Justin Leonard takes lead from Justin Rose at Disney

By Associated PressNovember 14, 2009, 3:28 am

PGA TourLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Justin Leonard is one of the few players not feeling any pressure this week to secure his PGA Tour card next year.

He’s already got that in hand. That much is clear from his play.

Leonard shot an 8-under 64 in the second round of the Children’s Miracle Network Classic on Friday, surging to the top of the leaderboard in the final Tour event of the season.

“Any time I can come out and do that and play a nice, relaxed round where there’s not a lot of pressure, I’m giving myself a lot of chances,” he said. “It just makes the game easier.”

Sure seems that way.

Leonard had 11 birdies and three bogeys on a sun-baked day at Disney World, where the 15 mph winds caused problems for some players. Justine Rose and George McNeill were two strokes back.

Leonard landed his approaches close to the pin, but he had to three-putt twice and missed a chance to extend his lead.

“On the flip side of that, I came back and birdied the next hole each time,” Leonard said. “I was able to hit the ball pin-high a lot, which is really important when you’re playing in windy conditions.

Chances to lock up a Tour card next year are quickly fading for others.

Only those who finish in the top 125 on the money list are guaranteed full status. The next 25 will at least get conditional status and be able to enter more than a dozen tournaments.

Former world No. 1 David Duval missed the cut and was among those who will likely lose their cards. Duval finished 5 over par and near the bottom in the tournament.

Duval’s runner-up finish at the U.S. Open this year and his 2001 British Open championship will get him into the first three majors next year. But losing his full status on Tour is a demoralizing blow in a once shining career that has sputtered for nearly a decade.

“It’s not a position you want to be in,” Duval said. “It’s not fun, but really, I haven’t been focusing on it a whole lot.”

Kevin Streelman, on the other hand, couldn’t have been happier Friday.

He won $1 million in the Kodak Challenge, a contest that designates a hole on each course and keeps score throughout the season. Streelman protected his lead on the 17th at Disney’s Magnolia course by knocking a 118-yard shot about 4 feet from the pin, and he was helped with Bo Van Pelt missing the cut.

After sinking the putt, Streelman pumped his fist twice and got a hug from New York Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon, who was among the celebrities playing as an amateur. Streelman then jumped up to high-5 fans sitting above him the bleachers.

“I wanted to close it out in style,” Streelman said. “I wanted to do it with maybe some class. For me, I enjoy that moment, the nerves and the excitement and the exhilaration of playing golf for a living. And then being in that arena and atmosphere, that was pretty much the height of it thus far for me.”

Erik Compton, the two-time heart transplant recipient who made his return to the Tour at this same event last year, also missed the cut. Compton received a sponsor’s exemption and finished at even-par 72. He already advanced to the second stage of Q-School.

Twenty-year-old Rickie Fowler followed his dazzling first-day 66 with a 75, moving him back to a tie for 43rd place. The former Oklahoma State star is trying to join Tiger Woods as one of the few college players to bypass qualifying school in the same year by earning enough money through sponsors exemptions. Fowler probably will need to finish in the top 10 to accomplish that feat.

But with only two rounds complete on a course ripe for birdies, nobody was satisfied with his standing.

“I want to be leading after four rounds,” Leonard said. “It’s nice to put myself in position going into the weekend, so I’m looking forward to the challenge of putting myself in good position in order to go into the last round and try and win the tournament.”

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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.