This Heritage likely last one unless sponsor found

By Associated PressFebruary 28, 2011, 11:24 pm

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP)—Time is running out for the Heritage golftournament, the event that features the picturesque Harbour Town lighthouse.

PGA Tour vice president Ty Votaw said Monday the tournament has to find areplacement for longtime sponsor Verizon if it hopes to continue past April.

“I think it’s imperative for the long-term future of the event to secure atitle sponsor,” Votaw said.

The Heritage is scheduled for April 21-24 and, for the first time in 25years, won’t have Verizon as its main sponsor. The company announced nearly 18months ago that it would cease its major backing of the event after 2010.

Tour officials and tournament organizers have worked closely since then todiscover a replacement—without much luck.

“I’ve had to keep up on my blood pressure medicine,” Heritage tournamentdirector Steve Wilmot said.

The Heritage has been a springtime tradition for decades, as much for PeteDye’s maddening Harbour Town Golf Links as for its breezy, seaside setting atSea Pines Resort. The windswept 18th hole with its red-and-white stripedlighthouse in the background is one of the PGA Tour’s most enduring settings.

It was also a place for the pros who played to unwind and take a few breathsafter the pressure-cooker of the Masters, the year’s first major championship.

Ernie Els and his family were often seen riding bikes on Sea Pines’ narrowpathways, pros brought their families to the beach for some relaxation, and eventhe course—at just over 6,900 yards—was a welcome change.

“It’s the anti-Augusta,” two-time Heritage champion Stewart Cink said atlast year’s event.

Its list of champions include luminaries such as Arnold Palmer , JackNicklaus and Greg Norman . Jim Furyk took the title in a playoff last spring.

“We know we have the support of the players,” Wilmot said.

It’s the support of business that’s essential for the Heritage to survive,Votaw said.

The PGA Tour has either renewed sponsorship or found new backers at 27events since 2009, according to Votaw. He’s optimistic the Heritage can becomeNo. 28. Heritage and tour officials have talked with companies in recent weeksopen to more discussions about backing Hilton Head.

“We hope to be able to make a lot of people happy over the next severalweeks if those conversations continue in the manner they have,” Votaw said.

Wilmot says he’s gotten continued support from South Carolina leadership,including new Gov. Nikki Haley. At a tourism conference, Haley pledged to dowhat she could to assist the tournament in finding a backer.

The tournament commissioned a study last year that found the VerizonHeritage brought nearly $82 million to South Carolina and its coastal region.The survey was conducted by Clemson University’s International Institute forTourism Research and Development with help from USC Beaufort.

The Heritage ranks as one of the state’s highest-profile pro sporting eventsalongside the WTA’s Family Circle cup at Daniel Island and NASCAR’s Southern 500at Darlington Raceway.

The Heritage Classic Foundation scraped together whatever it could to put onthis year’s tournament. It depleted much of its reserves in underwriting a $4million guarantee to put on the 2011, Wilmot said. The town of Hilton Head alsovoted to give up to $1 million for the tournament if it can’t find a sponsor.

Wilmot will be traveling to PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra, Fla., in afew weeks to go over bottom-line scenarios to see if a 2012 Heritage ispossible.

“We’re approaching the 12th hour,” he said. “There is a sense of urgencyhere.”

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.