Montys Major-less Streak Mounts

By Associated PressJune 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
U.S. OpenMAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Colin Montgomerie had only Colin Montgomerie to blame.
 
He came to the U.S. Open this week with four second-place finishes in majors. Make it five.

This time, though, he pretty much beat himself with one awful swing.
 
Montgomerie started Sunday's final round at Winged Foot tied for fourth, three shots off the lead. Four hours later, he stood in the 18th fairway tied for the lead with Phil Mickelson at 4 over par, 172 yards from what surely could be no worse than a playoff.
 
Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie's decision to change clubs in the 18th fairway may have cost him the U.S. Open.
Then, inexplicably, a 7-iron got away from him and found the deep rough right of the green. Montgomerie ended up with double bogey, and another runner-up finish.
 
'Other chances I've had, other players have done very well,' Montgomerie said. 'This is the first time I've really messed up, which is OK. You're entitled to a couple of mess-ups along the way.'
 
The droll Scot finished at 6-over 286, one shot behind champion Geoff Ogilvy and tied with Mickelson, who also double-bogeyed the final hole, and Jim Furyk, who bogeyed it.
 
Montgomerie lost the 1994 U.S. Open to Ernie Els in a three-way playoff and the 1995 PGA Championship in a playoff with Steve Elkington. He also was runner-up to Els in the 1997 U.S. Open and to Tiger Woods in last year's British Open, at St. Andrews in Scotland.
 
At age 42, time would seem to be running out to shake the mantle of best golfer never to win a major. Yet Montgomerie didn't sound that way.
 
'At my age I've got to think positively. Being 43 next week, it's nice to think I can come back nine years after contending and do well again,' he said. 'I look forward to coming back next year and try another U.S. Open disaster.'
 
The quip drew the laughs he expected from reporters. However, the disappointment was obvious.
 
After making a 75-foot birdie putt on the par-4 17th to move into the tie for the lead, Montgomerie hit a big drive on the 450-yard closing hole. He decided to change the iron he would use for his second shot.
 
'I switched from a 6 to a 7. I thought the adrenaline would kick in and I hit it about 10 yards further,' he said. 'I caught it slightly heavy and it went slightly right. It was a poor shot and I put myself in a poor position, there was no question about that.'
 
From the deep rough, Montgomerie chipped to 15 feet from the cup and three-putted for a 1-over 71.
 
'I did the hard thing, hit the fairway. That's my strength normally,' he said. 'We put ourselves into poor position after two shots, and then it was difficult from then on because that green is very fast.'
 
There was still no major for Monty.
 
There was no third in a row for Mickelson and there was no second for Furyk, who won the U.S. Open in 2003.
 
Furyk bogeyed the 18th for a 70, missing a 5-foot par putt that it turned out would have meant a playoff.
 
'I'm disappointed. I played my heart out and it didn't work,' he said. 'It was a lot of fun to be in the thick of it, but overall I'm also disappointed because I let an opportunity to win the U.S. Open slip by.'
 
Padraig Harrington was alone at 287 after a closing 71 in which he bogeyed the last three holes. He had a triple-bogey 7 on 18 in the third round.
 
'I'm very disappointed obviously. Three pars to win the Open. It probably doesn't get any easier than that. It sounds very easy, anyway,' he said. 'I certainly ruined this one.'
 
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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.