Europe Off to Strong Start at Royal Trophy

By Associated PressJanuary 12, 2007, 5:00 pm
BANGKOK, Thailand -- A confident Europe side made a dominating start to its Royal Trophy defense Friday, winning the foursomes portion of the team tournament to take a 3 1/2 to 1/2 lead over Asia on the first day at the Amata Spring Country Club.

The scorching heat failed to benefit Joe Ozaki's Asian side, while strong winds only aided Europe captain Seve Ballesteros' players.

'I'm happy that our team lead 3 1/2 to 1/2 instead of 3 to 1 like I expected,' said Ballesteros. 'But I still have respect for the Asian team, which is capable of fighting back tomorrow in the fourball, which is unpredictable.'

The Ryder Cup pair of Darren Clarke of Ireland and Englishman Lee Westwood lead S.K. Ho of South Korea and Toru Taniguchi of Japan all day before winning 4 and 3 to give Europe its first point.

The Europeans took their second point when Swedish duo Johan Edfors and Henrik Stenson of Sweden, who shot a bogey-free day, outclassed local Royal Trophy rookie Prom Meesawat and Japan's Tetsuji Hiratsuka 6 and 5.

The Asian's best chance came from Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Jeev Milkha Singh of India and South Korea's Y.E. Yang, who finished all square with Anthony Wall of England and Paul McGinley of Ireland to gain a half point.

Niclas Fasth and Robert Karlsson of Sweden beat Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and Thaworn Wiratchant 3 and 1 after the Europeans sank birdies putts on the 16th and 17th holes.

'Obviously the Asian team lacks experience,' said Ballesteros, who steered Europe to a 9-7 victory in the inaugural edition of the Royal Trophy 12 months ago. 'My team has played the Ryder Cup and the Royal Trophy last year which has given them more experience.'

Asia needs at least a win in Saturday's fourball competition to keep alive any chance of winning the Royal Trophy.

Ozaki announced a reshuffle in his lineup for the fourball to pair long drivers with short game players, despite concerns over the language barrier faced by his team of players from four countries.

'Normally players from the same country will be paired together, but I would like to mix them up. I asked the players already and they are OK with it. I just want to stick to this plan and prove that it will work tomorrow.'

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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.