Tag Archives: fairway

MASTERS 2012: Caroline Wozniacki caddying for Rory McIlroy at the Par-3 Contest

Wozniacki caddying for Rory, kids putting… it can only be The Masters' Par-3 Contest! (But don't go and win it… you'll be cursed)

Padraig Harrington, Jonathan , carries his son Ciaran down the first fairway last year

Can you guess what his name is Davis Love III putts watched by his son Davis Love IV in 1999

Can you guess what his name is Davis Love III putts watched by his son Davis Love IV in 1999

Aaron Baddeley with his daughter Jolee last year

Open wide: Australian Aaron Baddeley with his daughter Jolee last year

Happy family: Louis Oosthuizen and his wife Nel-Mare and daughter Jana pose for a photo two years ago

Happy family: Louis Oosthuizen and his wife Nel-Mare and daughter Jana pose for a photo two years ago

THE MASTERS: Hole-by-hole guide

THE MASTERS: Hole-by-hole guide to Augusta National

PUBLISHED:

08:55 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 8 April 2013

The waiting is over for the year's first Major as the best players in the world arrive at Augusta National for The Masters.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy stroll down Magnolia Lane as the top two in the world while Bubba Watson is defending the Green Jacket he won 12 months ago.

Woods is the man to beat with three wins under his belt already in 2013 while McIlroy looks like he's finally getting used to his Nike clubs following a fine display finishing second at the Texas Open.

But this is Augusta National where anything can happen and here, Sportsmail has everything you need to know in our hole-by-hole guide.

The Masters: Hole by hole

Hole-by-hole guide to Augusta National – everything you need to know ahead of the season's first major

*Holes ranked from 1 (most difficult) to 18 (least difficult) based on how the course played in 2012

1st (Tea Olive), 445 yards, par four: A deep bunker on the right of the fairway and trees both sides make for a daunting start, while long and left of the undulating green both spell big trouble. Unsurprisingly played the hardest hole on the course last year. 2012 average: 4.39 (rank 1)

2nd (Pink Dogwood), 575 yards, par five: Driving into the trees on the left cost Padraig Harrington a nine in 2009, but Louis Oosthuizen memorably holed his second shot for an albatross in the final round last year before losing in a play-off to Bubba Watson. Important early birdie chance.
2012 average: 4.64 (rank 18)

3rd (Flowering Peach), 350 yards, par four: Shortest par four on the course but a pear-shaped green with steep slope in front allows for some wicked pin positions. 2011 winner Charl Schwartzel pitched in for eagle in the final round. 2012 average: 3.90 (rank 14)

4th (Flowering Crab Apple), 240 yards, par three: The back tee – not always used – turns it into a beast with the green sloping from back to front. Phil Mickelson took six here in the final round last year and finished two shots outside the play-off. Jeff Sluman's ace in 1992 remains the only hole-in-one here in Masters history. 2012 average: 3.22 (rank 6)

5th (Magnolia), 455 yards, par four: Jack Nicklaus twice holed his second shot in 1995 and Colin Montgomerie did it in 2000, but it is another devilishly difficult green. To clear the fairway bunkers requires a 315-yard carry. 2012 average: 4.21 (rank 7)

6th (Juniper), 180 yards, par three: From a high tee to a green with a huge slope in it. Four holes-in-one, but Jose Maria Olazabal took seven in 1991 and lost by one to Ian Woosnam, while Arnold Palmer has also run up a seven. 2012 average: 3.17 (rank 8)

Say your prayers: Amen Corner claims many victims each year - the 11th green is on the left with the 12th in the distance towards the back right

Say your prayers: Amen Corner claims many victims each year – the 11th green is on the left with the 12th in the distance towards the back right

7th (Pampas), 450 yards, par four: What used to be a real birdie chance has been lengthened by 35-40 yards, while trees were also added and the putting surface reshaped. More bunkers – five – around the green than any other hole. 2012 average: 4.17 (rank 9)

8th (Yellow Jasmine), 570 yards, par five: The bunker on the right, about 300 yards out, pushes players left and from there it is harder to find the green in two up the steep hill. Still a good birdie chance and Bruce Devlin made an albatross two in 1967. 2012 average: 4.86 (rank 15)

9th (Carolina Cherry), 460 yards, par four: The tee was pushed back 30 yards in 2002. The raised green, with two bunkers on the left, tilts sharply from the back and anything rolling off the front can continue down for 50-60 yards. 2012 average: 4.25 (rank 4)

10th (Camellia), 495 yards, par four: A huge drop from tee to green on this dogleg left and over all the years of the Masters the most difficult hole. It was here that Rory McIlroy began to fall apart in 2011 with a seven, while Watson clinched the title 12 months ago by making par in the play-off from the trees. 2012 average: 4.249 (rank 5)

