Cejka takes Puerto Rico Open after five-man playoff

By Associated PressMarch 8, 2015, 9:52 pm

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – Alex Cejka won the Puerto Rico Open on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, making a 15-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a five-man playoff.

The 44-year-old Czech-born German won in his 287th start on the PGA Tour. A four-time European Tour winner, he birdied four of the first six holes and finished with a 3-under 69 in rainy, windy conditions at Trump International-Puerto Rico.

''I'm speechless,'' Cejka said. ''I'm glad it's over. It's been a grinding week, tough week. The first victory is always the toughest. ... These guys are good. I mean this is the slogan. At least I can say I played the PGA Tour for a long time and I won. So that's a good sentence I can use when I retire.''

Sam Saunders, Arnold Palmer's grandson, had a chance to force another playoff hole, but his 8-foot birdie try on the par-5 18th went to the right.

''I really felt like I hit a pretty good putt there,'' Saunders said. ''It went right on me and I was playing it inside the hole. I'm still proud. I had a great week ... just good things going forward. Happy for Alex. He's been out here so long and he's been a great player for a long time. He deserves it. I'm very happy for him. Hopefully, I'll have more chances like this.''

Jon Curran, Tim Petrovic and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo also were in the playoff.

Grillo and Curran shared the lead at 8 under with one hole left in regulation, but closed with bogeys in the second-to-last group.



''Nobody even thought that two guys could make bogey on the last,'' Cejka said.

Grillo missed a short par putt and settled for a 70.

''It's definitely a tough one,'' Grillo said. ''But I would take a playoff at the beginning of the week and have a chance to win the tournament. It's hard. ... It feels like I should have won this tournament by four or five shots.''

Cejka had already changed clothes, thinking he had no chance to get in a playoff.

''If that would be a long par 4, people can make bogey, but a par 5 downwind - they moved the tees up - and two guys bogeyed,'' Cejka said. ''The odds were not that good. I changed. I had everything ready to go to the airport and almost was very satisfied with a third finish. And suddenly it changed, and here I am. And I'm very, very pleased. I don't think I'm going to sleep tonight.''

He quickly changed back into golf attire.

''We had a couple of minutes,'' Cejka said. ''I had shorts on and a T-shirt and I had everything packed. Luckily, there was one more group, the final group coming, so I changed. But I didn't hit balls. Some of the guys were hitting balls in the rain or putting. But I literally just put some fresh clothes on me and some dry clothes and I was ready to go.''

Curran also had a 70.

''I'm really proud of myself to put myself in the position that I was in. It was just kind of a surreal place to be,'' Curran said. ''I had a chance to win. I was right there.''

Petrovic shot a 67, and Saunders had a 68

Scott Brown, the 2013 winner playing in the final group, had a chance to get into the playoff with a birdie on the final hole, but made a bogey to drop into a tie for 10th at 5 under. He finished with a 73.

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.