Hoffman takes one-shot lead in SHO

By Associated PressApril 1, 2016, 1:15 am

HOUSTON - Charley Hoffman birdied half the holes on the Golf Club of Houston course Thursday and had just a single bogey to shoot an 8-under-par 64 and take the first-round lead of the Shell Houston Open, putting himself in contention to claim the final spot in next week's Masters.

But the hard work lies ahead for Hoffman. The three-time PGA Tour winner from San Diego hasn't held up well on the weekends this season after giving himself good opportunities to claim titles. Closing 75s in his last two stroke-play tournaments even knocked him out of likely top-10 finishes.

"I've shot 3 or 4 over on the back nine on Sunday when I've been going from winning the golf tournament to 12th or 15th place," Hoffman said. "I've played fairly solidly from the start of the year to now and haven't been missing cuts, but I haven't been able to put four rounds together. Hopefully I can do that this week."

Hoffman birdied the first four holes of his back nine - the course's front nine - then added another birdie on No. 8 to break out of what had been a four-way tie for first place with Dustin Johnson, Roberto Castro and Scott Brown, who all shot 65s.

"You always want to get off to a good start in any tournament," Johnson said. "Today I got off to a great start. I still feel like I'm playing really solid, rolling the putter good."


Shell Houston Open: Articles, photos and videos


His round included two bogeys but ended with an eagle on 8 and a birdie on 9. Regarding the former, he said: "I hit two great shots. Hit a perfect drive down the left side of the fairway and a great 4-iron in there to about 10 feet, then holed the putt."

Castro, playing consistently from start to finish, produced seven birdies and no bogeys while missing only two fairways. It was a marked turnaround from what he called "rough Thursdays in my last two tournaments," when he opened with 75s in the Valspar Championships and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Former Houston champion Johnson Wagner, who won in 2008 and got into a Sunday playoff here last spring, was another shot back at 66, tied with four other players. Among the large group finishing with 67s was the reigning Masters champion Jordan Spieth, who was also part of the Sunday playoff in 2015 with Wagner and eventual champion J. B. Holmes.

Holmes pulled out of this year's field on Wednesday night because of a shoulder problem.

Spieth, who hasn't won a title since January and surrendered his world No. 1 ranking to Jason Day on Sunday when Day won the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play competition in Austin, said he "drove the ball fantastic today (and) really felt comfortable on my iron shots. I had very, very good control of my golf game and my short game was there today as well."

Former Masters champions Phil Mickelson, Charl Schwartzel and Angel Cabrera all posted 69s.

The 39-year-old Hoffman has been on the PGA Tour since 2006 and won most recently two years ago in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

"I was really relaxed and played well today," Hoffman said, while adding, "but I learned a long time ago you enter golf tournaments to try to win them, not try to make cuts. Making cuts is a great thing, but we play to win, not to base a resume off cuts."

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.