Day 1 Done Round 1 Not Complete

By Associated PressApril 7, 2005, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Opening Day at the Masters brought some familiar sights Thursday-- first the rain, then the names atop the leaderboard that included defending champion Phil Mickelson and world No. 1 Vijay Singh.
 
But don't get the idea this was just another typical day at Augusta National.
 
Phil Mickelson
Defending champion Phil Mickelson had four birdies and two bogeys through 11 holes Thursday.
Tiger Woods hit an eagle putt that went off the green and into Rae's Creek. Ernie Els spent more time in the trees than in the fairway. Former champion Billy Casper returned to the Masters for the first time in three years and made history with the highest score on a hole (14) and the highest round (106).
 
Jack Nicklaus teed off to a heartfelt ovation in what might be his last Masters.
 
And when a wet and wacky start to the 69th Masters ended in darkness, Palmer was on the leaderboard -- not four-time winner Arnold Palmer, but Masters rookie Ryan Palmer.
 
Of the 24 players who managed to squeeze in the first round, Mark Hensby of Australia was the clubhouse leader at 3-under 69, showing that Augusta National doesn't have to be crusty and firm to be a brute.
 
Chris DiMarco, who showed Mickelson the line on his winning putt last year, birdied three straight holes and was atop the leaderboard at 4 under par with four holes still to play.
 
Luke Donald of England was another shot behind and four holes left in his first round, while the group at 2 under included Mickelson, Singh, Palmer, Retief Goosen and Stuart Appleby.
 
Players were to return at 9:45 a.m. to complete the first round, and barring any more weather delays, the tournament should be back to normal by the weekend.
 
This was the ninth time in 15 tournaments that weather interrupted play, and the fourth straight week of rain.
 
Trying to hold down his No. 1 ranking, Singh was a model of consistency in a first round that was out of whack before players even arrived at Augusta National -- tee times were pushed back five times as more than an inch of rain fell, leading to a 5 1/2 -hour delay and players starting from both tees.
 
Along with picking up three birdies on the front nine, Singh twice saved par with 10-foot putts. His only bogey came on the 11th hole, the last one he played before the round was suspended, leaving him at 2 under.
 
Mickelson was all smiles when he stepped to the first tee, looking not much differently from when he left the Masters last year wearing a green jacket. He opened with a bogey, but kept himself out of trouble most of the day and gave himself ample birdie chances.
 
Goosen, the forgotten figure in all the hype over the ``Big Four,'' made a rare birdie on the par-3 12th, then recovered from a tee shot into the azaleas on the par-5 13th to escape with par.
 
It wasn't the fast, fiery course most players wanted to see, conditions that have not been around for the Masters since the course was super-sized three years ago.
 
Based on the scoring, they might be thankful for the rain.
 
Even with the greens soft and holding approach shots, only 10 of the 92 players were under par, and already there were five scores at 80 or higher among those who finished.
 
Woods hasn't broken par in the first round of the Masters since he won in 2002, and that's where he was headed this year -- some of that because of bad shots and bad judgment, some from sheer bad luck.
 
He reached the par-5 13th in two with a risky shot out of the pines, leaving him a 70-foot eagle putt. But he misjudged the speed so badly that the ball raced by the hole, tumbled down the bank and went into Rae's Creek. Woods left the ball there, replayed the putt and fared much better, two-putting for a bogey.
 
He looked as though he might get that shot back when his approach into No. 1 descended on the flag, but Woods turned away in shock when it hit the bottom of pin and spun off to the side into a bunker, turning birdie into bogey.
 
He wasn't alone in his misery.
 
Paul Casey, who tied for sixth last year in his Masters debut, took a 10 on the 13th hole and shot 79. David Toms stood over a 20-foot putt on the 14th hole until a gust blew his ball down the slope and into the fairway. He made a double bogey, and shot 41 on his outward nine.
 
Still, nothing quite compared with Casper.
 
A 51-time winner on the PGA Tour who got overlooked in the Big Three era of the 1960s, the 73-year-old got plenty of attention in his return to Augusta National.
 
He hit five balls into the water on the par-3 16th and took 14, the highest score on any hole in the Masters. By the time he finished 12 holes, he already shot his age. His score of 106 would also go down in the record books, except that Casper declined to turn in his card.
 
``That's going in the scrapbook,'' Casper said.
 
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  • 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.