By PGATOUR.COM staff
Ryan Moore and Gary Woodland returned to Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club on Monday morning in Malaysia to decide the CIMB Classic. They played the 634-yard, par-5 18th hole. Here's what happened:
First playoff hole: Both players hit the fairway off the tee. Moore laid up with a 5-wood to the center of the fairway. Woodland laid up with an iron to the right side and it trickled into the rough.
Moore played his third shot first, from 157 yards, and hit it tight to four feet at the back-right hole location. Woodland, from 136 yards, missed the green to the right in the rough.
Woodland hit a good chip but came up two feet short. Moore made his four-footer for the birdie and the victory.
Ryan Moore made a gritty par putt to tie Gary Woodland in the near-darkness Sunday at the CIMB Classic, sending the event its first playoff in the four-year history of the tournament.
Woodland had a 10-foot birdie putt to win in regulation, but his putt just skirted the cup. The pair will return to the course at 7:30 a.m. local time to finish.
Both players will be going for their third PGA TOUR title. Play will resume on the 634-yard par-5 18th, and Golf Channel will televise it live.
This is Moore's third PGA TOUR playoff, and Woodland's second.
"To have to come back tomorrow for a playoff is not the worst thing ever," Moore said. "I'm just happy to be in it. I was scrambling there on the last hole just to somehow make a par and kind of see what happens at that point, and fortunately I still get another shot at it."
Moore birdied the short par-4 16th to get to 14 under, then parred the last two holes. Woodland had a one-shot lead through two rain delays before Moore tied things up.
Woodland still had the edge heading into the long par-5 18th. He played three textbook shots, but his birdie putt didn't go in.
"I made it when I looked up, and it just broke too much at the end there," Woodland said. "But it was a tough day, and obviously to come down to the last putt, obviously I'd like to have made it, but I wouldn't do anything different. I hit it where I wanted to, and unfortunately it didn't go in."
Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the Asian Tour's top player, shot 70 and finished one shot out of the playoff. Chris Stroud, who was playing the final round with Moore and Woodland, also was one shot back after his birdie chip just missed the hole on the 18th.
Only a few months ago, Gary Woodland was in danger of losing his TOUR card. Now, the 29-year-old has a shot of winning for the third time in four years.
Woodland has arrived in the new 2013-14 season armed with a new caddie (veteran Tony Navarro) and plenty of confidence thanks for a torrid finish in the FedExCup Playoffs, thanks to continued work with Butch Harmon.
Woodland won the Reno-Tahoe Open in August, and with the pressure off to keep his card, went on to nearly win The Barclays, missing a birdie putt on the 72nd hole that would have put him in a playoff with eventual winner Adam Scott.
Ironically, it was Scott's former caddie that has gone to work for Woodland. Navarro, one of the more recognized caddies on TOUR after his work with Scott and fellow Aussie Greg Norman, is on the bag this week at the CIMB Classic, where Woodland fired a 5-under 67 to put him only a shot back of Ryan Moore and Chris Stroud heading into the final round.
Woodland has always been a good ball-striker -- he's one of the longest hitters on TOUR -- but his putting held him back during a difficult 2012 season, when he was 178th in strokes gained-putting.
A putting lesson this week from Phil Mickelson didn't hurt.
"I've been playing good," Woodland said, "I've been playing good for a long time, I just haven't been putting it great and got a little putting tip from Phil actually this week, and it's been working pretty well. Excited about that."
Woodland said it was important for him to have a big week. He wanted some FedExCup points before the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January, and this week's event is the first-ever FedExCup event in Asia.
"That's why I came here, was to get off to a good start (to the year)," Woodland said. "I wanted to come over and obviously play well and enjoy the off-season a little bit better. You can do that when you get off to a good start."
By PGATOUR.COM staff
1. Just 11 competitors are guaranteed spots in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
2. That said, anyone inside the top 20, while not locked in, should feel pretty secure.
3. Just three players have qualified for each of the six TOUR Championships -- No. 6 Phil Mickelson, No. 8 Steve Stricker, No. 18 Hunter Mahan.
4. Four previous FedExCup winners remain in the Playoffs and they’re all inside the top 20.
5. Anyone inside the top 20 could take over the No. 1 position with a win this week at Conway Farms.
6. Gary Woodland (No. 14) is the biggest mover of the Playoffs so far making a 46-position jump from his 60th-place start.
7. Luke Donald, who has three straight top-3 finishes at East Lake, likely needs a top-5 finish to advance to the Playoffs finale.
