LPGAs future at Kingsmill resort uncertain

By Associated PressMay 12, 2009, 4:00 pm
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RICHMOND, Va. ' Cristie Kerr made the putt that clinched her second Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill on Sunday and almost immediately began lobbying for Anheuser-Busch to renew its commitment to the tournament at the resort along Virginias James River.
 
But the beer-maker, which also owns the host Kingsmill Resort & Spa, said that while it considers the event a success, it will be months before a sponsorship decision is made.
 
Dan McHugh, the American brewers vice president of media sponsorship, said the company plans to conduct a thorough assessment of how much bang it got for its marketing buck ' a regular process that takes a minimum of 60 to 90 days.
 
In no way has a decision even been discussed or talked about until we sort of go through that assessment period and we all sit down, McHugh said at the resort, where a hovering cloud of doubt had players like Kerr lobbying all weekend.
 
Its what you hear, but I dont really know, Kerr said when asked if the prevailing chatter among players centered on their fear they were making their final visit to Kingsmill.
 
Ill play golf with whoever they want to try and keep the tournament, Kerr joked, before winning the $2.2 million tournament for the second time in its seven years in Virginia.
 
The tournament was played a week after the second-ever LPGA Summit, during which players were encouraged to do all they could to help secure sponsors going forward. The tournament seemed to highlight difficulties the tour is facing, having already lost a handful of events.
 
McHugh downplayed the looming negativity, but said the companys merger-acquisition by Belgian brewer InBev has caused a review of its sponsorship spending. He said talk that Anheuser-Busch is doing less in the way of sponsorship is false.
 
What I can tell you with this new company is we have not cut back sponsorships, McHugh said. Theres so many rumors out there that, Wow! Theyre getting out of everything, which is absolutely probably the opposite of whats going on. Theres always a continued ebb and flow with our sports marketing properties, our media sponsorships. While we might get out of something over here, were always looking at whats the new thing for the consumer.
 
The companys assessment of the event will include a look at sales of the sponsor beer in a seven-state area where there were displays geared toward the tournament, the number of $5 off admission coupons used in the immediate area, television ratings and other measures of exposure.
 
David Higdon, spokesman for the LPGA, said officials are cautiously optimistic. I think the economy has put everything in question and were fully aware of that, but this is an event that has been just been so strong for Anheuser-Busch and for the LPGA, he said.
 
The tours focus is on continuing with the tournament sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, Higdon said, but if the company does discontinue its sponsorship at Kingsmill, or if it sells the resort, the tour is hopeful the company will sponsor an event elsewhere, and also hopeful that conversations with several unidentified potential sponsors could keep the LPGA in Virginia.
 
It helps, he said, that Kingsmill and the Williamsburg area already have a history with the tour and an infrastructure in place.
 
Were talking to many companies that are looking for just these kind of events, he 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.