Having a Ball Out Here

By Adam BarrApril 27, 2001, 4:00 pm
Welcome to third-round coverage of the Great Big Sponsor Invitational. Im Tim Smoothvoice with my partner, Jim Analyst. Lets pick up the action here at 18, where Mike Pro has 176 yards for his second into this par four.
Tim, he missed his drive a bit and got only 320 yards, so hes not surrounded by divots here at least.
Right, Jim. And of course, hes playing that new feel-accuracy-greenside-soft-n-tender ball, so he had to sacrifice a few yards off the tee.
What, you mean he gave up on that feel-accuracy-distance-stopping-power-zingy ball?
Sure did, Jim. Hes finished the last genuflection in his elaborate pre-shot routine. Lets see how he carves this one. Nine iron from 176.
Jim, hes eased that one within four feet. Looks like hell have to put up with putting first here.
Tough break, Tim. Must have pushed it.
Jim, he may need to consider an accuracy-feel-workable-four-piece-variable ball instead of what hes been using.
Equipment changes are tough midyear, Tim, but you may be right.
Over to 16 and Sam Britishguy.
Thank you, James. Over hill and dale must travel this long birdie putt by Joseph Pro. But with his new firm cover-highly puttable-solid core-mind-reading ball, it should be only a moderate challengeand indeed, hes hung it on the lip. Well be back at the end of the waiting period. Back to 18. Jim?
Thanks, Sam. As we wait for Mike Pro to plumb-bob his four-footer for the fifteenth time, were here with David Pill of Swooshy, whose golf balls have been very popular on tour lately. David, the two-piece balls seem to have captured a lot of players imaginations out there. Whats the technical reason behind it?
Wound balls are dead, Jim. Morte. Finito.
[Long pause]
Thanks, David. Back to the action. Lets head to 14 and Derek Funnyguy.
Jim, where I come from, you dont tee up anything that says Lady on it. But Tom Pro is preparing to do just that. Hes got that new not-so-mushy-distance-but-feels-like-a-marshmallow-inside-40-yards ball. [Thwack] Whoa! He may be inside 40 yards already! To 18.
Tim, were there this many flavors of golf ball when you played the tour?
No way, Jim. We were too busy worrying about how to catch a covered wagon to the next stop to worry about urethane or Surlyn, let alone liquid centers or windings.
Guess it still goes where you hit it, Tim.
Sure does, Jim.
Tim, do you think recreational golfers have the slightest idea about whether they get any real, sustainable performance bump from all these new balls?
Not a chance, Jim. But think what I could have done with a special-order jelly-filled two-piece soft-cover long-distance click-and-feel mental management ball.
Better calm down, Tim.
Righty-ho, Jim.
To 15.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

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.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

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

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

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.