September 19, 2015 - 3:36pm
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T.J. Auclair
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Here are the tee times and pairings for Saturday afternoon's Foursomes (alternate shot) session of the 27th PGA Cup at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif.:

1:15 p.m. PT: Bob Sowards/Jamie Broce (USA) v. Gareth Wright/Jason Levermore (GB&I)

1:40 p.m. PT: Michael Block/Stuart Deane (USA) v. Lee Clarke/Alex Wrigley (GB&I)

1:55 p.m. PT: Matt Dobyns/Ben Polland (USA) v. Graham Fox/David Dixon (GB&I)

2:10 p.m. PT: Sean Dougherty/Grant Sturgeon (USA) v. Cameron Clark/Niall Kearney (GB&I)

PGA Cup: Saturday afternoon Foursomes pairings and tee times
September 18, 2015 - 9:19pm
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T.J. Auclair
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Allen Wronowski
Montana Pritchard/PGA of America
U.S. PGA Cup Captain Allen Wronowski was a happy man after his team took 3 1/2 of a possible 4 points in Friday afternoon's Foursomes session.

SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- "You know, I was never much of a morning guy. I always liked the afternoon better."

That's what U.S. Captain Allen Wronowski had to say when the scoreboard at the 27th PGA Cup at CordeValle began to bleed red in the afternoon Foursomes session after the Americans were toasted -- 3-1 -- in the morning Fourballs by the Great Britain & Ireland squad.

Fortunately for Wronowski and his team, that scoreboard never stopped bleeding. The U.S. rallied from a two-point deficit to win the afternoon session 3 1/2-1/2 and will take a 4 1/2-3 1/2 lead into Day 2.

RELATED: PGA Cup scoreboard | Block, Deane set tone for U.S. rally | Photos

"We know going into something like this that both teams are really loaded, there's lots of talent, lots of great players with strong resumes and you're going to have these back and forth, give and takes," Wronowski said. "Looking at this morning -- our team didn't play bad, GB&I just played better. They made a few more putts; hit a few better shots. That's where you have to say, 'this isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.'"

It is a marathon, but the U.S. team was sprinting like Usain Bolt in the afternoon alternate-shot session.

Rookies Michael Block and Stuart Deane, after sitting out for the morning session, earned the first afternoon point with a 4&3 win over GB&I's Graham Fox and David Dixon.

Moments after that, the duo of Bob Sowards and Jamie Broce snatched the second p.m. point for the U.S. with an 8&7 trouncing of GB&I's Cameron Clark and Lee Clarke, which included an unthinkable, alternate-shot 29.

"That's mind-boggling," Wronowski said. "To have our guys shoot a score like that... it sends a message to the team and gets them pumped up to play better."

The tandem of Matt Dobyns, a two-time PGA Professional Champion (PPC), and Ben Polland, runner up to Dobyns in the PPC in June, had a 1-up lead with two holes to play Friday afternoon and had a chance to make it a clean sweep for the U.S.

After matching birdies with GB&I's Jason Levermore and Gareth Wright on the par-3 16th, Polland and Dobyns made a mess of No. 17, starting with a pulled tee shot from Polland that the pair couldn't recover from.

Up at the par-5 18th, GB&I were just off the green in two shots, while Polland was facing a tricky 15-footer for birdie to salvage a halve for the U.S.

With incredible poise, Polland knocked it in like it was nothing.

The halve allowed the U.S. to keep the momentum instead of giving GB&I something positive to take into Friday evening.

"To go from a 1-up lead to even to possibly losing, especially when you have a two-time Professional Champion and the runner-up, and all the sudden they get beat? That would have been tough," Wronowski said. "Ben Polland has ice water in his veins. That was just the greatest putt that he made there on 18." 

Wronowski ecstatic over Friday's PGA Cup rally
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.

 

PGA Cup: Saturday Morning Fourballs pairings and tee times
September 18, 2015 - 6:56pm
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. 

Block, Deane set tone for U.S.'s Friday afternoon rally
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 Frys.com 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.
 
 
 
 
Tiger Woods has back surgery, hopes to return in early 2016
September 18, 2015 - 3:38pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
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." 

U.S. players plenty confident after slow PGA Cup start