Groggy golfers arrive for British Open

By Associated PressJuly 13, 2010, 4:12 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Zach Johnson and another two dozen golfers were among the jetlagged players trudging around St. Andrews on Monday thinking as much about sleep patterns as British Open preparations.

The group had taken charter flights following the John Deere Classic in the U.S.. After an eight-hour flight across the Atlantic, plus a 100 kilometer drive from Edinburgh to St. Andrews, Johnson dropped off his bags at a rented house and headed straight to the world’s most historic course.

He officially registered for the tournament and got in a little putting, even strolling out to the green of the famous 17th – the “Road Hole.” But, with the first hints of a beard emerging on his normally clean-shaven face, this wasn’t a day to worry about his stroke.

“I’m just trying to stay up as long as I can,” Johnson said Monday. “I’m going to go eat a good meal – and then I’m going to bed.”

Paul Goydos, coming off a record-tying 59 at the John Deere and thrilled about getting into the Open as the final qualifier in the 156-player field, was too excited to sleep on the flight and was even more weary.

This has become a familiar ritual, made considerably more tolerable three years ago when officials at the John Deere tournament began arranging chartered flights to the British Open for anyone who agreed to play in their tournament.

For a fee of $1,250 per seat – which goes to the John Deere’s charity fund – golfers and their caddies can hop aboard a jet offering business-class amenities and cut hours off the time that would be required to fly commercial, which often entailed stops in Chicago and London.

“That was horrible,” Johnson recalled. “That’s not pleasant at all, especially when you’ve got to make connections at quite honestly two of the most trafficked and worst airports there are.”

The charter eliminates much of the hassle and one of the primary worries – whether a player’s clubs would actually show up in Britain at the same time as the player.

It’s one thing to be missing a shirt, quite another to be without that favorite putter, so John Deere officials make sure the players can see their clubs getting loaded aboard the compartment underneath before they climb aboard for the cross-Atlantic flight.

“They really accommodate the players there,” Goydos said. “It’s almost to the point of being embarrassing.”

Despite the greater convenience, its still less than ideal to be preparing for the British Open by touching down after a long flight just 72 hours before the first round.

“Does it put me at a disadvantage? I don’t know. It’s all I know,” Johnson said. “This is my seventh Open, and I’ve done it every year.”

This is Goydos’ first trip to St. Andrews – something he put on his list of goals at the beginning of the year. He’s 46 and this might be his only realistic chance to play an Open at the birthplace of golf, considering it only comes here every five years.

“There’s so much history here. This is basically where the game started,” Goydos said. “And then you look at all the top players who’ve won at St. Andrews. That’s one of the things you had to do to make your career.”

Goydos was runner-up at the John Deere to Steve Stricker, who was also on the charter. He wasn’t put out by the flight but the bus ride to St. Andrews which stretched from a scheduled one hour to more than double that due to traffic.

Even so, Stricker decided to come to the course and play all 18 holes – mainly to stay awake and expedite the adjustment to the six-hour time difference. The change of continents didn’t seem to affect his game – at the final hole, he knocked a wedge to 8 feet and rolled in the birdie putt.

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.