Donald wins at Wentworth to secure No 1 ranking

By Associated PressMay 29, 2011, 7:00 pm

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP)—Luke Donald secured the world No. 1 ranking bywinning the BMW PGA Championship on Sunday, beating Lee Westwood in a playoff inwhat was a duel for top spot between the two players.

On the first playoff hole, Donald landed his approach onto the No. 18 greento within a few feet, while Westwood sent his shot into the adjacent waterhazard to decide the tournament at Wentworth.

It is only the second stroke-play title in the past five years for Donald,who joins Westwood and Nick Faldo as the only Englishmen to hold the top spotsince the rankings were introduced in 1986.

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Donald will replace Westwood when the new rankings are released on Monday.His second tour victory this year, and fifth overall, also extends his lead inThe Race to Dubai standings.

“Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it,” said Donald, last year’s runner-up.“It’s an amazing accomplishment. It’s something I will be very proud of when Ilook back. I will savor this moment, it’s very special. I think I will stay thesame person, I hope I do. I’m looking forward to the challenge of staying No. 1.I know Lee and Martin (Kaymer) will be chasing me very hard.”

Having trailed co-leaders Matteo Manassero and Donald by two strokesentering the round, Westwood shot a 3-under 68 and Donald hit a 70 for both tototal 6-under 278.

Simon Dyson of England (69) finished third at 280 after hitting a 69. MarcusFraser of Australia (67), France’s Raphael Jacquelin (71), Shane Lowry ofIreland (67) were two strokes further back.

In a group of seven on 283 was three-time champion Colin Montgomerie (68),who claimed his first top-10 finish in almost three years, and Manassero (75).

It was third time lucky for Donald, who had missed out on becoming No. 1after losing to Ian Poulter in the World Match Play final last week in Spain andgoing down to Brandt Snedeker in a playoff at The Heritage in April.

But his consistency in finishing in the top 10 for the past nine tournaments— including winning the Accenture Match Play event in Arizona in February—ensured his first playoff victory on either the European or U.S. Tour will givehim the No. 1 ranking.

Donald said Westwood’s water-bound approach in the playoff was more down topoor fortune than execution.

“It wasn’t a bad shot, just had a litte bit too much spin on it. It wasjust unfortunate, you don’t like to see that,” Donald said. “Lee is a championand has been a great No. 1 for European golf.”

Westwood couldn’t believe his ball didn’t stay on the green.

“Where did the ball pitch? It’s amazing it went in the water,” Westwoodsaid. “When Luke’s (shot) was in the air, I thought it might have gone in theback bunker.”

A tournament of mostly unimpressive scoring—due to a redesign from ErnieEls that has made the West Course almost unplayable, or to fiendishly difficultpin placements, depending upon whom you believe—continued at the start of thefinal round.

Donald began the day by going bogey-bogey, visibly blanching after duffinghis chip at the par-3 No. 2 from just off the green.

Manassaero double-bogeyed No. 3 after needing two shots to reach the greenfrom an adjacent bunker. Donald birdied the next hole to draw level with theItalian in front again.

Westwood, however, made four birdies in nine holes after a bogey on No. 3 tosit on top of the leaderboard.

Another birdie on the difficult No. 15 green was made possible by one of theshots of the tournament. Having missed the fairway with his driver and receivinga free drop, Westwood carved a 7-iron with draw that rolled within 4 feet of thehole, the putt taking him two strokes ahead of Donald.

That lead evaporated at No. 16.

Westwood three-putted after having dropped his club in his follow-throughfrom the tee. Donald, in the next group, landed his approach within a foot ofthe hole—and the top two players in the world were level again.

Down the home straight, Donald and Westwood mixed the sub-standard with thesublime.

Donald’s birdie putt lipped out on No. 17 after a brilliant rescue shotfollowing an approach that hit a tree. He landed his tee shot into the bunker atNo. 18, not long after Westwood had sent his 5-wood into the gallery at thelast.

“If you’re going to miss your chances, you’ll go into a playoff—and theyare volatile, aren’t they?” Westwood said later.

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.