Notes Dismal Showing for Ryder Cup Hopefuls

By Associated PressJuly 21, 2006, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship HOYLAKE, England -- Tom Lehman had plenty of reasons to be disgusted Friday at Royal Liverpool.
 
He celebrated the 10-year anniversary of his British Open victory by taking triple bogey on the seventh hole to tumble out of contention. Needing a birdie on the par-5 18th hole to make the cut, he took a bogey and was headed home.
 
Worse yet was the performance of his potential Ryder Cup team.
 
Of the Americans between Nos. 6 and 18 in the Ryder Cup standings, Vaughn Taylor was the only one who made the cut.
 
Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink spent two days playing practice rounds with captain Lehman, and neither broke par in the first two rounds. Lucas Glover (No. 10 in the standings), shot 73 and has not made the cut in a major this year.
 
Perhaps the most troubling was Davis Love III, who is 11th in the standings and is no guarantee to be a captain's pick.
 
Love went from the lead to missing the cut at The Players Championship. He finished outside the top 20 at the Masters, and now has missed the cut in the U.S. Open and the British Open. He wasn't even close at Hoylake, not making a birdie until the final hole for a 72 that put him at 3-over 147.
 
Fred Couples is No. 12 and started with a 70, appearing to cope with his ailing back. Then came a 76 in the second round, and he was gone.
 
Taylor birdied the final hole for a 71 to make the cut on the number.
 
The other ray of hope came from Chris DiMarco, who shot 65 and was three shots out of the lead. DiMarco started the year at No. 4 in the standings, but only one top 10 -- an eight-way tie for ninth at the Match Play Championship -- has sent him tumbling to No. 21.
 
'Hopefully, I can get some points,' DiMarco said. 'And if not, at least show Tom that my game is back and I'm ready to go. I know he knows the drive and the competitiveness in me is there, but he has to see some signs of good golf, and hopefully that will carry over to the weekend.'
 
DiMarco showed Lehman a pulse for two days. The rest of the Ryder Cup wannabes showed a flat line.
 
GOING LOW:
Even par wasn't enough to keep playing at Royal Liverpool.
 
Birdies by Vaughn Taylor, then Andrew Marshall, pushed the cut to 1-under 143 on Friday, the lowest for any major championship since the 1990 British Open, when the cut was 1-under 143 at St. Andrews.
 
Among those missing the cut were Vijay Singh, who started bogey-double bogey on his way to a 76. It was the first time the big Fijian has played only two rounds in a major since the '02 British Open at Muirfield.
 
It also was a major disappointment for Padraig Harrington and David Howell, two Europeans expected to contend this week. Harrington shot 75-74 and Howell, who is No. 10 in the world ranking, shot 76 to miss the cut by six shots.
 
'You have to accept the bad times with a pinch of salt like you do the good times,' said Howell, who won Europe's biggest tournament in May at the BMW Championship. 'I have had some good performances this year, but this one was one of my worst.'
 
DALY DOINGS:
John Daly began his week playing in the same pub that launched The Beatles.
 
He finished his week at Royal Liverpool on a long and winding road that led to a triple-bogey 8 on the final hole and a surprising departure.
 
Daly made an eagle on the par-5 16th and was 2 under for the tournament when he hit his driver well to the right and out-of-bounds on the closing hole. He reloaded from the tee and found the fairway, but trying to reach the green to limit the damage to a bogey, he hit fairway wood OB. He hit the green on his sixth shot, then took two putts for an 8.
 
Daly shot 73 and finished at 1-over 145.
 
SENIOR MOMENTS:
Tom Watson and Fred Funk competed against each other two weeks ago in the U.S. Senior Open.
 
Now they get to play the weekend at the British Open.
 
Watson, a five-time British Open champion and the oldest player in the field at 56, was 4 under for the tournament until he stumbled at the end, taking bogey on the 16th and a double bogey on the 17th. Even so, he shot a 70 and goes into the weekend at 2-under 142, the third straight year he has made the cut in the British Open.
 
'My body is not in very good shape right now, and I'm favoring my back a little bit,' Watson said. 'It has been a struggle. But at least I planned my play pretty well today, and I made the best of it.'
 
Watson will defend his title in the Senior British Open next week at Turnberry.
 
Funk, who made his Champions Tour debut at the U.S. Senior Open, showed great fight at the end of a tough day. He opened with a triple bogey, and a double bogey on the 12th left him at 5 over for the round. But he birdied three of his last four holes for a 74 to make the cut on the number.
 
STEADY DUVAL:
David Duval wasn't thrilled with Royal Liverpool when he arrived, but the links course is growing on him.
 
Duval made only one mistake -- a tee shot out-of-bounds at No. 3 for double bogey -- and had four birdies for his second straight 70, making the cut for the second straight major and leaving him in the middle of the pack at 4-under 140.
 
'I've just gotten very little out of it, but I've played really well,' Duval said. 'I'd be pleased if I could play as well the next couple of days as I have the first two. All I need to do is make a couple of putts and I could put up some good scores.'
 
NICKLAUS SURPRISED:
Jack Nicklaus, the runner-up in 1967 the last time the British Open came to Royal Liverpool, thought the links course might be too short with bunkers not far enough from the tees to stop low scoring.
 
Tiger Woods led at 12-under 132, and Nicklaus was surprised the leading score wasn't better.
 
'I expected scores to be a lot lower than they are,' he said in an interview with TNT Sports. 'When I was here in May, there really wasn't much rough and there's been virtually no rain since. That's probably kept the scores up. If there was a little rain, the rough still probably wouldn't have gotten up very high, yet they could still keep the ball on the fairway and probably stop the ball on the greens.'
 
DIVOTS:
Kenneth Ferrie, who played in the final group at Winged Foot in the U.S. Open, withdrew Friday because of a bad back. ... In an unusual move by the Royal & Ancient, tickets for next year's British Open at Carnoustie will go on sale early and offered at 40 percent discounts for weekly badges. The price will be about $270. Tickets will be sold online at www.opengolf.com. ... European Amateur champion Marius Thorp (142) and U.S. Amateur champion Edoardo Molinari were the only two amateurs to make the cut.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - 135th Open Championship
  • Course Tour - Royal Liverpool
  • Full Coverage - 135th Open Championship
     
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  • Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


    Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

    Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

    Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

    Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


    Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


    Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

    Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


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    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm
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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.