Eagle lone highlight for Phil Mickelson

By Associated PressAugust 16, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 PGA ChampionshipCHASKA, Minn. ' Phil Mickelsons second shot Sunday at the PGA Championship carried about 199 yards, bounced 6 feet in front of the hole and found the cup for an eagle.
 
I couldnt believe that thing went in, Mickelson said. Those are fun to see.
 
It also proved to be a mirage.
 
Mickelson shot 6 over on the remaining 17 holes to cap a miserable week at Hazeltine National, finishing 12 over 300. Its the first time hes shot 300 at a major in 11 years, dating to the British Open at Royal Birkdale in 1998.
 
The last two weeks have been frustrating with my play, Mickelson said. Ill have a week off here fortunately before we start the FedEx Cup and Ill see if I can get my game turned around for Barclays.
 
Lefty took six weeks off earlier this summer after his wife and mother were diagnosed with breast cancer, and his game has been slow to return. He played last week at the Bridgestone for the first time since the U.S. Open in June and tied for 58th.
 
His struggles continued at the PGA.
 
Mickelson teed off bright and early at 8:12 a.m., and he woke up the crowd when he holed out for eagle on the par-4, 490-yard first hole. The roar could be heard across the course, and it spurred Mickelson on to a 1-under 35 on the front nine.
 
Of course, Mickelson didnt have to putt on No. 1, which was a good thing. He has struggled all week to regain his putting stroke with minimal success. He needed 34 putts in the first round, 33 in the second and 30 on Saturday as he plummeted out of contention.
 
I havent putted the best for a little while now, so its probably going to take a little more than overnight, he said. But I at least feel like I have a little bit better direction.
 
Mickelson birdied Nos. 9 and 14, but a disastrous trip through the signature 16th summed up his week. He hit a poor tee shot way left into the hazard area, but was able to play it in the deep rough. But he chunked his utility club and the ball plopped into the creek just a few feet down the slope.
 
Mickelson spent extra time on the practice greens this week tinkering with his putting stroke, but declined to discuss the changes he was making.
 
He said will play The Barclays in two weeks, but has not laid out a longer-term plan for the rest of the season.
 
Fred Couples did say though that he expects Mickelson to play in the Presidents Cup.
 
I think everything is fine there, Couples said. I hope he wants to play. I hope he can play. I hope Amys there. I believe in all that that they will both be there.
 

 
TORTOISE AND THE OHAIR: Last week at the Bridgestone, course officials had to tell Padraig Harrington and Tiger Woods to speed up.
 
On Sunday at the PGA, Hazeltine officials had to tell Sean OHair to slow down.
 
OHair was the first player on the course Sunday morning, teeing off by himself at 7:36 a.m. The American wasted little time bringing an end to a long week. OHair finished his round in a blistering 2 hours and 13 minutes, averaging about 6 minutes a hole.
 
I actually didnt play that bad, OHair said.
 
And after shooting an 82 on Saturday to drop him to 13 over, OHair, who won the Quail Hollow Championship and has five other top 10 finishes this year, actually played better at the breakneck pace. He shot 73, tying his lowest round of the week, to finish the tournament at 14-over 302.
 
He had three bogeys and two birdies, but had to be told to slow down at the turn because he was catching up to the hole crews who were still putting the pins in the greens.
 
For me, it just kind of gets you in that good momentum, OHair said. You just get up there and hit it.
 

 
MAJOR PROBLEMS: U.S. Open winner Lucas Glover shot a 2-over 74 on Sunday to tie for fifth at 2-under 286, capping a frustrating week for this years major champions at Hazeltine National.
 
I hit some loose shots and my putter sort of ran out of gas for me, Glover said.
 
He started the day four strokes back of the lead and hoping to get back into contention, but he had trouble with the putter for most of the afternoon.
 
Just one of those days were there was a lid on it, Glover said.
 
He wasnt the only one who had trouble.
 
After tying for fourth at the Bridgestone last week, Masters winner Angel Cabrera never really got going at Hazeltine. He shot three rounds of 4-over 76, including the final round on Sunday, and finished 10 over and tied for 63rd.
 
Cabrera had an 8 on the par-3 eighth hole and then a bogey on the ninth during his 76 on Sunday.
 
British Open winner Stewart Cink finished with an 81 on Sunday and was 11 over for the tournament and tied for 67th.
 

 
SHOELESS JIM: Jim Furyks second shot on No. 8 went right of the green and down into the rough on the backside of the hill, stopping just before falling into the water.
 
So Furyk removed his right shoe and sock and rolled up his pant leg to his knee, then executed a beautiful little punch shot to 3 feet. He walked up the hill and put the gimme putt in with his foot still bare, much to the delight of the gallery.
 
Furyk shot 5-over 77 and finished the tournament at 10 over.
 

 
PGA BOUND: By finishing in the top 15, John Merrick and Italian Francesco Molinari both qualified for the PGA next year at Whistling Straits.
 
Merrick and Molinari were among six players who tied for 10th at even-par 288.
 
Merrick, from Long Beach, Calif., tied for the low round of the day with a 70 to ensure his return next year.
 

 
DIVOTS: Tom Lehman, the only Minnesota native in the field, shot 3-over 75 to finish 11 over for the tournament. The University of Minnesota alum got a rousing ovation as he walked to the 18th green, holding up his driver with the Golden Gopher head cover.
 
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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.