World Leader Argentina by Three

By Sports NetworkDecember 8, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 WGC - Barbedos World Cup ST. JAMES, Barbados -- Angel Cabrera and Andres Romero of Argentina combined to shoot a 4-under 67 on Friday to move their country to the top of the leaderboard after two rounds of the WGC-Barbados World Cup.
Argentina stands at 11-under-par 131 at the Country Club Course at Sandy Lane Resort. It is three shots clear of the field after Friday's foursomes, or alternate-shot, format.
Stewart Cink and J.J. Henry
Stewart Cink and J.J. Henry couldn't take the heat on Day 2, falling eight back.
Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warren got Scotland into a share of second place after a 4-under 67. The German pair of Bernhard Langer and Marcel Siem posted a 2-under 69 and joined Scotland and Sweden, represented by Carl Petterssen and Henrik Stenson, which shot a 1-under 70 on Friday.
South Africa, anchored by Rory Sabbatini and Richard Sterne, shared the opening-round lead with Argentina and Sweden, but only managed an even-par 71 on Friday. It is tied for fifth place with Spain. Miguel Angel Jimenez and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano teamed for a 5-under 66 in the second round.
Much like Thursday's first round of four-balls, or better-ball, 30 mile-per-hour winds greeted the players at the Country Club Course. Ten of the 24 teams managed to break par, but it was the pair from Argentina that survived best on Friday.
Argentina got to 8 under par for the championship with a birdie at the par-4 third. The duo combined to birdie the par-5 sixth, then Cabrera sank a 30-foot birdie putt at the seventh to reach 10 under par and move one clear of the field.
Argentina parred the next two holes, then Romero tapped in a short birdie putt at the 10th to get to minus-11. The tandem played steady golf the rest of the way, but did have some chances coming into the clubhouse.
The team had an 18-foot birdie putt at 13, but Cabrera came up short. Romero reached the green in two at the par-5 15th, but the duo three-putted for a par.
Argentina's next great look at birdie came at the par-3 closing hole at the Country Club Course. Romero hit a beautiful tee ball to 25 feet, but Cabrera missed the birdie putt.
Despite eight consecutive pars to close the round, Argentina managed to grab a comfortable cushion. Its solid play, coupled with some back-nine errors by its closest competitors, allowed for the three-shot lead.
Sweden held the lead, but fell at seven when Petterssen missed an 8-foot par putt. Stenson and Petterssen birdied No. 9, but bogeyed the 10th, then things went downhill further.
The pair bogeyed 13, got one back at the 16th, but bogeyed the last when Petterssen hit the team's tee ball 65 feet past the hole. Sweden three-putted from there for a bogey.
Germany collected four birdies on the front side, but bogeyed 14 and 17.
South Africa tallied a pair of birdies at one and six, but parred the next five around the turn. Back-to-back bogeys at 12 and 13, and another at the last halted South Africa's charge.
That left Argentina, with its back-nine pars atop the leaderboard by three.
If Argentina goes to the winner's circle on Sunday afternoon, it will mark the first win for the country since the inaugural World Cup in 1953.
Cabrera was involved with Argentina's best finish in recent memory in 2000. At Buenos Aires Golf Club in Argentina, he and Eduardo Romero went toe-to-toe with the top-ranked American pair of Tiger Woods and David Duval before ultimately losing by three.
'Am I surprised to be leading? No, why? We are not surprised to be there,' said Cabrera.
'I wasn't surprised because I knew we were playing very solid and things were going okay,' said Romero. 'It's a pity we made a three-putt on the 15th and only made par but it was a bogey-free round and that is good when you play this format.'
The English pair of Luke Donald and David Howell teamed for a 1-under 70 on Friday. England is alone in seventh place at minus-6, one shot better than Mexico, which shot a 3-under 68,
Italy (70) and South Korea (72) are knotted in ninth place at 4-under-par 138.
The United States of America team of Stewart Cink and J.J. Henry, a duo that went undefeated at this year's Ryder Cup, struggled on Friday. The tandem only managed a 2-over 73 and is alone in 11th at minus-3.
Defending champion Wales, represented once again by Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge, was even worse than the Americans on Friday. Dodd and Dredge combined for a 4-over 75 and are part of a group tied for 12th place at 2-under-par 140.
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    Reed: 'Back still hurts' from carrying Spieth at Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 10:48 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Friday’s marquee match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play between Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, who are both undefeated in pool play, just keeps getting better and better.

    Following his 1-up victory over Charl Schwartzel on Thursday, Reed was asked what makes Spieth, who defeated HaoTong Li, 4 and 2, so good at match play.

    “I don't know, my back still hurts from the last Ryder Cup,” smiled Reed, who teamed with Spieth at Hazeltine National.

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    The duo did go 2-1-1 at the 2016 Ryder Cup and have a combined 7-2-2 record in Ryder and Presidents Cup play. Reed went on to explain why Spieth can be such a challenging opponent in match play.

    “The biggest thing is he's very consistent. He hits the ball well. He chips the ball well. And he putts it really well,” Reed said. “He's not going to give you holes. You have to go and play some good golf.”

    The winner of Friday’s match between Spieth and Reed will advance to the knockout stage.

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    Reed vs. Spieth: Someone has to go

    By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 10:11 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – The introduction of round-robin play to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was a necessary evil. It was needed to stem the tide of early exits by high-profile players, but three days of pool play has also dulled the urgency inherent to match play.

    There are exceptions, like Friday’s marquee match between Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, which is now a knockout duel with both players going 2-0-0 to begin the week in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

    That the stars aligned so perfectly to have America’s most dominant pairing in team play the last few years square off in a winner-take-all match will only add to what promises to be must-see TV.

