Lewis prevails in Arkansas for third win of year

By Associated PressJune 29, 2014, 11:39 pm

ROGERS, Ark. – Stacy Lewis has worked tirelessly over her career to embrace the overwhelming support in her adopted state of Arkansas.

The recovering introvert finally found a way to do so while overcoming her self-imposed pressure Sunday - shooting a 6-under 65 and rallying for a much-sought after official win in the NW Arkansas Championship.

Lewis earned an unofficial rain-shortened win at the tournament as an amateur in 2007, but she had struggled to match that effort since as her popularity - and ranking - soared.

She earned $300,000 for her third LPGA Tour victory of the year, but more importantly the 11-time winner earned a welcomed sigh of relief in front of a college-like atmosphere full of fans cheering for the former four-time All-American at Arkansas.

''When I first came here to school, I was extremely shy, and I think I've definitely grown out of that over the years,'' Lewis said. ''I've just found that the more I interact with fans, it makes me more relaxed, and enjoying it more is what I'm trying to do.''

The top-ranked and native Texan secured the one-stroke win with a 7-foot birdie putt on the final hole at Pinnacle Country Club. The putt capped a stretch of three birdies over her final four holes, helping the two-time major winner finish at 12-under 201 - one shot ahead of 17-year-old Lydia Ko, Cristie Kerr and Angela Stanford.



Kerr had a chance to match Lewis at 12 under with a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th. However, her putt came up short.

Then, after So Yeon Ryu failed to make an eagle on the final hole, Lewis' win was secured. Ryu ended up fifth at 10 under after a 69.

Lewis' final putt resulted in a huge ovation from the pro-Arkansas gallery as well as a fist pump and sigh of relief from the local favorite. Her after-party inside Pinnacle Country Club included a hug from Arkansas women's golf coach Shauna Estes-Taylor, among others, and chants of ''Stacy's No. 1.''

''This place just means so much to me,'' Lewis said. ''So, to win here, it's just crazy how far I've come ... It's just really, really special to win here.''

Michelle Wie began the final round with a two-shot lead after back-to-back 5-under 66s, but she missed short birdie putts on the first two holes and struggled to a 1-over front nine - capped by a three-putt bogey on the ninth.

She finished with a 73 on Sunday to tie for eighth at 8 under.

The whirlwind media tour following last week's win at the U.S. Women's Open appeared to finally catch up with Wie, who followed her bogey on No. 9 with bogeys on Nos. 10 and 11 to effectively end her contention. She finished with 35 putts after needing 28 the first round and 29 in the second.

With Wie coming back to the field, several players climbed up the leaderboard and into contention on the back nine - with Lewis, Ko, Kerr and Stanford part of a four-way tie atop the leaderboard at one point.

Kerr was a group behind Lewis and had chances to take the lead, but she left birdie putts short on the par-3 17th and final hole. She and Stanford finished with final-round 67s, while Ko shot 65 to be a part of the threesome that earned $141,128 for second place.

''It didn't go wrong, it just didn't go right enough,'' Kerr said.

Lewis won the Shoprite Classic this month as well as the North Texas Shootout in May.

Lewis was tied for the lead entering the final round last year before finishing in a tie for fourth, but her final birdie spree finally secured her sought-after win Sunday.

''(Lewis) is playing some awesome golf,'' Ko said. ''She's having consistent top 10s like Michelle, and I think it's great that we're playing in her hometown, and the best thing is she's world No. 1 and they're proud to say it.''

Lewis began the tournament 2 over after her first four holes Friday, but she closed by shooting 14 under over her final 68 holes.

She took advantage of the opening with Wie's stumble and vaulted into the solo lead at 11 under with a birdie on the par-4 16th.

Ko and Kerr answered with birdies to climb back to part of a three-way tie at 11 under, but Lewis had the last answer - a 7-foot left-to-right birdie putt on No. 18. It was one of only 25 putts on Sunday for Lewis, who needed only 24 in the second round.

It was just the start of the celebration for Lewis and her legion of Arkansas fans.

''That's why I play,'' Lewis said.

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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.