Kane welcomes evolution of womens golf

By Associated PressAugust 26, 2010, 3:58 am

LPGA Tour _newWINNIPEG, Manitoba – LPGA veteran Lorie Kane of Canada sees a lot of change in the evolution of her sport.

Gone are the days when Americans and Europeans dominated the LPGA Tour. This year 126 active players represent 28 different countries, with almost half hailing from Asia.

There’s also been an influx of youth.

The average age of the top 10 players heading into this week’s Canadian Women’s Open at St. Charles Country Club is 24. Japan’s Ai Miyazato, the No. 1 player on the Rolex World Rankings list, is just 25.

Players can’t get their LPGA card until they’re 18, but many are turning pro in their teens and playing on sponsors’ exemptions.

Kane welcomes the new look.

“I think it’s great,” said the 45-year-old native of Charlottetown. “It means that women’s golf across the world, not just across Canada and the U.S., is strong. I think that needs to be the fact to continue to grow the brand of the LPGA Tour.”

This week’s tournament – the only LPGA stop in Canada – begins Thursday with a field of 156 players, including 48 of the top 50 on the money list.

Those making the cut after 36 holes will vie on the weekend for part of the US$2.25 million purse, including $337,500 for the winner.

No Canadian made the cut at last year’s event in Calgary and 14 will try to change that this weekend. The last Canadian to win an LPGA Tour event on home soil was Jocelyne Bourassa in 1973.

Alena Sharp is the country’s top-ranked player. She’s ranked 112th in the world and has earned $113,340 this year (53rd on the money list).

Sharp, 29, also believes the diversity of passports is good for the game, but she thinks young golfers would benefit more if they got a post-secondary education before turning pro.

“Because our schedule is so diminished right now, it’s better to stay in school for the four years and then get a degree and then come out here,” said Sharp, who turned pro after graduating from New Mexico State in 2003 with a marketing degree.

“In a couple more years, our tournaments will be back up. There’s really no point, unless you’re a phenom and you don’t want to go to school and you’re winning everything, I think you should stay in school.”

There are fewer tournaments on the schedule these days. Tour commissioner Michael Whan admits the recession has hit the LPGA Tour hard.

“But I feel comfortable telling you that we’ll play more in 2011 than we played in 2010,” he said. “I feel comfortable telling you that what’s going on at the LPGA has definitely caught the attention of companies, not just in the U.S. but around the world.”

Fans in Winnipeg will get a glimpse of the future this week at St. Charles.

American Alexis Thompson will be playing on a sponsor’s exemption. The 15-year-old turned pro in June – the youngest female player to do so – and has already tied for 10th and second in two events.

Morgan Pressel, a 22-year-old Florida native, is also teeing it up.

She became the youngest player in tour history to win a major when she captured the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship at 18 years 10 months nine days.

Tour veteran Juli Inkster, 50, said the young players have raised the exposure of the game, as has holding events outside North America.

“They dress great, they dress hip, I think it’s great,” the Californian said.

And she doesn’t mind competing against girls less than half her age.

“That’s the beauty of golf, you can,” Inkster said. “You couldn’t do that in tennis or baseball.”

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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.