DeChambeau tied for the lead in Puerto Rico

By Associated PressMarch 25, 2017, 12:18 am

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico - Former U.S. Amateur champion Bryson DeChambeau ran off four straight birdies in a stop-and-start round Friday and finished with a 7-under 65 to share the lead with D.A. Points in the rain-delayed Puerto Rico Open.

Points hit all 18 greens in regulation at Coco Beach Golf and Country Club, though he didn't have as many reasonable looks at birdie as he would have liked. Points also had a three-putt bogey to go with four birdies in his round of 69.

They were at 11-under 133 when the second round was suspended by darkness.

Heavy rain kept the opening round from finishing, and there was another two-hour rain delay on Friday.

Bill Lunde, the former Las Vegas winner who is playing his first PGA Tour event in five months, was at 11 under with three holes to play.

DeChambeau has shown spells of good golf since turning pro, starting with a tie for fourth at Hilton Head in his pro debut. He earned his PGA Tour card last year and has struggled at time, including a dispute with the USGA that disallowed his side-saddle manner of putting.

After making only one cut in his last seven tournaments, he tied for 27th two weeks ago in the Valspar Championship and thought that could have been better.

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''A couple of weeks ago at Innisbrook I three-putted a couple times - six times, in fact - and just cut the momentum out of me and that was kind of a disappointment. I never really got a low round there and I could have pretty easily. So I took the three-putts out this week.''

Tim' Wilkinson shot a 63 and was in the group at 10-under 134 that included J.J. Henry, San Juan native Rafael Campos and J.J. Spaun, a PGA Tour rookie who had a pair of top 10s during the West Coast Swing.

When play was suspended, there were 80 players at 3 under, meaning the cut was likely to be no worse than 3-under 141. Among those likely to miss the cut were Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter, who is running out of time to keep full status under his major medical extension from a foot injury last year.

He has five starts remaining to earn 117 FedEx Cup points or $177,729.

Points is a two-time PGA Tour winner, most recently at the Houston Open in 2013, who has a low priority ranking and had a tough time getting into tournaments after the first month of the year.

The Puerto Rico Open is opposite the World Golf Championships event in Texas, meaning it gets reduced FedEx Cup points and the winner is not automatically invited to the Masters. But it still comes with an exemption, and other perks like the PGA Championship and The Players Championship.

That would mean plenty to Points and other players in the field. Lunde is playing out of the past champion's status.

Points ended the opening round by holing a 9-iron from the fairway. On Friday, his 40-foot birdie putt on the opening hole hit the middle of the cup and came back out

''All the guys in the group just kind of laughed at me,'' Points said. ''They were like, 'That hole knew you holed out yesterday to finish the round.' That was kind of how the day started. But I stayed patient and really didn't play poorly, hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens and then finally holed a couple putts coming in.''

Wesley Bryan was at 6 under with three holes remaining. He has to win this week to have any chance of moving into the top 50 and earn a spot in the Masters.

Another former U.S. Amateur champion, Peter Uihlein, was at 8 under through 13 holes. Uihlein primary plays on the European Tour and received a sponsor's exemption.

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.

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.