Lang early leader at US Womens Open

By Associated PressJuly 9, 2010, 5:39 am

2010 U.S. Women

OAKMONT, Pa. – Brittany Lang knows what it is like to lead the U.S. Women’s Open after one round. What she is determined to do this time is be in front after the final round, too.

“It’s out there if you want it,” Lang said after her opening-round 69 made her the sole leader in the women’s national championship.

What Cristie Kerr likes is it is easily out there for her, too. Again.

Kerr, who trounced the LPGA Championship field by 12 strokes two weeks ago, was three shots off the lead going into Friday’s second round – the kind of margin that a cantankerous Oakmont Country Club can erase in a matter of moments.

Kerr was reminded immediately that winning one tournament guarantees nothing in the next when she bogeyed the first two holes. Welcome back to the Women’s Open. One hole later, the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer rallied with two birdies, and she finished with all pars except for one bogey.

Brittany Lang
Lang's opening-round 69 put her alone at the top of the U.S. Women's Open. (Getty Images)
A brilliant round? Hardly. An encouraging round? For sure.

“There’s not going to be a 19 under on this course,” Kerr said, referring to her LPGA score. “If somebody is under par at the end of the week, I’ll be surprised.”

Lang fashioned a surprise of sorts by being 2-under par after one round. As unpredictable as Oakmont’s pool table-fast greens were, and as confidence draining as the 94-degree heat was, many golfers wouldn’t have been surprised if even-par 71 would have produced a leader.

Lang was at 3 under until bogeying the final hole.

“You said it couldn’t be done, but on any golf course you can shoot a low number,” the 24-year-old Lang said. “If you’re hitting the ball good, you can for sure shoot a low score out here. But if you’re not on your game, you can shoot a big one.”

The proof: The 11-over 82 by Michelle Wie, who is ranked No. 10 in the world, and the 6-over 77 by returning champion Eun-Hee Ji. Both need the kind of round Oakmont almost never gives up merely to make it to the weekend.

“Everything,” Wie said when asked what she must do better.

Lang, the first-round leader as an amateur in 2005, and Kerr offer some hope that the U.S. might be restored to the U.S. Women’s Open. An American has won only once in five years – Kerr in 2007 – and only two U.S. golfers (Kerr and Wie) are in the Top 10.

Lang and fellow amateur-at-the-time Morgan Pressel tied for second in 2005, the same year that another then-amateur – yes, Wie – was tied for the lead after three rounds. Lang, who has won more than $2 million since then on the LPGA Tour, believes she is much better equipped now to win.

“Good scores will come if I control myself,” she said.

Or, by accepting pars on a course that can humble those determined to try for birdies – apparently, Wie’s mistake during a round in which she lost seven shots to par during one tournament-ruining, four-hole swing during his first nine.

“Even par is going to be sitting very nicely, you know, come the end of the week,” Lang said.

Paula Creamer said it is a must to adjust one’s play to a course where Stimpmeter readings on the greens are nearly 14, only slightly less than they were for the men at the 2007 U.S. Open.

“I’m playing pretty conservative,” said Creamer, who was among 14 golfers at 1-over 72. “I’m an aggressive player, and I have definitely changed the way that I play a golf course this week.”

Lang has already accomplished what some golfers believed might not happen on an historic course that’s set up much the same way it was in 2007, when Angel Cabrera won with a plus-5. And that’s shoot a round in the 60s.

“If I stay into each shot like I did, I’ll be at the top of the leaderboard,” Lang said,

The unexpected name atop that leaderboard much of the day was amateur Kelli Shean, a 22-year-old University of Arkansas golfer, Ernie Els enthusiast and a native of South Africa.

Shean gave up a shot with a bogey at No., 9 her finishing hole, and was joined by 2008 winner Inbee Park and two other Korean golfers, M.J. Hur and Amy Yang, at 1-under 70.

“I’m ecstatic to be here,” Shean said. “I didn’t expect to be here. I’m just really thankful.”

No doubt she and the rest of the 156-player field will be thankful if the predicted cold front comes through Friday and shaves 10 degrees off temperatures that climbed into the low 90s on Thursday, just as they did for each of the three practice rounds.

The heat browned Oakmont’s treacherous greens throughout the afternoon and slowed play to a pace that was dawdling at best. Mhairi McKay’s threesome, the first to hit the course, was warned about slow play only four holes into a round that lasted 5 1/2 hours.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.