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Henderson leads; bad weather leads to Monday finish

By Associated PressOctober 1, 2017, 11:48 am

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Brooke Henderson took a big step towards her sixth LPGA tour title in only six holes on Sunday, but will have to resume on Monday after rain, lightning and dangerous winds disrupted the final round of the New Zealand Women's Open.

The 20-year-old Canadian leads the tournament by four shots at 17 under par from overnight leader Belen Mozo of Spain and American Brittany Lincicome.

Play was repeatedly suspended Sunday because of adverse weather conditions and finally called for the day at 5:30 p.m. local time when a violent squall brought heavy rain and winds which sent advertising boards flying across greens.

Tour officials ruled the tournament would remain 72 holes and players will return to the Windross Farm course Monday to complete their final rounds.


Full-field scores from the McKayson New Zealand Open


Henderson was 3 under Sunday after her six holes. She birdied the second, fourth and fifth holes to move past the faltering Mozo, who was 2 over after six holes when a trying day finally ended.

Lincicome was 2 under after six holes, with birdies at the second and fifth, and loomed as Henderson's most likely challenger Monday.

Mozo, who led the tournament by five shots after the second round and by one entering the final round, struggled on the greens Sunday and had bogeys on her first and sixth holes to concede the lead to Henderson.

Norway's Nicole Broch Larsen and China's Jing Yan are tied for fourth place at 12 under after nine and seven holes respectively. Australia's Su Oh was next at 11 under through nine holes while Hee Young Park of South Korea and Thidapa Swannapura of Thailand share seventh place at 10 under.

Hometown favorite Lydia Ko was 1 under after nine holes and tied for ninth place at 9 under, eight shots off Henderson's lead.

Tournament organizers and LPGA officials were aware of the threatening forecast for Sunday and made provision by bringing forward tee times, hoping to avoid the worst of the weather, which was expected to hit late afternoon.

The first players were off at 7:40 a.m. and the leaders had just teed off at 10 a.m. when rain and standing water forced play to be suspended for the first time.

Players returned to the course at 12:28 p.m. and almost two hours of play were possible before play was suspended again because of the threat of lightning.

Play resumed at 4:55 p.m. but had only continued about 20 minutes before the final, fierce squall spread across the course bringing lashing rain, gale force winds and bitterly cold conditions.

LPGA tour rules official Bo Ream said organizers considered all possibilities before deciding to continue as a 72-hole event.

''We've talked with our partners and looked at various options,'' Ream said. ''We've decided we're going to go 72 holes.''

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.