Els happy for Scott, ready for RBC Heritage

By Associated PressApril 18, 2013, 12:26 am

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Ernie Els might've been the second happiest golfer at Augusta National last Sunday night when good friend Adam Scott slipped on the green jacket as the Masters' champion.

Els, who tied for 13th last week, is part of a strong field at the RBC Heritage, which begins Thursday. The 2012 British Open champion has had several close calls at Harbour Town Golf Links, but brings plenty of confidence – and the satisfaction of watching Scott win his first major championship – into this year's tournament.

Els earned his fourth career major at Royal Lytham & St. Anne's this past July when Scott threw away a four-stroke lead with four holes remaining. Els consoled Scott before hoisting the claret jug, then made sure the Australian didn't let the collapse derail him from contending in future majors.

''I've really made a point of getting on him a little bit and keeping him going forward,'' Els said Wednesday. ''We played a lot of golf and talked quite a bit. He really was motivated for it.''

Scott rallied to the top of the leaderboard in Sunday's final round, then defeated Angel Cabrera in a playoff to become Australia's first Masters champion.

Video: Preview from Harbour Town

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It was a different sort of conversation the two shared after this major.

''Yeah, we had quite a few beers, both of us, when we spoke to each other,'' said Els, smiling. ''He's very delighted, I can promise you, that he got a green jacket and I was delighted for him.''

The RBC Heritage features 14 of the world's top 29 golfers in a week that's typically a chance for the game's best to grab a breather before the run-up to the U.S. Open. Several, including Scott and world No. 1 Tiger Woods, are doing just that. But there's lots of star power and talented golfers at Harbour Town.

Brandt Snedeker, the 2011 champion here who shared the 54-hole lead a week ago, is the world's highest-ranked player at No. 5. Luke Donald (No. 6), Matt Kuchar (No. 9) are others from the top 10 playing here.

Defending U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, ranked 20th joins Els as current major winners here.

Jason Day, third at the Masters, was encouraged by another strong showing at Augusta National and by his countryman's victory. Day tied for second with Scott at the 2011 Masters and the two exchanged texts in the midst of Scott's demanding post-Masters media whirlwind.

Scott told Day he understood the disappointment at coming close again, yet appreciated the class Day showed in defeat.

''And I texted him back and said, 'I'm glad it was you to be the first. It goes down in history forever, mate,''' Day recalled.

Day said Harbour Town's layout fits his game and hopes to take advantage of the work he put in getting ready for the Masters.

Snedeker, who famously cried after coming close at the Masters in 2008, found himself resolved to keep improving after this defeat. He had his first over-par round of the tournament with a 75 on Sunday and tied for sixth, five strokes out of the playoff.

''I think this one is easier because I know I'm going to be back,'' he said.

Still, Snedeker had trouble sleeping Sunday night and didn't go searching TV or the Internet for accounts of what happened. ''I definitely didn't seek out the Golf Channel,'' he said.

He believes Harbour Town's narrow fairways and postage-stamp sized greens could be the perfect pick-me-up after Augusta National.

''Obviously, the drive down is a big relief after last week,'' Snedeker said. ''The breath of fresh air after the stress.''

Els will be in the spotlight this week. On Friday, tournament organizers will team with ''Els for Autism''on a number of initiatives to raise awareness of autism, highlight the importance of early detection and raise funds to help build the Els Center of Excellence which will serve people on the autism spectrum from ages 3-21.

Els' 10-year-old son was diagnosed with autism.

''It's something we want to do,'' Els said of the center. ''It will keep finding its legs as we go along.''

Els was proud Scott didn't break after the British Open loss. The two played several practice rounds at Augusta National and Els was impressed with Scott's focus. ''He definitely was striking the ball really well,'' Els said. ''He was in a very nice, loose mood.''

That proved out last week with Scott's satisfying triumph. Snedeker hopes his latest close call will lead to a major, overcoming obstacles like Scott did.

''If I keep banging on that door, it's going to happen,'' Snedeker said. ''I know it is.''

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.

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.