Notes Glover the Goose and the Price is Right
Two weeks ago, he holed a 35-yard bunker shot on the final hole at Disney for his first PGA Tour victory. After finishing his round Sunday at Innisbrook, he had to nervously wait until the final round ended to earn the final spot in the field at the Tour Championship.
His plans for the final two months of the year have nothing to do with golf.
Glover is getting married Dec. 3 to his high school sweetheart, and he has until Dec. 6 to finish his work on an online course from Clemson that he needs to get his degree. There's a honeymoon trip to New York, and a big fund-raiser at Clemson, then graduation on Dec. 22.
He leaves for Hawaii a week later for the winners-only Mercedes Championships at Kapalua.
``I have a busy two months,'' Glover said.
Glover could have done without the school work, but he had to wait until it fit into his golf schedule. His eligibility at Clemson ran out in the spring of 2001, and he took an 18-hour load that fall to finish up. But his biology professor didn't cut him any slack when Glover went to Q-school that December and he failed.
That class has kept him from graduating for four years.
Glover, 25, secured his PGA Tour card for 2006 with a strong start to this season, so he knew he wouldn't have to worry about Q-school this year. That's when he set his wedding date, and signed up for that biology class -- an elective, no less.
What was his major?
``I don't remember,'' he said. ``Speech and communications. Nice choice on an elective, huh? I failed in my freshman year, so I had to go back and redo it. That whole Tuesday-Thursday at 8 o'clock thing was what did it.''
Two weeks ago, Retief Goosen said he would spend two months in South Africa with his family and skip the season-opening Mercedes Championships.
Now, he's not so sure.
In fact, Goosen showed how uncertain he was in a span of about five minutes Tuesday.
``At the moment, I'm still planning on playing it, but I'll see how I feel Christmas time and New Year's time,'' he said.
What are the odds he will play?
``Pretty good,'' Goosen said.
After his interview, he was asked to read a radio spot for Kapalua. Goosen looked at the statement, then said to the radio person, ``I might not be going.''
He read it anyway, introducing himself and asking listeners to join him at Kapalua and the new greens on the Plantation Course for the Mercedes Championships. When he finished, he looked up and said, ``They've got new greens? Maybe I will go.''
PRICE MIGHT NOT BE RIGHT
Nick Price played the last two weeks with hopes of finishing in the top 125 on the money list. He didn't want to use his one-time exemption for being in the top 25 in career money, and he wanted to assure himself a spot in the field at The Players Championship.
But he is not playing the Southern Farm Bureau Classic, and Price is at No. 124 on the money list.
Even if he gets knocked out, Price is hopeful of getting to Sawgrass, where he won in 1993.
``I'm pretty sure they'll give me a spot as a past champion,'' he said. ``They gave Greg (Norman) a couple of spots.''
Ben Crane is assured of playing in his first Masters (through the PGA Tour money list), and he wasted no time getting his first look at Augusta National.
A week after the club had its fall opening, Crane spent four days at Augusta and played five rounds.
``I hadn't played in a few weeks and wasn't expecting anything,'' he said. ``I shot 4 under, made eagle on No. 13. I thought, 'This is no problem.' And I never came close to that the rest of the week.''
For those curious about the latest batch of changes, stretching the course to 7,445 yards, Crane confirmed suspicions that the par-3 fourth hole will be a beast. It has a new tee box some 35 yards longer, making it play about 240 yards. He hit 2-iron one day, and 3-wood the other four times he played.
Officials at the Chrysler Championship thought Dennis Paulson had made history as the first player to reach the 605-yard fifth hole in two. According to the Shotlink system, which uses lasers to track every shot by every player, Paulson's second shot went 287 yards and onto the green.
Statistics showed he took two putts for a birdie.
Alas, Shotlink is operated by humans, and humans do err.
``I was through the green,'' Paulson said, noting that his 3-wood went just beyond the fringe into the first cut. Told that Shotlink had him taking two putts, he rolled his eyes and said, ``Great. As if my putting stats weren't bad enough.''
It wasn't the first time Paulson has been subjected to a Shotlink mix-up. At the Reno-Tahoe Open, he said the system operators had him mistaken for playing partner Paul Goydos throughout the round.
``One hole, they had Goydos 70 yards past me,'' he said. ``My driving distance average went down that week.''
Now that federal regulators have approved SBC Communications' takeover of AT&T and Verizon, what will that mean for the title sponsorship at Pebble Beach? Not much, tournament director Ollie Nutt said Tuesday. He said SBC still wants the tournament to be called the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. ... When Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh missed the cut at Disney, it was the first time that Nos. 1 and 2 in the world ranking missed the cut at the same tournament since Ian Woosnam and Nick Faldo at the 1992 Bay Hill Invitational. ... Chad Campbell, who had gone without an equipment deal most of the year as he figured out what he wanted to play, carried a Nike staff bag while finishing second at Innisbrook. Campbell said he is close to signing with the Swoosh.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Eleven of the 29 players at the Tour Championship have not won official PGA Tour events this year. A year ago, only eight players at the Tour Championship had not won.
``I can't all of a sudden get mean or be a jerk out there. I don't think that would help me in any way, shape or form.'' -- Jay Haas, asked if being too nice has kept him from winning more.
Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia
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
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.