Calcavecchia holds onto Regions Tradition lead

By Associated PressMay 8, 2011, 2:39 am

Champions TourBIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Mark Calcavecchia gave away nearly all of his big lead in the Regions Tradition, setting up a tight final round at Shoal Creek.

Calcavecchia shot a 1-under 71 after a sparkling start Saturday in the Champions Tour major, faltering with a double bogey and two bogeys on the final eight holes. He finished at 12-under 204 for a one-stroke lead over Jay Haas, who shot a 68. Haas’ son, Bill, also is contending at the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship.

“It seems like my whole career, I sort of had a way of making things interesting,” Calcavecchia said. “I’ll be ready and excited and happy as a lark (Sunday).”

Tom Pernice Jr. three-putted the final hole from about three feet for double bogey to drop two shots back, along with Tom Lehman. Both shot 68s.

Calcavecchia had sailed to a six-shot lead and deftly managed to bail himself out of trouble a number of times, managing a 32 on the first nine holes despite only hitting two fairways. That knack seemed to abandon him late in the round.

“I’m glad I ran out of holes,” Calcavecchia said. “As I look at the whole day, probably about what I deserved. I got away with murder on the front nine.”

Seeking his first Champions Tour win in attempt No. 21, the 1989 British Open winner had run his bogey-free streak to 46 holes, was 16 under and threatening a runaway. Then came No. 12 – and trouble. He buried the drive in pine straw and then hit a branch trying to get it out of the woods.

“I didn’t even see the tree that I hit because it was straight up,” he said. “I was trying to hit a 9-iron over the set of trees that I was looking at.

“It never crossed my mind. I didn’t even see that tree. I looked up and there was like a two-inch branch up there. I hit it solid. Nothing good happened after that.”

He then two-putted for a double bogey to break the bogey-free string that started after his double on the opening hole of the tournament.

Haas is seeking win No. 15 on the Champions Tour, but his first since winning twice in 2009. He peeked at a TV before discussing his round.

“I think Bill’s getting ready to hit,” he explained.

Haas parred his final five holes after two straight birdies, managing to avoid the trouble that struck Calcavecchia and Pernice.

“I’m very encouraged with how I’m striking the ball,” he said. “I think out here you have to hit the ball well to score. There are certain courses that you don’t have to be quite as sharp and you can still get away with a few things, but out here you can’t.

“If your irons aren’t sharp, you’re going to struggle. And if I’m not driving to the fairway my irons aren’t going to be good. I’ve managed to do that quite a bit.”

He looked at the scoreboard after 11 and was six back, then heard cheers as Calcavecchia birdied that same hole a few minutes later. When he checked it out again after 14, he was two back.

“Pretty fortunate for all of us for him to have backed up like that to give us some hope,” Haas said.

First-round leader Lehman, who has won two of the first six events, birdied three of the final six holes.

Pernice, whose only Champions Tour win came in the 2009 SAS Championship, was cruising until hitting it into the bunker on the final hole and missing his putts.

He had hit a 14-footer for birdie on No. 17. Pernice said he was unaware that he might need only a par after that to manage a share of the lead.

“I didn’t really see a scoreboard until 18, and then I really didn’t have a chance to look at it because I was too busy putting,” he said. “I saw earlier that he had gone to 15 (under) and I really didn’t see anything since then. I was really just trying to mind my own business.”

Peter Senior (68) and Kenny Perry (71) were three shots back. Perry had a number of near-misses on birdie putts while paired with Calcavecchia but ended up just matching the leader.

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.