Miyazato tops Wie Ochoa in Mexico

By Associated PressMay 3, 2010, 2:16 am

LPGA Tour _newMORELIA, Mexico – Ai Miyazato was fine moments after her third LPGA title of the season. She only started to tear up when she began talking about Lorena Ochoa.

Miyazato shot a 6-under 67 on Sunday to win the Tres Marias Championship, but was overshadowed by Ochoa’s last round before stepping into retirement to raise a family and focus on her charity foundation.

During the trophy ceremony on the 18th green, Miyazato broke down crying as she thanked Ochoa. Ochoa, a few feet away, also rubbed tears from her eyes in bright sunlight on the mountainside course. Ochoa choose Miyazato as her playing partner for the first two rounds.

“I want to say thanks to Lorena,” Miyazato said. “I really appreciate what she did for the LPGA and what she did for her country here in Mexico.”

“She is one of my best friends,” Miyazato said, beginning to cry. “I’m going to miss her.”

Miyazato, the 24-year-old Japanese star who swept the season-opening events in Thailand and Singapore after winning the Evian Masters last year in France for her first LPGA title, finished at 19-under 273.

Stacy Lewis (66) was a stroke back, and Michelle Wie (68) was third at 17 under. Ochoa, the tournament winner three of the last four years, shot a 71 to finish sixth at 12 under.

Ochoa has held the No. 1 ranking since April 2007 but she will lose it when the rankings come out Monday, with Jiyai Shin taking over. Shin won in Japan on Sunday.

Michelle Ellis, president of the LPGA players’ association, was one of several people who saluted Ochoa on the 18th green.

“She is going to be dearly missed by the players and all member of the LPGA family,” Ellis said. “I think her heart and her spirit out does her golf game by 1,000 yards.”

Ochoa won 27 tournaments, including two majors, and won the Player of the Year title four straight years.

“For the last eight years all of you have been there,” Ochoa said, sobbing as she spoke to fellow players. “First when I got here everybody was friendly and welcoming. So thanks for being friends, for the inspiration. It is hard to put into words, but this has been eight years of a lot of fun and I made friends I will never forget in my life.”

Ochoa found find time for everyone, even on the final day of her career.

Walking down the first fairway she stopped to kiss two young boys on the cheek who were carrying the scoreboard.

Approaching the second green, she stopped to embrace fellow player Christina Kim, who ran from the eighth green to hug her.

“I’m not going to be able to wait to see her when she finishes, so I wanted to do it here,” Kim said.

Kim described Ochoa a few days ago as a near-saint in Mexico.

“I’ve been saying for years she going to be canonized one of these days,” Kim said.

Elizabeth Arroyo and husband Jose drove three hours from the city of Guanajuato.

“Lorena is important for golf, but she is more important for the image of women in Mexico,” Elizabeth said.

Dante Aleman, a 24-year-old selling ice cream, placed Ochoa up there with Mexico’s best-known football players. He also acknowledged he knew little about her until a few weeks ago, reminding that golf is followed in Mexico by a tiny minority.

“She is famous for her achievements, but now there is more attention on her since she is retiring,” he said.

All day, the crowds chanted “Go Lore!” or “You can do it!” Near the ninth tee hundreds of fans held up red, yellow, blue and pink cards spelling out “Lorena.” Moments before she stopped just short of throwing her club to the ground when a poor chip fell short of the green.

As she walked up the 18th fairway, thousands began waving white handkerchiefs – like they do at a bullfight to salute the bullfighter – and shouted “Lo-Re-Na! “Lo-Re-Na!”

“This is pretty special,” said Ellis, the LPGA player president.

Wie started the day a shot behind Miyazato but climbed into the lead – one shot ahead of Miyazato and Lewis – with an eagle on the par-4 ninth. Wie was 17 under, two strokes ahead of Miyazato and Lewis. But she fell to 15 under with a double bogey on the par-3 13th.

In the meantime, Miyazato began moving away. She birdied six of seven holes between No. 8 and 14 to move to 20 under.

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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.