-field scores from the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship

''I looked once and the lead was a little bigger than what it is now,'' Garnett said. ''The eagle was huge, kind of gave me that confidence that I can push it on out and stretch it a little bit more. That wind was tough and I'll take a two-shot lead into tomorrow.''

The 34-year-old Garnett is winless on the PGA Tour. He won twice last year on the Tour.

''You've got another 18 holes. So much can happen,'' Garnett said. ''Just going to try to keep the golf ball in front of me. I have that self-belief this week and that's what I had last year when I won, so I'll just keep my head down and just keep going.''

Conners had five birdies and a bogey on the front nine and added a birdie on No. 12.

''Really happy with the round,'' Conners said. ''I got off to a nice start, made a bunch of birdies on the front nine and kind of held it together on the back nine. It was playing really difficult. The wind was really blowing out there, made things challenging.''

McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, has played his last 39 holes with a bogey.

''Second shots have been pretty solid,'' McCumber said. ''Putting pretty well, short game is pretty good. Just really being in the right areas and staying below the hole.''

Tom Lovelady was fourth at 11 under after a 68. Seamus Power (71), Denny McCarthy (71) and Seungsu Han (72) were 10 under.

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Poulter incorrectly told he's in Masters before loss to Kisner

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 10:33 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Ian Poulter was not happy, and it was only partially because of his blowout loss to Kevin Kisner in Saturday’s quarterfinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Following his morning victory in the round of 16 over Louis Oosthuizen, the Englishman was incorrectly informed that by making it to the Elite 8 at Austin Country Club he was assured enough Official World Golf Raking points to move into the top 50 and qualify for the Masters in two weeks.

“I should never listen to other people,” Poulter said following his 8-and-6 loss to Kevin Kisner in the quarterfinals. “When you finish a round of golf and the press and everybody is telling you you're in the Masters, and then you get a text message 10 minutes before you tee off to correct everybody, to say, ‘Oh, we've made a mistake, actually, no, that was wrong, you're not in. You need to go and win.’

“Not that that's an excuse in any form or factor, it's a little disappointing.”

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Poulter actually needed to advance to the semifinal round to move into the top 50. Instead, his last chance to qualify for the Masters is to win next week’s Houston Open, although he was unsure if he’d play the event.

“I don't know yet, I haven't decided,” said Poulter when asked if he’d play next week. “I'm tired. It's been a long week. It's been a draining week. I'll wait until Monday night and if I have the energy then I will.”

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Not DJ, not Poulter: Kisner most proud to take down Kuchar

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 9:34 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – On his way to this week’s Final Four at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Kevin Kisner has beaten world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and the European match play ninja Ian Poulter. But neither match could compare to his duel with Matt Kuchar early Saturday.

“I was more jacked to beat [Kuchar], really. Kuch is such a good player and our games are so similar,” said Kisner, who defeated Kuchar in the round of 16, 1 up. “We both made eight birdies this morning and I barely snuck out of there. I thought it was a lot of fun.”

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By comparison, his quarterfinal bout against Poulter wasn’t nearly as electric. Kisner won two of the first four holes when the Englishman made bogey (No. 3) and when he was conceded the fourth hole, hecruised to an 8-and-6 victory for the week’s most lopsided win.

“I don't know Ian that well, so I don't really have a history with him, other than watching him kill us in the Ryder Cup,” Kisner laughed.

Things won’t get any easier for Kisner on Sunday when he’ll play Alex Noren in the semifinals. The Swede has been dominant this week and is considered one of Europe’s top players heading into this year’s Ryder Cup.