Hoch shares early lead at Senior PGA Championship

By Associated PressMay 21, 2009, 4:00 pm
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Champions TourBEACHWOOD, Ohio – Scott Hoch bogeyed the final two holes for a 4-under 66 and share of the first-round lead with Tom Purtzer on Thursday in the 70th Senior PGA Championship, the first major of the year for the over-50 set.
 
Their 66s matched the lowest competitive score at venerable Canterbury Golf Club, which joined Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y., as the only course to host all five of the premier U.S. men’s championships played at rotating sites.
 
Germany’s Bernhard Langer, a two-time winner this year and the Champions Tour’s top money-winner, had a 68 and was alone in third. Tom Kite, John Morse, Mark James, Joey Sindelar, Larry Mize, Dana Quigley and Fred Gibson were the only other players under par, each with a 69.
 
Only 10 players broke par and 12 others shot even-par 70 in warm and sunny weather with blustery wind at the 88-year-old layout in suburban Cleveland.
 
One of the early surprises of the day was 67-year-old Dave Stockton, who won the 1996 U.S. Senior Open at Canterbury, posting a 70. Among the others hitting that number were three-time U.S. Open winner Hale Irwin, 1988 PGA Championship winner Jeff Sluman and 2007 Senior PGA champion Denis Watson.
 
Hoch, who started with a pair of birdies, was three shots clear of the field at 6 under as he stepped to the tee on the 227-yard, par-3 17th. Bogey-free to that point, his wind-blown 3-iron ended up in the right front bunker and he failed to get up and down to a pin located on a back shelf. Then on the difficult, uphill par-4 18th, from a perfect lie he flew the green with his second shot but was able to save bogey with a two-putt from 50 feet.
 
Hoch has followed 11 PGA Tour victories with three more on the Champions Tour. The 53-year-old has never won a major although he came within a missed 30-inch putt on the first playoff hole at the 1989 Masters of winning a green jacket. He ended up settling for second to Nick Faldo.
 
Purtzer started on the longer, harder back nine and turned in 2 under, his only bogey coming on the rolling 616-yard 16th. He had seven pars and two birdies on the front, totaling just 25 putts for the round while stringing together four one-putt greens during one stretch.
 
The 57-year-old Purtzer won five times on the regular tour and four more times on the Champions Tour. He also is chasing his first major title.
 
A two-time Masters champion, Langer was content to rely on his arrow-straight drives to avoid the heavy rough bordering the narrow fairways on the tree-lined course. He hit 10 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation.
 
Jay Haas, winner at grueling Oak Hill a year ago with a score of 7-over 287, opened with a 71. Other notables included Tom Watson, John Cook and Fuzzy Zoeller at 72, Greg Norman, Ben Crenshaw and Nick Price at 73, and Champions Tour rookies Bob Tway (74) and Tom Lehman (75). Mark O’Meara, who defeated Cook in the 1979 U.S. Amateur at Canterbury, shot a 76.
 
Canterbury has also hosted the U.S. Open in 1940 (won by Lawson Little) and 1946 (Lloyd Mangrum), the PGA Championship in 1973 (Jack Nicklaus) and the U.S. Amateur in 1964 (William Campbell) in addition to the Senior PGA, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Amateur championships.
 
The 156-player field includes eight members of the World Golf Hall of Fame and 23 players who have won a total of 41 major championships, beginning in 1963 with Bob Charles’ win in the British Open and ending with O’Meara’s titles at the 1998 Masters and British Open.
 
The field will be cut to the low 70 and ties after 36 holes.
 
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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.