8. In Playoffs history, three players have entered the BMW outside the top 60 and moved on to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
9. No one ranked 70th -- the position currently occupied by Ernie Els -- has gotten through to the finale.
10. Only Marc Leishman (2009) and Geoff Ogilvy (2011) have jumped across the bubble at the Deutsche Bank and the BMW in the same year. Seven will try to do it this year
11. Four players have won multiple events in the same Playoffs and Rory McIlroy did it at the Deutsche Bank and BMW last year. Good news for Henrik Stenson fans.
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Next week’s BMW Championship will be many players’ first trip to Conway Farms, the suburban Chicago layout that will host the third event of the FedExCup Playoffs. Conway Farms has hosted a handful of national amateur events, but this will be its first PGA TOUR event.
Preparing for a new course adds a new challenge for the BMW’s elite field. The top 70 players in the FedExCup qualified for the event. The FedExCup's top 30 after the BMW will qualify for the following week’s TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
“What works in their favor, one, is there's 70 players left in the field, so they will get out there and practice rounds won't be too tedious,” Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee said Wednesday in a teleconference. “I'm looking forward as an analyst just to see this golf course. I've toured it via the Internet and looked at it. It looks marvelous, great setting. I think it's really exciting, risk-reward, a lot of cool shots coming down the stretch, and I'm sure the players have thought about it, as well.”
Conway Farms will be a home game for Luke Donald. His short-game coach, Pat Goss, tweeted Wednesday, “Day 2 of my Conway Farms short game escapades - today with the best in the world at it @LukeDonald. #funtowatch.” Goss worked with Gary Woodland the previous day.
Woodland is 14th in the FedExCup standings and seems likely to safely advance to the TOUR Championship. He was 116th in the FedExCup after the RBC Canadian Open in July, but has vaulted more than 100 points in the standings after winning the Reno-Tahoe Open and finishing T-2 at The Barclays, the first FedExCup Playoffs event. Goss and Woodland worked exclusively on the short game from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Goss tweeted.
Donald has work to do at his home course if he is to make the TOUR Championship for the fifth consecutive year. He is 54th in the FedExCup. Donald recently started working with instructor Chuck Cook, who’s instructed PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner for several years.
“I just think that Luke maybe is just having a little bit of ‑‑ just sort of a downtime,” Miller said on the teleconference. “It happens to everybody. It happened to Nicklaus, of course to Woods a couple of times and it's happened to all the great players, Mickelson, you name it. They have had times where maybe they didn't know if they wanted to unpack the suitcase and pack it that many times a year; a little bit of that, you never know.
"He'll probably come back. He has got a lot of talent. But his iron game is off, and that was always the hallmark and as a collegian and coming on TOUR, that's what he was known for was great iron play. I think his wedges are all right, but the rest of the irons are not so good.”
While Donald, a former World No. 1, seeks to regain past form, several players have had breakout performances in the FedExCup Playoffs, namely Henrik Stenson and Graham DeLaet. Stenson leads the FedExCup after winning the Deutsche Bank Championship, his first TOUR title since the 2009 PLAYERS Championship. He’s risen to sixth in the Official World Golf Ranking after falling outside the top 200 during a slump a couple years ago. Stenson will qualify for the TOUR Championship for the first time; this is his first time advancing to the BMW Championship since 2007.
“Obviously Stenson is really on a roll, and it's not just a one‑ or two‑week roll,” Miller said. “He's doing everything really well. He has the power and he has great irons. Short game has really improved, the work he's put in, and the putter is working really well.”
You know, it's fast, but he's so powerful. The guy is really put together, big guy, tall and strong, and really makes great contact and crushes the ball, really compress the ball and makes a loud noise when he hits it.
“He could possibly get to the next level next year. He might end up being a guy that will win a major or maybe a couple majors the next two years. He says he wants to put even more work into his game. Saw his interview this morning, and you know, he understands that to take it to the next level, he has to even work even harder. So I like him.”
DeLaet also is on pace for his first TOUR Championship appearance. He's fifth in the FedExCup standings after a T-2 finish at The Barclays and third-place finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship. The top five in the FedExCup standings after the BMW can clinch the FedExCup with a win at the TOUR Championship, regardless of how the players ahead of him fare in the final Playoffs event.
