Saturday's Golf Capsules
Sunday, November 20, 2011
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The American returned Down Under and wound up on top in the Presidents Cup.
Jim Furyk became the fourth player to win all five of his matches, and the bottom half of the lineup was strong enough Sunday to give the Americans their fourth straight win in this lopsided series.
Perhaps it was only fitting that Tiger Woods clinched the cup for the second straight time.
U.S. captain Fred Couples was criticized for using a pick on Woods, who had been out with an injury most of the summer and hasn’t won since his personal life crumbled two years ago.
Woods played well all week, even if he didn’t always get rewarded with a point. In his singles match against Aaron Baddeley, he was never seriously challenged.
Woods closed out Baddeley, 4 and 3, and the celebration was on.
The Americans won, 19-15, the third straight time they have won by at least four points.
It was a small measure of revenge for the Americans, whose only lost came at Royal Melbourne in 1998.
The International team’s only win came 13 years ago at Royal Melbourne, when the Americans suffered their biggest loss in any team competition. There was no repeat this time, not even close.
The Americans led after each session, and their 13-9 lead going into the final session Sunday was too much for the International team to overcome, even with a loud and boisterous Australian crowd behind it.
Ryo Ishikawa, Charl Schwartzel, K.T. Kim and Geoff Ogilvy got the International side going. But the outcome was never seriously in doubt. Furyk, David Toms and Woods were at the bottom of the lineup, and none ever trailed. Toms routed Robert Allenby, 7 and 5, giving the Australian a dubious distinction. He joined John Huston as the only captain’s picks to not win a single point.
Furyk, coming off his worst season since he was a PGA Tour, joined Woods, Shigeki Maruyama and Mark O’Meara as the only players to record a 5-0 record in the Presidents Cup. Furyk made an eagle on the par-5 second and beat Ernie Els 4 and 3. Mickelson, 3-0 going into singles, conceded the first three holes to Adam Scott and conceded another hole at the eighth to fall 4 down. He rallied far too late and lost, 2 and 1.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Hee Young Park birdied three of the final four holes for a 3-under 69 and a share of the third-round lead with Sandra Gal on Saturday in the LPGA Tour’s season-ending Titleholders.
Gal, the German player who won the Kia Classic in March for her first LPGA Tour title, shot a 71 in tricky wind conditions to match Park at 7 under at Grand Cypress Resort.
Park, from South Korea, is winless in four full seasons on the LPGA Tour.
Suzann Pettersen was a stroke back after a 68, and Paul Creamer (71) was 5 under. Top-ranked Yani Tseng had a 66 — the best round of the day — to match second-round leader Na Yeon Choi (75) at 4 under.
Michelle Wie was even par after a 72.
PEBBLE BEACH INVITATIONAL
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Matt Bettencourt shot a 3-under 69 at Pebble Beach on Saturday for a share of the lead with Kyle Thompson after the third round of the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational.
Bettencourt, the 2010 Reno-Tahoe Open winner, and Thompson were at 11-under 205.
Thompson, set to return to the PGA Tour full-time next season after four years on the Nationwide Tour, had 71 at Spyglass with an eagle, six birdies, three bogeys and two double bogeys.
ALFRED DUNHILL CHAMPIONSHIP
MALELANE, South Africa (AP) — South Africa’s Garth Mulroy birdied five straight holes on the back nine en route to an 8-under 64 and two-stroke lead Saturday in the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
Mulroy had was 15 under at Leopard Creek in the event sanctioned by the European and Sunshine tours.
Chile’s Felipe Aguilar was second after a 68.
JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia (AP) — Heavy rain washed out play Saturday and forced organizers to reduce the Iskandar Johor Open to 54 holes, with Sweden’s Daniel Chopra holding a two-shot lead.
Chopra played one hole in the third round before the downpour forced play to be canceled for the day, with the two-time PGA Tour winner at 13 under. Defending champion Padraig Harrington, James Morrison and Gregory Bourdy were two shots back after also playing just one hole in the third round.
The event is sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.
MIYAZAKI, Japan (AP) — The third round of the Dunlop Phoenix was washed out by heavy rain Saturday, forcing organizers to shorten the Japan Tour event to 54 holes.
Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano led Japan’s Hideto Tanihara by one shot at 8-under 134 after the second round Friday. Fernandez-Castano won the rain-delayed Singapore Open on Monday in a playoff.