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Matt Bettencourt spun a 5-under-par 34-33=67 in his opening round of the Valero Texas Open, good for outright possession of the clubhouse lead.

Making just his third start of the season due to Past Champion status, Bettencourt pounced early and often at TPC San Antonio today. He hit 12 greens in regulation and holed six birdies, none of which on the set of four par 5s. His longest conversions measured 21'4" at 12 and 10'2" at 17. At the time he signed his card, he held a one-stroke lead as the final groups of the afternoon wave made the turn.
Thu, Apr 4, 2013 06:24:00 PM

Phil Mickelson & Rickie Fowler completed a sensational Friday morning foursome whitewash for Team USA in closing out a rollercoaster 1-hole victory over Rory McIlroy & Andy Sullivan in the 2016 Ryder Cup.

Astonishingly this was Fowler's very first full point in the Ryder Cup, in his 9th match, and Mickelson fought with his driver every time he pulled it from the bag, but they were spirited and displayed high skill to overcome a pumped-up European pair. McIlroy and Sullivan assumed an early advantage going 2-up through 6 holes, but ceded it when losing three holes on the bounce before the turn. Sullivan twice holed out from 8' for hole savers at 11 and 12, then McIlroy holed for wins from 9' at 13 and 14. But the Americans were not done and claimed 15 with par, 16 and 17 with birdies, then closed out the match with par at 18. Mickelson admitted on Sky Sports he was tight, as evidenced by going OB from the 6th tee, but he was also controlled as the game wore on and grabbed just his 5th foursomes win in 15 matches. The American pair claimed six birdies, including a hat-trick at 7, 8 and 9 (Fowler chip-in). They made two bogeys at 4 and 11, plus a double bogey at 6.
Sep 30 - 1:03 PM

Patrick Reed was clutch in pairing with Jordan Spieth to overhaul Henrik Stenson & Justin Rose and win the first point of the 2016 Ryder Cup 3&2 in their foursomes match.

The European pair had been superb in 2014, claiming 3 from 3, but they never gelled on the first morning. Rose, in particular, struggled on the greens, missing four putts from the 15 to 20 feet range, but Stenson was also struggling to drop the putts for hole wins and the pressure appeared to get to him on the 16th tee when he made a poor swing and pulled wide of the fairway. The pair couldn't recover and only made a par-5 before watching Reed drop the birdie putt for the win. The Americans were far from flawless, but Reed in particular showed solid skills around the greens: a 50-yard pitch on the 3rd set up a birdie, a chip and run on the 5th to secure par, a rapped par putt from 10' on the 10th. And Spieth, though ragged from the tee, holed notable putts: 15' for birdie on the 2nd and 11th. The Americans made birdies at 2, 3, 7, 11 and 16, with bogeys at 9 and 12.
Sep 30 - 12:29 PM

World No. 9 Rickie Fowler finished 11th in automatic qualifying and had to rely on a Captain's Pick to make his third Ryder Cup appearance (2010, 2014), still searching for his first full-point match win.

The 27-year-old backed up his career best and two-win TOUR season in 2015 -- where he finished 4th in FedExCup points -- with no wins in 2016 and 31st in the FEC standings, failing to advance to the TOUR Championship. In his last 11 starts, he mustered just two top 10s, missed three cuts, posted five finishes of 30th-place or worse, and was T37 (of 59 players) at the Rio Olympics, with one sub-par round. Fowler was also eliminated in the Group Stage at the WGC-Dell Match Play with an 0-1-2 record. He's 0-3-5 as a Ryder Cupper, including 0-2-3 in 2014 at Gleneagles, and went 1-3-0 as a Presidents Cup rookie in 2015 where he lost his final three matches, lowlighted by a 6 & 5 drubbing to Adam Scott in singles.
Sep 29 - 7:46 AM

Lee Westwood has competed in very nearly one quarter of all Ryder Cups: this year at Hazeltine National Golf Club is his tenth start in the 41st match-up.

When given the nod by his best friend and captain Darren Clarke, having failed to qualify by right, it confirmed a tenth straight appearance for the Englishman who stands on the brink of becoming Europe's greatest accumulator of points (he has 23 points, Nick Faldo leads on 25). Given such long term strength it's interesting that he has only twice been Europe's top scorer, and he jointly held that spot on both occasions. One reason is a weakness in the singles (3-6-0) which might be explained by the extent to which he is used on the first two days. Strong in fourballs (8-5-2) he is gun in foursomes (9-4-4). In singles match play, across all events, he is 34-31-1 whereas in partnership with others he maintains the Ryder Cup record, going a remarkable 31-13-7 (.68%). The highlight of his year was T2 in the Masters and yet it was a bit typical too: he had the same chance Danny Willett was offered on the 16th tee (of victory) and Westwood, serial non-major winner, didn't take it.
Sep 29 - 7:29 AM

Justin Rose is one of Europe's finest-ever Ryder Cup performers and he heads to Hazeltine National Golf Club on a gold-leaved high.

The Englishman's .71% record is second only to his good friend Ian Poulter in European history (minimum three starts) and with the latter riding a buggy this week Rose could move ahead of him. He will need to maintain very high standards however, because to attain that figure he has lost just thrice in 14 matches (with two halves). He captured three points in partnership with Henrik Stenson two years ago and Darren Clarke faces a question: is that duo kept together or will the need to support the rookies lead to those strengths being spread across the board? Rose's memories of the last Ryder Cup on US soil will be nothing but good: he holed two career putts on 17 and 18 to topple Phil Mickelson and his current form boasts the Olympic gold. He missed the cut at the RTJ-designed Hazeltine National in 2009, but is a winner at RTJ's Valderrama. Undefeated in Ryder Cup singles.
Sep 29 - 6:01 AM

The 2016 Ryder Cup marks Phil Mickelson's 11th straight appearance in the biennial competition and he's been on the winning side only twice, in 1999 (The Country Club, Brookline, MA) and 2008 (Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, KY).

