Hanse selected to design 2016 Olympic golf course

By Associated PressMarch 7, 2012, 5:05 pm

SAO PAULO – American architect Gil Hanse will design the 2016 Olympic golf course in Rio de Janeiro, winning the selection Wednesday over Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Gary Player.

Organizers picked Hanse Golf Design over seven other finalists. Hanse will team up with Hall of Fame player Amy Alcott to build the first Olympic golf course since the sport was dropped following the 1904 St. Louis Games.

Gil Hanse

The announcement by Rio 2016 organizers was made at the site where the new course will be built, in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood, which will hold most of the Olympic venues.

The Rio 2016 committee said Hanse Golf Design was 'the candidate that most aptly met the selection criteria' issued by organizers, proposing a strong legacy component that prioritized a golf academy to help the sport's development in Brazil.

'Hanse Golf Course Design tackled the challenge of designing a course for use by both elite and amateur athletes, one of the main legacy objectives,' the committee said in a statement. 'It addressed the environmental sustainability directives for the games and efficiently conformed to the building restrictions on the land.'

The committee said that Hanse's proposal 'also effectively integrated native vegetation to the design, reducing the areas where frequent maintenance will be required.'

Golf made its debut at the second modern Olympics in Paris in 1900, but lasted only one more games. It was reinstated in 2009 and is guaranteed to be at the 2020 Games, but a good impression in Rio would help keep the sport in the games beyond that.

Another IOC vote on adding or removing sports is scheduled for 2017.

'The selection process adopted by Rio 2016 was extremely thorough and reflected the importance of the project,' International Golf Federation president Peter Dawson said. 'I am delighted Hanse Golf Course Design has been appointed to design the Olympic golf course, which promises to provide an outstanding venue for the games and a tremendous legacy for our sport in Brazil.'

Hanse Golf Design was created in 1993 and built the course at the Tall Grass Golf Club in New York. It was recently hired by Donald Trump to help renovate the Blue Monster course in Miami.

Alcott won 29 times on the LPGA, including five major titles.

The other seven companies which made the final shortlist were Gary Player Design, Greg Norman Golf Course Design, Hawtree Ltd., Nicklaus Design, Renaissance Golf, Robert Trent Jones II and Thomson-Perret Golf Course Architects.

Nicklaus was set to team up with women's great Annika Sorenstam, while Norman had a partnership with the retired player Lorena Ochoa.

The winner was announced as delegates from the International Olympic Committee made a three-day visit to Rio to receive updates on the city's preparations.

'As it marks the return of golf to the Olympic Games after over a century of absence, this course represents the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the sport,' Rio 2016 Olympic committee president Carlos Nuzman said. 'It will enable Rio to host important events in the international calendar and it will be an example of sustainability and preservation of an environmentally protected area.'

The committee said Hanse's proposal effectively addressed the planning of temporary overlay structures and internal flow systems for the venue, and considered the location of permanent buildings and the experience of players and spectators.

After the 2016 Games, the course will be used as a public facility.

The course will be built at the Reserva de Marapendi in Barra, about 3 miles from the athletes' village and 4.3 miles from the main press center and the international broadcast center.

The designers made their final presentations to organizers last month and the winner was chosen by a selection committee comprised of Nuzman, Dawson and other local games' representatives.

The winner was expected to be announced last December, but the deadline for proposals was extended because none of the bidders initially had the proper legal and financial documentation. The announcement was then set for last month, but the local committee delayed it so the winner could be revealed during the IOC visit.

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.

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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 GolfChannel.com 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.