Estes Armour Share Early Lead

By Associated PressOctober 25, 2007, 4:00 pm
  PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Bob Estes spent two days this week trying out new putters, looking for one that just felt right.
He succeeded.
Estes birdied six straight holes -- his longest streak of the season and one shy of his career best -- in a 9-under 64 that left him tied for the lead with Tommy Armour III on Thursday in the opening round of the Ginn sur Mer Classic at a soggy Tesoro Club.
'The game is still always a struggle,' said Estes, who also shot a 64 last week. 'So, even if I'm making six birdies in a row, or like when I was making seven birdies in a row in Memphis a couple years ago, people are like, 'Man, you must have been in the zone.' I'm still pretty relaxed, but I'm still working really hard.'
Play was suspended at 6:39 p.m. because of darkness, keeping 22 players from finishing, but Armour decided to complete the 18th. He made a 10-footer for a a birdie-birdie-birdie finish, and was 9 under after one round for the first time.
Estes was flawless -- nine birdies, no bogeys -- and only missed one green, capping his day with a 40-foot birdie putt on the par-4 ninth hole.
Armour wasn't half-bad, either, with a 10-birdie, one-bogey day.
'When you make 10 birdies, it was all good,' Armour said. 'I hit it close a few times, made some putts, did everything.'
Craig Kanada and Daniel Chopra were three shots off the pace at 6-under 67, while another group including Frank Lickliter II and Steve Flesch -- a two-time winner this year -- finished another shot back.
Unlike many players in the field who are chasing a top-125 spot on the money list and full playing privileges for 2008, Flesch obviously isn't worried about his card.
He's here to secure a trip to the Masters, a perk that comes to those finishing in the top 30 in earnings.
'It's amazing how a couple weeks can change your whole year out here,' said Flesch, who has won two of his previous seven starts.
Estes started on the back nine and made the turn at 2 under, after birdies on both of the par 5s and nothing but pars on the remainder of his card.
But his second nine was one to savor.
He made birdies at Nos. 1-6, and had a chance for seven straight when his approach stopped about 20 feet from the cup at the par-5 seventh. Estes settled for par there, then put an emphatic end to the round with his long birdie at the ninth.
'It's only Thursday,' Estes said. 'That's the deal.'
Kanada has three children, so he already planned to play in the season finale at Disney next week. He tied for 10th at the Sony Open in January, and has made only three cuts in his last 10 starts -- watching his spot on the money list slip from 94th to 123rd.
'I have to admit, I've been looking and trying to figure things out about how much it's going to take,' Kanada said. 'It probably hasn't helped me, but at the same time, when you're out there inside the ropes it's still just the game of golf.'
Let's make the math real simple: First prize here this week is $810,000. That'd take care of everything.
'I've been doing this for long enough where I know that being inside of 125 would be a really good thing,' Kanada said.
Light rain started 10 minutes before play began, and the gray skies probably matched John Daly's mood.
With about 50 fans following him at 7:30 a.m., the ever-popular Daly was first off the tee. First to make double bogey, too, after his drive on the par-4 opening hole found a bunker and he three-putted from 60 feet.
He finished at 2-over 75, and will need to rally if he's to make a cut for only the ninth time in 24 starts.
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  • 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 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.