Harrington leads rainy Nedbank Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 2, 2010, 7:20 pm

SUN CITY, South Africa – Padraig Harrington led the Nedbank Golf Challenge by one stroke after picking up five birdies on the back nine to shoot a 6-under 66 in Thursday’s opening round.

The Irishman’s first birdie came on his eighth hole, but he made seven in his last 11 holes to overhaul early pacesetter Ross Fisher of England at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City.

Fisher had led at 7 under before a double bogey at No. 17, just before play was suspended for nearly two hours because of rain and a lightning warning.

Lee Westwood shot a 68 after overcoming a slow start. The top-ranked Englishman began with five pars and a bogey before finding his range with five birdies in eight holes from No. 7.

Harrington, ranked No. 22 with his only win in 2010 on the Asian Tour, was wayward early and had to hit two provisional shots on the par-5 No. 2. But the three-time major winner kept making pars until holing four successive birdies from No. 8.

“I am very happy with that,” Harrington said. “I did not have high expectations going out, and sometimes when you do not have high expectations you tend to run with it well and that is what I did today.”

“I do not feel on top of my game but I’m going to have to use all my grit over the next three days … it is going to be some good golf and some bad golf. But if I work at it, I can do the job.”

Westwood’s sole bogey came on the par-4 No. 6, but he responded immediately with a birdie two to kickstart his challenge.

“It was good to bounce back straight away and I played pretty solidly from there on in,” he said. “All in all, I’m quite pleased – 68 is a nice way to start. I enjoy playing here, it suits my eye.”

Fisher looked set to be the first-round leader when he led by two shots with two holes to play. But the big-hitting Englishman sent his drive left at the par-4 No. 17, chipped out of the rough onto the fairway and then overshot the green. He ended up with a six, just minutes before the weather warning sounded and play was temporarily suspended.

“It was one of those things,” Fisher said. “I’m still satisfied with minus five, but at the same time you can still be slightly disappointed after playing that well and only walking off with 5 under.”

Five Europeans – the top four all Ryder Cup winners – occupy the top six places at Sun City.

Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain hit a 69 to be fourth. Defending champion Robert Allenby of Australia and Justin Rose of England are tied for fifth after shooting 70s.

The enthusiastic South African fans, who regard the Nedbank as “Africa’s major,” received little joy from their four home golfers.

Three-time winner Ernie Els and British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen had 71s to lead the challenge. Retief Goosen hit a 72, while Tim Clark shot a 73 after making a triple-bogey seven at No. 6.

Edoardo Molinari (71) and Anders Hansen (72) are also in the field at the $5 million, 12-player invitational event.

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.

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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.