More than $750000 spent on Celtic Manor for Ryder Cup
However, many of the changes are subtle and do not follow the attempts to gain a distinct home advantage against the Americans made by his predecessors Ian Woosnman at the K Club in Ireland in 2006 and Sam Torrance at the Belfry in 2002.
The alterations, unveiled to the European golfing media on Monday, have been implemented despite the fact that the Celtic Manor course was built and opened for play for $8 million only in 2008.
Montgomerie has had many of the course bunkers deepened, had the rough made consistently thicker than it’s been for the Wales Open on the European Tour in 2008 and 2009, and has insisted the greens be firmer and less receptive to spin.
“All along, Colin has insisted that he was not interested in gaining a home advantage,” said Jim Mckenzie, Celtic Manor’s director of golf courses.
“If Europe does regain the Ryder Cup he wants it to be because they have played the better golf and not because the course has been tricked up.
“And in all my dealings with Colin since he was appointed Europe’s Ryder Cup captain I have to say he has not been over demanding.”
The European Tour’s top players will get their first taste of Montgomerie’s changes when Celtic Manor stages the Wales Open again on June 3-6.
As yet however, United States captain Corey Pavin has not revealed whether any of his potential team members will be competing in the $2.2-million event.
But McKenzie insists the changes made will make for a better Ryder Cup.
“We have deepened a number of bunkers with larger faces,” he said.
“And the rough will certainly be consistently thicker than it has been in recent years, though only about 3 and a half to four inches in length.
“The greens will also be a lot firm, which is something we have been working towards since the course opened in 2007, and which has always been a high priority for Colin.
“It means that only properly struck irons will be rewarded by stopping quickly on the greens.”
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
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.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
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
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.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
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.