2018 Ryder Cup, 2018: Europe beats back a talented United States team to regain trophy


October 1, 2018

2018 Ryder Cup, 2018: Europe beats back a talented United States team to regain trophy

Image result for francesco molinari at ryder cup in paris

The 2018 Ryder Cup was dramatic for a short while during the Sunday singles matches, but in the end, Europe rolled to a clear 17.5-10.5 victory after entering the day leading 10-6. The United States team certainly made the hosts earn the victory with a downhill string of early points and half points, but in a flurry at the end, the Euros took back the trophy after losing it two years ago and kept the U.S. from winning on European soil for the first time since 1993.

It felt close for a while (and it was on the scoreboard), but after losing the first session 3-1 on Friday morning, Europe went on to win the next four with a combined score of 16.5-7.5. It was an absolute thumping for the U.S., which came in as one of the better teams in this event’s history. It was also the Americans’ worst loss at this event since 2006 when they fell 18.5-9.5 at the K Club.

Sunday singles — Europe wins 17.5-10.5 overall

United States Europe Result
Justin Thomas Rory McIlroy

USA wins 1UP

Brooks Koepka Paul Casey Match halved
Webb Simpson Justin Rose USA wins 3&2
Tiger Woods Jon Rahm Europe wins 2&1
Tony Finau Tommy Fleetwood USA wins 6&4
Dustin Johnson Ian Poulter Europe wins 2UP
Jordan Spieth Thorbjorn Olsesn Europe wins 5&4
Rickie Fowler Sergio Garcia Europe wins 2&1
Phil Mickelson Francesco Molinari Europe wins 4&2 (clincher)
Patrick Reed Tyrrell Hatton USA wins 3&2
Bubba Watson Henrik Stenson Europe wins 5&4
Bryson DeChambeau Alex Noren Europe wins 1UP

With victories from Justin Thomas, Tony Finau and Webb Simpson — plus a half point from Brooks Koepka — the Americans moved to within 10.5-9.5 of the Europeans, which led the Ryder Cup since Friday afternoon onward. The Yanks would only win one point the rest of the day.

After Thomas, Finau and Simpson provided hope, a handful of other matches teetered toward the U.S., and a path to victory was at least visible. However, the United States could not afford to let any of the matches in the middle topple Europe’s way as captain Jim Furyk front-loaded his singles with guys who were playing better golf. The back end looked dicey from the start.

Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson badly needed to flip their matches against Jon Rahm and Ian Poulter, respectively, and they didn’t. Europe got two full points from them, and it was all but over. When Rahm downed Woods 2&1 on the 17th hole with his fourth birdie of the day and Poulter took world No. 1 Johnson at the 18th 2UP, the only question left was who would do the final deed. The answer was somewhat humorous.

Phil Mickelson, who struggled all week and helped engender the task force that led to the selection of this team, hit a ball in the water on No. 16, took off his hat and conceded to Francesco Molinari. The point means Molinari is just the fourth man to go 5-0-0 in a Ryder Cup and the first to ever do it in the same year he won a major. Woods and Mickelson combined to go 0-6-0 in the Ryder Cup, and Woods’ 0-4 mark made him the fourth to do that in a single Ryder Cup since 1979.

Image result for francesco molinari and his team

“I don’t even think I can quantify to let you guys know how much it means,” Poulter told NBC after he got Europe to 13.5 points. “You see it in the emotion when we hole putts. You see it in the emotion of the fans. To be able to represent Europe is extremely special. To be able to win this thing back is even more special.”

Europe closed with more victories from Henrik Stenson over Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia over Rickie Fowler and Alex Noren over Bryson DeChambeau. They ended up winning a singles session they only had to halve. The ensuing celebration was more or less a parade. Fleetwood ran laps, Stenson toasted and Molinari insisted that he wishes it had been Garcia who had the holed the final putt to become the all-time points earner in Ryder Cup history. Noren ended it with a bang.

For the United States, it was a big week of questions with few answers. Why did Woods go 0-4-0 a week after winning the Tour Championship? Why did Johnson look listless for most of the event? What’s going on with Watson? And on and on we go.

