Couples claims second straight seniors title

By Associated PressMarch 8, 2010, 6:24 am
Champions Tour

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Fred Couples won his second straight Champions Tour title, shooting a 6-under 65 for a four-stroke victory Sunday in the Toshiba Classic.

Couples, making his third start on the 50-and-over tour, had an 18-under 195 total on the Newport Beach Country Club course. He won the ACE Group Classic on Feb. 14 in Florida and finished second behind Tom Watson in the season-opening event in Hawaii. Last week, Couples tied for 14th in the PGA Tour’s Phoenix Open.

“In a good way I am full of confidence in my game,” said Couples, who opened with rounds of 66 and 64. “I talked to Jay Haas a long time ago and when you are 50 you are the youngest guy out here and if you are a good player like I think I am, I thought I would have some opportunities to win out here.”

Couples earned $255,000 to push his tour-leading total to $691,000.

Ronnie Black (65) finished second. Tom Lehman (69) and Chien Soon Lu (69) tied for third at 12 under, and Watson (62) and Loren Roberts (68) followed at 11 under.

Couples played the front nine in 1 under Sunday, then had a 5-under 31 on the final nine holes – making an eagle, four birdies and a bogey.

“I was a little off,” Couples said. “I made some good swings. I started coming on on the back nine.”

The 60-year-old Watson matched his best round on the Champions Tour and also tied Hale Irwin’s 1998 mark for the best final round in the event.

Watson had an eagle and three birdies on the first four holes, dropped a stroke with a bogey on No. 9, then birdied five of the last nine holes. He settled for a birdie on the par-5 18th after missing a 20-foot eagle putt.

“The putter was the star,” Watson said. “I kind of had an attitude going out there on the first three holes of both nines, I hadn’t made any birdies. Those are short par 4s, I ought to be making some birdies there.”

Watson pulled within two strokes of Couples, but ran out of holes.

“I was thinking Freddie hanging onto 13 under,” Watson said. “If I get to 12 and the weather coming in you never know what’s going to happen.”

Couples hit a wedge into No. 12 that stopped a foot from the hole, then made a 3-footer for another birdie on 13.

But Couples made a mistake on the par-3 14th when he missed the green and was unable to get up and down for par. Black made an eagle on No. 15, to cut the lead to two again, but wasn’t able to get any closer.

“I was struggling with my swing as well as my putting,” Black said. “If I had been a little sharper I think I could have come after (Couples) a little better.”

Couples reached the par-5 15th hole in two and made a 12-foot eagle putt to extend his lead to four. He birdied the following hole and even birdied the 18th after his second shot hit the side of the grandstand to the right of the green. He hit a wedge to 20 feet and rolled in the birdie putt.

“The shot I hit at 18 was basically an up and down,” Couples said. “I got on the green and I’ve been putting really well this whole year,”

In nine Champions Tour rounds, Couples hasn’t had a score higher than 68 and is 56-under par over 162 holes.

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 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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.