“I'm just absolutely flabbergasted watching that guy hit golf balls,” Chamblee said. “He's never had a golf lesson. His father showed him how to hold a golf club and then he just went about it himself. He leads the TOUR in total driving and he leads the TOUR in ball‑striking. I think it's a fabulous contrast, in my opinion, to the over‑coaching that's going on on the PGA TOUR.”
Stenson leads the FedExCup, followed by Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar and DeLaet. There’s still a lot of work left to be done to win the FedExCup, though. Historic East Lake Golf Club awaits.
"You start to look at guys who on the eve of THE TOUR Championship, first of all who, have won a major championship, because that golf course, Donald Ross, re‑designed obviously by a number of people, but you have to look at quality ball‑strikers; the golf course, it's hard to hit a lot of those greens."
Gary Woodland, runner-up last week at The Barclays, will be answering fan questions in a Google+ Hangout today at 12:30 p.m. ET live from the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Leave your questions for Woodland in the comments below and we'll ask him the best ones during today's live video chat, which you can watch here on the TOUR Report.
To see our past Hangouts with PGA TOUR players, fans and media, click here (http://pgat.us/Hangouts).
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Gary Woodland and Matt Kuchar represented the United States and won the 2011 World Cup in China.
The two will play together again on Sunday at Liberty National, only this time, they'll be trying to beat each other and win The Barclays. A win would give Kuchar the No. 1 spot in the FedExCup standings heading into next week's second Playoffs event while Woodland could rise as high as third.
Here are some interesting facts about the two men who own the lead at 12 under.
>>> Matt Kuchar has held or shared a 54-hole lead three times previously in his career and has gone on to win two of those events: 2009 Turning Stone Resort Championship (tied for the lead through three rounds) and 2013 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. He also led the 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial through three rounds (finished runner-up, one stroke behind winner Boo Weekley).
>>> Gary Woodland has never held the outright lead at a PGA TOUR stroke-play event. He has shared the lead three previous times: after round 1 of the 2011 Children's Miracle Network Classic, eventually tying for 12th; and after the third and fourth round of the 2011 Bob Hope Classic, eventually finishing tied for second. The Bob Hope Clasic is a 90-hole event. Woodland's most recent win, the 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open, uses a Modified Stableford scoring format. He was leading by seven points entering the final round and won by nine.
>>> Kuchar's four other PGA TOUR wins have been come-from-behind victories, including his win at The Barclays in 2010. Kuchar was five strokes down to Martin Laird starting the final-round and shot a 66 to force a playoff with Laird, which he eventually won on the first hole. Kuchar's win tied the tournament record for largest come-from-behind victory (Bobby Nichols, 1973; Vijay Singh, 1993).
>>> A win this week would make Kuchar only the second player to win the same FedExCup Playoffs event more than once (Tiger Woods: 2007, 2009 BMW Championship). He would join a list of seven other players with more than one Playoffs event win: Tiger Woods (3); Steve Stricker (2); Vijay Singh (2); Dustin Johnson (2); Camilo Villegas (2); Rory McIlroy (2); and Phil Mickelson (2).
>>> With a win this week at The Barclays, Woodland would join Tiger Woods (5), Kuchar (2), Brandt Snedeker (2) and Phil Mickelson (2) as the only multiple winners on TOUR this season.
>>> Kuchar enters the FedExCup Playoffs at No. 2 in the standings, the highest in the rankings he has ever begun the Playoffs. Kuchar has been one of the most consistent players on the PGA TOUR since 2009, with five of his six career wins and 41 top-10 finishes. The Georgia Tech grad recorded his first multi-win season in 2013 with wins at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.
>>> Kuchar’s best finish in the FedExCup came in 2010 (the year he won The Barclays) when he finished No. 2 behind Jim Furyk. At The Barclays in 2009 – at Liberty National – Kuchar tied for 28th. Since the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship, Kuchar has only missed three cuts in his last 79 PGA TOUR starts.
>>> Woodland, a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR (2011 Tampa Bay Championship, 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open), is looking to reach the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola for the second time in his career, having finished the 2011 FedExCup Playoffs 17th in the standings the only other time he qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs.
Gary Woodland and Jason Dufner, two of the most recent winners on the PGA TOUR, played a practice round on Tuesday at Liberty National, which was captured nicely by the Twitter feed of Claude Harmon III.
Woodland was a PGA TOUR rookie the last time the PGA TOUR visited Liberty National, but his season ended due to a shoulder injury a month before the FedExCup Playoffs. Dufner qualified for FedExCup Playoffs but missed the cut at Liberty National that year.