11th (White Dogwood), 505 yards, par four: The start of Amen Corner. Toughest hole in 2011, with the water front and left scaring many. Best remembered for Larry Mize's chip-in in 1987 and Nick Faldo's back-to-back play-off wins. 2012 average: 4.32 (rank 2)

12th (Golden Bell), 155 yards, par three: Probably the most famous par three in golf. Narrow target, water in front, trouble at the back, it has seen everything from a one to Tom Weiskopf's 13 in 1980. McIlroy four-putted it in 2011. 2012 average: 3.06 (rank 13)

Dangerous: The 12th hole at Augusta National - measuring just 155 yards - is probably the most famous par three in golf

Dangerous: The 12th hole at Augusta National – measuring just 155 yards – is probably the most famous par three in golf

13th (Azalea), 510 yards, par five: The end of Amen Corner. Massive dogleg left with scores ranging from Jeff Maggert's albatross two in 1994 to Tommy Nakajima's 13 in 1978. Watson's crucial run of four birdies in succession last year started here. 2012 average: 4.72 (rank 16)

14th (Chinese Fir), 440 yards, par four: The only hole on the course without a bunker, but three putts are common on the wickedly difficult green. Course record holder Nick Price took eight here in 1993, while Phil Mickelson holed his approach en route to 2010 victory. 2012 average: 4.09 (rank 12)

15th (Firethorn), 530 yards, par five: Often a tough decision whether to go for the green in two across the pond on the hole where Gene Sarazen sank his 235-yard four-wood shot for an albatross in 1935. There have also been three 11s here. 2012 average: 4.67 (rank 17)

16th (Redbud), 170 yards, par three: Tiger Woods' memorable chip-in in 2005 came the same year as 73-year-old Billy Casper's 14, while Padraig Harrington and Ian Poulter are among 15 players to record holes-in-one. 2012 average: 3.11 (rank 11)

17th (Nandina), 440 yards, par four: Tee shot is played over the Eisenhower Tree on the hole Justin Rose double-bogeyed when one off the lead in 2007. Jack Nicklaus birdied here to take the lead as he won his 18th major in 1986. 2012 average: 4.16 (rank 10)

18th (Holly), 465 yards, par four: The drive through an avenue of trees was made much harder when the tee was moved back 60 yards in 2002. The fairway bunker from which Sandy Lyle got up and down to win in 1988 is now 300 yards away. 2012 average: 4.31 (rank 3)

THE MASTERS: Hole-by-hoe guide

THE MASTERS: Hole-by-hole guide to Augusta National

PUBLISHED:

08:55 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:55 GMT, 8 April 2013

The waiting is over for the year's first Major as the best players in the world arrive at Augusta National for The Masters.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy stroll down Magnolia Lane as the top two in the world while Bubba Watson is defending the Green Jacket he won 12 months ago.

Woods is the man to beat with three wins under his belt already in 2013 while McIlroy looks like he's finally getting used to his Nike clubs following a fine display finishing second at the Texas Open.

But this is Augusta National where anything can happen and here, Sportsmail has everything you need to know in our hole-by-hole guide.

The Masters: Hole by hole

Hole-by-hole guide to Augusta National – everything you need to know ahead of the season's first major

*Holes ranked from 1 (most difficult) to 18 (least difficult) based on how the course played in 2012

1st (Tea Olive), 445 yards, par four: A deep bunker on the right of the fairway and trees both sides make for a daunting start, while long and left of the undulating green both spell big trouble. Unsurprisingly played the hardest hole on the course last year. 2012 average: 4.39 (rank 1)

2nd (Pink Dogwood), 575 yards, par five: Driving into the trees on the left cost Padraig Harrington a nine in 2009, but Louis Oosthuizen memorably holed his second shot for an albatross in the final round last year before losing in a play-off to Bubba Watson. Important early birdie chance.
2012 average: 4.64 (rank 18)

3rd (Flowering Peach), 350 yards, par four: Shortest par four on the course but a pear-shaped green with steep slope in front allows for some wicked pin positions. 2011 winner Charl Schwartzel pitched in for eagle in the final round. 2012 average: 3.90 (rank 14)

4th (Flowering Crab Apple), 240 yards, par three: The back tee – not always used – turns it into a beast with the green sloping from back to front. Phil Mickelson took six here in the final round last year and finished two shots outside the play-off. Jeff Sluman's ace in 1992 remains the only hole-in-one here in Masters history. 2012 average: 3.22 (rank 6)

5th (Magnolia), 455 yards, par four: Jack Nicklaus twice holed his second shot in 1995 and Colin Montgomerie did it in 2000, but it is another devilishly difficult green. To clear the fairway bunkers requires a 315-yard carry. 2012 average: 4.21 (rank 7)

