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.”

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Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

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.