By Alan J. FlashnerApril 3, 2008, 4:00 pm
I placed the phone down and realized that the ultimate dream for a golfer had been offered to me. I was invited to play Augusta National. Emotions, too many to countbut one was obvious.the smile, both internal and external, would not go away for a long time. Driving home that evening provided the privacy to evaluate what I really needed to focus on so as not to appear to have never played before. What had I witnessed over the last 50 years that made the big difference between winning and 2nd place? PUTTING, of course. The greens were always the key to victory. I replayed many of the television years over the next weeksthe tap stroke leading to the great wins by Palmer & Player. Later the velvet stroke of Ben Crenshaw. Tiger Woods and the putter face that never waivers and of course the I dare you not to go in stroke from Jack Nicklaus. Get the ball on line combined with the correct pace, dont get above the hole and you too can score at Augusta!!! Just rememberthese putting surfaces usually roll at 13-14!!!

Following our arrival on a drop-dead spectacular day in November, 2007, my playing companions and I were escorted by our host to the clubhouse for lunch. Turning left from the cottages I paused for my first vision of the groundsthe 10th tee, the 9th green, the 18th green and the first tee box. My eyes slowly moved across the panoramic presentation finishing at the putting green. The presentation was as I hopedsimplistic draped in history.

To the first tee with a little anxietywell struck tee shot, solid second just short of the greenchip to 9 feetthree putt. Rememberline and pace and leave the aggression in the bag!!! Starting with hole #2 I employed a method I had learned years beforeon fast greens (and these beautiful surfaces had a speed of 13-14) putt the ball with the very tip of the toe of the putter. Much to my pleasureonly one more three putt on day one. The day, the company, the courseit has never been better. I have been blessed (and I could not wait for day two)!
Learn a more effective way to play on a downhill putt.
Brad Brewer with a great tip on how to control your distance on the greens.


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.

Getty Images

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 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.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

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.