Armour leads Calcavecchia Frost in Minnesota

By Associated PressAugust 7, 2010, 2:49 am

Champions TourBLAINE, Minn. – Tommy Armour III was the first player off the tee Friday. He’ll be the last one off Saturday.

Armour shot a 9-under 63 and has a one-stroke lead over Mark Calcavecchia and David Frost after one round of the 3M Championship. John Cook and Jeff Sluman are two shots back.

“Every day is a good day to shoot 63, but it’s a 54-hole tournament,” said Armour, who shot a 61 at The ACE Group Classic in February and a 63 at the Principal Charity Classic two months ago.

On a perfect day for golf – temperatures in the low-80s, partly cloudy skies and little wind – 45 of the 78 players finished under par.

“The course was there for the taking today,” Calcavecchia said. “The greens were soft.”

Armour, who had two victories in more than 20 years on the PGA Tour, has three second-place finishes in 12 previous starts during his rookie year on the Champions Tour. He was disappointed with his play the last two weeks, yet finished eighth at the Senior British Open and 11th at the U.S. Senior Open. His eight combined rounds in the tournaments ranged from 68-74.

“Out here you’ve got to play good every day,” he said.

Calcavecchia said that is especially true this week. The last three 3M Championship winners have finished between 16- and 23-under par.

“Unless the wind starts blowing like it did yesterday afternoon, 20-25 mph, and we get two more nice days, I’ve got to believe you’re going to have to get close to 20-under par to win,” he said. “That’s a lot under par for three days, I don’t care what tour you’re on. The hole’s the same size. That’s pretty good golf.”

The weekend forecast calls for hot and humid conditions with winds of no more than 10 mph.

Starting on the back side, Armour birdied three of his first four holes and added another at No. 18. Birdies on Nos. 2 and 3 got him to 6-under par, before he birdied his last three holes. Armour, who ranks 10th in tour putting average, one-putted for seven of his birdies.

“The Champions Tour is a momentum tour,” he said. “Tomorrow you got to start on the first hole and get after it, because if you don’t, somebody will.”

Calcavecchia, who also started on No. 10, was 2-under at the turn before finding his rhythm.

He birdied No. 2 from about 5 feet and eagled the par-5 third with a 15-foot putt. He also eagled the par-5 sixth by chipping in from a greenside bunker.

“It feels good. I hit a lot of good shots, made a lot of putts and a good bunker shot,” he said.

Playing in a group with Calcavecchia, Frost was 3 under at the turn, before four straight birdies on the front side. Frost, who switched back to his old putter before the round, made a 40-foot putt at No. 8 to get to 8 under.

“I made some good putts at times. I could have been one shot better or one shot worse,” said Frost, who has five top-10s in 14 events in his first full year on tour. “Putting is always the name of the game.”

His putting was especially accurate on the four par-3s. He birdied each of them – two from about 8 feet, one from 30 feet and another from about 40 feet. He also lipped out an eagle putt on the third hole.

Hal Sutton, who eagled the final hole, was among those shooting 66. Joining him were Tom Jenkins, Nick Price and David Peoples.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer – the winner of senior major tournaments the last two weeks – is one of nine players that are five shots back. No champion has defended his title in the event’s 18-year history.

Fred Couples and Minnesota-native Tom Lehman, second and third in the season-long points standings, are not in the field. Nor are Corey Pavin or Tom Watson, both also in the points top-10.

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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.

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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.