For Europe, it’s yet another in a long line of machine-like performances. They took advantage of a course that fit their games, never panicked and forced the U.S. to need a miracle on Sunday. They didn’t get it, and as a result the Euros have won a seventh Ryder Cup in their last nine tries.

CBS Sports was with you the entire way Sunday updating this story with the latest scores, standings, highlights and analysis from Day 3 of the 2018 Ryder Cup. If you are unable to view the updates below, please click here.

Thanks for joining us.

    Kyle Porter  mugshot

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012.

Tiger Woods is back in grand fashion


September 24, 2018

Golf: Tiger Woods is back in grand fashion

https://www.golfchannel.com/article/doug-ferguson/woods-wins-tour-championship-two-strokes/

ATLANTA – Tiger Woods, in his Sunday red shirt, both arms raised in victory on the 18th green.

Image result for Tiger Woods wins at Atlanta 2018

For so many years, the scene was familiar.This time, it was surreal.

”I can’t believe I pulled this off,” Woods said Sunday during the trophy presentation at the Tour Championship, where he gave thousands of delirious fans at East Lake, and millions more around the world, what they wanted to see, and what they thought they might never see again.

And at that moment, Woods was overcome with emotion and paused.

After two back surgeries six weeks apart, he couldn’t lie down, sit or walk without pain. Golf was the least of his concerns, so much that he once said anything else he achieved would be ”gravy.”

Image result for tiger woods and arnold palmer

Tiger Woods with the late Arnold D. Palmer

One year ago, while recovering from a fourth back surgery, he still had no idea if he could come back to the highest level of golf.

”Just to be able to compete and play again this year, that’s a hell of a comeback,” he said.

Woods delivered the perfect ending to his amazing return from back surgeries with a performance out of the past. He left the competition feeling hopeless as he built a five-shot lead early and then hung on for a 1-over 71 and a two-shot victory over Billy Horschel.

It was the 80th victory of his PGA Tour, two short of the career record held by Sam Snead that is now very much in play. And it was his first victory in more than five years, dating to the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational.


https://vplayer.golfchannel.com/p/BxmELC/gc_embedplayer/select/media/JRLCxd9ywBOj


And that brought a new version of Tigermania.

After he hit his second shot to the par-5 18th safely in a bunker in front of the green, the crowd came through the ropes and followed behind in a chaotic celebration. It was like that when he walked from the left side of the 18th fairway at the 1997 Masters he won by 12. It was reminiscent of that walk up the 18th fairway later that summer at the Western Open in Chicago.

This was pure pandemonium. Fans chased after any inch of grass they could find to watch the ending.

”I didn’t want to get run over,” Woods said with a laugh.

This felt just as big as a major, maybe better considering where Woods had been.

Several players, from Zach Johnson to Rickie Fowler to Horschel, waited to greet him. It was Johnson who unveiled red shirts at the Ryder Cup two years ago in the team room that said, ”Make Tiger Great Again.”

”They knew what I was struggling with,” Woods said. ”It was special to see them.”

Woods played only one PGA Tour event over two seasons because of his back. Off the golf course, he had to overcome the embarrassment of a DUI arrest in the early morning of Memorial Day in 2017 when he was found asleep at the wheel, later found to have a concoction of pain medication in his system.

Image result for tiger woods wins at atlanta 2018

He was becoming a legend on in video highlights. And then he brought it back to life this year, especially the last four days at East Lake. The players who have turns at No. 1 during his absence caught the full brunt of Woods in control. McIlroy faded early. Justin Rose faded late.

All that was left was the 42-year-old Woods in that red shirt, blazing brighter than ever, and a smile he couldn’t shake walking up the 18th to collect another trophy.

”The 80 mark is a big number,” he said. ”It’s a pretty damned good feeling.”

He finished at 11-under 269 and won $1.62 million, along with a $3 million bonus for finishing second in the FedEx Cup.

The only disappointment – a minor one under the circumstances – was realizing as he came down the 18th that Rose had made birdie to finish in a three-way tie for fourth, which gave him the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus.

