Cabrera Bello, Na share lead at Wyndham

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2016, 12:13 am

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Rested after the Rio Olympics, Rafa Cabrera Bello shot a 7-under 63 on Thursday in the Wyndham Championship for a share of the first-round lead with Kevin Na.

Cabrera Bello eagled the par-5 fifth and closed the bogey-free round with a birdie on Sedgefield's par-4 ninth. On Sunday, the 32-year-old Spaniard tied for fifth in Rio.

''Last week was a big adrenaline week,'' Cabrera Bello said. ''It was the first time I was really not playing for myself, just playing for my country and obviously it's a huge honor, but also big responsibility. I wanted to do good and I was pleased with my result. ... Coming into this week, I felt the game was good, just needed a bit of rest.''

The four-time European Tour winner is trying to stay in position for a Ryder Cup spot, with more ranking points available in North Carolina than the European event in the Czech Republic. The shorter travel also played a role in his decision to play the tournament.

''There was a chance of me not making it through the money list and making it through the world ranking points list, that's what I wanted to focus on,'' Cabrera Bello said. ''I'm pretty sure this week has a stronger world ranking than the one in Europe and I also felt that it was going to be easier to travel south to north than from Rio to Czech Republic, jet lag-wise.''


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Na had seven birdies in his bogey-free round in the PGA Tour's final regular-season event. The American tied for eighth last week in the John Deere Classic. He won his lone tour title in 2011 in Las Vegas.

''Hit it well,'' Na said. ''Made a lot of putts. That putter has not been all that hot this year and it was nice to see a lot of putts go in. It's usually over the years been my strong part of game but I felt like I really found something.''

Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker, Derek Fathauer, New Zealand Olympian Danny Lee and Peter Malnati shot 65. Donald made a hole-in-one on the 16th.

''Had a perfect number, downhill a little bit, 159 (yards) and it was playing straight downwind and good 9-iron for me and looked good all the way,'' Donald said. ''Hit a foot short and went in the hole. Bonus when it goes in, obviously, and nice to win a holiday for life. Apparently that's what I got for it.''

Snedeker, the 2007 winner at Forest Oaks, bogeyed the final hole. He's fighting for a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

''I want to be on that team. I love playing Ryder Cups,'' Snedeker said. '''m going to use that as motivation to go out there and work hard and grind my tail off the next three days.''

Jim Furyk had a 66 in his first round since shooting the first 58 in PGA Tour history two weeks ago in the final round of the Travelers Championship.

''Right now, a touch frustrating,'' Furyk said. ''If I went back, I think I hit a bunch of greens. I might have hit every green. Two three-putts were the two bogeys. The greens are just really difficult. They're very quick. There's a ton of slope in them.''

Patrick Reed also had a 66. He won the 2013 event for his first tour title.

''Just a special place to us and one of the places I need to come back and play,'' said Reed, coming off a tie for 11th in Rio. ''I'm off to a good start.''

U.S. Olympic teammate Rickie Fowler birdied his last two holes for a 67. He tied for 37th in Rio.

''We enjoyed being down there and the big thing coming from there up to here is not how much of a time change, there's only an hour back,'' Fowler said. ''That makes things a lot easier.''

Davis Love III, the tournament winner last year at age 51, is sidelined following hip surgery.

''It's disappointing not to get to play,'' said the U.S. Ryder Cup captain, a three-time champion in the event. ''The surgery went well. Rehab is going even better.''

The top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings will qualify for The Barclays next week at Bethpage Black. It the next-to-last chance to earn Ryder Cup points, with the top eight players determined after The Barclays. Love will make his first three captain's picks Sept. 11 after the BMW Championship. The final pick comes two weeks later after the Tour Championship.

Robert Allenby had two double bogeys in a 74. The Australian was arrested outside a casino in Rock Island, Illinois, last week after missing the cut in the John Deere Classic. He was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing. In January 2015, Allenby was found with severe bruises several hours after visiting a restaurant with friends. Allenby, who had missed the cut in the Sony Open, claimed to have been abducted and beaten. A Hawaii man was sentenced to five years in prison for using Allenby's credit cards and identification.

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.