6th (Juniper), 180 yards, par three: From a high tee to a green with a huge slope in it. Four holes-in-one, but Jose Maria Olazabal took seven in 1991 and lost by one to Ian Woosnam, while Arnold Palmer has also run up a seven. 2012 average: 3.17 (rank 8)

Say your prayers: Amen Corner claims many victims each year - the 11th green is on the left with the 12th in the distance towards the back right

Say your prayers: Amen Corner claims many victims each year – the 11th green is on the left with the 12th in the distance towards the back right

7th (Pampas), 450 yards, par four: What used to be a real birdie chance has been lengthened by 35-40 yards, while trees were also added and the putting surface reshaped. More bunkers – five – around the green than any other hole. 2012 average: 4.17 (rank 9)

8th (Yellow Jasmine), 570 yards, par five: The bunker on the right, about 300 yards out, pushes players left and from there it is harder to find the green in two up the steep hill. Still a good birdie chance and Bruce Devlin made an albatross two in 1967. 2012 average: 4.86 (rank 15)

9th (Carolina Cherry), 460 yards, par four: The tee was pushed back 30 yards in 2002. The raised green, with two bunkers on the left, tilts sharply from the back and anything rolling off the front can continue down for 50-60 yards. 2012 average: 4.25 (rank 4)

10th (Camellia), 495 yards, par four: A huge drop from tee to green on this dogleg left and over all the years of the Masters the most difficult hole. It was here that Rory McIlroy began to fall apart in 2011 with a seven, while Watson clinched the title 12 months ago by making par in the play-off from the trees. 2012 average: 4.249 (rank 5)

11th (White Dogwood), 505 yards, par four: The start of Amen Corner. Toughest hole in 2011, with the water front and left scaring many. Best remembered for Larry Mize's chip-in in 1987 and Nick Faldo's back-to-back play-off wins. 2012 average: 4.32 (rank 2)

12th (Golden Bell), 155 yards, par three: Probably the most famous par three in golf. Narrow target, water in front, trouble at the back, it has seen everything from a one to Tom Weiskopf's 13 in 1980. McIlroy four-putted it in 2011. 2012 average: 3.06 (rank 13)

Dangerous: The 12th hole at Augusta National - measuring just 155 yards - is probably the most famous par three in golf

Dangerous: The 12th hole at Augusta National – measuring just 155 yards – is probably the most famous par three in golf

13th (Azalea), 510 yards, par five: The end of Amen Corner. Massive dogleg left with scores ranging from Jeff Maggert's albatross two in 1994 to Tommy Nakajima's 13 in 1978. Watson's crucial run of four birdies in succession last year started here. 2012 average: 4.72 (rank 16)

14th (Chinese Fir), 440 yards, par four: The only hole on the course without a bunker, but three putts are common on the wickedly difficult green. Course record holder Nick Price took eight here in 1993, while Phil Mickelson holed his approach en route to 2010 victory. 2012 average: 4.09 (rank 12)

15th (Firethorn), 530 yards, par five: Often a tough decision whether to go for the green in two across the pond on the hole where Gene Sarazen sank his 235-yard four-wood shot for an albatross in 1935. There have also been three 11s here. 2012 average: 4.67 (rank 17)

16th (Redbud), 170 yards, par three: Tiger Woods' memorable chip-in in 2005 came the same year as 73-year-old Billy Casper's 14, while Padraig Harrington and Ian Poulter are among 15 players to record holes-in-one. 2012 average: 3.11 (rank 11)

17th (Nandina), 440 yards, par four: Tee shot is played over the Eisenhower Tree on the hole Justin Rose double-bogeyed when one off the lead in 2007. Jack Nicklaus birdied here to take the lead as he won his 18th major in 1986. 2012 average: 4.16 (rank 10)

18th (Holly), 465 yards, par four: The drive through an avenue of trees was made much harder when the tee was moved back 60 yards in 2002. The fairway bunker from which Sandy Lyle got up and down to win in 1988 is now 300 yards away. 2012 average: 4.31 (rank 3)

Tiger Woods leads by six at Torrey Pines but Farmers Insurance Open finish delayed by fog

Tiger hits top form to build six-shot lead at Torrey Pines but finish delayed by fog

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

02:15 GMT, 28 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:15 GMT, 28 January 2013

Tiger Woods remained on course for victory as the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines went into a fifth day.

After fog remarkably wiped out all but five minutes of day three's play, the third round and a large chunk of the fourth was completed today before darkness fell.

When that moment came, Woods was 17 under par with 11 holes to play, six shots clear of nearest challengers Brandt Snedeker and Nick Watney.

Can't see the Woods for the tree: Tiger hits out of the rough on the fourth hole at Torrey Pines

Can't see the Woods for the tree: Tiger hits out of the rough on the fourth hole at Torrey Pines

He's flying: Woods looks in fine form

He's flying: Woods looks in fine form

Woods was two shots clear at the start of play and extended his lead with a three-under-par third round of 69, bettered only by Australian Aaron Baddeley with 68.

