Day after controversy, Shepherd wins U.S. Girls' Junior

By Associated PressJuly 30, 2017, 6:24 am

AUGUSTA, Mo. - Erica Shepherd won the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship on Saturday, beating Jennifer Chang, 3 and 2, a day after reaching the 36-hole final on her opponent's rules violation.

The 16-year-old Shepherd, from Greenwood, Indiana, ended the title match against close friend Chang with a tap-in par on Boone Valley's par-3 16th hole.

''Ever since I was little, I've always told everyone when making my goals, this is the goal that I have to accomplish,'' said Shepherd, the left-hander who has verbally committed to attend Duke in 2019.

On Friday, Shepherd beat Elizabeth Moon of Forrest City, Arkansas, on the first extra hole when Moon was penalized for moving her ball before her short par putt was conceded. After missing a short birdie putt that would have ended the semifinal match, the 17-year-old Moon reached across the hole and pulled her ball back with her putter before Shepherd had an opportunity to concede the par putt. The action resulted in the loss of the hole and the match.

The 17-year-old Chang, from Cary, North Carolina, pulled Shepherd aside Saturday before they stepped to the first tee.

''I was on the putting green, and she just walked toward me and gave me a hug,'' Shepherd said. ''She just asked if I was OK, and I kind of broke down and started crying, then she gave me this whole speech about like how there was nothing I could have done about it, and that just really boosted me back up and got me to regroup.''

Said Chang: ''I said, 'Forget about that. Let's have some fun. Just you and me, one-on-one. Let's go for it.'''

Shepherd was inspired by friend and mentor Leigh Anne Hardin Creavy, the winner 19 years earlier. Shepherd's middle name is ''Leigh'' in honor of Creavy.

''I have her as my (screen) background holding the Girls' Junior trophy to try to motivate me to do that,'' Shepherd said.

Shepherd heard from Creavy before the championship match.

''She just told me she knew how I felt because she can relate to me caring too much about what other people think,'' Shepherd said. ''She told me to just be Erica, and to not let what other people were saying get in my head or distract me.''

Shepherd became the second left-handed female champion in USGA history, joining fellow Julia Potter - fellow Indiana player who won the 2013 and 2016 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur titles.

Chang has verbally committed to attend Southern California in the fall of 2018.

The finalists earned spots in the U.S. Women's Amateur at San Diego Country Club on Aug. 7-13.

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.