Leonard Moves Four Clear at Hope

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007 Bob Hope Chrysler ClassicPALM DESERT, Calif. -- Justin Leonard fell into the common golf trap of thinking too much and tinkering with his game before he finally snapped out of it last summer.
 
Having regained his confidence and his game, Leonard has played extremely well this week in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, with his 6-under 66 Saturday good for a four-shot lead in the event he won in 2005.
 
Asked about his steady play and accurate ball-striking during the first four rounds, he said, 'Yeah, it's because I don't have a lot of conscious thoughts going on right now with my golf game.
 
'I know I'm not going to hit every shot perfect or the way I want to, but I know I'm going to hit a good number of them that way; not perfect, but the way I want to.'
 
Leonard went to 23-under 265 through 72 holes of the five-day Hope.
 
Anthony Kim (66), Kenny Perry (66), D.J. Trahan (70) and Robert Gamez (71) were tied for second at 19 under.
 
Former British Open champion Leonard said he wants to be steady again over the final 18 holes.
 
'I think that's my real challenge, to just go out and play with the same confidence and attitude and demeanor that I've played with the last four days,' he said.
 
The first four rounds of the Hope are a pro-am played over four different courses. The low-scoring 70 pros and ties play the final round at the Classic Club.
 
Leonard began the fourth round in a second-place tie with Trahan, one shot back of Gamez. Leonard moved in front when he rolled in a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 13 to reach 20 under.
 
He hit a 4-wood from 247 yards to within 6 feet on the 561-yard par-5 14th and made that putt to widen his lead to three shots. He capped his day at the Classic Club with a 1-foot birdie putt on No. 18.
 
Gamez also played at the Classic Club. Kim was at La Quinta Country Club, and Trahan and Perry at PGA West.
 
Leonard took the Hope title in 2005 with a closing 67 to finish at 25-under 335, good for a three-shot victory over Tim Clark and Joe Ogilvie.
 
The 22-year-old Kim, beginning his second full year on the tour, said Leonard's lead is imposing, but not impossible to overcome.
 
'Four shots is a lot of shots. You never know what can happen, though,' Kim said. 'Hopefully my game will be sharp and the birdies will come. I need to play well on the front nine and make some birdies on those holes.
 
'If I get off to that kind of start, I'll be ready to go.'
 
Kim said he is a friend and admirer of Leonard's, and Leonard thinks highly of him, too.
 
'I know a lot about Anthony and I love his game,' Leonard said. 'I like the things that he's doing off the course. He's got an unbelievable future.'
 
While this year's tournament is missing the top 23 players in the world rankings, Leonard's name atop the leaderboard provides some star power. He has won 11 times on the tour, including the 1997 British Open.
 
The 35-year-old former University of Texas standout won the Texas Open last year for his most recent victory. He's coming off a tie for eighth in the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship.
 
DIVOTS
Among those missing the cut, with scores of 282 and higher out, was Daniel Chopra at 284. He won the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship. David Duval, whose tour record-tying 59 on the final day gave him the 1999 Hope title, missed the cut by 16 shots this time. He shot 73-77-73-74. ... Leonard's first four rounds didn't vary much, as he had cards of 68-64-67-66. ... Gamez said of his day: 'I got my bad round out of the way, for sure. If you're going to have a bad round, 71 is not that bad. In this tournament it is, but luckily I had the lead starting, so I could get away with one.'
 
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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 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.