Woods Survives Rollins Scare

By Sports NetworkFebruary 25, 2004, 5:00 pm
Defending champion Tiger Woods won the 18th hole Wednesday to defeat John Rollins, 1-up, and advance to the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Woods, who defeated David Toms in last year's final, trailed throughout the entire match but took advantage of mistakes made by his 16th-seeded opponent.
Woods found himself 2-down after Rollins cashed in a short birdie putt at the 12th.
But Woods rebounded with a win at the 13th and a bogey by Rollins at 17 knotted up the match.
At the par-5 closing hole at La Costa, Woods drove into the right rough but was able to lay up down the fairway. Rollins found the fairway off the tee and then again with his second but that's when trouble set in for the 2002 winner of the Canadian Open.
Rollins pushed a pitching-wedge into the bunker on the right side of the green while Woods hit his third 20 feet left of the hole. Rollins' bunker shot never even made it to the putting surface and his fifth ran four feet past the hole, meaning Woods had two putts to win the match.
Woods didn't need two putts as his birdie try fell right into the cup.
Despite surviving the near upset, Woods was not happy with the state of his game or his performance on Wednesday.
'I kept making mistakes,' said Woods, who lost to Peter O'Malley in the first round two years ago when he was the No. 1 seed. 'I made three bogeys today which is unacceptable.'
Rollins may have let a gigantic opportunity slide by but was relatively upbeat after the match.
'I did what I wanted to,' said Rollins. 'I gave him a match. I'll probably be a little disappointed. I feel like I missed a couple good opportunities. I'll take a lot from it.'
Woods will now battle Trevor Immelman, the No. 8 seed in the Bobby Jones bracket, in Thursday's second round. Immelman moved on thanks to a 2-and-1 victory over Shigeki Maruyama.
The three other No. 1 seeds moved on to the second round.
Vijay Singh, the top seed in the Gary Player bracket, trounced Shingo Katayama, 5 and 3. Mike Weir, last week's Nissan Open champion and No. 1 seed in the Ben Hogan bracket, beat 2002 PGA Champion Rich Beem, 3 and 2, and Davis Love III, tops in the Sam Snead bracket, defeated Briny Baird, 2-up.
Love now gets a match with good friend Fred Couples in the second round after Couples bested Bob Tway, 3 and 2, in the first round.
The biggest upset in Wednesday's first round involved Retief Goosen, the No. 2 seed on the Hogan side. He was defeated by John Huston, 2 and 1, and was the highest seed eliminated in the first round.
Phil Mickelson continued his strong form in 2004 as he played well in beating Lee Westwood 3 and 1.
Both of last year's stunning major winners advanced on Wednesday. British Open winner Ben Curtis defeated Charles Howell III, 2-up, and PGA Champion Shaun Micheel needed 21 holes to oust Englishman Paul Casey, 1-up.
Fifteen matches went the full 18, while six needed extra holes to crown a winner.
Darren Clarke and Eduardo Romero nearly matched the tournament record for longest non-championship match, but Clarke won the 25th hole to earn the 1-up victory. Weir and Loren Roberts went 26 holes last year.
'It was very tough,' said Clarke, who holed a chip for eagle at 18 to extend the match. 'Eddie had a couple of really good chances early on in the playoff holes. Unfortunately he didn't quite make them.'
Clarke will now face Alex Cejka in the second round after Cejka beat Justin Leonard, 4 and 3.
The remaining winners in the Player bracket were: Kenny Perry (6 and 4 over Jeff Sluman), Steve Flesch (1-up in 19 holes over Brad Faxon), Chad Campbell (3 and 2 over Tim Herron, Roberts (1-up over Jay Haas) and Jerry Kelly (1-up over Sergio Garcia).
Woods and Immelman will be joined in the second round of the Jones bracket by: Padraig Harrington (2 and 1 over Toshi Izawa), Bob Estes (1-up in 19 holes over Scott Verplank), Toms (1-up in 19 holes over Niclas Fasth), Micheel, Thomas Bjorn (4 and 3 over Scott Hoch) and Fredrik Jacobson (5 and 4 over Phillip Price).
Weir and Huston are in the second round of the Hogan bracket and also in are: Duffy Waldorf (5 and 4 over Jonathan Kaye), Ian Poulter (1-up over Chris Riley), Peter Lonard (1-up over Rocco Mediate), Colin Montgomerie (1-up in 20 holes over Nick Price), Stewart Cink (4 and 2 over K.J. Choi) and Stephen Leaney (1-up over Fred Funk).
In addition to the Love/Couples match and the Mickelson/Curtis match, the Snead bracket will feature Stuart Appleby (5 and 4 over Justin Rose) against Chris DiMarco (2-up over Michael Campbell) and Robert Allenby (3 and 2 over Brian Davis) versus Adam Scott (2 and 1 over Miguel Angel Jimenez).
Related Links:
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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

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    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

    It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

    With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

    Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.