Notes: British Open champ Clarke speeds off after MC

By Associated PressAugust 12, 2011, 10:23 pm

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Darren Clarke left the PGA Championship much differently than his last major tournament.

A month ago at the British Open, Clarke was the toast of Europe, a good ol’ bloke from Northern Ireland who had persevered through tragedy and circumstance at age 42 to win his first major.

On Friday at Atlanta Athletic Club, Clarke moved quickly from the scoring tent to the clubhouse, ready to bolt as soon as possible after missing the PGA cut at 14 over par.

“I need a huge rest,” Clarke said. “I’m going to get one.”

He wasn’t sure when he’d return to golf, how he’d spend his time off or where he’d vacation. Clarke was clearly miffed about his early exit so soon after his winning his first major at Royal St. Georges.

Clarke didn’t make a birdie in 36 holes. He opened with a first-round 78 and had hoped, with a strong performance, might be able to stick around for the weekend. Instead, Clarke’s struggles continued with a second-round 76.

Clarke was in one of the tournament’s featured groups with the year’s other major champions, Masters winner Charl Schwartzel and U.S. Open winner Rory McIlroy, both who are inside the projected cut.

Clarke had said he was not distracted Thursday by McIlroy’s wrist injury, which required several visits from doctors and trainers to ensure the 22-year-old was OK to continue.

It was all part of a grind, however, that Clarke hopes to disappear from for a while.

“I won’t pick up the clubs for 10 days,” he said. “I won’t even look at them for 10 days. So I’m just mentally tired.”

LATE FOR SCHOOL: Brandt Snedeker was fully prepared for an 8:20 a.m. start time Friday at the PGA Championship. One problem: He was scheduled to tee off 10 minutes earlier.

Snedeker was on the putting green warming up when he was told he had to tee off at 8:10 and sprinted to the first hole. But it was too late and Snedeker was assessed a two-stroke penalty to finish with a 3-over 73 for the round and 7 over for the tournament.

“What I can I say, it’s embarrassing,” Snedeker said. “I feel like I’m a 2-year-old showing up late for class.”

Snedeker won the RBC Heritage title in April and had hoped to contend for his first major title this week at Atlanta Athletic Club. Instead, he’s projected to miss the cut and knows the scheduling gaffe didn’t help.

“I’m not the first guy to do it, I won’t be the last guy to do it,” he said. “I certainly never thought it would happen to me. Live and learn.”

MICHEEL’S TURNAROUND: 2003 PGA champion Shaun Micheel was right in the thick of the chase for his second Wanamaker Trophy after Thursday’s opening round 66, the best of the afternoon starters.

Micheel couldn’t keep that going on Friday and a 78 has him crossing his fingers about the weekend. He had bogey or worse on eight of his first 11 holes. He recovered with an eagle on the par-5 fifth and a birdie on the seventh that he hopes gives him a chance.

“Hopefully, the eagle kept me around for the weekend,” Micheel said.

If not, Micheel knows he’s got no one but himself to blame. He said he made several mental errors that cost him strokes during his bogey run. “It was just a frustrating day. I’m more mad, really, at the mistakes that I made,” he said. “I didn’t play a great round of golf, but I made enough mistakes that I cost myself basically four shots today, and those are difficult to swallow.”

DIVOTS: Several competitors withdrew from competition including two-time U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen, who was ill. Goosen had shot a 5-over 75 in the opening round. Also pulling out Friday were J.B. Holmes because of illness and Rocco Mediate due to injury. Neither of those players were likely to make the cut. Holmes was 10-over par while Mediate was 9 over. … D.A. Points, who stands at 4 under par after two rounds, won the Junior PGA title in 1992 and could become the second holder of that title to win the PGA at Atlanta Athletic Club. Toms, the 2001 PGA winner here, won the junior event in 1984.

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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 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.