US Takes Afternoon Foursomes 4-1

By Sports NetworkNovember 21, 2003, 5:00 pm
GEORGE, South Africa -- The United States captured four out five points in Friday's foursomes matches to surge into the lead after the second day of the Presidents Cup. The U.S. has a three-point lead at 9 1/2 - 6 1/2 at The Links Course at Fancourt Hotel & Country Club Estates.
Tiger Woods and Charles Howell III avenged their 5-and-3 loss in Friday morning's fourballs with a 1-up victory over Retief Goosen and Tim Clark.
Kenny Perry and Jerry Kelly led the charge in the foursomes, or alternate-shot format, with a 2-and-1 victory over Peter Lonard and K.J. Choi. Fred Funk, one of Jack Nicklaus' captain's picks, teamed with 2001 PGA Champion David Toms to trounce the International team of Robert Allenby and Stephen Leaney, 4 and 3.
Ernie Els and Adam Scott nearly coughed up a 3-up lead but pulled out a 1-up win over the American team of Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco. Mickelson is the only member of the U.S. team who has yet to collect a point.
Jim Furyk, the reigning U.S. Open champion, continued his strong play from the morning. In the fourballs, he teamed with Jay Haas to match the most lopsided win in Presidents Cup history with a 6-and-5 drubbing of Stuart Appleby and Scott.
In the foursomes, Furyk reunited with his World Cup partner from last week, Justin Leonard, and handled the highly-ranked International team of 2003 PGA Tour money leader Vijay Singh and Masters winner Mike Weir, 5 and 4.
Nicklaus' squad evened the matches Friday morning when they took three out of five fourball, or better-ball matches. Nicklaus switched some of his pairings and rested Davis Love III to nurse his sore neck and Jay Haas, who is 49 years of age.
Woods and Howell looked impressive in building a 4-up lead through 13 holes. Woods, however, missed a four-footer for a halve at the 16th and suddenly the Americans' lead was only 1-up.
The teams halved the 17th and Goosen gave the Internationals a good chance at a half point when he knocked the team's second to 10 feet at the par-5 18th. Clark never got the eagle putt on line and Woods delivered on his four-footer to halve the hole and win the match.
'I don't know if I could have lived that one down if I missed that one,' admitted Woods, who owns a 5-1 record in foursomes in three appearances at the Presidents Cup.
All of the other points for the U.S. were laughers. Perry and Kelly won four holes in a row, starting at the eighth and despite a pair of late birdie putts by Choi, the Americans closed out the match on No. 17.
Perry is now the only undefeated American at 3-0 and Kelly was just happy to get back into the mix. He sat out Friday morning's foursomes and in the afternoon, finally earned his first point in an international team competition.
'It was really hard to sit out this morning, but I told the guys that I was here for the team,' said Kelly. 'Mr. Nicklaus clearly knows what's going on because he had me fresh out there.'
Funk and Toms birdied the ninth to go 1-up and the Aussie duo failed to make either a birdie or a threat. They were dusted on the 14th hole and now Leaney is still winless in his Presidents Cup debut.
Furyk and Leonard were never in jeopardy Friday afternoon but Els and Scott nearly blew their huge lead to Mickelson and DiMarco. The International tandem made a triple-bogey and bogey at 12 and 13 to cut their lead to 1-up.
Scott ensured a two-putt birdie at the 16th to go 2-up with two to play. Mickelson cut that margin in half with a 25-foot birdie putt at 17 and the Americans seemed to have the advantage at the par-5 closing hole.
DiMarco hit his second shot to 10 while Scott's approach hit the green and rolled off the back. Els chipped in from behind the green to secure the International team's only point in foursomes.
'We played so well for 11 holes and then I lost the plot on 12 and hit it right,' said Els. 'But we hung in there.'
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    Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated” while taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

    Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor, he made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

    Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).

    Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

    “I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

    Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

    “I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

    Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

    “No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

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    Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

    Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

    “We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.

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    To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

    “I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

    Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

    “Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

    The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

    “We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.

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    Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For Erik van Rooyen familiarity has not bred contempt.

    The South African, like many European Tour players, has been on a links golf odyssey the last three weeks, playing the Irish Open, Scottish Open and this week’s Open Championship in consecutive weeks, and the crash course paid off on Day 1 at Carnoustie when he opened with a 4-under 67 to assure himself a spot among the early leaders.

    Although van Rooyen missed the cut last week just down the coast at Gullane Golf Club, he entered the final round in Ireland with a four-stroke lead.

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    “I didn't pull it off the final day,” said van Rooyen, who closed with a 74 to tie for fourth place. “I still think I played pretty well. I was nervous. That's completely normal, and I'll learn how to deal with that. I'll take that experience into tournaments like this.”

    Van Rooyen, who was alone in second place when he completed his round, began his round with back-to-back birdies and was bogey-free until the last hole. It was just what one would expect from a player who has immersed himself in links golf for the better part of a month.

    “We've been playing nice golf now the last three weeks, so definitely used to the way this course is playing, definitely used to handling the wind,” he said. “So I'll be ready.”