Crane wins at Torrey Pines

By Associated PressFebruary 1, 2010, 8:26 am

SAN DIEGO (AP)—At the end of a week dominated by accusations and consternationover square grooves generating more spin, perhaps it was only fitting that theFarmers Insurance Open came down to a wedge.

Ben Crane had a one-shot lead and stood 82 yards from the 18th hole, thetraditional Sunday placement at Torrey Pines just over the water and below aridge. Michael Sim had 88 yards, effectively the same shot, needing a birdie forhopes of a playoff.

Both used the conforming V-shaped grooves. And both shots spun too much.

Ben Crane walks up the 18th fa…
AP - Jan 31, 8:39 pm EST

The advantage went to Crane, for his ball stopped against the collar of thegreen allowing him to putt. He didn’t do it very well, leaving himself 30 inchesof bumpy green for par to capture his first victory in more than four years. Hewas surprised, only because he pledged not to keep score and didn’t realize hehad won until he was congratulated.

“Did I win?” Crane said to Ryuji Imada , a reaction more common on the“Price is Right” than the PGA Tour.

Sim hit what he thought was the perfect shot until it spun off the green,forcing him to chip. He missed and made par, settling for a runner-up finishalong with Brandt Snedeker and Marc Leishman .

“It would have been nice to have a putt at it for birdie,” Sim said. “Butit wasn’t the case.”

Crane, the only player among the top eight not to make a birdie over thefinal seven holes, closed with a 2-under 70 for his third career victory, endingan 0-for-98 drought and sending him to the Masters. He finished at 13-under 275and won $954,000.

So ended an unusual week in splendid weather along the Pacific coast, evenif the two lead characters were out of the picture when the trophy—a bronze ofa Torrey pine—was awarded.

Scott McCarron , who accused Phil Mickelson of “cheating” for using thePing-Eye 2 wedge (which is approved for play), missed the cut. Mickelson startedthe final round four shots behind, and on the first hole faced a tough chip upthe slope. He pulled his Ping wedge and watched it roll 30 feet by the cup,leading to the first of three straight bogeys to take himself out of thetournament.

The great wedge debate will move up the coast to Riviera at the NorthernTrust Open, where PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is to meet with playersTuesday and, if nothing else, tell them to stop the name-calling.

Plenty of drama remained at Torrey Pines for the final round.

Crane began the final round two shots out of the lead, which he erased inthree holes. He stuffed a wedge (no spin on this shot) to within 3 feet on thesecond hole, then rammed in a 45-foot birdie on the third as Imada three-putted.Crane also birdied from 20 feet on the fifth, and built his lead to three shotswith another putt over 45 feet on the 11th.

He never lost the lead—even if he never knew he had it—although he hadplenty of challengers.

Robert Allenby made the first charge, continuing to show the form that hasbrought him four consecutive top 10s, two of those wins. He pulled within twoshots after a two-putt birdie on the 13th, then ran into another issue withgrooves. This time it was a 7-iron, and the more shallow shape led to a flyerthat sailed the 14th green and went into a hazard.

Rattled, Allenby bogeyed the 15th, then hit a tee shot into the canyon andmade triple bogey on the 17th.

In his previous tournament, Allenby was tied for the lead at the Sony Openwhen he caught another jumper from the rough, the ball raced through the greenand he made par to lose by one.

“If you really look at it, it’s cost me two tournaments, definitely,”Allenby said. “I was in the groove and feeling ready to do it today, and it wassuch a shame that it happened.”

Rickie Fowler , the 21-year-old dressed like an orange popsicle, stayed inthe hunt until he made double bogey on the 17th. Leishman (68) and Snedeker (69)were latecomers, with only Snedeker having a realistic chance until missing a12-foot birdie on the last hole.

That left it to Crane and Sim.

For all the long putts Crane made, he let Sim back into the hunt my missinga 6-foot birdie on the 12th, a 4-foot par on the 13th and another par puttinside 3 feet on the 17th, courtesy of the ball setting slightly in anindentation.

That set the stage for the 18th.

Sim was some 250 yards away and chose to lay up, a smart decision. That’sthe farthest he can hit a 3-wood, meaning he would have to catch it perfectly orhis chances were over. Given the chilly conditions, the ball doesn’t fly quiteas far.

Even that decision came with some comic relief.

CBS Sports analyst David Feherty told the booth that Sim had chose a 2-iron,which left Nick Faldo aghast that he would not be hitting a 3-wood. TV reportersget that information from the caddies, and Sim’s caddie held up two fingers—a2-iron if he’s holding them up, a 7-iron if he’s holding them down.

Sim layed up with a 7-iron.

Then came the wedges that spun, the chip that came up short, Crane’s parputt and a victory that Crane didn’t know was his.

That put him back in the news, this time for the right reasons.

It was only seven weeks ago that a gossip magazine attributed quotes to BenCrane saying Tiger Woods was a “phony and fake,” which Crane never said. Infact, he hadn’t given any interviews in months, and wasn’t even at thetournament where Life & Style said the interview took place. This attention wasfar better.

“To be in the news again? Yeah, my name keeps popping up,” Crane said.“It’s good to be (in the news) on a good note.”

Then he paused and smiled.

“And you can quote me on that.”

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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.

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.