Friday, January 19, 2018
Golf

Jason Day tops McIlroy, Oosthuizen for Match Play title

AUSTIN, Texas — Everyone around him was telling Jason Day to withdraw from the World Golf Championships Match Play and not risk further injury to his back after he tweaked it in his first match Wednesday.

Day knew he was playing well enough to win and wanted to stick it out. The decision paid off in more ways than he could have imagined.

Day returned to No. 1 in the world by making it to Sunday. Then he beat Rory McIlroy in an epic semifinal and Louis Oosthuizen 5 and 4 in a title match so one-sided it might as well have been a victory lap around Austin Country Club.

"I'm glad I didn't listen," said Day, who had therapy on his back for an hour before and after each match. "I wanted to win so bad that I felt … if I kept playing the way I was going, I would be holding the trophy at the end of the week. And that's what kept me going."

Day, coming off a victory last week in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, joined Tiger Woods and Geoff Ogilvy as the only multiple winners of the Match Play; he also won in 2014.

Day's semi with McIlroy lived up to the hype. The lead changed seven times. They combined for 11 birdies in chilly, blustery weather. The match turned on No. 11 when Day got up-and-down for par with a 12-foot putt and McIlroy missed a 6-foot birdie. Day won 1 up.

"I'm just angry that I didn't … convert my chances when I could have," McIlroy said. "Disappointed with the outcome, but I feel like where my game is, I'm happy with that.''

PGA: Tony Finau won the Puerto Rico Open for his first tour title, beating Steve Marino with a birdie on the third playoff hole in Rio Grande. Finau, 26, and Marino each shot 2-under 70 for 12-under 276. Round 3 leader Ian Poulter (72) and Rodolfo Cazaubon (68) were one back. … Commissioner Tim Finchem signed a one-year contract extension but plans to leave at year's end. His contract was to expire June 1. Finchem, 68 and commissioner since 1994, said it's time for new leadership.

LPGA: No. 1 Lydia Ko birdied her last three holes for a four-stroke win over Inbee Park at the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif. Ko, the Round 3 leader, shot 5-under 67 for 19-under 203. Park also shot 67.

Comments
McIlroy returns from injury, trails by 3 in first round of European Tour event

McIlroy returns from injury, trails by 3 in first round of European Tour event

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Rory McIlroy’s patience was tested Thursday on his comeback, needing three late birdies to shoot 3-under 69 that left him three strokes behind first-round leaders Tommy Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara at the Abu Dhabi ...
Published: 01/18/18
Patton Kizzire beats James Hahn in marathon Sony Open playoff

Patton Kizzire beats James Hahn in marathon Sony Open playoff

HONOLULU — A day after a false alarm caused some panic at the Sony Open, there was more drama — of a much more benign sort.Patton Kizzire made par on the tournament-record sixth playoff hole Sunday to beat James Hahn and win his second PGA Tour title...
Published: 01/14/18
False alarm on missile launch triggers anxiety at PGA Tour event in Hawaii

False alarm on missile launch triggers anxiety at PGA Tour event in Hawaii

HONOLULU — Charles Howell was eating breakfast in his hotel when the restaurant at the Kahala started buzzing. Everyone had their phones. Everyone received the same push alert. "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS...
Published: 01/13/18
Brian Harman extends good play in Hawaii, takes Sony Open lead

Brian Harman extends good play in Hawaii, takes Sony Open lead

HONOLULU — Different islands, vastly different golf courses, same good play from Brian Harman. One week after Harman shared the 36-hole lead at Kapalua, he ran off three straight birdies and closed with a 15-foot eagle putt for 7-under 63 and a three...
Published: 01/12/18
Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson share lead at PGA’s Sony Open in Hawaii

Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson share lead at PGA’s Sony Open in Hawaii

HONOLULU — Zach Johnson and Chris Kirk kept clean cards on a gorgeous day and each shot 7-under 63 Thursday to share the lead after the first round of the Sony Open. Jordan Spieth wasn’t as fortunate. Spieth hit four trees with four shots on the par-...
Published: 01/11/18
Dustin Johnson romps to 8-shot victory in Hawaii

Dustin Johnson romps to 8-shot victory in Hawaii

KAPALUA, Hawaii — A new year brought out the best in Dustin Johnson, who powered his way to 8-under 65 and an eight-shot victory Sunday in the Tournament of Champions. In a field that featured the top-five players in the world, Johnson made a strong ...
Published: 01/07/18
Missouri senior uses playoff birdie to win New Year’s Invitational in St. Petersburg

Missouri senior uses playoff birdie to win New Year’s Invitational in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Cold and windy conditions didn’t affect Hayden Buckley last year when he won the New Year’s Invitational, and they didn’t affect him again this year in the 92nd edition of the event.The University of Missouri senior repeated as champ...
Published: 01/07/18

Dustin Johnson surges into lead at Tournament of Champions

KAPALUA, Hawaii — Dustin Johnson holed out with a wedge for eagle, made birdie on every par 5 and powered his way to 7-under 66 to build a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Tournament of Champions. Coming off his lone bogey from a poor ...
Published: 01/06/18
Tiger Woods’ return includes Torrey Pines, Rivera

Tiger Woods’ return includes Torrey Pines, Rivera

Tiger Woods is playing twice in California over the next six weeks as he begins another comeback on the PGA Tour from back surgery. Woods announced Thursday that he will play the Farmers Insurance Open on Jan. 25 at Torrey Pines, the San Diego course...
Published: 01/04/18