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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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

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.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

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.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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.