Cabrera wins first non-major at Greenbrier Classic

By Associated PressJuly 6, 2014, 10:14 pm

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Angel Cabrera no longer has to fret about that streak of disappointments in non-major events on the PGA Tour.

The 44-year-old Argentine won the Greenbrier Classic on Sunday for his first victory in a tournament other than a major, closing with his second straight 6-under 64 for a two-stroke victory over a heavy-hearted George McNeill.

Cabrera, whose only other PGA Tour victories came in the 2007 U.S. Open and 2009 Masters, built a three-shot lead before making things interesting with a pair of late bogeys. He finished at 16-under 264 and now has another green jacket - that as Greenbrier Classic champion.

Cabrera had no top 10-finishes on the PGA Tour this season entering the tournament but had everything working Sunday, hammering drives and approach shots with precision and coming up with clutch putts, especially on the back nine.


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''This was a great opportunity,'' Cabrera said through an interpreter. ''I wanted it. I needed to win a tournament. I felt under control today out there, and I didn't want to let it get away from me.''

McNeill shot a season-best 61 for his fourth top-10 of the season and first since mid-March. But he'll put golf on hold for a few weeks. Golf Channel reported that his older sister, Michele McNeill, died of cancer Sunday morning and the player was informed after his round was over.

''Golf doesn't really mean a whole lot,'' McNeill told reporters. So it's hard.''

Webb Simpson had a 63 to finish third at 10 under.

Third-round leader Billy Hurley III bogeyed four of the first six holes to fall out of contention. He shot 73 and finished in a seven-way tie for fourth at 9 under.

No third-round leader has hung on to win the Greenbrier Classic in its five-year existence.

McNeill was the clubhouse leader at 14 under well ahead of Cabrera, who still had the back nine to play.

Cabrera overtook McNeill with birdie putts of 17 and 7 feet on the 11th and 12th holes, then gave a fist pump after moving to 17 under by holing a 176-yard 8-iron up the hill for eagle on the par-4 13th, the hardest hole at Old White TPC.

By then his lead was three strokes, but he bogeyed the 14th after his approach shot spun off the front of the green and bogeyed the par-3 15th after hitting into the rough on his tee shot.

Cabrera smashed a 330-yard drive over the lake on the par-4 16th and made par, then drilled a 336-yard drive on the 616-yard 17th and two-putted for birdie. He closed out with par on the par-3 18th.

''The big thing was the drive today,'' he said. ''It was good all week long. It made the course play a little shorter for myself.''

Cabrera won $1.17 million and is projected to improve from 158th to 54th in the FedEx Cup standings. McNeill would move from 60th to 29th.

Simpson had flown home on Friday and learned upon landing that he made the cut. So he rented a car and drove back to West Virginia.

Simpson and Keagan Bradley both had strong finishes as they continue to try to impress U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson, who will make three at-large selections for the Sept. 26-28 event at Gleneagles in Scotland. The top nine in the Ryder Cup standings automatically qualify for the team. Simpson is 17th and Bradley is 18th.

''I think Tom knows what's going on, and I'm hoping my good play will take care of it and not have to be a captain's pick,'' Simpson said. ''But if I was a captain's pick, it would be great to be on that team.''

Joining Hurley at 9 under were Bud Cauley (64), Bradley (66), Brendon Todd (66), Chris Stroud (69), Cameron Tringale (69) and Will Wilcox (69).

The leading four players among the top 12 not already exempt for the British Open earned spots in the July 17-20 tournament at Royal Liverpool. Those spots went to McNeill, Stroud, Tringale and Hurley.

Cauley's final shot of the day was a hole-in-one on the 18th, which triggered a $100 prize from the tournament to paying customers in the stands. But Cauley missed out this week on a British Open nod, whose qualifying tiebreaker uses the world ranking. Cauley entered the week at No. 295. Another spot will be handed out next weekend at the John Deere Classic.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


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In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

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.