This green jacket a perfect fit for Cabrera

By Associated PressAugust 8, 2009, 4:00 pm
WGC-Bridgestone - 125wAKRON, Ohio ' Masters champion Angel Cabrera made a special detour on his way to the Bridgestone Invitational so he could slip on a green jacket at the club where he won a major.
Only he went to Pittsburgh, not Augusta.
Cabrera returned to Oakmont Country Club for the first time since winning the 2007 U.S. Open for his first major. The club invited him, showed him the new Angel Cabrera Suite and honored him with a membership.
All members at Oakmont wear green jackets.
It was very emotional, Cabrera said.
He was supposed to play with his coach, manager and head pro Bob Ford, but was worn out from the overnight flight that took him from Cordoba, Argentina, through Santiago, Chile, to Atlanta and up to Pittsburgh.
Instead, he walked out to the 18th green and gazed toward the tee, where Cabrera hit what he still considers the best shot of his career, a driver that split the fairway and set up a winning par.
It looked so different without the grandstands, he said. But it was a special feeling.
The pins were set as they were that Sunday two years ago, and Cabrera said he took two balls with him to replay the downhill putt from 20 feet that he lagged close for his par.
It was different from going back to Augusta National.
I go there every year, Cabrera said. We wont go back to Oakmont until 2016 (for the U.S. Open).
Cabrera will go back in seven years as a U.S. Open champion ' and an Oakmont member.

STILL HURTING: Its clear that Kenny Perry remains pained by the condition of his gravely ill mother.
Mildred Perry is under hospice care as she battles blood cancer back home in Kentucky.
Perry, who did not defend his title at the Buick Open so he could be with his mom, said he may cut back on his schedule soon.
Well, if it gets worse, yeah, Ive thought about it. Well see, he said. Dad told me to come out and play for right now.
Perry somehow continues to play well. He had a 4-under 66 to get within striking distance of the top spot at the Bridgestone.
But thoughts of his mother are never far away.
No, you never can forget about it, he said.
Then he solemnly added, Itll be three to nine months shes got left.

PHIL UPDATE: Phil Mickelson continues to shake off the rust.
Mickelson returned to competition this week at the Bridgestone after six weeks away to care for his wife, Amy, who is battling breast cancer.
So far, he has yet to find a swing on which he can rely.
I scored terribly but hit it much better than in the first two rounds, Mickelson said after sagging to a 75 in Saturdays rainy third round. He posted a 70 and 69 in the first two rounds and now stands at 4-over 214, well behind the leaders.
Last week Mickelson did get in a practice round at Hazeltine, site of next weeks PGA Championship. He hoped the use the Bridgestone as a springboard.
Im starting to hit the ball a lot better even though the score didnt show it, he said.

EURO BOUND?: Danny Lee got an education on Saturday at the Bridgestone.
The South Korean-born, New Zealand-raised 19-year-old was paired with ponytailed 45-year-old Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.
I was struggling out there, Lee said. Playing with the greatest players like Jimenez, I learn other things from him.
For instance, Lee hurried up to shots, took a quick look at his line and then launched a shot. Jimenez savored the moment, contemplating the angles and focusing himself before approaching the ball.
The way I play and the way he plays are just totally different, Lee said. Hes taking his time. I never take my time before I hit. I took about 4 seconds to hit my shot and hes, like, more than one minute.
Jimenez had a 66. Lee, the youngest U.S. Amateur champion ever, had a 75.
Lee now finds himself far back in the pack after opening with a 68. He needs to earn $188,000 combined at the Bridgestone and the Wyndham on Aug. 20-23 to avoid having to go to Q-school.
He said on Saturday he had no intention of going through qualifying, instead falling back on his two-year exemption on the European Tour for winning the Johnnie Walker Classic while still an amateur.
I dont think Im going to try the Q school, he said. Im just going to go off to Europe and try it.

OLD TOM: Stewart Cink is still getting heat from fans who were pulling for the 59-year-old Tom Watson to pull off a stunning victory at the British Open two weeks ago. Cink beat Watson in a playoff for his first major championship.
Today one guy says, How could you do that, beating up on the old guy like that? recalled Cink, who shot a second 69 on Friday. I turned to him and I said, Im just a mean dude. I cant help it.

TOBACCO LUNCH: For his part, Jimenez never goes anywhere without his cigars.
He always packs a full humidor whenever he travels to the States, two-weeks worth for the Bridgestone followed by the PGA.
Asked if he knew of a good cigar store in Akron, he said, The only thing, you cannot sell Cuban cigars here, and I bring my own personal cigars from home.
So important are the stogies that they apparently provide nourishment.
I smoke in the practice rounds but not in the tournament rounds, he said after finishing off his 66 and talking with reporters. But as soon as I finish now' he held up his lit cigar with a flourish ' my lunch!

CAN YOU TOP THIS?: J.B. Holmes, among the biggest hitters on the PGA Tour, said he wasnt hitting the ball well enough the first two days at the Bridgestone to match drives with the equally long Alvaro Quiros.
Both of us hit one good, were pretty close, Holmes said with a grin. I think it just depends on who hits one the best.
Holmes is third in the field with an average of 334.3 yards on the four measured drives. Quiros is at 342.3 yards, second-best.
The leader in length? Cabrera at 344 yards per drive.
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  • Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.

    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.

    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.

    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.

    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

    When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.

    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.

    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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    Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

    John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

    That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

    Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

    Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.