Lehman pulls away to win Champions Tour title

By Associated PressApril 4, 2011, 2:43 am
Champions Tour

SAUCIER, Miss. – Tom Lehman made things look easy while taking the lead at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. Holding on for the victory proved a little more difficult.

Lehman won his second Champions Tour title of the season Sunday, closing with a 3-under 69 at Fallen Oak.

“It was hard-earned,” Lehman said. “As nice as yesterday was, today was rugged with the wind the way it was blowing. I thought some of the holes, especially on the front nine against the wind were really difficult.”

Lehman, who won the Allianz Championship in February, started the day with a one-stroke lead over Jeff Sluman and bogeyed the first hole to briefly fall into a tie.

Lehman didn’t make many more mistakes, with five birdies despite windy conditions that made for a more difficult challenge than Saturday, when Lehman shot a course-record 64. The 1996 British Open champion’s methodically effective performance after the first hole wasn’t interrupted until a bogey on 18.

After two days of nearly ideal weather conditions on the course, Sunday brought variable wind that occasionally gusted to 25 mph. Lehman managed to stay out of trouble, hitting 13 out of 14 fairways and staying out of the deep bunkers that line most of the holes.

Once Lehman navigated the front nine without any serious trouble, he felt good about his chances to win.

“The back nine has more opportunities to score,” Lehman said. “Even if someone ahead started making a run, I was going to be able to play the same holes and there were some real birdie opportunities. So I felt comfortable.”

Lehman finished the tournament at 16 under, winning $240,000 of the $1.6 million purse. It’s his fourth career Champions Tour victory and extends his lead in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. He’s also first on the Champions Tour money list with $718,038.

Sluman (72), Nick Price (67) and David Frost (69) tied for second, four shots back. Hale Irwin tied for seventh, earning his 200th top-10 finish on the Champions Tour.

Lehman continues a run of exceptional golf, with 12 straight rounds in the 60s.

“Going into this week I was playing well and I had a good week of practice, so I expected to have a good week,” Lehman said. “You never predict a victory, but I did feel that the course probably fit my style. Guys have been telling me for a year that I needed to come here and play.”

Sluman stayed close for most of the afternoon, but slowly lost ground as multiple birdie putts wouldn’t fall. He played better on the back nine, with birdies on 15 and 17 to pull within three strokes.

“I needed something like that earlier in the round to get a little momentum and get Tom thinking,” Sluman said. “We didn’t do it, (Lehman) did it and he definitely was the best guy this week.”

Any chance Sluman had to make things interesting on 18 disappeared when his errant tee shot ended up behind Fallen Oak’s signature tree, a warped oak that provides a difficult obstacle. His next shot was short and went in the water, leading to a double bogey.

Sluman shot even par on Sunday after back-to-back 66s in the first and second rounds.

Despite the rough finish, he was encouraged by his performance. Both Frost and Sluman said the wind made the course difficult not just because of its intensity, but because it was coming from a different direction than the rest of the week.

“It was really demanding out there,” Sluman said. “It was a fun, really fair test of golf. It’s really what we kind of treasure. You don’t want to have this every day of your life, because you’d be in the funny farm. But occasionally, especially on Sunday, it’s a terrific challenge.”

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.