Kaymer closing in European Tour money title

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2010, 7:00 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – After struggling in Singapore and missing last week’s Hong Kong Open, PGA champion Martin Kaymer is counting on a victory in this week’s Dubai World Championship to clinch his first European Tour money title.

The $7.5 million season-ending tournament in the Race to Dubai series starts Thursday with the German leading Graeme McDowell by ?290,911 ($395,395) and top-ranked Lee Westwood by ?921,787 ($1.25 million) in the 60-player field.

McDowell, the U.S. Open champion, is the only other player who could catch the 25-year-old Kaymer. McDowell could capture the title by winning the tournament or ending up alone in second as long as Kaymer finishes no higher than a tie for third. A tie for second means Kaymer could finish as low as sixth.

Kaymer, who skipped the Hong Kong Open to rest up for Dubai, called this week “the biggest of my career so far” and said winning would complete three goals he set for himself – to win a major, win the Ryder Cup and become the No. 1 golfer in Europe.

“So two-thirds are done and hopefully this week I can win the Race To Dubai and become the No. 1 in Europe,” he said. “So then I have done everything in one year. It would be fantastic.”

Kaymer knows he doesn’t have to win the tournament outright but admits that he can’t rely on McDowell to falter. McDowell finished fifth at the Hong Kong Open after closing with a 68 and has picked up his game in recent weeks. He claimed the winning point in the Ryder Cup and has since won the Andalucia Masters.

“I don’t need to win but that is my goal,” Kaymer said. “I can’t rely on Graeme playing bad. I mean he’s been playing great golf in the last few weeks.”

McDowell closed the gap on Kaymer with his performance in Hong Kong and is peaking at the right moment.

“Of course, I’m within touching distance now and I’ve got to play well, simple as that,” McDowell said in a statement. “I can’t control Martin’s golf ball—only mine. I’m going to go and play my own game and see what happens. I have a few things to brush up on but all in all I’m feeling really good about my game. I’m playing well enough to win.”

Westwood, who has struggled with injuries in recent months and is still not 100 percent, cannot win the Race To Dubai. But he could muddy the waters if he plays even close to the way he did last year in winning the tournament. Westwood shot an 8-under 64 in the final round at the Earth Course to finish at 23-under 265 to become Europe’s No. 1 golfer.

He could theoretically finish second this year in the Race To Dubai with a solid finish but acknowledged he would have liked the chance to defend his title.

“I’m disappointed, obviously,” he said, adding that his No. 1 status has cushioned the blow somewhat.

“I can sit back and have a slight grin being world No. 1,” he said. “I’m not going to lose sleep over it, but I would liked to have had the chance to defend the European crown this week. It would have made it more exciting for everybody.”

Much as the No. 1 status has raised Westwood’s profile, Kaymer said that more “people on the street recognize me” since he won his major and that he “gets invited to more shows, TV shows which is great.”

He said that he hopes to emulate Westwood’s climb which started with the top spot in Europe last year and then his replacing Tiger Woods as the world No. 1 a few weeks ago.

As for Woods, Kaymer expects he will be back “when he has sorted out everything” and said he would be no match for the man should he ever return to the form that saw him tearing up courses just two or three years ago.

“I think if people leave him alone a little bit, then I think he will play great golf again,” Kaymer said. “I look forward to that challenge. You know, it’s just nice to play against the best player in the world, in his top form, and then you can match yourself and see how you have to improve or how close you can get or maybe you get lucky one day and win.”

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.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.