Dances With Hurricane Frances
It felt a little irresponsible, Ill admit. But with Hurricane Frances bearing down on the Bahamas and the authorities emptying out south Florida, I felt like a few holes of golf. We have everything in the house were likely to need, so why not play a few? Things are due to get bad Friday, and theres no telling when well be able to play again.
Somewhere around the eighth hole, the director of golf pulled up in his cart and told me the club would be closed Friday. I expected as much. All morning I had been riding by oaks whose roots seem perilously close to the surface of the sandy soil, which is now pretty damp from our usual summer afternoon storms. Surely some of them, weakened by Hurricane Charley a few weeks ago, will succumb to Frances sustained winds, which are supposed to last longer.
Our club did pretty well holding up against Charley. There are only a few piles of brush and chain-sawed tree trunks piled up between holes. We hope to weather Frances as well, but the last few holes flood in a bad rainas I said, who knows how long well be closed?
Of course, its only golf. Its good to be faithful to ones club or favorite course, but you can take my club, cars, house, the whole shebang if I can hang onto my family. But one does get attached to a place, and as long as the basics are safe and sound, I want to see my golf club do well too.
Playing golf is a great way to hold pre-storm apprehension at bay. But I suppose visions of roof tiles blown into orbit eventually worked their way back into my consciousness, because I started pumping drives out of bounds on the ninth tee. (Cue the Dangerfield voice: You wanna talk natural disasters; you should see my golf game. I tell ya, I dont get no respect.)
So that was enough golf, for now. But the anticipation, and everyone looking warily to the southeast, got me thinking about golf and natural disasters.
Frances, gate-crashing broad that she is, surely takes things beyond the realm of Nae wind, nae rain, nae golf. I actually had a match scheduled in the company tournament Saturday. Last I looked, winds were supposed to have intensified to 33 mph by then. Whats that, a six-club breeze? Just tee it down and swing easy.
The storms central Florida has been dealing with are a perfect metaphor for how much golf is beyond our control. If my roof flies off Sunday, theres not much I can do to prevent it. Its lifes version of the goofy bounce that puts you in a bunker. No point worrying. Just stay alive and unhurt.
All business involves risk, and now is not a happy time to own a golf course in Florida. The rounds played numbers for August arent ready yet, but that month, September, and October are sure to be down as a result of the two storms. Reserve some hope for our colleagues on the ownership and superintendent side.
I remember playing at a beautiful course called Kitansett in Marion, Mass., right next to Buzzards Bay. Behind one green, where the turf ends and the cattails begin, is a stick on which the high water marks of various storms are noted. Suffice to say casual water was forehead-high on some occasions, and the nearest point of relief was in Providence.
So much for grinding over a 10-footer. As we like to say around the newsroom when a story breaks that transcends all things for awhile, Were not curing cancer here. Its golf, and golf TV, and golf Internet. Important, but not as important as our familys lives.
So Im sure youll pardon us if we have to run a little more taped programming than wed like to this weekend. Well still do some of our live shows, but it will be a skeleton crew, some of them working from other cities where we can be sure theyll have power. I imagine well be back to full strength pretty soon.
If you need me, Ill be reading by flashlight on the sofa, leaning against my wife, son, and dog.
Itll be a golf book, of course.
Email your thoughts to Adam Barr
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.