Kerr looks to maintain perfection at Womens Open

By Associated PressJuly 8, 2010, 12:49 am

2010 U.S. Women

OAKMONT, Pa. – Cristie Kerr isn’t trying to improve on perfection. She’s only trying to maintain it.

Difficult? No doubt. But difficult is a word that will be tossed around frequently at Oakmont Country Club during the U.S. Women’s Open that Kerr is favored to win, if only because it’s difficult right now to pick anyone else.

Kerr was so in control, so dominating, so far out in front for most of the LPGA Championship that she won by 12 shots two weeks ago at Locust Valley, she brought back memories of Tiger Woods’ 15-shot win in the 2000 U.S. Open and his 12-shot victory in the 1997 Masters.

But while there’s always a month between majors in men’s golf, the even-bigger Women’s Open is occurring only two weeks after the LPGA. The 156-golfer field will start play Thursday on one of America’s signature – and most sinister – courses.

For Kerr, it means there’s been little time to lose her game, her immense confidence or her momentum. However, any U.S. Open course, especially one as historically challenging as Oakmont, can be an effective equalizer.

That’s one of Kerr’s goals as she tries to win the major that eluded her at Saucon Valley a year ago, when she led the U.S. Women’s Open after 36 and 54 holes but couldn’t hold off South Korea’s Eun-Hee Ji to win. And that’s to make the biggest tournament of the year like the LPGA Championship, when Kerr was challenged more by the course than she was by the rest of the field.

“I feel great,” she said. “I feel like I’ve worked for this my whole life. I feel like I’ve worked for it and it’s coming true. It’s so great that I got there, but now it’s time to just keep doing the things that got me there.”

Kerr, 2009 Kraft Nabisco winner Brittany Lincicome and LPGA driving distance leader Michelle Wie might be the American golfers best positioned to win the Women’s Open, a tournament that’s been won four of the last five years by an international golfer. Only two of the top 10- and five of the top 20-ranked women’s golfers are American.

Everyone in the Top 20 is at Oakmont, including LPGA money leader Ai Miyazato, a four-time winner this year.

To American golf icon Arnold Palmer, who attended Wednesday’s practice rounds, Kerr is exactly what U.S. golf needs to stand up to the ever-increasing domination by international golfers. Three South Korean golfers have won the Women’s Open since 2005, including Ji.

“It is important that the American girls make a point, and Cristie has helped do that by being No. 1,” Palmer said.

Kerr’s No. 1 world ranking is the first by an American golfer since the rankings begin.

“I’ve got to somehow – and I’m working on that – keep my expectations low and just try to do my job out there,” said Kerr, who understands that the winning score at Oakmont won’t be anything like her 19-under last month.

Five over? Seven over? Even par? There are widely varying estimates what it will take to win at Oakmont.

However, the USGA’s Mike Davis said that, other than shaving 600 yards off the course, Oakmont is playing about the same as it did for the men’s 2007 U.S. Open won by Angel Cabrera at 5-over.

“Some of the players that maybe don’t see championship golf on a regular basis, you may see scores up in the 90s,” Davis said.


The 477-yard No. 9 hole, a par-4 for the men, will be a par-5 for the women, but there aren’t many other changes other than slightly wider fairways and not-as-thick rough.

Everything else is the same: The greens that drop precipitously and seem as fast as billiard tables, with even well-placed shots capable of skipping off them. The more than 200 shot-swallowing bunkers, including the famous Church Pews that stretch for more than 100 yards between the No. 3 and 4 fairways.

“Listen, we’re going to have the women play three years after the men,” Davis said. “Let’s try to see how the women play Oakmont and virtually try to set it up in the same manner.”

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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 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.