Langer goes for three Champions Tour majors

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2010, 4:35 am

SUNRIVER, Ore. – Bernhard Langer has a chance to join rare company on the Champions Tour.

The Jeld-Wen Tradition begins Thursday in central Oregon and Langer is going after his third consecutive Champions’ major at the Tradition, the tour’s fourth of five majors this year.

Earlier this summer, Langer won the Senior British Open and U.S. Senior Open on consecutive weeks.

Gary Player is the only player in Champions Tour history to win three consecutive majors. He won the final two of 1987 (Players, U.S. Senior Open), and the first major of 1988 (Senior PGA).

A victory at Sunriver’s Crosswater Club would have Langer joining Jack Nicklaus as the only player to win three majors in a single season. In 1991, Nicklaus won the Senior PGA, Senior Open and Tradition.

“I’m coming in here obviously trying to win and play as well as I can. I’m not coming in to break records,” Langer said.

Perhaps the Champions Tour record book isn’t incentive, but this may be: a berth on Europe’s Ryder Cup team. Europe captain Colin Montgomerie recently said he was considering the 53-year-old Langer as one of his captain’s picks.

“If he gives me a call and he think I’m the one he wants on the team to strengthen the team, then I will most likely be ready to go and be excited about it,” said Langer, whose last Ryder Cup competition was 2002. “If he feels he has three guys that are better than me, I’ll accept that, too.”

Langer, who tied for 17th and seventh in his previous two Tradition appearances at Crosswater, wasn’t certain about the state of his game. Langer said he spent most of last week resting, recovering from an illness.

A field of 68, including 39 of this season’s top 40 money-winners, will challenge Langer for the Tradition’s first prize of $392,000. The only prominent player missing is Fred Couples, ranked second behind Langer in the Champions Tour’s Charles Schwab Cup standings. Couples opted to play in this week’s PGA Tour event, the Wyndham Championship.

“Bernhard has done very well, but to me, there’s quite a large group of players out here who are capable,” said Tom Lehman, who won the Champions’ other major, the Senior PGA Championship. “Bernhard has won three (actually, four) times, but has probably played 14 or 15 tournaments, so he’s not winning everything.”

The Tradition field includes defending champion Mike Reid, and three players who have been prominent in three previous Traditions at Crosswater in Tom Watson, Fred Funk and Loren Roberts.

Funk won the 2008 tournament and finished eighth and 11th in the other two. Watson and Roberts finished among the top seven during the past three Traditions.

Crosswater Club is the longest course on the Champions Tour at 7,533 yards, but the past two winners, Reid and Funk, are nowhere near the longest hitters on tour.

“I didn’t think it played long last year,” Lehman said of Crosswater. “There’s a nice blend of holes you can really attack, and some holes where you’d better be careful.”

Earlier in August, Jeld-Wen announced it was ending an eight-year sponsorship of the Tradition. The tour is expected to announce its plans for the Tradition’s future following the tournament.

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.

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.