The world number two began his final round four clear, having won on 39 of the 41 previous occasions he has led outright with 18 holes remaining – though the quick turnaround meant he had not changed into his trademark red shirt.

Nor did he start in typical fashion. He sent his first tee shot way left and needed a good recovery shot to set up a par, and then hit his second tee shot on to the fringe of the sixth fairway and was fortunate to have a clear shot in, though even then he needed an excellent 10-yard pitch to save par.
But he birdied the next two and gained another shot at the sixth before finishing with a par at the seventh.

Reigning champion Snedeker had spoken during Saturday's inactivity of the need to score low in today's extended play, and he certainly did so.

After also shooting 69 in the third round, Snedeker began his fourth with four birdies on the front nine and ended the day on 11 under par with five holes to play in the tournament.

Watney, the 2009 champion, could only manage 71 in his third round but was three under through eight to move in to contention on 11 under.

Head and shoulders above: World No 2 chips in for birdie on the fourth hole in San Diego

Head and shoulders above: The world No 2 chips in for birdie on the fourth hole in San Diego

Farmers Insurance Open

Click here for all the latest scores

Canada's Brad Fritsch was nine under through seven but Woods' playing partner Casey Wittenberg dropped back from that mark after bogeying the seventh, failing to get up and down from a ridiculous position near the second tee.

Luke Guthrie, Josh Teater, Steve Marino and Erik Compton were also at eight under, with six players including Englishman Ross Fisher tied on seven under.

Scott Langley and Russell Henley share the lead at the Sony Open heading into the final round

Rookie pair Langley and Henley still setting the pace at the Sony Open in Honolulu

By
Aidan Mccartney

PUBLISHED:

11:13 GMT, 13 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:18 GMT, 13 January 2013

Rookie duo Scott Langley and Russell Henley share the lead at the Sony Open in Hawaii with the pair on 17 under par heading into the final round.

After starting the day two shots behind, Langley managed to draw level after making his fifth birdie of the day on the par four tenth before pulling ahead on 13.

A bogey on the 14th brought Langley back level, before a birdie on the next hole once again gave Langley the lead.

Joint leader: Scott Langley follows his shot off the first fairway during the third round of the Sony Open.

On song: Scott Langley follows his shot off the first fairway during the third round of the Sony Open

Russell Henley, left, and Scott Langley are tied for first place at 17 under going into the final round Sunday.

Leaders: Russell Henley (left) and Scott Langley are tied for first place at 17 under going into the final round

In contrast, his 23-year-old rival had a unremarkable round with three birdies including a four on the par five last to become the first player to reach 17 under par after 54 holes, while he also maintained his record of not dropping a shot in the tournament.

Sony Open leaderboard

Click here to see all the latest scores

Langley could have moved to 18 under but could not putt his birdie attempt from 11 feet on the 18th and had to settle for a share of the honours.

South African Tim Clark is three back as he went four under in his third round, while Charles Howell III and rookie Scott Gardiner are a further shot back.

It’s Gardiner’s first tour start and the 36-year-old Australian, who is the oldest rookie on the circuit, was more than pleased with his performance over the first three days.

Rookie: Scott Gardiner of Australia

Rookie: Scott Gardiner is four off the lead after hitting -13 during his first PGA Tour start

“It’s amazing what happens when expectations are not there,” he said. “I only hit balls once in the two weeks before the tournament because we had snow at Christmas and a couple days after.”

He played 195 Web.com Tour events for the last eight years, winning once before graduating, thanks to a 15th-place finish on last year’s money list with 234,000.

“I’ve been trying to remember some of the times I’ve played well on the Web.com Tour and that’s helped me a little,” he added. “All the years on the Web.com Tour have been fantastic so this is not as unfamiliar as it might be for other rookies.”

Rory Sabbatini follows his shot off the 18th fairway during the third round

Looking on: Rory Sabbatini watches his shot off the 18th fairway during the third round in Hawaii

Schwartzel on course for successive victories after opening up 10-shot lead

Schwartzel on course for successive victories after opening up 10-shot lead

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UPDATED:

15:48 GMT, 15 December 2012

Out in front: Charl Schwartzel

Out in front: Charl Schwartzel

Charl Schwartzel, an 11-shot winner in Thailand last weekend, takes a 10-stroke lead into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in his native South Africa tomorrow.

But if the week is belonging to the 28-year-old from Johannesburg then the 192-yard 12th at Leopard Creek is compatriot Keith Horne's property – incredibly, he holed-in-one for the second day running.

