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.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 2009 WGC - Bridgestone Invitational
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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."