Hurley leads Cabrera by 2 at Greenbrier

By Associated PressJuly 5, 2014, 10:13 pm

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Billy Hurley III doesn't plan to lose much rest sitting on a third-round lead for the first time on the PGA Tour.

The former U.S. Navy officer shot a 3-under 67 on Saturday to extend his advantage to two strokes over Angel Cabrera entering the final round of the Greenbrier Classic.

''I've been working for a long time to win on the PGA Tour,'' Hurley said. ''I figure if I shoot the lowest score tomorrow, I can't lose.''

Hurley never relinquished the lead he has held since midway through the second round at Old White TPC. He birdied the par-5 12th and par-4 13th before dropping a stroke on the par-3 15th.

He had a 12-under 198 total. No third-round leader has won the Greenbrier Classic, now in its fifth year. Playoffs have decided the tournament twice.

Cabrera shot 64. He's looking for his first non-major win on the PGA Tour.

Kevin Chappell was third at 9 under after a 69. Steve Stricker had a 68 to top the group at 8 under.

There will be more than a trophy to raise and a $1.2 million winner's check available Sunday. The four best finishers not previously eligible for the British Open among the top 12 on the final leaderboard will earn spots in the July 17-20 tournament at Royal Liverpool.


Video: Sights and sounds from Round 3 at The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier Classic: Articles, videos and photos


Hurley finished his five-year Navy service in 2009 and would still be a naval officer if golf wasn't keeping him busy. He returned to the PGA Tour this year after playing on the Web.com Tour in 2013.

He said nerves won't play a part in how he gets ready for what could be a memorable Sunday.

''I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing,'' he said. ''I just want to put my mind in position so that I can play well. I slept fine last night. The benefit of the Navy if you learn how to sleep anywhere. I think I'll sleep fine tonight, too.''

Cabrera wore an Argentine blue shirt in the third round and is riding his country's momentum in the World Cup, including Saturday's 1-0 win over Belgium to advance to the semifinal round.

''I was very happy when I found out they won,'' Cabrera said, adding that he was equally as giddy when he started his round with four birdies on the first six holes.

Old White sets up nicely for Cabrera's long drives and he made four birdie putts of 19 feet or longer.

''I was able to get the speed of the greens, and that was the big difference,'' Cabrera said.

At the Wells Fargo Championship in May, Cabrera was the second-round leader but closed with a pair of 75s.

Another under-par round Sunday would mark the first time that he has had four rounds in the 60s since the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship.

Chappell barely got anything going until making a 12-foot putt for birdie on the par-5 17th.

''I don't think I've had my best ball-striking day yet,'' he said. ''Hopefully, my putter gets hot and (it) should be fun.''

Joining Stricker in the group at 8 under were Michael Thompson (64), Cameron Tringale (64), Will Wilcox (65), Joe Durant (66), Camilo Villegas (67) and Chris Stroud (70).

Stricker, in his eighth Tour event this year, will compete next week at John Deere and is leaning against going to the British Open unless he has one or more high finishes before then.

The highlight of Stricker's third round was a bending 42-foot putt for birdie on the first hole. He was 1 over on his round at the turn before making three birdies the rest of the day.

''Anything can happen and that's the truth,'' Stricker said. ''There are not a lot of guys in between me and the lead ... but there are a ton of guys right behind us. So anybody can come out of the pack here.''

 

Getty Images

McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

Getty Images

Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

Getty Images

Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

“I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

Getty Images

Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.