U.S. ahead by 1 at delayed Presidents Cup

DUBLIN, Ohio – One other rain delay minimize brief some exceptional golf Friday in the Presidents Cup.

Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley shot 30 on the front 9 at Muirfield Village, an astounding efficiency in foursomes. Only some sloppy play allowed the match to go 15 holes in a four-and-3 win over Jason Day and Graham DeLaet.

“We have been down but, boy, on 5 we just turned it on and played a few of our greatest golf,” Mickelson stated.

Proper behind them, Brendon de Jonge started to emerge as a star of the International workforce. He teamed with Ernie Els and they never trailed in a 4-and-3 win over Hunter Mahan and Invoice Haas, going 8 beneath when the match ended on the fifteenth.

“This man, he performed lovely and we each played effectively right this moment,” Els said.

The Americans had a four½-3½ lead, although 4 matches had been still in progress when darkness descended on Muirfield Village.

For the second straight day, storms interrupted play and left a bleak outlook for finishing Sunday. Heavy rain – and the time it took to get small swimming pools of water out of the bunkers and fairways – led to a delay of almost three hours.

The opposite 4 matches – the Americans were up in two, the Worldwide led the other two – were to renew Saturday morning.

Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar were 6 below via eight holes and still only had a 1-up lead over Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel. Oosthuizen missed a short par putt on the ninth to lose one other hole, and the previous Open Championship winner made an excellent higher blunder on the par-3 twelfth. After Woods went long of the green, Oosthuizen’s 7-iron leaked to the appropriate and hopped into the water. The Individuals gained with a bogey and have been 3 up with six holes to play once they stopped.

Steve Stricker and 20-12 months-outdated Jordan Spieth finally seized control of their match when Spieth made a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-three eighth, and the Texan made one other key birdie on the twelfth. They had been three up with 4 holes remaining.

What appeared to be the decisive match of the foursomes session was Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman, who overcame an early deficit and have been 1 up with 5 holes remaining towards Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker. The International workforce had control of the opposite match. Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott lost just one gap and had been 4 up with seven holes remaining towards Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner.

[+] EnlargePhil Mickelson and Keegan BradleyBrian Spurlock/USA AT PRESENT Sports activitiesPhil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley were plenty glad after securing some extent for the U.S. workforce on Friday.

Saturday is the busiest day for the Presidents Cup, with five fourballs matches early and five foursomes matches late. It concludes with 12 singles matches Sunday, though the forecast isn’t any higher, especially for Sunday.

One thing was becoming clear by way of the relentless look of clouds – the course Jack Nicklaus built has been groomed for birdies.

Nicklaus stood at the back of the press heart peering at the scoreboard, and he couldn’t consider the scores he saw from each side. “They are saying this golf course is tough,” Nicklaus mentioned, though he knows better. The greens are among the most pure on the PGA Tour, and they’re comfortable because of the rain. In match play, with 24 of the very best players from every continent except Europe, Muirfield Village does not stand much of a chance.

“They aren’t defending the course like they might do on a Sunday of the Memorial,” Els stated. “So they’re establishing the course where you can make some birdies in case you play correctly.”

It was an enormous change from two years in the past at fast, fiery and frightening Royal Melbourne. In eighty holes on Friday, there have been 51 birdies and two eagles. That is good for the fourballs format – not often for alternate shot.

“People need to see birdies,” Mickelson said. “We do not need to be taking part in protection. We want to be playing offense. And if you try this, you are winning holes due to nice photographs, not because of other’s mistakes. And I believe that’s exactly the way it needs to be in these staff events.”

Mickelson and Bradley, coming off their first loss in 4 matches as a staff, fell behind early and wanted a pair of huge putts from Bradley to keep from falling additional behind. It took a 15-foot eagle putt by Mickelson just to square the match on the par-5 fifth. However there was no stopping them from there. They adopted with three straight birdies and gained three straight holes on the again nine with pars.

Mickelson tried to hole out a pitch simply wanting the thirteenth inexperienced – an up-and-down was all he needed – and it hit the opening and spun 4 feet away. Bradley missed the par putt, bungled the 14th for an additional bogey and they halved the fifteenth with birdies.

Even so, they made six birdies and an eagle in 15 holes of alternate shot.

