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Michael Block and Stuart Deane
Michael Block and Stuart Deane, after their big win Friday afternoon, will go out first for Team USA on Saturday.
By John Dever and T.J. Auclair
SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Here are the tee times and pairings for Saturday morning's Fourballs (better ball) session of the 27th PGA Cup:

7:30 A.M. PT: Michael Block/Stuart Deane (USA) v. Gareth Wright/Jason Levermore (GB&I)
USA: After sitting out Friday morning, Block and Deane set the tone for the United States’ afternoon revival by winning, 4 and 3, over the Scottish duo of Fox and Dixon. 

GB&I: At 1-0-1, Wright and Levermore were Captain Bevan’s only undefeated duo on Friday. To achieve this, they had to play their final five holes in Afternoon Foursomes in 6-under-par to salvage a half-point.

7:45 A.M. PT: Matt Dobyns/Ben Polland (USA) v. Niall Kearney/Alex Wrigley (GB&I)
USA: Dobyns and Polland went 0-1-1 on Friday, but only after an extraordinary closing stretch from Wright and Levermore. The Met Section duo finished 1-2 (Dobyns first, Polland second) at the PGA Professional National Championship in June.  

GB&I: After sitting out Friday’s Morning Fourballs, Kearney and Wrigley dropped a 3-and-1 decision to Omar Uresti and Sean Dougherty in Afternoon Foursomes. These rookies will aim to post their first point on behalf of GB&I.

8:00 A.M. PT: Omar Uresti/Sean Dougherty (USA) v. Graham Fox/David Dixon (GB&I)
USA: Captain Allen Wronowski’s undefeated tandem combined to card a pair of eagles and 10 birdies on Friday. They won both matches despite twice losing the first hole.    

GB&I: The Scots, Fox and Dixon, are paired again for the third consecutive session. On Friday, Dixon closed out their Morning Fourball match by holing a 20-foot birdie putt.

8:15 A.M.: PT: Alan Morin/Grant Sturgeon (USA) v. Michael Watson/Paul Hendriksen (GB&I)
USA: Morin and Sturgeon sat out on Friday afternoon after dropping their Morning Foursomes match, 3 and 2, to Levermore and Wright. The loss was the first in Morin’s five career PGA Cup Matches. He is now 3-1-1.

GB&I: Watson won the first match of the PGA Cup on Friday morning, but sat out Afternoon Foursomes. Hendriksen, meanwhile, won a pair of holes (4, 9) with birdies during his Morning Fourball setback, which went the distance.


September 18, 2015 - 7:56pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Michael Block
Montana Pritchard/PGA of America
After sitting out the morning Fourballs session, Michael Block teamed with Stuart Deane for a rousing victory in the afternoon Foursomes session, paving the way for a U.S. rally.

SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- After a rough start to the 27th PGA Cup at CordeValle that saw the U.S. Team trailing 3-1 to Great Britain & Ireland after Friday morning's Fourballs session, the team needed a boost.

With that, U.S. Captain Allen Wronowski made the decision to send out 2014 PGA Professional Champion Michael Block and Stuart Deane in the first pairing for the afternoon Foursomes session.

Block and Deane were both late arrivals this week, having played in their respective Section Championships. As a result, Wronowski gave the duo the morning off and -- frankly -- neither could sit still.

RELATED: PGA Cup scoreboard | U.S. players plenty confident after slow | Photos

"I'll tell you what -- sitting around this morning, watching the boys go out there and getting all pumped up -- I was more nervous than anything," Block said. "I told my wife when I watched them tee off this morning, 'I'm way more nervous watching the guys than I am when I'm inside the ropes playing myself. Stu and I were just champing at the bit to get out there and get the ball rolling."

And they got it rolling quickly. When Block holed a 15-foot birdie putt at the 15th hole, the GB&I tandem of Graham Fox and David Dixon faced a must-make eagle putt from about the same length to extend the match.

The putt missed and Block and Deane notched a 4&3 victory for the first U.S. point of the afternoon -- a real tone-setter. At the conclusion of the Block/Deane match, the U.S. was leading the three other matches as well.

"I liked seeing that birdie putt go in," Block said. "It put a lot more pressure on that eagle putt they had."

"We were just ready to go," Deane added. "We couldn't wait."

Block said the duo had a goal for the afternoon.

"Our goal was to not just get by, we wanted to dominate a match to get some red on the scoreboard," Block said. "Obviously, I think it worked."

"We were thinking if we could get to 5 or 6 up and the boys could see that, maybe everybody would put the pedal down," Deane said.

Mission accomplished.

About 20 minutes after the match, Bob Sowards and Jamie Broce snagged the second point of the afternoon session with a remarkable 8&7 win over GB&I's Cameron Clark and Lee Clarke.

At the time of this post, the U.S. had knotted the matches at 3-3 and were up in the other two matches left on the course. 

Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
Tiger Woods felt some occasional discomfort in the back and hip in recent weeks, his website said, and he chose to have surgery quickly.
Tiger Woods underwent a second microdiscectomy surgery on his back earlier this week, he revealed today on his website. 
"Tiger Woods underwent a microdiscectomy late on Sept. 16 at Park City Medical Center," neurosurgeon Charles Rich said in an unbylined story. "With the upcoming offseason, the decision was made to remove a small disc fragment that was pinching his nerve. The microsurgery was a complete success, and he was discharged Thursday night."
Woods felt some occasional discomfort in the back and hip in recent weeks, his website said, and he chose to have surgery quickly in order to return to the PGA Tour as soon as he could. He'll begin intensive rehabilitation and soft tissue treatment within a week, the site said, adding that Woods is hoping to return early in 2016.
He had been scheduled to play in the PGA Tour's Open next month, the exhibition Bridgestone America's Golf Cup with Matt Kuchar in Mexico City this fall and Woods' own Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas at the end of the year.
"This is certainly disappointing, but I'm a fighter," Woods said. "I've been told I can make a full recovery, and I have no doubt that I will." 
Woods first underwent microdiscectomy surgery in March of 2014.
September 18, 2015 - 4:38pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Jamie Broce, Bob Sowards
Montana Pritchard/PGA of America
Jamie Broce and Bob Sowards were downed 2&1 in Friday's morning Fourballs session, but were optimistic about a turnaround in in the afternoon Foursomes session.

SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- The U.S. dug itself a 3-1 hole through the first session of the 27th PGA Cup on Friday at CordeValle, where they just couldn't get a whole lot going in Fourballs.

The Great Britain & Ireland players, meanwhile, seemed to make everything they looked at.

Coming off a 2&1 defeat in the morning session, the Ohio duo of Bob Sowards and Jamie Broce were very much looking forward to their afternoon Foursomes match against GB&I's Cameron Clark and Lee Clarke.

"It's important to get off to a fast start this afternoon," said Broce, making his PGA Cup debut. "With Bob and I, we'll probably hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens and have some good looks at it. I'm thinking we can put a lot of stress on the team that we're playing and just be patient with the putter and roll the ball well."

RELATED: PGA Cup scoreboard | Friday afternoon pairings | Friday photos

Though the putts weren't dropping for the Americans in the morning, one thing was abundantly clear -- the U.S. has an advantage off the tee in terms of driving distance.

"I think it's safe to say we have an advantage in alternate shot because of our length off the tee," said Sowards, one of three PGA Cup veterans on the U.S. side. "We can get it over those cross bunkers. Jamie flies it further than me and I'm not short. We'll have a lot of short irons, which means we should have a lot of good looks, we just need to capitalize on it this time."

Despite the deficit, Sowards -- with all his experience -- said it's far too early for the U.S. to worry.

"My message to the team right now would be, 'hey, we could be leading by the end of the day,'" he said. "I know we're better ballstriker's than their team. Alternate shot, we should do well in that format, I would think."

Broce was admittedly frustrated after Friday morning's loss, but over a quick lunch he said it was over with and he was looking ahead to the opportunity in front of him during the afternoon session.

"I know everyone back home is rooting for us," said Broce. "It's fun. It's exciting. It's great playing with such a great player like Bob. He's just never going to quit and I'm the same way. We're going to come back out fighting in the afternoon and try to get us a win."

Sowards loves the fact that he and Broce are in the afternoon anchor match.

"For me, it's probably the most important match, because it's how we end," he said. "If we can win and get a red number on the board early and kind of let everyone know we're going to win that point, it's nice to end a day on a winning note. We're in a good position to be able to help the team a lot." 

September 18, 2015 - 3:54pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

Here are the tee times and pairings for Friday afternoon's Foursomes (alternate shot) session of the 27th PGA Cup at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif.:

1:15 p.m. PT: Michael Block/Stuart Deane (USA) v. Graham Fox/David Dixon (GB&I)

1:30 p.m. PT: Matt Dobyns/Ben Polland (USA) v. Jason Levermore/Gareth Wright (GB&I)

1:45 p.m. PT: Omar Uresti/Sean Dougherty (USA) v. Niall Kearney/Alex Wrigley (GB&I)

2 p.m. PT: Bob Sowards/Jamie Broce (USA) v. Cameron Clark/Lee Clarke (GB&I)

September 18, 2015 - 10:43am
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Bobby Jones
Mark Aumann/
Bobby Jones won golf's "Grand Slam" in 1930, then retired from competition.

ATLANTA — When it comes to the history of golf, particularly in the United States in the first half of the 20th century, it’s hard to not to be impressed with the impact of Robert Tyre Jones Jr.

That’s the opinion of Dr. Robert Tyre Jones IV, an Atlanta licensed psychologist who just happens to be the grandson of Bobby Jones. That opinion isn’t just a family bias, however. During a presentation Thursday evening at Emory University — which is concurrently hosting an exhibition of Bobby Jones artifacts this fall — Dr. Jones pointed out several key contributions Bobby Jones made to the game.

If not for Bobby Jones, there would be no mention of a “Grand Slam,” for one. In fact, Jones remains the only man in history to have accomplished the feat, winning both American and British Opens in 1930, along with both American and British Amateurs. Because he was an amateur, he wasn't eligible to play in the PGA Championship.

