NDSU women go from snow to NCAA regionals

By Associated PressMay 9, 2013, 12:09 am

FARGO, N.D. – The women's golfers at North Dakota State say they're often pegged as members of a winter sports team, given the fact that most of them are measured in the 5-foot-10 range and look like they haven't seen the sun. Turns out they haven't.

The Bison, who will be making the team's first Division I postseason appearance, are the northern-most school in the West Regional and won the Summit League title without having a single practice session outdoors because of brutal weather in North Dakota.

''We call ourselves the big kids from the north,'' said Sarah Storandt, who joked about the difficulty of maintaining a consistent tan. ''Everyone thinks we're like a volleyball team or basketball team.''

No tans, perhaps, but the Bison say they're rested and ready for Thursday's start of the regional at the Stanford Golf Course in Palo Alto, Calif., where they're seeded next-to-last in the 24-team field. Senior standout Amy Anderson, who is making her fourth straight individual trip to the regional, is happy to have the company in teammates Abby Knutson, Cydney Hasselberg, Storandt and Hailey Boner.

''I don't doubt that we have the ability on our team but it's another thing to put it all together at the same time,'' Anderson said. ''We're going to have fun. I can guarantee that.''

The Bison have spent the winter and spring practicing at an indoor facility in Fargo called the Sports Bubble, which coach Matt Johnson owned before selling it in 2012. The team tries to spice up their sessions by playing virtual golf on a simulator, but there's no substitute for the real thing.

Johnson said NDSU used the first tournament of the spring season as a throw-away because he knew the team's putting and chipping would be clumsy. The Bison were 10th out of 12 teams. But they were quick to regain touch, shooting what would have been a school record in the second tournament had it not been for a scoring snafu.

''It sure would have been nice to get outside, but they understand that's the way it is,'' Johnson said. ''They're all from around here so they've done it every year in one way or another.''

Even when they have been able to practice outside, it has usually been in stocking caps. Knutson, who grew up in the small town of Hatton, said the Bison women wear bad weather like a badge of courage.

''We're used to having our seasons start when the snow melts,'' Knutson said. ''Sometimes it's the middle of April, sometimes it's May. We play in snow, we play in rain, we play in wind and 40 degrees. It doesn't really matter.''

Anderson, who was briefly thrust into the national spotlight two years ago when she tied for the first-round lead at the U.S. Open with Cristie Kerr, said her teammates have helped to keep her on level ground.

''It's all about perspective,'' Anderson said. ''Especially athletes and especially athletes at a high level. They can live and die around their sport and sometimes get things out of perspective. I love to win, but my teammates have encouraged me to take my faith more seriously.''

Anderson, who grew up near a golf course in Oxbow, 20 miles south of Fargo, has won four events this season and has 19 career victories. The NCAA does not keep individual golf records, but statistics in GolfWorld magazine show she broke the Division I record of 17 career wins set by Juli Inkster of San Jose State.

Boner said Anderson acts like a teammate and not a star.

''She doesn't belittle you and make you feel like you're living in her shadow,'' said Boner, a freshman from Stillwater, Minn. ''She's a great golfer and all of us hope to fill her shoes in the next couple of years, but to us she's just a teammate and we love her.''

The top eight teams and top two individuals qualify for the national championship May 21-24 at the University of Georgia. Anderson, who plans to attend LPGA Qualifying School in the fall, is looking to return to the final tournament after falling one shot out of a playoff in last year's regional.

''You just have to go out there and focus on the process because you can't go out there and decide to win,'' she said. ''That's not how it works.''

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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.