Hot putter gives Aussie OHern top spot at Fryscom

By Associated PressOctober 23, 2009, 5:18 am

PGA TourSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Brandishing a hot putter on a warm afternoon, Australian Nick O’Hern cruised to a career-low 63 and the first-round lead in the Open on Thursday.

O’Hern, who finished at 7 under, putted only nine times while posting a 28 on the par-35 back nine at Grayhawk Golf Club. Eight of O’Hern’s nine birdies came in that stretch.

“Pretty scary,” O’Hern said. “I’ve never done that before. I was pretty happy.”

Bob Heintz and Heath Slocum were a stroke back at 64, and D.A. Points, Rory Sabbatini, Greg Owen and Rickie Fowler shot 65s.

Fred Couples, who captained the United States to victory in the Presidents Cup earlier this month, shot a 67 in his first tour round in seven weeks.

With little wind on an 82-degree day in the desert, scores fell as players attacked Grayhawk’s Raptor Course.

Scores may keep dropping for the rest of the week. Temperatures are expected to reach the high 80s in each of the final three rounds.

“It’s like playing indoors,” said Paul Goydos, who shot a 66 to finish in a 15-way tie for eighth place. “The weather is too good. I would expect you’re going to see a pretty bunched leaderboard all week.”

Indeed, O’Hern had to shoot the round of his life to eke out a one-stroke lead.

O’Hern may best be known as the first player to beat Tiger Woods twice in match play as a professional. The short-hitting lefty from Australian beat the world’s No. 1 in the Accenture Match Play Championship in 2005 and in 2007, and fans haven’t forgotten.

“A lot of people don’t know my name,” O’Hern said. “Hey, that’s the guy that beat Tiger twice.”

O’Hern probably could have taken Woods down again on Thursday – at least on the back nine.

O’Hern hit the turn at even par, then caught fire. He birdied six straight holes before bogeying the par-3 16th when his tee shot rolled off the bank of the green and into the water.

“It wasn’t actually a bad shot, but the result was bad,” O’Hern said.

He recovered to birdie the final two holes.

His longest putts were a 48-footer on the par-4 12th and a 20-footer on the par-4 17th.

O’Hern has never won a PGA Tour event, and he missed the cut in nine of his first 25 tournaments this year. O’Hern struggled to bounce back from offseason surgery on his left thumb and his right knee.

“That kind of held my progress back at the start of the year,” O’Hern said. “I had a bit of a late start.”

Heintz, also winless on the Tour, missed the cut in eight of his first 18 starts this year.

Heintz professed not to know that he was 171st on the money list – and it’s not because he struggles with numbers. Heintz graduated from Yale with a degree in economics in 1992.

“If I was over $1 million, I would look at it every day and smile,” Heintz said. “But you know, when you’re where I am, I don’t think it really helps you to.”

The Open has a $5 million purse, with the winner taking home $900,000.

Couples said he decided to play in the tournament partly because his girlfriend, Julie, lives in the area, and also because it wasn’t far from his home in Palm Springs.

“My whole thought process was just, I live four hours from here in Palm Springs, I might as well drive over here and play,” Couples said.

Thursday’s round was Couples’ first tour appearance since he missed the cut in the Deutsche Bank Championship in September.

Couples wasn’t sure how he’d shoot after the long layoff, but he birdied five holes in a six-hole stretch to play his way into contention.

“I’m absolutely thrilled with my round today,” Couples said. “I have a shot at playing better than I thought going into Friday.”

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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.