October 9, 2009

Birdies And Bogeys

SAN FRANCISCO -- Once again, an eagle is the highlight of our daily Birdies and Bogeys from the Presidents Cup at Harding Park GC.

The "full cut 3-iron" that Woods struck from 232 yards on the par-5 18th hole to set up the winning eagle for him and Steve Stricker in Saturday's foursomes match against Tim Clark and Mike Weir leads the list of highlights from another entertaining day along the Bay.

The shot, which followed a clutch birdie putt by Woods at the 17th to square the match, had U.S. captain Fred Couples shrugging his shoulders in amazement, while International captain Greg Norman, so many times watching opponents pull off miraculous shots down the stretch against him, had to be thinking he'd seen this movie before.

"Tiger is just Tiger," Norman said with an almost funereal tone.

"It seems unfair, in a way," said Couples, shaking his head. "He's the best long-iron player in the game. He has the best short game. He drives it 310 yards, putts great and he's got guts the size of Chicago. I don't know how you beat that, but it's great that Tiger's on our side."

Of course, there are two sides to every story. Forthwith, we cover both:

Birdie: Condoleeza Rice -- The former Secretary of State under President George W. Bush added a different kind of star power to the galleries that have been populated the rest of the week by sports personalities.

Bogey: Camilo Villegas -- First Presidents Cup for the powerful Colombian has been an exercise in frustration.

Birdie: Fan behind the 16th green -- Both Woods and Stricker got a chuckle when an enterprising fan yelled out, "Stanford and Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl!" Maybe he didn't know Stricker went to Illinois.

Bogey: Fred Couples -- He hasn't had many missteps, but going to the well one more time in pairing the American summer slam duo of Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink in Saturday four-ball didn't make much sense when they had been so ineffective the first two days. Also, reprising the Mickelson-O'Hair pairing for four-balls was a slight downer. Would have been cool to see Lefty go for four wins with four different partners this week.

Birdie: Geoff Ogilvy -- The Aussie, the No. 1 qualifier for the International team, happily sat in morning foursomes because he felt his form didn't make him one of the best 10 players, but came back strong in four-ball to team with Robert Allenby as they dusted Cink and Glover 2 and 1.

Bogey: Stewart Cink and Lucas Glover -- At least with only Sunday's singles remaining, there's no chance of seeing this pair of the year's Open champions together again. They've gone 0-3, barely putting up a fight in the process.

Birdie: Steve Stricker -- Rare is the golfer who can say he carried Tiger Woods through a match, but that was Stricker in the afternoon four-ball, rolling in seven birdies in the first 12 holes to propel the U.S. to the win.

Bogey: Greg Norman -- OK, we get it, you're the captain. But is it really necessary for you to be on the green reading Vijay Singh's putts on the last hole? Last time we checked, Singh has won three majors to Norman's two.

Birdie: Anthony Kim -- A listless showing on Friday led to a morning off on Saturday, but Kim redeemed himself in the afternoon, coming up big alongside Jim Furyk in a 2 up win over Angel Cabrera.

Compiled by Dave Shedloski and Sam Weinman