“I just suppose that when Phil and I get rolling in this alternate shot, we complement one another so nicely,” Bradley mentioned. “I think that we each really enjoy type of exhibiting off in entrance of one another.”

De Jonge and Els opened with two fast birdies via three holes and never gave Mahan and Haas a lot of an opportunity. They did not lose a single gap.

“Brendon performed awesome,” Els said. “He played nice yesterday. Actually, he even performed higher at this time.”

The Zimbabwean, in his first Presidents Cup, stated Els contributed in his own means.

“Do not let Ernie give me all of the credit,” de Jonge said. “He is by far probably the most calming affect I’ve ever been on the golf course with. It’s nice to play with a Hall of Famer who hits it in the course of the golf green and middle of the inexperienced. He makes it very straightforward.”

The conclusion of the second session might be pivotal for captain Nick Worth and his International crew, which has misplaced the last seven foursomes sessions on this occasion.



The terrifying Mexican football legend of Columbus, Ohio


Mexico have performed the U.S. in Columbus, Ohio four occasions now and each time they have lost 2-zero. Given this stage of virtually supernatural consistency (Clint Dempsey even missed a late penalty in the newest version to maintain the 2-0 scoreline in tact), Columbus, Ohio has become a nightmarishly mythical place that’s solely spoken about in hushed tones inside Mexico. A legend has developed — instructed to young kids as a warning of what lurks on the horizon for his or her beleaguered national crew. This is that legend…

When the United States turned consumed with jealousy over Mexico’s lengthy, peaceable reign of dominance over them in football, They summoned dark forces to alter it. For many years, They pretended to not care about Mexico always profitable and even the game itself. They made jokes and paid consideration to way more boring issues like baseball and films about affluent youngsters who suppose their lives are tough. But in secret They conspired to finish Mexico’s wonderful success by inventing a town referred to as Columbus, Ohio out of nothingness in 1990s.

They strategically placed Columbus, Ohio in a territory so nightmarishly bland that even They call it “flyover country.” It’s a territory that only exists to make life miserable for Mexican footballers. And it’s there that They built their first “soccer particular stadium” — a time period that loosely interprets to “tiny demon fortress.” A David-like hovel that can only fit lower than 25,000 individuals in a land of Goliath sporting cathedrals. Few Mexicans have been inside the Columbus Demon Fortress, however those that have say that it’s a horrible place where the chants of “USA! USA!” penetrate the skull with their thunderous volume and maddening repetition. It accommodates rows of steel benches that supply horrible lumbar help and the scoreboard spews flames and black smoke when it has been too lengthy for the reason that final non-believer has been provided as a sacrifice.

In Costa Rica, they tell stories of the USA forcing snow from the skies above Colorado, but in Columbus, They have chosen to use the bitter chilly as a weapon towards Mexico. They did this in February 2001. The first time a brave Mexican group was subjected to this despicable place.

The frozen gamers had been left helpless as the USA unleashed a wolf — a Josh Wolff — to strike the cruel blows that might result in the primary dos a cero outcome in their favor. The frigidity of Columbus, Ohio penetrated El Tri so deep that the phantom chill followed the crew to the World Cup on the opposite facet of the earth and produced another 2-0 loss to the USA in the first knockout spherical. Rafa Marquez has worn mittens and a knit cap ever since. Even when he goes to the beach.

It was not until 2005, three years later, that a Mexico crew can be sucked again into Columbus, Ohio for a World Cup qualifier. Some say that the town simply did not exist in the time between those matches and an enormous apparition of the golfer Jack Nicklaus loomed instead. But in September of that 12 months, the apparition was gone and the vicious realm of Columbus, Ohio was back, fueling the USA players to develop larger and stronger than ever before. They paralyzed the talented and brave Mexican gamers with their harshly judgement stares, causing infinite self-doubt that no amount of psychiatry might ever cure. And once more, They gained 2-0.

Four years passed. Their shrunken hearts hardened by a poor showing on the 2006 World Cup, the USA doubled their efforts to make Columbus, Ohio much more horrific than before. Again they summoned frostbitten temperatures for Mexico’s reluctant go to in February 2009. They known as their goalkeeper Tim Howard, however this was not a man. He stopped all of Mexico’s valiant and impressive shots the way in which the much more reasonable Robocop stops crime and the coach’s son mocked Mexico’s non-coach’s sons by scoring two goals to make 2-0 yet once more.