Without that birdie, Woods would have won his third FedEx Cup title after starting at No. 20 going into the Tour Championship.

”Congrats, Rosie,” Woods told him. ”World No. 1, hell of a season.”

Actually, former world No. 1 for Rose. His four bogeys over the last 10 holes cost him the No. 1 ranking back to Dustin Johnson, who shot 67 and finished third.

But this wasn’t about the FedEx Cup or even the world ranking. This is Tiger’s big day, and nothing was going to change it.

Woods had never lost when leading by three shots or more going into the final round. That was when he was regularly winning multiple times every season, compiling trophies at a rate never before seen in golf.

Was anything different having gone more than five years without winning?

Rose had said it was a bit more unknown, and ”there’s a lot on it for him” as well as everyone else.

But this was still Woods’ arena. The walk from the putting green snakes some 80 yards across the road and through a gallery, and everyone could hear him coming from the procession of cheering. And within the opening hour, the Tour Championship had that inevitable feeling.

No one brings excitement like Woods, even when he plays so good and so smart that he eliminates any potential for drama.

The buzz was endless. A couple of teenagers climbed into a tree to see him made a 10-foot birdie on the first hole. When the putt dropped and cheers died, there was a wild sprint some 200 yards up the hill as fans tried to get into position for the next shot. He tapped in for par, and another stampede ensued to line the third fairway.

On and on it went. No one wanted to miss a shot.

A year ago, there was no guarantee anyone would see much of Woods, much less Woods winning.

He’s back again. This victory, his first since the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone in August 2013 – 1,876 days, to be exact – brought him to No. 13 in the world. Not bad for a 42-year-old with four back surgeries who returned to competition in December at No. 1,199 in the world.

The next stop for Woods is to board a plane with the rest of his U.S. teammates for France and the Ryder Cup.

After that?

There’s no telling.

Doug Ferguson is a national golf writer for The Associated Press.

US PGA Championship: Brooks Koepka wins


August 14, 2018

US PGA Championship: Brooks Koepka holds off Tiger Woods to win at Bellerive

Brooks Koepka is fifth man to win the US Open and US PGA in the same year after Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
100th US PGA Championship final leaderboard
-16 B Koepka (US); -14 T Woods (US); -13 A Scott (Aus); -11 S Cink (US), J Rahm (Spa); -10 T Pieters (Bel), F Molinari (Ita), J Thomas (US), G Woodland (US)
Selected others: -9 T Hatton (Eng); -8 R Fowler (US); -7 J Rose (Eng), M Wallace (Eng); -5 I Poulter (Eng); -4 T Fleetwood (Eng), R Knox (Sco); -2 R McIlroy (NI)

American Brooks Koepka won his second major of 2018 by seeing off a resurgent Tiger Woods to claim the US PGA Championship on a compelling final day.

The US Open champion, 28, who led by two shots overnight, shot a four-under 66 to win by two on 16 under par.

Excitement grew at Bellerive as Woods pushed for a first major since 2008, falling short despite a final-day 64.

Koepka holed birdies on the 14th and 15th to keep clear of Woods and Adam Scott (67), who finished on 13 under.

It was 14-time major winner Woods’ lowest final round at either the Masters, US Open, The Open or US PGA.However, his efforts were still not enough as Koepka became the first man since Woods in 2000 to win the US Open and US PGA in the same season.

Image result for 2018 PGA Champion Brooks

Koepka, watched by his mother and girlfriend from the side of the 18th green, fought back tears after tapping in a par to set a new 72-hole PGA Championship scoring record of 264.

Spain’s Jon Rahm finished as the leading European player on 11 under after a 68, a shot ahead of Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, who had a double-bogey on the par-five 17th in his 66, and Italy’s Open champion Francesco Molinari, who closed with a 67.

Their performances will have encouraged European captain Thomas Bjorn in the run-up to next month’s Ryder Cup in Paris, along with Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello’s final round of 64 as the Dane contemplates his four wildcard picks, with eight players qualifying automatically.

Tyrrell Hatton was the best-placed British golfer. He played with Cabrera Bello and also signed for a 64 as both players finished on nine under.

