Good start gives Gay chance at earning Open berth

By Associated PressJune 12, 2009, 4:00 pm
MEMPHIS, Tenn. ' Brian Gay had the best opening round. Phil Mickelson called his first 18 holes a good start.
John Daly?
Well, he left himself plenty of work if he wants to make the cut at the St. Jude Classic in his first tournament back from his six-month PGA Tour suspension.
Gay shot a 6-under 64 for a one-stroke lead Thursday on a TPC Southwind course softened a bit by a thunderstorm overnight and some spotty showers early in the round. Jimmy Walker shot a 65, and Jose Maria Olazabal and Rich Beem were tied in a group at 66.
Its a nice change for Gay, who has fought with his game and through a couple injuries since winning at Hilton Head earlier this year. A win here would clinch a spot next week in the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black for someone who was three strokes off qualifying Monday.
Obviously, 6 under is great almost anytime you start at 6 under, so Im pleased. Been a little bit of a struggle lately. My ball striking hasnt been there really since I won. Ive had some minor injuries. I havent played that much. Just looking to get something going, Gay said.
Just getting on a golf course was good for Mickelson in his first event since announcing his wife, Amy, has breast cancer. He was tied with 16 others at 2 under following a round in which he sliced a 4-wood off the tee into the pond at No. 18 as part of a double bogey.
It wasnt a great round, but it was a good start, Mickelson said. It was fun to play a little bit.
He appeared fatigued with a tee time Thursday that had him in the fourth group. He practiced at Bethpage on Tuesday before flying into Memphis on Wednesday for an emotional news conference before an afternoon pro-am round that was his only look at a course redesigned since his last visit here in 2001.
With an afternoon tee time Friday, Mickelson said he had plenty of time to rest for an event hes using to prime himself to compete at the U.S. Open and as a brief distraction before his wife has surgery the first week of July. He had a talk with three-time major champ Padraig Harrington before their round and kept chatting between shots.
Harrington won his first two PGA Tour events in 2005 while his father battled cancer. He missed the British Open that summer at St. Andrews when his father died.
I know when my dad had cancer, the easiest time was on the golf course because you dont have to answer any questions, Harrington said. You dont have to explain yourself on the golf course. Youve got to remember ' were quite proficient at dealing with that little white golf ball, not quite as good about explaining our emotions.
Mickelson said the round felt typical once he got going, and he couldnt have started much better with an approach hit to 5 feet for birdie. He then holed out a 25-footer for birdie on his next hole, the par-3 11th. His worst shot came off the 18th tee.
I felt a little rusty, but I made a couple of birdies early, and that made it more relaxed, he said.
Gay missed the Masters when he ranked 31st on the money list with invites going to the top 30, and he ranked 57th in the world with the top 50 going to the U.S. Open. He rebounded by winning the Verizon Heritage at Hilton Head by 10 strokes ' the largest win on tour this year.
He withdrew at The Players Championship, missed the cut at Byron Nelson and tied for 27th at Colonial after shooting a final-round 64. After a week off, he tried qualifying for the U.S. Open on Monday in Tennessee only to miss out, leaving him among seven golfers here needing another win to head to New York or head home.
For some reason, I didnt even think about obviously winning here would be two wins between, Gay said. Somebody mentioned it I think yesterday but I didnt really think about it. Just figured I would have next week off.
Daly grabbed plenty of attention on a course he considers home but more for his presence and the neon green shirt he paired with green and yellow pants than his play. He shot a 72 that included three straight bogeys after he made the turn at 1 under and blamed his putter.
I just couldnt get my lines up. Missed a lot of putts right. I just havent been able to I hit the ball good. Hit a lot of fairways. I couldnt get it in the hole, Daly said.

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - St. Jude Classic
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.