Donald Impressive Among Legends

By Associated PressJuly 14, 2005, 4:00 pm
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Two years ago, Luke Donald made a move.
Acknowledging he was intimidated playing alongside Tiger Woods in the British Open at Royal St. George, he hired sports-performance coach Jim Fanning to help boost his confidence.
Luke Donald
Luke Donald was all smiles following his 4-under 68 Thursday.
'Jim has helped me realize that you have to set your goals higher than you really think,' said the 27-year-old Donald, who was born near London but lives in Chicago, where Fanning is based. 'I'm not thinking about making the cut. For the first time here, I'm playing to win.'
It shows.
Unfazed by playing in Thursday's first round with Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, the Englishman shot a 4-under 68 at St. Andrews, rolling in four birdie putts -- one from 30 feet -- and chipping in another.
'I know he's capable of winning it,' Nicklaus said. 'And he's going to win some. It's just when is the question.'
Said Watson: 'He has a great putting stroke. It makes up for some mistakes, it always did for me.'
Instead of changing his game to suit links golf, Donald decided to take his game to the swales, pot bunkers and hard fairways of the Old Course.
'I think it's just playing to my own strengths, not changing my game that much that has really helped today,' he said. 'I think in the past I've gotten a little too caught up in trying to adapt my game too much to links style.'
The adulation surrounding Nicklaus and Watson was more motivation than distraction.
'It was a lot of fun out there playing with those two greats,' he said. 'The atmosphere was amazing.'
A European hasn't won a golfing major since 1999. Scotsman Paul Lawrie was the last to do so, a surprise at the Open at Carnoustie.
This is the 24th major since then. In that span, Denmark's Thomas Bjorn has two second-place finishes in majors. Sergio Garcia, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Niclas Fasth and Thomas Levet also have been runners-up.
Though he's never made the cut at the British Open, he's No. 15 in the world ranking and has been close to winning several big tournaments this season. He was third in the Masters, and second in The Players Championship and Buick Invitational. He tied for fifth last week in the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.
'It's just a good, solid start, nothing more than that,' said Donald, a former NCAA champion at Northwestern. 'Three rounds to go. If the winds stays like this, if I shoot another three 68s, I might be close. But who knows.'
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  • 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.