‘Patient’ Koepka reaps the rewards

Koepka came into the 100th PGA Championship on the back of a fine season which has seen him claim two other top-five finishes on the PGA Tour along with his US Open victory at Shinnecock Hills.

The world number four had feared his year would be ruined after partially tearing a tendon in his left wrist and then missing the Masters with another wrist injury. But he battled back to fitness and has been rewarded with his third major win in just over a year.

Again, his nerveless demeanour and powerful ball-striking, honed partly by his dedication to the gym, enabled him to hold off several challengers on a high-quality leaderboard.

Koepka remained calm and composed as he held off Englishman Tommy Fleetwood’s final-day charge to retain his US Open title in June – and did the same at Bellerive as Woods, Scott and defending champion Justin Thomas all made moves.

After rounds of 69, 63 and 66 earlier in the week, he moved to 14 under after four birdies and two bogeys in his first nine holes, and then maintained his composure to not drop a shot in a two-under 33 on the back nine.

“For some reason the majors get my attention more,” said Koepka. “Every shot is so important. You have to be patient and I always do that very well in the majors.”

Buoyant Bellerive unable to roar Tiger to victory

Tiger Woods playing a shot at Bellerive
Woods drew the biggest crowds of the day on Sunday as he chased that elusive 15th major victory.

Leading from fellow American Gary Woodland going into Sunday’s final round, Koepka started with a birdie on the first to extend his overnight advantage to three shots.

He had only made two bogeys and one double bogey all week but dropped shots at the fourth and fifth saw him move into a share of the lead with Thomas, who had three birdies in his opening seven holes.

A run of three birdies before the turn moved Koepka back into the outright lead but, as Thomas faltered, Woods roared to within a shot with successive birdies on the 12th and 13th.

Loud cheers accompanied every shot hit by 42-year-old former world number one Woods, who was looking to complete what would be regarded as one of sport’s greatest comebacks, 10 years after his last major victory at the 2008 US Open.

Koepka handled the pressure to create a number of birdie opportunities at the start of the back nine, but was unable to take one as Scott moved level with successive birdies on the 12th and 13th.

“At the beginning of the back nine I could hear all the roars, when Tiger made his run and Scotty did,” said Koepka. “It was fun and enjoyable.”

Clearly thriving on the atmosphere, Koepka finally landed a birdie on the 15th to restore his lead and added another from six feet on the 16th to move two clear of Scott with two holes to play.

Woods was still three behind Koepka after wiping out a bogey on the 14th with a birdie on the 15th, but Koepka’s birdies put him into a lead which he never looked like relinquishing.

Pars on the final two holes illustrated Koepka’s steeliness as Scott sprayed his drive right on the 18th before carding a bogey which allowed Woods, who had birdied the last, to take outright second.

Woods ‘thankful’ to be in contention

Tiger Woods

The Woods fist-pump returned at Bellerive as he made a charge on the final day

Woods saw his career – and seemingly-inevitable march past Jack Nicklaus’ record mark of 18 major wins – stall following several years which were hampered by personal issues and a serious back injury.

He did not play a major in 2016 and 2017 and only returned to competitive golf in November last year following fusion surgery to repair his back.

After a brief surge to the top of the leaderboard at last month’s Open, Woods proved once again he can compete in golf’s greatest events with a scintillating final-round performance at Bellerive.

Opening rounds of 70, 66 and 66 meant he started four shots behind Koepka on Sunday, a deficit which the four-time US PGA champion said he knew would be difficult to overcome.

Unable to hit a single fairway on the front nine, Woods still turned in three under and finished the back nine in the same score to earn his highest-placed finish at a major since the 2009 PGA at Hazeltine

“I was in contention at the last two majors and would never have foreseen that a year ago. I’m just so thankful to be here,” said Woods.

“I played hard. It was a bit of a struggle with my game. I was just hanging in there, grinding it out and trying to make as many birdies as possible. I made a little bit of a run and am going to come up a couple of shots short.

“I was always chasing. When I was on the range I could see guys were three under through six holes so I knew I couldn’t sit still. I had to get birdies.

