Hull, Nordqvist share Bahamas LPGA lead; Jang aces par 4

By Associated PressJanuary 30, 2016, 11:07 pm

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas - Charley Hull and Anna Nordqvist shared the lead Saturday in the season-opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, and Ha Na Jang had the first hole-in-one on a par 4 in tour history.

Hull made a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th to match European Solheim Cup teammate Nordqvist at 12-under 207 in breezy but calmer conditions at the Ocean Club. The 19-year-old Hull, from England, had a 4-under 69. Nordqvist, from Sweden, also birdied the 18th for a 68.

''It's a little different because, obviously, it's been really windy, so I got used to playing in that wind.'' Hull said. ''And today the first couple holes I think I was allowing too much of the wind and there wasn't that much up there.''

Jang made the albatross on the eighth hole, at a mere 218 yards playing at a distance normally considered a par 3. Her 3-wood shot into light wind landed a yard in front of the green and rolled in.

''I don't see the ball finish, but my dad was, 'Oh, you made it,''' Jang said. ''It's unbelievable. Amazing.''

She was disappointed that she didn't win a car.

''A new car, please. A car, please,'' Jang said. ''I wanted a car. I need a car.''

The South Korean player was five strokes back after a 68.

Winless in 30 career LPGA starts, Hull birdied four of her last eight holes. She had a bit of an adventure Friday night at dinner when a candle burned her napkin.

''I was like, 'Oh, good thing we didn't have the pizza because it smells a bit burny,''' Hull said. ''I looked down and there's this hole like growing bigger and bigger and bigger, and I'm like, 'Sheez!''' So I patted it out.''

Nordqvist rebounded after hitting a wedge approach long into the water for a bogey on the par-5 11th. She won the ShopRite LPGA Classic last year in New Jersey for her fifth LPGA title.

''I'm really excited,'' Nordqvist said. ''I really had zero expectations coming into this week. It's the first tournament of the year. I'm just excited to be back playing. Put in a lot of work this winter.''

Third-ranked Stacy Lewis, defending champion Sei Young Kim and Hyo Joo Kim were a stroke back. Lewis birdied the 18th for a 67, and Sei Young Kim and Hyo Joo Kim shot 68.

Lewis won the last of her 11 LPGA titles in June 2014, a 39-event drought that includes eight runner-up finishes.

''I think tomorrow is supposed to be even less wind, maybe a little more calm,'' Lewis said. ''So, you're going to have to make some birdies. You're going to have to shoot a good score, but you're not trying to force things. That's the biggest thing for me tomorrow is just to stay patient and trust my golf swing.''

Sei Young Kim birdied the 18th after losing the lead with a double bogey on the par-4 16th. On 16, she drove left in palm trees, chipped out through the fairway and into the rough, and hit her third over the green into bushes that line the water. She made a 12-foot putt to save double bogey.

''The tee shot was a bad choice,'' Sei Young Kim said about her decision to use a driver. ''I'm very disappointed there. I'm OK. I have a one-day tomorrow.''

Hyo Joo Kim chipped in for eagle on 18.

Megan Khang, playing her first event as an LPGA member, was two shots back along with 2013 winner Ilhee Lee. The 18-year-old Khang, from Rockland, Massachusetts, had a 71 after shooting a 68 on Friday for a share of the lead with Hull and Haru Nomura.

''Wind was definitely better today,'' Khang said. ''So much the driving and approach shots, so much the putting, I just couldn't find a putt to drop. ... I definitely am excited for tomorrow.''

Lee shot a 66.

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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.