    Sport doesn’t always follow the script, but the pre-match subtext on this one is too good to dismiss. In one corner, professional golf’s “Golden Child” who has used the Match Play to wrest himself out of the early season doldrums, and in the other there’s the game’s lovable bad boy.

    Where Spieth is thoughtful and humble to the extreme, Reed can irritate and entertain with equal abandon. Perhaps that’s why they’ve paired so well together for the U.S. side at the Ryder and Presidents Cup, where they are a combined 7-2-2 as a team, although Spieth had another explanation.

    “We're so competitive with each other within our own pairing at the Ryder Cup, we want to outdo each other. That's what makes us successful,” Spieth said. “Tiger says it's a phenomenon, it's something that he's not used to seeing in those team events. Normally you're working together, but we want to beat each other every time.”

    But if that makes the duo a good team each year for the United States, what makes Friday’s showdown so compelling is a little more nuanced.

    The duo has a shared history that stretches all the way back to their junior golf days in Texas and into college, when Reed actually committed to play for Texas as a freshman in high school only to change his mind a year later and commit to Georgia.

    That rivalry has spilled over to the professional ranks, with the twosome splitting a pair of playoff bouts with Reed winning the 2013 Wyndham Championship in overtime and Spieth winning in extra holes at the 2015 Valspar Championship.

    Consider Friday a rubber match with plenty of intrigue.

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    Although the friendship between the two is genuine, there is an edge to the relationship, as evidenced by Reed’s comment last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when he was denied relief on the 11th hole on Sunday.

    “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth, guys,” Reed said.

    While the line was clearly a joke, Reed added to Friday’s festivities when he was asked what makes Spieth such a good match play opponent. “I don't know, my back still hurts from the last Ryder Cup,” smiled Reed, a not-so-subtle suggestion that he carried Spieth at Hazeltine.

    For his part, Spieth has opted for a slightly higher road. He explained this week that there have been moments in the Ryder Cup when his European opponents attempted some gamesmanship, which only angered Reed and prompted him to play better.

    “I've been very nice to [Reed] this week,” Spieth smiled.

    But if the light-hearted banter between the duo has fueled the interest in what is often a relatively quiet day at the Match Play, it’s their status as two of the game’s most gritty competitors that will likely lead to the rarest of happenings in sport – an event that exceeds expectations.

    Both have been solid this week, with Speith winning his first two matches without playing the 18th hole and Reed surviving a late rally from Charl Schwartzel on Thursday with an approach at the 18th hole that left him a tap-in birdie to remain unbeaten.

    They may go about it different ways, but both possess the rare ability to play their best golf on command.

    “I’m glad the world gets to see this because it will be special,” said Josh Gregory, Reed’s college coach who still works with the world No. 23. “You have two players who want the ball and they aren’t afraid of anything. Patrick lives for this moment.”

     Where Reed seems to feed off raw emotion and the energy of a head-to-head duel, Spieth appears to take a more analytical approach to match play. Although he admits to not having his best game this week, he’s found a way to win matches, which is no surprise to John Fields, Spieth’s coach at Texas.

    “Jordan gave us a tutorial before the NCAA Championship, we picked his brain on his thoughts on match play and how he competed. It’s one of those secret recipes that someone gives you,” Fields said. “When he was a junior golfer he came up with this recipe.”

    Whatever the secret sauce, it will be tested on Friday when two of the game’s most fiery competitors will prove why match play can be the most entertaining format when the stars align like they have this week.

    It was a sign of how compelling the match promises to be that when asked if he had any interest in the Spieth-Reed bout, Rory McIlroy smiled widely, “I have a lot of interest in that. Hopefully I get done early, I can watch it. Penalty drops everywhere.”

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    Watch: Bubba casually hits flop shot over caddie's head

    By Grill Room TeamMarch 22, 2018, 9:20 pm

    We've seen this go wrong. Really wrong.

    But when your end-of-year bonus is a couple of brand new vehicles, you're expected to go above and beyond every now and then.

    One of those times came early Thursday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where Bubba Watson’s caddie Ted Scott let his boss hit a flop shot over his head.

    It wasn’t quite Phil Mickelson over Dave Pelz, but the again, nothing is.

    And the unique warm-up session paid off, as Watson went on to defeat Marc Leishman 3 and 2 to move to 2-0-0 in group play.

    Hey, whatever works.

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    Spieth explains why he won't play in a 'dome'

    By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 9:01 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – No one at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was as excited about Thursday’s forecast as Jordan Spieth.

    Winds blew across Austin Country Club to 20 mph, which is typical for this time of year in Texas, and Spieth put in a typical performance, beating HaoTong Li, 4 and 2, to remain undefeated entering the final day of pool play.

    The windy conditions were exactly what Spieth, who never trailed in his match, wanted. In fact, demanding conditions factor into how he sets his schedule.

    “I have, and will continue to schedule tournaments away from a dome, because it's just unusual for me. I like having the feel aspect,” said Spieth, who attended the University of Texas and played Austin Country Club in college. “Places with no wind, where it's just driving range shots, it's just never been something I've been used to. So I don't really know what to do on them.”

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    Spieth used the CareerBuilder Challenge as an example. The Coachella Valley event rarely has windy conditions, and as a result he’s never played the tournament.

    “I played in a dome in Phoenix, and I didn't strike the ball well there. Actually I've had quite a few this year, where we didn't have very windy conditions,” said Spieth, who will face Patrick Reed in his final pool play match on Friday. “I don't go to Palm Springs, never have, because of that. Look at where you can take weeks off and if they match up with places that potentially aren't the best for me, then it works out.”