/12/15/article-0-1686E1D3000005DC-518_634x393.jpg” width=”634″ height=”393″ alt=”Sealed with a kiss: Keith Horne of is presented with a BMW after his second hole-in-one ” class=”blkBorder” />

Sealed with a kiss: Keith Horne of is presented with a BMW after his second hole-in-one

'I just want to keep playing with no expectations. Tee it up, hit the ball down the fairway, hit it on the green, make the putt and see where it leads me.

'In the back of your mind you know what you want to achieve. We all want to win golf tournaments, but I can't be thinking about wanting to win because that's not how I'm actually going to win.

'I have to just stay right where I am and plod along. If I play the best I'll win – that's the way I see it.'

Rory McIroy, Luke Donald and Marc Warren lead DP World Tour Championship

McIlroy v Donald battle still on as Warren joins big two at top of Dubai leaderboard

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UPDATED:

14:22 GMT, 23 November 2012

There's some storm brewing here in the desert with Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald disputing the halfway lead with Marc Warren in the DP World Tour Championship.

McIlroy defied an overnight bout of sickness to post a 67 for an 11-under-par total of 133.

Ten minutes later, Donald struck a trademark nine iron to 4ft for a birdie at the last to tie the world No 1.

Share the joy: Rory McIroy is in a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard

Share the joy: Rory McIroy is in a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard

DP World Tour Championship

Click here for the full leaderboard

Then Warren tapped in for a par to make this season finale an England-Scotland-Northern Ireland affair at the top after 36 holes.

Next come the South Africans Branden Grace and former Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen.

How easy it would have been for McIlroy to come here and take his foot off the pedal, with the Race to Dubai already sewn up, but no-one got to be the world's best player thinking like that.

Indeed, McIlroy handed out a warning to everyone else seeking to deny him making it a notable double here on Sunday.

'I came here as motivated as I have been all season and I am determined to end the season with a bang and win here in the desert,' he said.

There didn't appear much chance of that when he looked like he was coming down with a sickness bug on Thursday night.

A cup of lemon tea from girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki and a couple of pills, however, and he was feeling much better on Friday.

Where he wants to be: Luke Donald has a share of the lead at the DP World Tour Championship

Where he wants to be: Luke Donald has a share of the lead at the DP World Tour Championship

Driving the ball imperiously, he gave himself a host of chances in another accomplished round.

'I feel this course gives me a good advantage if I'm driving it well because I can clear a lot of the fairway bunkers,' he explained.

'I missed a couple of short putts on the front nine but I've got to be happy tied for the lead going into the weekend.'

Like McIlroy, Donald has just two rounds of his season left to play and enters the final 36 holes with the same focus.

Winner last week in Japan, Donald said: 'I've got 36 holes to go and I really want to sign off with a victory.'

Donald doesn't have the length off the tee that gives McIlroy his advantage but counters that very handily with iron shots like the beauty he played at the last.

As for Warren, he had a golden opportunity to win the Scottish Open on home soil in July and is intent on showing what he has learned from that experience, when he was two ahead with three to play only to lose out in a sudden death play-off to Indian Jeev Milkha Singh.

Making a splash: Marc Warren is on 11 under after a 65 on Friday at the Earth Course

Making a splash: Marc Warren is on 11 under after a 65 on Friday at the Earth Course

All those nervous hopefuls preparing to take part on Saturday in that nerve-wracking experience known as the European Tour's Qualifying School can take great heart from the sight of South African Grace so high up the leaderboard. This time last year, he was one of them.

'It's one of those hard weeks where you don't care if you win it or finish 30th, as long as you secure your card for next year, so good luck to all the guys,' he said.

As it happens, Grace finished 11th before embarking on a season that, as he puts it, is 'beyond a dream.'

Not only has the 24-year-old won no fewer than four times, he is in a great position in this event going into the weekend, and will play with Donald on Saturday.

'I guess you could come here with the attitude of freewheeling and enjoying it but I came here with a couple of goals for the last event and I'm determined to pull them off,' he said.

In contention: South African Branden Grace is just one shot off the leaders

In contention: South African Branden Grace is just one shot off the leaders

'Obviously I can't win the Race to Dubai as Rory has already done that but I could finish second and I want to try for that.

'Then there's obviously lots of world ranking points at stake and I want to push for as many of those as I can.'

No question about the most remarkable round of the day. Sergio Garcia had nine birdies and two eagles on his card, which was just the amount of gains he needed to shoot the European Tour's first-ever round of 59.

Even with a couple of tees pushed forward, what a remarkable achievement that would have been on a course measuring around 7,400 yards.

Up and down: Sergio Garcia had an eventful day as he fired a 64 in his second round

Up and down: Sergio Garcia had an eventful day as he fired a 64 in his second round

Alas for the gifted Spaniard, there were not only a couple of bogeys coming home but a potentially very costly triple at the 16th that leaves him four adrift of the leaders.

