Late eagle propels Martin to first Tour win

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2014, 12:51 am

LAS VEGAS - Ben Martin made a 45-foot eagle putt to regain the lead and finished with a 20-foot birdie putt for a 3-under 68 and his first PGA Tour victory Sunday in the Shriners Hospital for Children Open.

Martin played his final four holes at the TPC Summerlin in 4-under par, though no shot was more important than the eagle.

Kevin Streelman ran off five birdies in a six-hole stretch to overtake Martin for the lead, and Streelman hit a wedge into 5 feet on the 18th hole. Martin, who led by as many as four shots on the back nine, hit a 6-iron over the water to the back of the green on the par-5 16th.

His eagle putt broke back to the left over the final few feet and dropped in the cup to put Martin back in the lead.

Moments later, Streelman missed his short birdie attempt.

Martin two-putted for par on the 17th, and then rolled in a birdie putt he didn't need for a two-shot victory. The 27-year-old from South Carolina won in his 56th career start.

''It was an awesome way to finish,'' Martin said. ''I didn't feel like I had much going all day. Four under on my last four to cap my first win was just awesome.''

Martin finished at 20-under 264 and returns to the Masters, this time as a pro. He played Augusta National in 2010 as the U.S. Amateur runner-up.


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Streelman set a PGA Tour record in June when he closed with seven straight birdies to win the Travelers Championship. He was headed down that path again with a string of birdies until he missed his last putt on the low side of the hole. He closed with a 65.

''I tried not to look at the leaderboard,'' Streelman said. ''It was kind of like Travelers. I had to make as many (birdies) as possible as quickly as possible.''

Russell Knox, who played in the final group with Martin, took a double bogey on No. 9 to fall back. He made three straight birdies late in the round, and then made a tough par putt on the 18th for a 70 to finish alone in third.

Defending champion Webb Simpson (68), Brooks Koepka (68) and Jimmy Walker (69) tied for fourth, four shots behind.

Martin had a four-shot lead after 10 holes when he pulled his tee shot behind a tree and dropped a shot at the 11th, and Streelman began his run of his birdies. Martin finally answered with a drive that hopped onto the green at the par-4 15th that set up a two-putt birdie, and then he made good on his second straight eagle attempt.

It was a quick turnaround for Martin, who opened the PGA Tour season last week at the Frys.com Open with rounds of 78-79 to miss the cut. He took the lead in Las Vegas with a 62 in the third round to take a two-shot lead into the final round.

Martin said he tried not to look at leaderboards even though ''my heart was beating out of my chest.''

''I tried to keep plugging along and let it happen,'' he said.

Streelman didn't look at leaderboards either, although he couldn't ignore the one behind the 18th green. He heard the cheers from the 16th green as he was lining up his birdie putt on the 18th, not realizing at the time it was Martin making eagle.

''I saw I was 1 up on the 18th green, and then I saw I was 1 down,'' Streelman said.

DIVOTS: Jarrod Lyle of Australia, in his second PGA Tour start since his return from leukemia, closed with a 69 to tie for 42nd. Lyle now heads back to Australia to play his home circuit for the rest of the year. ... Koepka and Hideki Matsuyama both finished in the top 10 in their first two PGA Tour starts this year.

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.