Byeong-Hun An 17 makes it to US Amateur finals

By Associated PressAugust 29, 2009, 4:00 pm
USGATULSA, Okla. ' With each passing day, Byeong-Hun An is making his resume look more impressive.
 
After playing 125 holes of golf in the past six days, the 17-year-old South Korean needs only one more win to add a line as the youngest champion in the history of the U.S. Amateur.
 
Age doesnt matter, An said Saturday after beating Fresno State sophomore Bhavik Patel 3 and 2, in the semifinals. If you look at the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods is around his 30s. Rory McIlroy is like 20 or 21. Kenny Perry is around his 40s, I think. I dont think it matters.
 
An, the son of Olympic medal winners in table tennis, said the only difference is that young players can make a splash with big wins and make people think, He has a title, hes a good player, hes so young.
 
Danny Lee was 18 years, one month when he won last years U.S. Amateur to break Tiger Woods record as the youngest champion by just under seven months. An, who will turn 18 on Sept. 17, could break Lees mark by a month and a half.
 
Its a big title for me, An said. People will remember 'until someone breaks it next.
 
While he hasnt yet become the events 109th winner, he likely has already earned something special: U.S. Amateur finalists have traditionally earned invitations to play in the Masters the following year.
 
An has surprised even himself with the roll hes on this week at Southern Hills Country Club, the site of the 2007 PGA Championship. In his second time qualifying for the U.S. Amateur, he made the match play portion for the first time and has reeled off five straight victories to reach Sundays 36-hole final against fourth-seeded Ben Martin of Clemson.
 
An said he has won only one tournament since he started playing at age 6 ' the Nike Golf Junior at Marshallia Ranch in California back in 2006.
 
Ive got a lot of second-place and third-place trophies, but I dont have a lot of first-place trophies, said An, a senior at Bradenton (Fla.) Preparatory Academy who has verbally committed to play at California next year.
 
But after closing out his round Saturday by winning the last four holes, he had some business to tend to before his tee time the next morning.
 
I only brought like five (sets of) clothes. Now I have to go buy one for tomorrow, An said. I never think about getting into the finals. My goal was to get into the first round. That was my goal.
 
An exhausted his last outfit, a royal blue polo shirt and a pair of white shorts, during a roller coaster match with Patel that came to a sudden conclusion. An found himself 1 up instead of 1 down after Patel had par putts lip out at Nos. 2 and 3, and the match stayed close until Patel got aggressive midway through the back nine.
 
An hit a lob wedge from 96 yards to set up a 2-foot birdie putt at No. 13 and even the match. Patel made bogeys at Nos. 14-15 and then a double-bogey at No. 16, and blamed his troubles on trying to do too much off the tee.
 
You need to be in the fairway and hit the green and make par, said Patel, who had five bogeys and two doubles to go with one birdie. I just wanted to get a little closer to the greens and have a shorter shot, and out here you cant do that.
 
The other semifinal had the opposite story, as Martin was in control from the start. Texas senior Charlie Holland bogeyed four of the first six holes as Martin claimed a 4-up lead on his way to a 5-and-4 victory. Holland was all but sunk when he missed a 3-footer to halve the ninth hole and instead fell 5 down.
 
It just wasnt my day, Holland said as he hopped onto a cart to head back to the clubhouse after Martin closed it out with an up-and-down from a greenside bunker at No. 14.
 
Martin, a 22-year-old who will be a fifth-year senior at Clemson this year, said he didnt allow Hollands struggles to change his game plan.
 
I try to just play my game, said Martin, who had two birdies and two bogeys. Pars are great out here. But, you know, if theyre in a little bit of trouble, you definitely play a little more conservative. (Im) trying to think of any holes out there where I did that today. I cant think of one.
 
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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.