'I don't think I have ever had a roller-coaster round quite like that, with so much going on during the back nine,' said Garcia, who eventually signed for a 64 that tied the course record.

The 32-year-old is playing for just the second time since having laser eye surgery and certainly had his eye in on Friday.

There are plenty of gifted shot-makers lurking just off the lead, like former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel on nine under and Justin Rose and Nicolas Colsaerts on eight.

Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, however, are a distant eight and nine shots adrift after rounds of 74 and 70 respectively.

Tommy Gainey wins McGaldrey Classic

Gainey storms to victory in McGaldrey Classic after breaking course record

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UPDATED:

22:37 GMT, 21 October 2012

Tommy Gainey carded a stunning final-day 60 to claim a one-shot victory in the McGaldrey Classic and earn his first PGA Tour title.

Gainey was seemingly out of contention as he began his final round tied for 29th place on six-under-par and seven shots adrift of joint leaders Davis Love and Jim Furyk.

However, the 37-year-old American charged up the leaderboard with brilliant blemish-free round that included eight birdies and an eagle to finish the day on 10 under and 16 under for the tournament.

Incredible: Tommy Gainey stormed to victory at the McGaldrey Classic

Incredible: Tommy Gainey stormed to victory at the McGaldrey Classic

That was enough to clinch victory with David Toms (63) second on 15 under after picking up birdies on four of his final five holes while Furyk (69) was two shots back after finishing with a bogey five on 18.

Gainey's 60 was a course record but he also had a chance to card only the sixth round of 59 in PGA Tour history when he was left with a 20-foot putt for birdie on the final hole.

However, his putt finished just short as he finished with a 60, the sixth player to do so on the tour since 2007.

Get in! Gainey was delighted when he holed a birdie putt on the 16th

Get in! Gainey was delighted when he holed a birdie putt on the 16th

Not your day: Jim Furyk went into the final round holding a joint lead with defeated USA Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III

Not your day: Jim Furyk went into the final round holding a joint lead with defeated USA Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III

The South Carolinan carded birdies on the first, third, fifth and ninth to reach the turn in 31 and get himself into contention, but it was on the back nine where he did most of the damage.

A birdie on 11 was followed by two more on 13 and 14 before he holed from a greenside bunker for eagle on the par-five 15th.

Gainey sank another birdie on the 16th before finishing with back-to-back pars as he just missed out on an historic 59.

Watching and waiting: Crowds gathered round Gainey as he chipped from the fairway on the 18th

Watching and waiting: Crowds gathered round Gainey as he chipped from the fairway on the 18th

Ryder Cup 2012 live: Day two from Medinah Country Club

RYDER CUP LIVE: All the action on day two from Medinah Country Club as it happens

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UPDATED:

12:59 GMT, 29 September 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of all the action on day two of the 39th Ryder Cup from the Medinah Country Club in Illinois.

USA forged a two-point lead on day one after a stunning performance in the fourballs. Jose Maria Olazabal's side will have to come flying out of the blocks if they are to stop the Americans from establishing an unassailable lead. Chris Cutmore brings you the action.

USA 5 Europe 3

Watson/Simpson v Rose/Poulter
– A/S (3)

Bradley/Mickelson v Westwood/Donald
– 2 up (2)

Colsaerts/Garcia v Dufner/Johnson

McIlroy/McDowell v Furyk /Snedeker

Ryder Cup – the essentials

Click here for a full list of scores

Hole-by-hole guide to the course at Medinah

Watch the latest highlights

Player guide: Europe

Player guide: USA

1.57: Decent approach from Garcia – 25 feet for an opening birdie… and anything's possible with that man Colsaerts a your partner. But Zach Johnson's a demon iron player and his effort is superb, six feet for birdie.

1.54: Westwood and Donald's fate is inevitable at the second and they're two down after two. But now Simpson is the latest American to put his approach within inches of the hole for a birdie. Poulter's putt from 15 feet misses and the top match – the crucial match, you must think – is level through three.

1.51: Colsaerts the latest man to wade through the frothing masses at the first tee, just a rescue club by the looks of it. Fairway found. Dufner responds by bombing his driver way past the Belgian's ball.

1.48: Oh, Lee! Westwood, under big pressure from an immaculate tee shot from Mickelson on the second to five feet, finds the water. Not a good start from the English duo, but a quite remarkable early burst from Mickelson. What a player.

1.45: Rose can't hole from eight feet for par on the second, door open for Simpson. But he misses from two feet! That's real Ryder Cup nerves for you! A shocker! Europe remain one up.

1.44: But Donald misses! Dreadful putt for one of the best in the world with the flat stick. America strike their first blow of the day.

1.43: Oh hello! Mickelson and Bradley have picked up right where they left off yesterday, Lefty sticking his approach stone dead for a gimme on the first. The good news is that Westwood's shot was almost as good, leaving Donald six feet for birdie too.