The 41st Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club welcomes the Hall-of-Famer who enters with an overall record of 16-19-6, including a 2-1-0 mark at Gleneagles in 2014. His 41 career matches are the most in U.S. history with teammate Zach Johnson the next-most tenured of this year's squad with 14. The 46-year-old was No. 3 in automatic qualifying and finished a semi-resurgent PGA TOUR season with three runner-up finishes in 22 starts, highlighted by solo second at The Open. He ranked 12th in earnings and 16th in FedExCup points, while 7th in birdie average (4.06) and 1st in par-3 scoring average (2.93).
Sep 28 - 8:04 PM

Rory McIlroy makes his way to Hazeltine National Golf Club as a golfer at the height of his game and ready to impose himself on the 2016 Ryder Cup.

This will be the Northern Irishman's fourth appearance and he has come a long way from the early controversy, pre-2010 debut, of suggesting it was a mere exhibition. He is 3-2-1 in foursomes, 2-0-1 in singles, and surprisingly just 1-2-2 in fourballs, for an overall record of .57% 6-4-4 which is solid rather than spectacular. But if ever a man enters the match on the crest of a wave it must be McIlroy this week: he not only triumphed in last week's Tour Championship, his second victory in the FedEx Cup play-offs after claiming the Deutsche Bank Championship, but also picked up the end-of-season pot of loot and will have seen the reaction of his team-mates at the airport, cheering wildly as his winning putt dropped in the hole. He'll also be buoyed by his improved putting stats, which seem to have been boosted by work with Phil Kenyon in recent weeks and the move away from Nike equipment. Was T3 in the Hazeltine-hosted 2009 PGA Championship, ranking second for Ball-striking.
Sep 27 - 12:08 PM

World No. 2 Dustin Johnson seeks his first taste of Ryder Cup team success as he preps for the 41st edition, held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

DJ displays a very strong individual Ryder Cup record, when you consider he's been a part of two losing teams (2010, 2012). Johnson is 4-3-0 in his matches, including a perfect 2-0-0 in singles. The 32-year-old just capped off the 2015-16 season that featured 15 top 10s, including three wins, one being his first major championship victory. With his lone weakness being accuracy off the tee, it's important that Davis Love III pairs him with someone that is good out of the thick stuff, at least in the alternate-shot foursomes format. Brandt Snedeker, Jimmy Walker, and Rickie Fowler all fit that bill as they rank top 50 in proximity from the rough. Expect Johnson to be used early and often this week for the Americans, making him a very good candidate to be top point scorer for the U.S. side.
Sep 27 - 11:06 AM

Zach Johnson readies for his fifth Ryder Cup appearance as he puts on his red, white, and blue gear, preparing for battle at Hazeltine National Golf Club this week in Chaska, Minnesota.

The 40-year-old has played in four Ryder Cup matches (2006, 2010, 2012, and 2014) but has yet to feel what it's like to win one. You wouldn't know his teams were winless based on his personal record of 6-6-2, including 2-1-1 in singles. This time around, he'll also have the Midwest factor in his favor, playing just four hours from where he grew up (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and within four hours from where he attended college (Drake University). Johnson's main asset is his short game as he ended the 2015-16 season ranked 17th in strokes gained around-the-green and 25th in strokes gained putting. He was also 36th in fairway proximity but just 155th in proximity from the rough, so picking the right playing partner in foursomes will be crucial this week.
Sep 26 - 4:41 PM

Recent runner-up Ryan Moore will make his Ryder Cup debut next week at Hazeltine National Golf Club, receiving the last of four captain's picks to complete the 12-man roster for the American side.

Moore just shared runner-up honors with Kevin Chappell at today's TOUR Championship, losing to Rory McIlroy in a playoff at day's end. Still, he's been playing inspired golf at just the right time to earn a seat on the American Ryder Cup squad. He closed the 2015-16 campaign with top 10s in four of his last six starts, including a victory at the John Deere Classic. Moore brings a long track record of Match Play success as an amateur but he's just 7-8-1 in singles on the PGA TOUR and 0-2-0 on the now-defunct European Tour's Volvo World Match Play event. Moore doesn't bring distance to the table, but he's 18th on TOUR in driving accuracy, 16th in proximity to hole, and 32nd in strokes gained putting. His play from approach to hole's completion will pair nicely with any of the bombers currently on the American squad and his laid-back personality certainly won't stir any feathers in terms of team chemistry.
Sep 25 - 10:18 PM

15-seed and overnight co-leader Kevin Chappell carded 4-under-par 33-33=66 in the final round of the TOUR Championship to match Ryan Moore and Rory McIlroy on 12-under 268, and then was eliminated on the first hole of sudden death, the par-5 18th, with par to McIlroy and Moore's birdies. UPDATE: Chappell was the ONLY player with four sub-par rounds.

The 30-year-old began R4 co-leading with playing competitor and FedExCup leader Dustin Johnson. He bettered Johnson by seven shots but unfortunately, McIlroy and Moore tied for the week's best rounds with 64s. The Californian was 5-under thru 16 holes, outpacing bogey-4 at the second with birdies on Nos. 1, 3, 8, 10, 13 and 16, but opened the door with bogey on the par-4 17th (failed scramble) and then failed to birdie the par-5 finishing hole. Chappell records his fourth runner-up this season in 27 starts and adds to an already career-best season with his eighth top 10. Chasing his first win in his 167th career event, he settles for a sixth career runner-up and personal bests of 8th in the final FedExCup standings as well as the money title.
Sep 25 - 8:53 PM




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