Birdie barrage nets Na first PGA Tour victory

By Associated PressOctober 2, 2011, 10:54 pm

LAS VEGAS – Kevin Na won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, birdieing Nos. 15-17 to pull away for a two-stroke victory over Nick Watney.

The 28-year-old Na closed with a 6-under 65 for a tournament-record 23-under 261 total at TPC Summlerin in the Fall Series opener. Watney, a two-time winner this year, shot a 67.

Tied for the lead with Watney entering the round, Na sealed the breakthrough victory with a 42-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th. Na and Watney both parred the par-4 18th.

'I'm just very excited about my first win,' said Na, who started playing golf a year after his family moved to the United States from South Korea when he was 8. 'It wasn't easy. Nick was coming right behind me. It looked like any time he was going to make a move, and I tried the best that I could to stay one step ahead of him. I think the putt on 17 basically sealed the deal for me.'

The winner had five birdies and a bogey on the front nine to reach 21 under. He parred the first four holes on the back nine, then dropped a stroke on the par-3 14th to fall into a tie with Watney.

'I hit a terrible shot on 14,' Na said. 'I should have backed off. I always back off, but I felt, 'I'm going to hit this.' And I hit a terrible shot and made bogey.

'To bounce back after that bogey, to hit that chip to 3 feet – I had a great chip from down there – I was able to relax a little bit. Then I had a great two-putt for birdie on the next hole. It gave me a one-shot lead. I told myself par, par, you're going to win this golf tournament.'

Na pulled ahead with his birdie on the par-4 15th and both players birdied the par-5 16th.

'Fifteen was definitely disappointing to not make birdie,' Watney said. 'I would love to have that bunker shot back. ... Sixteen, I played very nice. Seventeen, I hit a good shot then he made a 40-footer. That kind of stuff happens when you win. It's tough to beat. 

'One thing I relearned this week was how serious I was taking it, how badly I wanted to play well the last couple of months. That doesn't always translate into good golf, so this week I came here with no expectations. I took it very easy and played pretty nice.'

Tommy Gainey and Paul Goydos had 68s to tie for third at 18 under, and David Hearn (65), Carl Pettersson (68), Jhonattan Vegas (68), Tim Herron (69) and Spencer Levin (68) followed at 17 under.

Na and Watney broke the record by two strokes in the event that switched from 90 to 72 holes in 2004.

'This golf course, you have to get off to a good start,' said Na, who earned $792,000. 'The reason why is because like all the guys out here say, 'You have to go low, and if you're not making birdies, somebody else is.' So, if you're even par through six you feel like you're two shots behind everybody, and it puts more pressure into your back nine.

'I was able to get off to a great start and stay ahead of the game, and I think that was the key for me to be cruising through to the victory. The third hole, I made it off the fringe and I said, 'I'm 3 under through four; this is looking really good.'' 

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.

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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.