1.37: Rose tees off on the short second hole and stares anxiously at his ball as it flies into the bunker at the back right of the green. Simpson is similarly nervy but his ball stops short of the sand trap.

1.35: Is there anywhere else you'd rather be in the world than the first tee at Medinah this weekend I've never heard anything like this, it's cacophonous. Donald steps up and nails his drive down the middle, great start. But Bradley monsters his effort way past the Englishman's ball, a huge drive, albeit in the rough down the left.

1.32: Watson putts first, the ball goes nowhere near. Poulter now, pretty straight putt facing him, but he takes his time and lines it up from all angles. And it's there! Europe go one up after the first. 'Come on!' roars Poulter.

1.25: Rose gets his turn now – Hampshire's finest was mighty impressive yesterday in beating Woods and Steve Stricker along with Poulter, and losing to Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar in the fourballs alongside Martin Kaymer.

Rose settles his feet in the sand – there's a big lip to clear to get to the green – and hits into the early-morning Illinois mist. But what a shot! Rose finds the putting surface and leaves Poulter seven feet for an early birdie. Simpson also finds the green but is 20 feet away.

Soaking in the atmosphere: Bubba Watson stretches on the first tee on Saturday

Soaking in the atmosphere: Bubba Watson stretches on the first tee on Saturday

Deafening din: American fans cheer as Watson tees off on day two of the 39th Ryder Cup

Deafening din: American fans cheer as Watson tees off on day two of the 39th Ryder Cup

1.21: Now it's Bubba's turn, and the noise is even louder, if that was possible. Again, Watson tees off in the midst of the cheering and whooping and, like Poulter, tugs it left. But Watson rides his luck as the ball hops over Poulter's bunker and settles in the rough (if you can call it that).

1.20: The crowd are getting stuck in to Poulter but he's loving it! The Englishman waves his hands to urge the American rabble to make even more racket, and they respond with gusto. He then tees off amid the din. What a spectacle! But Poulter's first blow isn't his best and he finds the bunker down the left of the fairway.

1.15: A quite ridiculous and defeaning roar echoes among the trees surrounding the first tee at Medinah as Bubba and Webb walk over the bridge. Wow, that's something else, Bubba looks on almost in disbelief. Five minutes to go…

1.10: Here's the full list of this morning's foursomes matches. Tiger Woods has been dropped by the US for the first time in his career. That may be surprising to some, but Woods yesterday became statistically the competition's worst foursomes player after his eighth defeat. Ouch.

Justin Rose / Ian Poulter v Bubba Watson / Webb Simpson 1:20 PM

Lee Westwood / Luke Donald v Keegan Bradley / Phil Mickelson 1:35 PM

Nicolas Colsaerts / Sergio Garcia v Jason Dufner / Zach Johnson 1:50 PM

Rory McIlroy / Graeme McDowell v Jim Furyk / Brandt Snedeker 2:05 PM

Put simply, Europe cannot afford to lose this session.

1.00pm: Morning has broken in Chicago, so it's time for day two of the Ryder Cup and all that jazz. (Have no fear – I promise that's the last of the cheap references to that musical today.)

Friday was quite something, wasn't it The tense, topsy-turvy foursomes ended with the match tied at two points apiece but Europe were left clinging on by their fingernails after an American surge in the fourballs, sparked by some outrageous, all-out attack from Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson and followed up with some equally outrageous putting from Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.

We're back in foursomes action again in just 20 minutes time, when Watson and Simpson resume their assault, but this time they'll face stiff competition from European pair Justin Rose and Ian Poulter. You can't help but feel that match could prove decisive for the eventual winners of the 39th Ryder Cup.

Man of the moment: Bradley enjoyed a stunning first day the Ryder Cup

Man of the moment: Rookie Bradley enjoyed a stunning first day the Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup 2012: Rory McIlroy does not mind being target for America – Martin Samuel

Rory draws on his iron will: Steely McIlroy won't fear being US target

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UPDATED:

22:49 GMT, 26 September 2012

Every now and then, the mask slips and we get a glimpse of what it is that makes Rory McIlroy the No 1 golfer in the world.

Such a moment occurred when he was questioned, not for the first time one imagines, on American plans to target him as the prize scalp of European golf.

Beat their best guy, runs the logic, and the rest will scatter in fear. At the very suggestion, McIlroy’s amenability vanished, his voice dropped to barely a murmur.

Fine by me: Rory McIlroy has no problem if the USA want to target him at the Ryder Cup

Fine by me: Rory McIlroy has no problem if the USA want to target him at the Ryder Cup

‘Whoever wants to take me on, they can take me on,’ he said. There was no smile to soften the sentiment. No trace of warmth in his words. It was only a moment, but it revealed much about what makes a champion.

