McDowell leads Toms Choi by one after 54 holes

By Associated PressMay 15, 2011, 7:13 pm
The Players ChampionshipPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The consolation for Graeme McDowell is he still has the lead at The Players Championship.

McDowell made a late surge as he finished the rain-delayed third round Sunday morning, building a three-shot lead with a tap-in birdie on the island-green 17th. But he was shocked to see his approach on the 18th bounce onto the green, take a hard turn to the left and roll all way into the water. He wound up with a double bogey for a 68.

Even so, that gave him a one-shot lead over K.J. Choi and David Toms going into the final round.

It set up what could be a dynamic finish, with so many top players on a course where anything can happen at any minute. That much was evident at the end of the third round.

Nick Watney lost the lead by playing a three-hole stretch in 4 over.

McDowell hit a beautiful pitch on the 16th to set up a birdie and the outright lead. Then came a wedge on the 17th that spun down the slope to within 2 feet for birdie.

He was in the right rough on the 18th, a clear look at the green that features a severe slope to the left on the front part. McDowell said he would have taken anything short or to the right, but with his draw, it headed toward the flag below the teardrop mounds, bounced onto the green with speed and caught the slope.

It looked good, but only for a second.

The ball rolled to the left, further and further away, gathering speed. Then it caught another small slope and McDowell’s jaw dropped when he saw the ball tumble over the wooden frame of the green and into the water.

“Wow!” he said to himself.

He dropped on the fringe, but left his long par putt about 6 feet short and missed that one for double bogey.

McDowell was at 12-under 204 and will play in the final threesome with Choi (67) and Toms (71). McDowell had played mistake-free, and the double bogey brought several players back into the hunt for the final 18 holes Sunday afternoon.

Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, a two-time winner on the TPC Sawgrass, avoided the calamity that hit so many others down the stretch for a 70 that put him in the group at 9-under 207 with Luke Donald (71), Jason Dufner (68), Aaron Baddeley (70), Steve Stricker (71) and Watney, who had to settle for a 72.

Donald, who can go to No. 1 in the world with a win Sunday, bogeyed the last two holes.

It was one of several missed chances on a gorgeous morning at Sawgrass.

Watney made the turn in 32 to get to 13 under and was holding steady until he pulled his tee shot so badly on the 14th that it went into the water and he had to play again from the tee. He wound up with a double bogey to fall one shot behind, then kept sliding. He came up well short of the 15th green and made bogey, then chipped through the green and into the water on the par-5 16th for bogey.

Toms, the 36-hole leader, was tied for the lead after Watney’s double bogey. But he failed to birdie the 16th, then put his tee shot on the 17th into a bunker and took two shots to reach the green for bogey.

Stricker was one shot out of the lead when he missed four putts inside 8 feet – three for birdie, one for par.

His tee shot on the 17th was perfect for the traditional Sunday hole location, only this was Sunday morning – still the third round, when the pin is in a bowl at the bottom left of the green, not top right.

That left Stricker a 55-foot putt around a ridge and down the slope, and he took bogey. From the fairway on the 18th, he badly pulled his shot to the left and into the water and did well to save bogey.

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.