Another 4 years passed and Mexico’s footballing struggles worsened. The curse of Columbus, Ohio adopted El Tri again to the infinitely better Estadio Azteca, which became website of the Nice Goal Drought of 2012/13. Three scoreless attracts — including one towards the USA — tortured the as soon as proud group and when their thirst for a goal was finally quenched at the Azteca, Honduras scored yet one more to inflict a uncommon home defeat and immediate the firing of the supervisor. Three days after this, the Mexican workforce needed to return to Columbus, Ohio. A place where nobody dances.

The now perpetual consequence inevitably continued its repetition. Even with a new supervisor and a desperate attack, there was no match for Tim Howard’s pirate beard, Landon Donovan’s infected eye of doom and unnervingly completely happy German who leads them. And simply to make it that much more spirit-crushing, the dark forces ensured that the USA captain missed a penalty in added time to maintain the 2-zero score tattooed on the minds of their mistreated visitors. The loss put Mexico at risk of what was once unthinkable — not qualifying for the World Cup.

While the USA players celebrated their very own qualification with their most putrid of domestic beers, the Mexican gamers have been left to ponder what they need to do to finish Columbus, Ohio’s reign of terror. However it will not be glad till Mexico’s national crew is reduced to the lowest depths of non-existent irrelevance that the USA’s crew once occupied. A place where the only sound that can be heard is the faint whisper of “Columbus, Ohio…”


Jack Nicklaus is blaming the golf ball for slow play

Jack Nicklaus — Getty Images There are plenty of reasons for the slow play issues on skilled tours. If it is not guys backing off shots anytime a damaging thought passes by their skull it’s a caddie lining their players up perfectly on each shot or a guy looking at putts from 12 completely different angles.

One thing that by no means crossed my mind on why gradual play is a matter in pro golf? The golf ball. Sure, the golf ball.

Jack Nicklaus thinks that is the actual cause why execs are taking upwards of six hours to play rounds of golf these days, telling Kathy Bissell of Bleacher Report that he finds the added know-how to the golf ball the reason for the women and men we look up to on the golf course transferring like snails between the ropes.

“The principle wrongdoer (in) sluggish play, to me, is the golf ball and the gap the golf ball goes,” Nicklaus said. “Golf, it used to take three hours, three and a half hours, British Open, you used to play the last spherical in three hours or less. Today they take close to five hours.”

Now before we dive into the strange ideas of the 18-time main winner I believe it is fair to level out that he is not just saying it’s the golf ball itself, however what the golf ball has carried out. The know-how for these new golf balls has forced golf programs to lengthen, meaning the courses are longer, tougher and take longer to stroll.

But nonetheless, the golf ball? How about blaming the purses for the gradual play? Again when Nicklaus received his ultimate Masters, in 1986, he took in $one hundred forty four,000. That is lower than the man that completed 11th at Muirfield received, so yeah, maybe spending a couple of more minutes over putts is extra essential as of late and guys don’t need to rush it realizing a nasty shot or two down the stretch might price them just a few millions bucks in both purse and sponsorship cash.

Or how about blaming the PGA and LPGA Excursions? We will give you ideas like “while we’re young” but if nothing happens because you’re slow, it does not really change something. Professionals know that a gradual play penalty is tough to come back by, and in the event that they get warned the just rush up to the next group only to slow down again.

Slow play is a big issue in golf. I actually believe that the two issues golfers actually care about when playing is the conditions of the greens and the tempo of play, and most golfers when being brutally honest would somewhat play at their native muni with good greens and no one on the course than a five hour spherical at the nicest nation club in town.

I just don’t actually know if the Pro V is the explanation for all this.


Muirfield moments and a British Open to remember

GULLANE, Scotland (AP) — On the day after a British Open that will be talked about for years, it was time for Muirfield to return to normal. Workers dismantled the green seats in all the grandstands. Trucks carried out supplies from the tented village. The blue name plates of players were removed from the lockers.

Still towering over the 18th green was that enormous, glorious, yellow scoreboard with all the letters and numbers in place.

”Well done, Phil. See you at Royal Liverpool.”

On the left side of the board were the names, numbers and memories of Muirfield. Phil Mickelson with a red ”3” next to his name, the only player under par. Henrik Stenson. Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Adam Scott. Zach Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama and – at the bottom – Tiger Woods.

