American Burnett surprise 54-hole Lotte leader

By Associated PressApril 16, 2016, 3:26 am

KAPOLEI, Hawaii - Katie Burnett chipped in for birdie from 75 feet on the par-4 18th Friday for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke lead in the Lotte Championship.

Winless in 59 career LPGA starts, the 26-year-old Georgia native had her second straight bogey-free round to take a 13-under 203 total into the final round at Ko Olina.

''I'm from the coast so I'm used to the wind,'' Burnett said. ''I've been home for two weeks and it was really windy at home, so I have pretty much been working on a pinch shot or three-quarter shot so it doesn't get so affected by the wind. Been doing that with my driver.''

Burnett's only LPGA top-10 finish came in 2014 at Ko Olina when she tied for ninth.

''I've had some success here,'' said Burnett, ranked 195th in the world. ''I really like the golf course. I think it sets up really well for my game. ... To me, if you're not hitting like a really good three-quarter shot or really in command of your ball flight, the wind can wreak havoc on the ball.''

Burnett began the day two strokes behind second-round leader Minjee Lee. The former University of South Carolina player birdied the par-5 fifth, added another on the par-4 11th and hit wedges close to set up consecutive birdies on the par-5 14th and par-4 15th.

''It was a solid round,'' Burnett said. ''I just tried to stay patient. I had a few opportunities early that I kind of like let slip by. ... I just really focused on the back nine, just staying with my process and being patient and knowing that eventually I would make a few birdies.''

Su-Yeon Jang was second after a 67 in calmer conditions after the brisk tradewinds dropped dramatically. The 21-year-old South Korean earned a sponsor exemption with a victory last week in the Korean LPGA event sponsored by Lotte

U.S. Women's Open champion In Gee Chun and Moriya Jutanugarn were 10 under. Chun had a 65, and Jutanugarn shot 68. Defending champion Sei Young Kim was another shot back after her third straight 69.

Lee shot a 74 to drop into a tie for sixth at 8 under.

Top-ranked Lydia Ko, coming off consecutive victories in California, was 11 strokes back at 2 under after a 71.

Jang, an eight-time winner on the Korean LPGA who is making her first start in the United States, birdied the final four holes on the front nine. She dropped a stroke on the par-3 12th, birdied the next three and made another bogey on the par-3 16th.

Chun is making her second start after sitting out a month because of a back injury. She was hurt when she was struck by a hard-shell suitcase that rival South Korean player Ha Na Jang's father dropped down an escalator at the Singapore airport.

''I am about 90 percent of where I should be,'' said Chun, coming off a second-place tie in the two weeks ago in the ANA Inspiration. ''Doesn't necessarily impact my swing. Doesn't hurt when I'm swinging. Just if I'm sitting for a long time it does hurt a little bit. I think the last couple days I did feel a little bit of pain, so hopefully I'll look into that today and get ready for tomorrow.''

She eagled the par-5 13th, hitting a 3-wood from 230 yards to 20 feet.

Kim bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes to drop back.

''Without that I play well today,'' Kim said.

Last year at Ko Olina, she won by holing out from 154 yards for eagle on the first hole of a playoff with Inbee Park. Kim forced the playoff by chipping in for par on the final hole.

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.