McIlroy goes from glory to misery

By Associated PressJuly 17, 2010, 12:39 am

135th Open Championship ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Rory McIlroy received quite a whipping from the Old Course on Friday.

A day earlier, the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland had tied the major-championship record by shooting a 9-under 63 in the first round of the British Open.

But with the wind howling – so much so that play was actually suspended for about an hour – McIlroy went tumbling down the leaderboard during the second round.

He signed for an 80.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy reacts to one of many missed putts Friday. (Getty Images)
No player had ever shot such a high score after going so low the day before in a major tournament.

“It was just very, very difficult out there,” McIlroy said. “I just let it get away from me a little bit.”

His frustration nearly boiled over at the 18th hole, when he drove up next to the green then watched his uphill putt fail to clear the ridge and roll back down. He broke into a pained smile, as if he couldn’t believe what was happening, and lined up for another whack.

This time, it held about 5 feet from the cup. McIlroy put down his marker, snatched up the ball and looked ready to scream. He gathered himself and made the par putt.

At least he’ll make the cut with a 1-under 143 total.

That was about the only thing he could take from this long, lost day at St. Andrews.

“There’s a lot of big players that have missed the cut this weekend,” said McIlroy, who went from a two-stroke lead to trailing new leader Louis Oosthuizen by a staggering 11 shots. “So at least I’m here for the weekend, which is a positive.”

The round took a turn for the worse for McIlroy when British Open officials decided to suspend play because howling winds were causing balls to wobble on the greens.

He was off to a solid start when the horn sounded, with pars on the first three holes. When he returned to the course after a delay of 1 hour, 5 minutes, he was not the same golfer.

“I don’t think they should have called us off the golf course,” he said. “When we got back out there, the conditions hadn’t changed. The wind probably got a little bit worse. It probably wasn’t a smart move.”

Suddenly, the shots that had flown so straight the day before began flying off into the tall grass lining the fairways. McIlroy had a 7-iron into the fourth green and wound up with a bogey. He bogeyed three of the next four holes as well, made the turn with a 40 and knew he was in big, big trouble.

“I felt as if I played the first three holes quite well, solid, and then I hit a good tee shot on 4 and then they called us in,” McIlroy said. “It might have been a little bit to do with it. I’m not trying to make any excuses. Even from then I didn’t hit it well and didn’t put myself in the right places to try and make any birdies or make some sort of a score.”

The round totally fell apart at the par-3 11th, which played into the teeth of the wind. He couldn’t keep his tee shot on the green, failed to get it out of the hollow on his first attempt, and wound up taking a double bogey.

“You couldn’t feel how strong the wind was at the tee box,” McIlroy said. “That was probably one of the toughest holes on the course today. I just didn’t hit it hard enough. You couldn’t hit it hard enough. It was straight back into the wind and up that hill.”

He isn’t ready to give up totally on his chances of contending for the claret jug. While Oosthuizen is five strokes clear of the field, this is only the second time in nine major appearances that he’s even made the cut. Who knows how the obscure South African will react to being a contender for the first time in an event of this magnitude.

Then again, McIlroy knows he’ll be largely at the mercy of the weather. If the wind keeps blowing the way it did Friday, there’s not much chance of making up such a large deficit by firing at the pins in hopes of making a bunch of birdies.

So he looked for what few positives he could take from the day – closing with three straight pars. Perhaps he discovered a bit of mental toughness he didn’t know he had, the kind of fortitude that will come in handy later on.

“I could have let the round get away from me, if I’m quite honest,” he said. “I was starting to get very frustrated. But I did well to par the last three holes. I’m just going to go back now and have a bit of room service and get some sleep and get ready for tomorrow.”


Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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 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.