Four players had a share of the lead Sunday. Twice as many looked as though they might walk away with the claret jug. It might have been one of the best, deepest leaderboards in the final round of a major in 20 years. Last one: Inverness in the PGA Championship, when Paul Azinger beat Greg Norman in a playoff, and the contenders included Nick Faldo, Vijay Singh, Tom Watson, John Cook, Lanny Wadkins, and even a young Californian named Mickelson.

Muirfield has the greatest collection of winners of any major championship – only two of its 16 champions aren’t in the Hall of Fame (one is Ted Ray, who should be). Every great course is due to have a dud for a major champion. Oakmont had Sam Parks Jr. Medinah had Lou Graham.

There was no way that was going to happen at Muirfield.

Of the nine players who had at least an outside chance on the back nine, it was a toss-up between Stenson and Hunter Mahan of those who had the least credentials. Stenson has won The Players Championship and a World Golf Championship. Mahan has two WGC titles and was playing in the final group at his second straight major.

That set the stage for Mickelson to play what he believes to be the best round of his career. By numbers alone, it was his lowest final round of a major. On a course that didn’t yield a single bogey-free round all week, Mickelson only dropped a shot at the 10th hole. The scoring average for Sunday was just under 73.5. Mickelson shot 66, matching the lowest score of the tournament. It was the lowest final round ever at Muirfield, and the lowest by an Open champion since Justin Leonard shot 65 at Royal Troon in 1997.

The greatest final round in a major?

Not quite.

Just about anything will be tough to beat Jack Nicklaus with a 65 at the 1986 Masters when he won his sixth green jacket and 18th professional major at 46. Johnny Miller will tell you – he probably already has – that his 63 at Oakmont in 1973 was pretty good. He is the only major champion with a 63 on Sunday. For pure theater, there was Tom Watson’s 65 at Turnberry when he beat Nicklaus by one shot in the ”Duel in the Sun.”

What made this so compelling was Mickelson.

A four-time major champion, he had only contended twice in the British Open. Muirfield has a short history of players winning the claret jug with help from other’s misfortunes. That’s often true in majors to some degree, but not this one. Mickelson seized it with four birdies on the last six holes, and a momentum-saving par on the 16th when he used his 60-degree wedge for a shot so many others would have putted – a thin lie, up a steep slope to a green with a false front to 8 feet to set up a tough putt.

”I don’t want anybody to hand it to me,” Mickelson said. ”I want to go out and get it. And today, I did.”

Muirfield also provided another chance to handicap Woods and his pursuit of the record 18 majors by Nicklaus.

Woods is back to winning more than everyone else, but all he can say about the majors is that he’s back to contending in them. He has left a mark in five of the last six majors – either a share of the 36-hole lead or close enough on Sunday to pay attention to that red shirt – but he has yet to be a serious contender. He says he has been in ”probably about half the majors on the back nine on Sunday with a chance” since his last major in 2008.

That’s a stretch. Contention is best defined as having a chance in the final hour. That hasn’t been the case since his downfall. It would be foolish to dismiss his chances of at least catching Nicklaus, but this won’t be easy. At this stage, the bigger threat to him is not how good he is, but how much better everyone else is.

Westwood doesn’t feel as though he played badly, and while he closed with a 75, that was not a disgrace. Mahan also had 75 in the last group. Woods was in the group ahead and shot 74. This wasn’t a meltdown like Scott’s last year at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, or Nick Watney and his 81 at Whistling Straits in the 2010 PGA Championship, or Dustin Johnson’s 82 at Pebble Beach in the U.S. Open.

This was more like a slow bleed. The bandage started to come undone on the seventh tee. There was the sound of a camera clicking on Westwood’s 9-iron, perhaps from the gallery. Westwood only turned to glare after his ball came up short and headed into a pot bunker. It didn’t seem to be that big of a deal, but his reaction was the first sign of frayed nerves. He was tentative on some birdie chances on the back nine.

Westwood made 12 birdies and an eagle going into the final round. He made one birdie on Sunday.

Of the top five players on the leaderboard, he was the only one without a birdie on the back nine. This would have to fall under the category of ”missed opportunity” more than ”blown opportunity.” But at 40, those opportunities might not come along as often.

For Mickelson, who captured the third leg of the career Grand Slam, the U.S. Open can’t get here soon enough.