Leonards 64 gives him second-round lead at Disney

By Associated PressNovember 13, 2009, 11:25 pm

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP)—Justin Leonard is one of the few players notfeeling any pressure this week to secure his PGA Tour card next year.

He’s already got that in hand. That much is clear from his play.

Leonard shot an 8-under 64 in the second round of the Children’s MiracleNetwork Classic on Friday, surging to the top of the leaderboard in the finalTour event of the season.

“Any time I can come out and do that and play a nice, relaxed round wherethere’s not a lot of pressure, I’m giving myself a lot of chances,” he said.“It just makes the game easier.”

Sure seems that way.

Leonard had 11 birdies and three bogeys on a sun-baked day at Disney World,where the 15 mph winds caused problems for some players. Justine Rose and GeorgeMcNeill were two strokes back.

Leonard landed his approaches close to the pin, but he had to three-putttwice and missed a chance to extend his lead.

“On the flip side of that, I came back and birdied the next hole eachtime,” Leonard said. “I was able to hit the ball pin-high a lot, which isreally important when you’re playing in windy conditions.

Chances to lock up a tour card next year are quickly fading for others.

Only those who finish in the top 125 on the money list are guaranteed fullstatus. The next 25 will at least get conditional status and be able to entermore than a dozen tournaments.

Former world No. 1 David Duval missed the cut and was among those who willlikely lose their cards. Duval finished 5 over par and near the bottom in thetournament.

Duval’s runner-up finish at the U.S. Open this year and his 2001 BritishOpen championship will get him into the first three majors next year. But losinghis full status on tour is a demoralizing blow in a once shining career that hassputtered for nearly a decade.

“It’s not a position you want to be in,” Duval said. “It’s not fun, butreally, I haven’t been focusing on it a whole lot.”

Kevin Streelman , on the other hand, couldn’t have been happier Friday.

He won $1 million in the Kodak Challenge, a contest that designates a holeon each course and keeps score throughout the season. Streelman protected hislead on the 17th at Disney’s Magnolia course by knocking a 118-yard shot about3-feet from the pin, and he was helped with Bo Van Pelt missing the cut.

After sinking the putt, Streelman pumped his fist twice and got a hug fromNew York Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon, who was among the celebritiesplaying as an amateur. Streelman then jumped up to high-five fans sitting abovehim the bleachers.

“I wanted to close it out in style,” Streelman said. “I wanted to do itwith maybe some class. For me, I enjoy that moment, the nerves and theexcitement and the exhilaration of playing golf for a living. And then being inthat arena and atmosphere, that was pretty much the height of it thus far forme.”

Erik Compton , the two-time heart transplant recipient who made his return tothe tour at this same event last year, also missed the cut. Compton received asponsor’s exemption and finished at even-par 72. He already advanced to thesecond stage of qualifying school.

Twenty-year-old Rickie Fowler followed his dazzling first-day 66 with a 75,moving him back to a tie for 43rd place. The former Oklahoma State star istrying to join Tiger Woods as one of the few college players to bypassqualifying school in the same year by earning enough money through sponsorsexemptions. Fowler probably will need to finish in the top 10 to accomplish thatfeat.

But with only two rounds complete on a course ripe for birdies, nobody wassatisfied with his standing.

“I want to be leading after four rounds,” Leonard said. “It’s nice to putmyself in position going into the weekend, so I’m looking forward to thechallenge of putting myself in good position in order to go into the last roundand try and win the tournament.”

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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.