After long wait Quail Hallow gets PGA Championship

By Associated PressAugust 31, 2010, 10:25 pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C.– North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue remembers sitting with Johnny Harris in 1993 as the Quail Hollow Club president gushed about his ambitious plans.

“He said, ‘Bev, we’re going to make us a prize. We’re bringing in a great golf designer and we’re going to change this course,”’ Perdue recalled. “He said, ‘We’re going to have us an international tournament here.”’

Two redesigns and 17 years later, Perdue sat next to Harris on the same stage Tuesday with PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka, who announced the 2017 PGA Championship will be played at the old-style, private course.

“Charlotte deserves this,” Steranka said. “Quail Hollow deserves it.”

It will mark the third time the PGA will be in North Carolina, and the first for the state’s largest city. The event will draw about 50,000 a people a day, millions of television viewers worldwide and tens of millions of dollars in economic impact.

No wonder Harris was smiling at an event that included numerous state dignitaries, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and Charlotte Bobcats president Fred Whitfield.

“We wanted to have a golf course that could host a major championship,” said Harris, a real estate developer and member of Augusta National. “Everything we’ve done has been done to improve the experience of players and patrons.”

The PGA of America was drawn to Quail Hollow after watching its success as one of the top non-majors since its return to the PGA Tour in 2003. It came after famed designer Tom Fazio made major renovations to the course starting in the late 1990s which added length and new greens, but kept much of the natural landscape.

“Their commitment to the two renovations that Tom did and their support of doing additional things that would improve Quail Hollow as a championship venue is what we looked for,” said Steranka, who first discussed bringing the tournament here two years ago. “We’ve had the benefit of seeing Quail Hollow prove itself as a test of players of every ability.”

There could be several changes, however, by the time the first ball is struck in August 2017. Harris hinted the PGA Tour event could end once the sponsorship deal with Wells Fargo & Co. expires after the 2014 tournament.

“I’m saying I have a contract that runs through 2014,” Harris said. “I haven’t been contacted by anyone that suggested anything different than that.”

Harris added there certainly won’t be a PGA Tour event in 2016-17 as the course transitions from playing in overseeded rye for a May event to Bermuda grass for the heat of the midsummer.

They also expect to rebuild all 18 greens with a new type of bent grass more resistant to the intense heat Charlotte is accustomed to. Harris wants a new entrance for fans to get onto the course, and may ask for state aid in getting the road outside the club widened.

But Steranka stressed he doesn’t want a lot of changes for a 7,469-yard, par-72 layout that has received mostly positive reviews by the game’s top players. The closing three-hole stretch, called “The Green Mile,” is one of the most difficult on the PGA Tour and could provide drama with the Wanamaker Trophy on the line.

“Quail Hollow could host the PGA Championship next year. It’s that good,” Steranka said. “We would give it three years of new greens to do it because more than likely you’re going to have to transition to a new type of turf. The Green Mile is famous in golf for a reason. It’s got everything that it needs to test the world’s greatest players.”

That’s just as Harris envisioned three decades ago.

“We didn’t have to build what the TPC (Sawgrass) built,” Harris said. “What we did was take our natural characteristics and Tom Fazio enhanced that.”

Getty Images

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

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.

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.