Mickelson-Villegas pairing draws huge crowds

By Associated PressMarch 14, 2010, 4:37 am

2010 WGC-CA ChampionshipDORAL, Fla. – Camilo Villegas is adored by galleries in South Florida perhaps more than anywhere else, thanks in large part to his Latin American heritage. Phil Mickelson is a crowd favorite just about everywhere he plays.

They played together Saturday at the WGC-CA Championship, Doral’s dynamic duo.

Followed around by easily the biggest group of fans on the golf course, Villegas shot 70, Mickelson 72 on Saturday. Both seemed to be feeding at times off the crowd, so large that it stretched 75 yards up either side of the fairway at Doral’s fifth hole.

“Special place for me,” Villegas said. “Every year they keep coming and coming and supporting me, and that’s awesome. It’s what I said earlier in the week; you have to enjoy it, but you’ve got to stay committed and you’ve got to be careful, because it can be a little distracting.”

Mickelson spent much of the day acting like his normal self, tipping his hat, waving, giving a thumbs-up and even high-fiving a kid on his way to the eighth tee.

But his day took a pained turn late.

Mickelson stung his left elbow on an approach shot during the back nine, and it clearly bothered him on the way in. He did not speak with reporters, releasing a statement instead saying he’s had similar problems before and expects it to go away in less than 24 hours.

GO-GO KAYMER: Martin Kaymer still has occasional pain in his left foot, thanks to all the hardware surgeons used to put it back together after a go-cart accident last summer.

Needing only 22 putts to get around Doral on Saturday made everything feel a whole lot better.

Kaymer shot a 6-under 66 in the third round of the WGC-CA Championship, making eight birdies in all, including four in his final five holes to vault up the leaderboard. Tied for 22nd when the day began, Kaymer finished alone in sixth, four shots behind Charl Schwartzel and Ernie Els.

Patience at Doral, where the weather has been different every day this week, was key, he said.

“I would say today was by far the toughest day,” Kaymer said as the wind continued to rip across Doral.

His scorecard wouldn’t reflect that.

Kaymer opened with a 70, then slogged his way to a 72 on Friday, needing 32 putts to get there. He says he’s been trying to get an average of two hours a day on the practice greens in recent weeks.

On Saturday, it paid off. He had just one three-putt – dropping a shot at the par-4 17th – and holed out from the fringe on Nos. 14 and 15 to kick-start his fast finish.

“Today was one of those days,” Kaymer said.

He broke three toes near his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., in August, forcing him to take about six weeks off. He still can’t go running because of the plates and screws, so Kaymer pleaded with doctors to find a solution. They obliged, and Kaymer will head back to his native Germany after the Masters for surgery to remove the metal.

“My doctor said you can take them out,” Kaymer said. “So I said, ‘Why not?”’
Robert Allenby did something rare for him on Saturday. He made par on Doral’s first hole.

Starting with the third round of the CA Championship in 2008, Allenby had made birdie or better eight straight times at the par-5 opener on the Blue Monster before Saturday. He eagled No. 1 on Friday.

Allenby had a chance to extend his streak with a 12-footer on Saturday, which came up a bit short.

And that wasn’t a very good sign.

Allenby didn’t make his first birdie of the third round until connecting on a 3 1/2 -footer at the par-4 11th. He did, however, make another at No. 18, getting within two shots of the lead entering the final round.
Matt Kuchar showed up at Doral with a yardage book from 2004, the last time he’d been in the field on the TPC Blue Monster.

His tournament started with an eagle, and he’s still rolling.

Kuchar birdied five of his first eight holes, setting the tone for what became a bogey-free round of 67 that got him into a tie for seventh entering Sunday. He made 10 straight pars to end the day.

“Hard to believe in these conditions,” Kuchar said. “If you had told me prior to the round, would you take even par and just go sit in the clubhouse, I would have said ‘For sure.”’

For the record, Kuchar shot 75-76 at Doral in 2004 and missed the cut.
Rory McIlroy opened last year’s CA Championship with rounds of 68 and 66.

He hasn’t beaten par since.

McIlroy shot 72 and 73 on the weekend last year, and has posted scores of 76, 73 and 73 this week at Doral. Through three rounds, McIlroy has five birdies in 54 holes, the second-fewest of anyone in the tournament.

Michael Sim has just two birdies through three rounds, none of them in his last 24 holes.

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.