Dufner stays hot at Colonial with 64, leads by two

By Associated PressMay 25, 2012, 11:09 pm

FORT WORTH, Texas – Jason Dufner lists Ben Hogan as his hero.

At Hogan's Alley, Dufner had the lead halfway through the Colonial with a chance for a Texas two-step that only Hogan has accomplished.

Dufner had a bogey-free 6-under 64 on another windy day Friday to reach 11-under 129. A week after winning the Byron Nelson Championship, Dufner had a two-stroke lead over Zach Johnson – the 2010 winner who shot a 67.

The only player to win both PGA Tour events in the Dallas-Fort Worth market in the same year was Hogan in 1946.

''That would be great company to join, obviously,'' Dufner said. ''To have anything compared to him or be talked in the same sentence with him is something that would be pretty unique and special to me.''

With the way Dufner is playing these days, his game certainly is in a different class.

Both of Dufner's PGA Tour victories came in his previous three starts. He has led or shared the lead after 11 of his last 34 rounds.

''When I step to the first tee, I feel like I'm going to play a good round of golf. That's a nice way to play. It's a comfortable way to play,'' Dufner said. ''I'm just trying to be confident and think about the things I've been doing for almost a year now, and realize that those are the things that are making me successful out here, and not get too caught up in everything else that's going on around me.''

Johnson, who had an opening bogey-free 64, started the second round eagle-birdie-bogey. Then there was a four-hole stretch on the back nine when he alternated birdies and bogeys twice.

During the third round Saturday, Johnson will be paired with his buddy Dufner.

''He's got a good rhythm about him, about his game right now,'' Johnson said. ''But it's irrelevant who I play with. I'm not playing against him. I'm playing against the golf course and the conditions and the elements that are presented. So that's my focus.''

Two years ago, Johnson set the Colonial tournament scoring record at 21-under 259 en route to the last of his seven PGA Tour victories.

Van Pelt (64) and Tommy Gainey (67) were tied for third at 133, a stroke better than Tom Gillis (69).

Defending Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial champion David Toms shot a 71 and missed the cut at 5-over 145.

With the wind again blowing steady about 20 mph with higher gusts, Dufner stood in the middle of the fairway at No. 5, his 14th hole of the day. Dufner stepped back twice before changing clubs, then hit the approach to about 18 feet for his sixth and last birdie.

That is the end of Colonial's ''horrible horseshoe'' – as Nos. 3-5 are known because of their layout and with the longest par 4s sandwiching a 243-yard par 3.

Dufner has played those holes 4 under through two rounds, and wasn't even aware of the trio's reputation.

''It's just a product of playing well and having good control of my golf ball,'' he said. ''It doesn't really matter what holes you're playing.''

Starting on the back nine, Dufner had two birdies, a 5-footer at the 166-yard 13th hole and 7-footer at the 363-yard 17th. He then birdied Nos. 1-3 for the second day in a row.

''I got off to a great start. ... I had a chance to catch Dufner, is he not hot right now,'' said Gainey, who opened his round with three consecutive birdies before bogeys at Nos. 7 and 8. ''I got hot and then let a couple get away.''

After Colonial, Dufner – who got married between his two victories – plans to take a short break before beginning preparations for the next major. The U.S. Open is in three weeks at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

The 35-year-old Dufner, who has moved up to 14th in the world, had consecutive weekend rounds of 75 at the Masters and tied for 24th after starting 69-70.

It was during the final round of the PGA Championship last August when Dufner had consecutive bogeys on holes No. 15-17. That cost him the lead and forced him into a three-hole playoff that he lost to Keegan Bradley.

''I think it helped me out a lot this year. It kind reaffirmed the things that I was doing was right, and I was on the right direction and right path,'' he said. ''I didn't think too much about losing. I just thought about all of the good things that happened. ... I think at the PGA kind of showed me that I could really play at a high level.''

Divots: Sergio Garcia, the '01 Colonial champ, followed his opening 66 with a 73. That included an 8 on the 387-yard ninth hole when he hit his approach into the water fronting the green, and then knocked his drop in there as well. ... Ben Crane (141), who lives just north of Fort Worth, finished his second-round 71 with an eagle at the ninth hole. He holed a wedge shot from 104 yards. ... Harrison Frazar missed the cut with rounds of 72 and 74. He still had a highlight Friday, a hole-in-one with an 8-iron at the 183-yard 16th. ... The last of 14 players to win both the Colonial and Byron Nelson Championship was Rory Sabbatini, at the 2007 Colonial and 2009 Nelson. When Hogan did it in 1946, the tournaments weren't played in consecutive weeks.

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Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

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.