This was the McIlroy the world rarely sees, bold, brave, confident in his talent and its place in the world. Those qualities are there in his golf, of course, because nobody gets to the pinnacle of his sport without savage determination and self-belief, but McIlroy’s steely side is often hidden beneath a cheery, broth-of-a-boy demeanour.

We want to believe McIlroy really is the young man we see eagerly bouncing down the fairway, playing championship golf as if it is a Sunday morning fourball, joking with Tiger Woods. And, sometimes, he is.

Part of the team: McIlroy and Sergio Garcia shake hands

Part of the team: McIlroy and Sergio Garcia shake hands

On other occasions, however, he is all business. The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club would appear to be such an event.

McIlroy versus Woods is the heavyweight contest everyone is hoping for this week. If Ryder Cup captains Jose Maria Olazabal and Davis Love reached a private agreement to make both men their No 1 singles pick on Sunday, it would be one of the greatest spectacles in the history of the competition.

The Ryder Cup is golf at its most gladiatorial, the challenge of match play, coupled with a raucous gallery, extracting degrees of emotion not typically associated with the sport. Some major tournaments end as processions; others are won standing at the back of the green watching a rival’s nerve fail. At the Ryder Cup, competitors are always head-to-head, whether as pairs or alone.

Getting to know the course: McIlroy talks with vice captain Darren Clarke and the players walk the Medinah Course

Getting to know the course: McIlroy talks with vice captain Darren Clarke and the players walk the Medinah Course

Walking the course

Plan B, certainly from an American point of view, is that McIlroy is taken down by one of their lesser names, shattering Europe’s aura of invincibility. Inescapably, the feeling is that he walks Medinah’s course No 3 a marked man.

‘I think it’s a huge compliment that people are saying they want to beat me,’ said McIlroy. ‘I don’t think of it as a bull’s-eye on my back. I just want to go out, that first day, and get a point for my team.

‘It doesn’t make a difference where I play or who I play, whether it’s against Tiger Woods or someone else. I don’t feel under any added pressure. This week I’m not the No 1 player in the world, I’m just one person in a 12-man team, and that’s it. It’s a team effort, 12 men striving towards the same goal, and I’m one part of that.’

This sounds fine in theory, but experience suggests a different reality. For many years Woods was the No 1 in the world, and without doubt it was a huge psychological boost for the European team that he had such an ordinary Ryder Cup record.

Heckled: McIlroy isn't worrying about the rowdy home crowd, and just wants to concentrate on his golf

Heckled: McIlroy isn't worrying about the rowdy home crowd, and just wants to concentrate on his golf

Beating Woods — admittedly in pairs matches; his singles record is very strong — was key to European unity, just as Phillip Price’s 3&2 win over Phil Mickelson at The Belfry in 2002 came to symbolise how the mightiest could be taken down by strength of European will.

Whether McIlroy senses a bull’s-eye or not, to lose to Webb Simpson or Jason Dufner would have a similar effect.

According to Paul Azinger, one of America’s few victorious Ryder Cup captains of recent times, this is the first time since Seve Ballesteros was at his peak that the United States can try to separate one European player from the herd.

‘McIlroy has that youthful enthusiasm,’ Azinger said. ‘He’s going to be the most fun guy in the locker room, but he can slump his shoulders if he is losing. I think if you can get him to slump his shoulders, if he loses the first two matches on the first day, that whole dynamic in the European team room changes.

Fans favorite: McIlroy signs autographs ahead of the 39th Ryder Cup

Fans favorite: McIlroy signs autographs ahead of the 39th Ryder Cup

‘Davis should look for McIlroy. Not with Woods or Mickelson but somebody like, say Dufner or Keegan Bradley together. I’d try to find him with somebody like that and, if they beat Rory, you’ve got everyone on Europe’s team demoralised.’

McIlroy seemed to concede as much when he admitted he saw his role as a leader on the course. Whatever his status, this is only his second Ryder Cup, and his record from Celtic Manor places him all square: a match won, a match lost and two halved.

‘There are players on our team who will lead with experience,’ McIlroy said.

‘I don’t think my role is to lead in the team room. There are lots of guys who have played more Ryder Cups and know when to speak up. I’m still getting to know the tournament, I’m still learning. With the way I’ve played over the last couple of years, my role is to try to be a leader on the course.

'Put points on the board. Beat them. If I was needed in all five games, I’d be very comfortable, more than happy to play five.’

And there it was again; the flicker of the man that drives the player. In his nice, affable, unassuming way, McIlroy’s message was that of the rawest street fighter.

To borrow a phrase from George W Bush, one of three ex-presidents expected at Medinah this week: bring it on. Or to use one more familiar to those from McIlroy’s neck of the woods: come and have a go, if you think you’re hard enough.