“I didn’t drive well all day – I was hitting it left and right on the driving range, even with my sand wedge – so I knew it was going to be a struggle to piece together a round but I did.”

 

The Passing of Australia’s Greatest Golfer Peter Thomson


July 23, 2018

The Passing of Australia’s Greatest Golfer Peter Thomson

Peter Thomson

TRIBUTES are flowing for Aussie golf legend Peter Thomson who died this morning, two months shy of his 89th birthday.The five time British Open champion is being remembered as a great of the game and a proud Victorian.

Brunswick-born Thomson was the first Australian to win the British Open and one of only two men to win it five times alongside Tom Watson of the US.

He won on the American senior tour nine times in 1985, setting a record that may never be broken.

His record includes:

— Five British Opens (1954, ‘55, ‘56, ‘58, ‘65)

— Six PGA Tour wins

— 33 PGA Tour of Australasia wins

— 11 PGA Tour Champions wins

— Fifth at US Masters (1957)

— Tied fourth US Open (1956)

— World Golf Hall of Fame (1988)

— Arnold Palmer Award (1986)

Image result for golfer peter thomson

Peter Thomson, Arnold Palmer and Bruce Devlin

He is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

peter.rolfe@news.com.au

GOLF: Italy’s Francesco Molinari is 2018 British Open Champion


July 23, 2018

GOLF: Italy’s Francesco Molinari is 2018 British Open Champion

by Jack Rosser

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/francesco-molinari-wins-open-championship-2018-as-tiger-woods-shows-hes-a-major-contender-once-more-a3893346.html

Italian Francesco Molinari has broken American dominance of golf‘s majors as he claimed his first at the Open Championship, capping a fine season ahead of the Ryder Cup.

The 35-year-old, whose best finish at the Open going into the weekend came at Muirfield in 2013 in a tie for ninth, beat defending champion Jordan Spieth, who collapsed on the final day, and was run close by Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and a host of American’s including the impressive Xander Schauffele.

Tiger Woods is back

Tiger Woods, making his first appearance at the Open since 2015, put in the most eye-catching performance since he returned from back fusion surgery, proving he remains a major contender.

Woods, playing alongside Molinari, assumed the outright lead when he produced a fine sand save to turn in 34 and Schauffele struggled down the seventh, taking two to get out of the rough, hitting his approach up against an out-of-bounds fence for a double-bogey.

The 42-year-old then produced a shot reminiscent of his pomp, thrashing a high, 150-yard wedge out of a steep-faced bunker to the front of the 10th green from where he made par.

Woods made a huge error at the 11th after finding the rough off the tee with an iron and it ultimately not only cost him the outright lead but a share of it.

He duffed his chip out of the rough from the back of the green and then three-putted for a double bogey to drop to five under, one back of a four-way tie for the lead.

A second successive double bogey totally killed Woods’ momentum – and potentially ended the fairytale. But the mantle was taken up by McIlroy who, having fought his way back to four under, holed a 35ft eagle putt on 14 to tie the lead.

Justin Rose set the new clubhouse lead on six under after his fourth birdie of the week at 18 having knocked to tap-in range, before McIlroy joined joined him in a share of the clubhouse lead having left his birdie attempt short.

Molinari missed a 15-foot birdie putt at the 17th which would have taken him clear at eight under, while Woods had to settle for par – leaving him needing a birdie at the last to keep his Open chances alive.

But a fantastic approach on the 18th left him with a look at birdie to assume the clubhouse lead, which he took before letting his emotions slip with a fierce fist-pump.

(PA)

He watched on anxiously from the clubhouse as Schauffele took his time over on the 17th, leaving himself with work to do to make par and stay within touching distance, work he could not manage.

The 24-year-old’s bogey eased Molinari a little, and left him needing a two down the last, something which was first achieved in an Open at Carnousite on Saturday buy Zander Lombard.

It was a long shot, and one he was understandably not capable of.

Image result for francesco molinari and the Claret Jug

Molinari was professional and patient, making 13 straight pars before picking up a first birdie on the 14th, and a more than deserving winner.

