M.H. Lee fires 10-under 62 at LPGA Founders Cup

By Associated PressMarch 18, 2016, 1:58 am

PHOENIX – Se Ri Pak's impact on South Korean golf was evident at the JTBC Founders Cup on the day the Hall of Famer announced she is retiring at the end of the season.

''She's my idol,'' leader Mi Hyang Lee said. ''I saw her on TV when I was 4 years old. When I was 15 years old, I played with her in Korea when I was amateur. ... I will miss her.''

Lee shot a tournament-record 10-under 62 on Thursday after playing her first nine holes in 9 under in perfect conditions at Desert Ridge.

The 38-year-old Pak broke the retirement news after an afternoon 69.

She has won 25 LPGA Tour titles and five majors, two of them as a rookie in 1998, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2007.

''It's pretty hard to make a decision to be retiring,'' Pak said. ''I'll miss all my friends.''

The 22-year-old Lee threatened to shoot the second 59 in LPGA Tour history after opening with an eagle and seven birdies on Wildfire's Nick Faldo-designed back nine.

Needing to play the Arnold Palmer-designed front nine in 4 under to break 60, Lee made only one more birdie - on the par-5 fifth - in the afternoon heat.

''I didn't think the 59,'' Lee said. ''If I think the 59, maybe I shoot over par (on the last nine).''

Annika Sorenstam is the only player to shoot 59 in an LPGA Tour event, accomplishing the feat in the second round of the 2001 Standard Register Ping at nearby Moon Valley.

Lee matched the nine-hole record of 9 under set by Amy Yang last year in South Korea. Lee, Yang and three other players share the nine-hole stroke mark of 27.

''I had a lot better luck today,'' Lee said. ''I had fun today.''

Lee tied for third last year at Desert Ridge. She won her lone LPGA Tour title in 2014 in Japan.

Sei Young Kim and Brittany Lang were tied for second at 63.

Playing in cooler morning conditions, Kim birdied nine of the first 14 holes, and Lang made nine birdies in a 13-hole stretch.

The 23-year-old Kim won three times last season and was the LPGA Tour's rookie of the year. At No. 7 in the world, she's in position for the last of South Korea's four spots on the Pak-captained team in the Rio Olympics.

''My goal, first thing, is Olympics to represent the country,'' Kim said.

The 30-year-old Lang was coming off a closing 65 two weeks ago in Singapore, a breakthrough round in her mental approach.

''I felt like I was thinking too much about stuff that doesn't matter,'' Lang said. ''I was super confident and decisive today.''

Italy's Giulia Sergas had a 64, and Gerina Piller was another stroke back along with Minjee Lee and Swedes Anna Nordqvist, Dani Holmqvist and Pernilla Lindberg. Piller and Nordqvist played alongside Kim, with the group finishing a combined 23 under.

''This is kind of like golfing in a bubble,'' Piller said. ''It's perfect weather, great golf course, perfect conditions. ... You can definitely get in a rhythm out there and just kind of feed off each other.''

Cydney Clanton had a hole-in-one on the 17th in a 68. She won a Kia K900.

''I was sitting there looking at the car, and I was like, 'If I win the car, I need to change the rims.' I'm not real keen on those,'' Clanton said. ''But that's a really nice car.''

Defending champion Hyo Joo Kim had a 69. She won the opener in the Bahamas.

Top-ranked Lydia Ko was in a group at 70 that included Ha Na Jang and Stacy Lewis. Jang has won two of the first five events this season. Lewis won the 2013 event and finished second the last two years.

DIVOTS: U.S. Women's Amateur champion Hannah O'Sullivan had a 72. The 17-year-old O'Sullivan is a high school senior in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler. ... Hall of Famer Karrie Webb, the 2011 and 2014 winner, shot 73... Michelle Wie had two double bogeys in a 77.

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 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.