Move Over Soccer Cabrera Thrills Argentines

By Associated PressJune 18, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. OpenBUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- No longer just a soccer power, the championship playing field is getting more crowded all the time in Argentina.
 
First it was Manu Ginobili and his third NBA crown splashed across the front pages. Now it's golfer Angel Cabrera winning the U.S. Open.
 
Cabrera's one-stroke victory over Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk on Sunday drew endless praise around Argentina as radio commentators and television reveled in the first Latin American to win the U.S. Open.
 
'An historic day for Argentine golf' blared the front-page headline in South America's biggest-circulation daily, Clarin.
 
Another Argentine daily, La Nacion, declared, 'Cabrera: another Argentine for the history books of golf.'
 
And on Monday, video of Cabrera's weekend triumph was replayed constantly, showing Cabrera grinning and grabbing his trophy as Woods stood in the background on the fairways at Oakmont Country Club.
 
The coverage pushed aside the conclusion of the Argentine soccer season Sunday, and the upcoming second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between Buenos Aires club Boca Juniors and Brazilian rival Gremio.
 
These days, the exploits of Cabrera and Ginobili have overshadowed the usual drumbeat of soccer.
 
Ole, the sports daily normally devoted almost entirely to soccer, featured a front-page photo Monday of Cabrera bear-hugging his U.S. Open trophy -- calling him the 'monster of golf.'
 
Marcelo Nogueira, a top editor at Ole, said the Cabrera and Ginobili victories are refreshing in a soccer-mad nation.
 
'Bearing in mind this is a country where soccer is clearly the No. 1 sport ... it opens up people's eyes a little bit to the fact that there are other Argentine sports stars out there,' he said.
 
Diario Popular, another Argentine daily, called Cabrera the 'angel of golf' in a play on his first name and noted his victory was a 'triumph for Argentine sports.'
 
Cabrera is 12th in European Tour career earnings. Yet despite six previous top-10 finishes in majors, he is almost never mentioned among the top contenders in big tournaments, and headlines about his best finishes are normally relegated to the pages behind soccer.
 
Not on Monday.
 
'This time, the angels were on Cabrera's side ... he's finally obtained what he's always hungered for: a title in one of the majors,' wrote Daniel Petisch in a sports column for Clarin daily.
 
Cabrera's compatriots reveled in the first victory by an Argentine in one of golf's major events in 40 years.
 
The last time was when Roberto de Vicenzo won the 1967 British Open and as La Nacion declared 'such feats only acquire their true dimension with the passage of time ... he now joins the greats of the history of Argentine sports.'
 
Even de Vicenzo chimed in, telling La Nacion he was pleased there was another of his countrymen joining him in the Argentine record book.
 
'For me there's no greater satisfaction than seeing another Argentine golfer win a major,' de Vicenzo said. 'That's great they've caught up to me!'
 
Ginobili wasn't to be outdone either. After dominating sports pages last week he was back again Monday.
 
La Nacion ran a 12-page special section Monday devoted to Ginobili, who with Tony Parker led the San Antonio Spurs over the Cleveland Cavaliers in a four-game sweep and claimed their fourth NBA title Thursday.
 
The photo: a smiling Ginobili lifting the trophy on San Antonio's Riverwalk amid a crush of photographers.
 
'We've already worn out words of praise,' sports columnist Juan Pablo Varsky wrote in La Nacion.
 
'It's so extraordinary what Manu has accomplished that we are at a loss for words ... it's seems almost normal, almost a given that Ginobili is at the summit of world basketball. But that isn't normal and Manu is now one of the greats of Argentine sport.'
 
Cabrera is up there, too.
 
But some people like Buenos Aires police officer Gustavo Ledesma said that while golf and NBA victories are fantastic, soccer is what holds the passion of the country.
 
He said the country is anxiously awaiting the Boca Juniors-Gremio matchup Wednesday. Involving one of Argentina's two most popular teams, the match in Brazil is expected to bring the country to a standstill for two hours as millions watch on television.
 
'It's great,' Ledesma said characterizing the triumphs of Ginobili and Cabrera. 'But we Argentines, we're fans of soccer.'
 
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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

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    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''