Brooks Koepka first to win back-to-back U.S. Golf Opens in 29 years


June 18, 2018

Brooks Koepka first to win back-to-back U.S. Golf Opens in 29 years

 https://www.cbssports.com/writers/chip-patterson/

Kyle Porter  & Chip Patterson

Image result for US Open Golf 2018

Brooks Koepka battled through two tough afternoons at Shinnecock Hills over the weekend to become the first repeat winner at the U.S. Open since Curtis Strange in 1988-89 and just the second since Ben Hogan in 1950-51.

Everything about 2018’s event from the scoring perspective was the inverse of the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills. By winning on both courses, which forced golfers to play quite differently, Koepka has cemented his status as one of the best golfers in the world when he’s healthy.

Koepka not only had to battle 54-hole co-leader and playing partner Dustin Johnson, he had to keep his eye on a leaderboard that saw Masters champion Patrick Reed make a run and Tommy Fleetwood shoot the sixth 63 in U.S. Open history earlier in the day. Fleetwood entered the clubhouse at 2-over par, and after both Koepka and Johnson bogeyed the 11th hole, Fleetwood’s score looked strong enough to put him in contention for a playoff.

Image result for brooks koepka 2018 Open Golf Champion with Trophy

Brooks Koepka–US Open Golf Champion 2018 and 2017

But when Koepka knocked his approach shot snug on 16 to push the lead to even par with two holes to play, there was no question that he was going clear every hurdle Shinnecock Hills provided this week.

The initial challenge was his own doing, a 75 on Thursday with two bogeys and two double-bogeys. He rallied to a 66 on Friday, and as the course and conditions took hold of this tournament on Saturday afternoon, Koepka was impacted just like the rest of the field. He carded three bogeys in his final seven holes of the day to finish with a 72, but those four pars he had to grind out in the same stretch left him in tie for first place and in the mix to win on Sunday.

Round 4 was all about execution. Koepka was all over the pins early in the round, with birdies on three of the first five holes. When the wind picked up in the afternoon, he did as good a job scrambling as anyone on the course. He was lights out on the greens, burying tough putts from 5-10 feet when his playing partner couldn’t buy a birdie putt.

Here’s how the leaderboard looked at the end of the 2018 U.S. Open:

1. Brooks Koepka (+1): A two-putt bogey on No. 18 was not going to sour a coronation moment for the two-time major winner. While he occupies a crowded room of under-30 American superstars, no one else has two U.S. Open titles. In winning his second before turning 30, Koepka becomes just the fourth golfer since World War II to accomplish that feat, joining Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Jack Nicklaus.

2. Tommy Fleetwood (+2): It’s hard to nitpick a historic round (and new course record at Shinnecock Hills), but Fleetwood’s 63 could have been a 60 or 61. We will remember the putt on 18, but Fleetwood also had three or four really good birdie looks that didn’t fall during his charge up the leaderboard. The next step for Fleetwood is putting together four consistent rounds of this elite golf in a major championship.

3. Dustin Johnson (+3): The stats after two rounds hinted at potential unsustainable success on the greens and somewhat average, at least by D.J.’s standard, work off the tee and on his approach shots. The confidence he had been showing on the greens looked lost on Saturday and Sunday, as his putting will be the talking point of why the World No. 1 was not able to convert on his lead in 2018.

4. Patrick Reed (+4): The reality inside Reed’s mind — where he is the greatest golfer of all time and we just don’t get it — and the reality shared by the rest of the golf world moved a little bit closer together this week, where Reed burned hot on a 31 going out only to flame out with a 37 coming in for a fourth-place finish.

5. Tony Finau (+5): It was an electric afternoon with Finau on the course with moments of title contention and big jumps and slides on a very crowded leaderboard. Playing in the final group with Daniel Berger, Finau had five birdies, five bogeys and a double-bogey on No. 18 to notch his first top-five finish and third top-10 finish in a major championship.

https://www.cbssports.com/golf/news/2018-u-s-open-leaderboard-brooks-koepka-first-to-win-back-to-back-us-opens-in-29-years/