In addition, Bobby Jones was a pioneer in golf course design, the evolution of equipment and bringing the game to a new audience, which included women and juniors.

NAME DROPPERS: Bobby Jones Open is one (name) of a kind event

But more than 80 years after he retired from competition, Bobby Jones is still largely remembered for winning 13 major events over an eight-year span, mainly because of his fiercely competitive nature and incredible focus.

Dr. Jones said there were three reasons why his grandfather was so successful, both on and off the course:

1. He believed in predestination

“He believed a golf tournament was won or lost before the first ball had even been struck,” Dr. Jones said. “He believed that destiny was set before the tournament was played.”

According to his grandson, Bobby Jones felt that future events were ordained to happen, that there was an order already preset. And with that in mind, Jones was able to separate himself from the stress, anxiety and pressure of playing the match.

“It allowed him to have a little bit of a healthy distance from it,” Dr. Jones said. “So he wasn’t emotionally enmeshed in the event."

2. He was able to remain in the moment

“In order to be successful in golf, you have to focus simply on one shot at a time,” Dr. Jones said. “You cannot allow your mind to drift to things that which come ahead of you, or get stuck on things that have come behind you.”

Bobby Jones was so focused, his grandson said, he would sometimes be unable to remember having hit the shot.

“He didn’t even go to the mental effort of saving it in his short-term memory so that it could be later saved in long-term recall,” Dr. Jones said. “That is an unbelievable level of focus."

3. He played against the course, not the competition

“He learned how to compete against Old Man Par,” Dr. Jones said. “Because in the days when he played, if you shot par, you stood a pretty good chance of winning the tournament.”

Dr. Jones said his grandfather rarely concerned himself with his opponent. Instead, he focused on the task at hand, which was making par on each hole.

“In all three cases, those are all extremely present focus items, and that’s what allowed him — along with his phenomenal hand-eye coordination — to be such a great golfer,” Dr. Jones said. “But it did more, because golf is a funny thing.

“Golf, more than any other game, more closely mirrors life. In a round of golf, you can be everything from the hero of a side-splitting comedy to the dogged victim of inexorable fate in four hours.”

And Dr. Jones believes that metaphor turned out to be the case even more so for his grandfather, as the illness which eventually killed him came from the result of a near-fatal lightning strike during a round of golf in 1929.

More things you may or may not know about Bobby Jones, according to his grandson:

... Bobby was a sickly child and didn’t eat solid food until he was 5. Before that, his diet consisted mainly of pabulum.

… Bobby’s favorite sport growing up wasn’t golf. It was baseball. He was a catcher, then moved to the outfield because it was safer.

… Bobby’s first tournament was at age 6. It was a six-hole match between several children at East Lake Golf Club. He won a small silver cup, which he cherished and kept the rest of his life. It’s now on display at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

… Bobby first broke 80 at age 10. He won the Druid Hills club championship that year.

… At age 14, Bobby won the Georgia State Amateur at Brookhaven. He then traveled to Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia for the U.S. Amateur and led first-round qualifying, losing in the third round to the eventual tournament winner.

… Bobby was a notorious club thrower early in his career. In a 1916 match, he defeated Eben Byers — another club-thrower — and famously said, “I think I beat him because he ran out of clubs first.” An incident in which he injured a woman with a thrown club — coupled with a stern letter from USGA President George Herbert Walker — made Jones change his temperament from that point on.

… A loss at Pebble Beach in the U.S. Open led Bobby to a chance meeting with golf course architect Alister MacKenzie. Since he was in the area, Bobby decided to play a round at nearby Cypress Point, designed by MacKenzie. Eventually the two worked together to design Augusta National.

… From 1916 until he retired in 1930, Bobby never lost in match play to the same opponent twice.

… Bobby was a voracious reader and had an extreme intellectual curiosity. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1922 with a mechanical engineering degree and then two years later, earned a degree in English Literature from Harvard.

… Despite being a lawyer for most of his life, Bobby never finished law school. He completed three semesters at Emory University, then decided to take the bar exam. After passing it, he dropped out and joined his father’s law firm.

… In an effort to make the game more manageable for the average player, Bobby designed the first set of steel shafts for the A.G. Spaulding Company in the early 1930s.

… Bobby made a series of instructional films in Hollywood between 1931 and 1933 to help teach the game to the average golfer.

… At 40, Bobby enlisted in the U.S. Army and came ashore at Normandy on the day after D-Day in 1943. He spent several months as an interrogator of captured prisoners of war.

… Bobby had amazing hand-to-eye coordination. He was a master at badminton, ping pong and tennis.

… Bobby’s death was indirectly the result of a lightning strike in 1929. He was playing a round at East Lake with friends when a sudden storm appeared. They took refuge next to the clubhouse, but a lightning bolt struck the building’s chimney, sending a shower of bricks and other debris raining down. Bobby was hit in the neck. And the resulting injury eventually led to fluid building in his spinal cord — syringomyelia — a crippling disease that left him wheelchair-bound. He died in Atlanta in 1971.