Notes: Injured Jaguar player ready to go pro ... am

By Associated PressMay 9, 2013, 12:04 am

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew might not be able to run yet, but his golf game appears to be in perfect shape.

Jones-Drew, still recovering from Lisfranc surgery on his left foot, picked up an 8-iron during a practice round at The Players on Wednesday and hit a tee shot to 10 feet at the famed island green.

Jones-Drew was hanging around the 17th hole with teammate Sen'Derrick Marks when PGA Tour pros Jonathan Byrd, Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson asked the three-time Pro Bowler to take a swing.

Without any warm-up, MJD struck it clean and landed it closer than any of his professional playing partners.

''I dabble a little bit in golf here and there,'' Jones-Drew said afterward. ''I was a little nervous. But now I'm ready for a Pro-Am.''

As for his foot, Jones-Drew said it continues to get better. He expects to be running by the end of this month.

POWER OF LOVE: Davis Love III is returning to the PGA Tour just in time to extend his streak at The Players.

Love, who turned 49 last month, missed the last three months while recovering from spinal-fusion surgery. He's making his return this week at TPC Sawgress, playing The Players for the 28th consecutive year. His run started in 1986, when he tied for 14th. He has won the tournament twice since, in 1992 and 2003.

''It's hard to stay competitive for that long,'' Love said Wednesday, a day before the opening round. ''If I started back over again, I tell you in 2013 there is no way I'd make 28 in a row. It's too competitive now.

''One, that means you're old. And two, it means you've stayed pretty competitive. I'm hoping that after this and the hard work I've put in, it's just going to get better for a while.''

Love had a two-level disk fusion. He started putting and chipping shortly after surgery and was hitting balls eight weeks later. He's been playing full rounds for a month, still trying to regain strength in his left arm. He considered coming back a few weeks ago at the RBC Heritage, but opted to wait for The Players.

''I'm excited to be here,'' he said. ''I'm excited to be on the golf course. I'm excited to continue that streak. Obviously, it was a big point in the schedule that I don't want to miss. I obviously wanted to play before this, but I'm glad to be back on the golf course, and Lord willing, continue this streak of feeling well for the rest of the week.''

Love said his back has been bothering him for more than a decade, even recalling conversations with his doctor in 2000 about having surgery.

The pain reached a new level at Phoenix in early February.

''I was at the point in Phoenix where I was very frustrated mentally,'' Love said. ''I knew physically I couldn't do it. ... I was just grinding away, and there was no reason to be doing it. So finally I called my doctor ... and said, 'I'm just beating my head against the wall, aren't I?' And he said, 'Yes, you are. You're going to have that surgery. You can have it now, you can have it in the summer or you can have it in the fall, but you're going to have it this year.

''So I just went ahead and I did it. I literally woke up after surgery and I knew I was fine. I felt so much better. The pain was gone. The tingling was almost gone in my fingers. And since then all it's been is trying to get my arm strength back, and that's been a longer process than I'd like, but my therapists think I'm ahead of schedule, so I'm excited.''

WAITING LIST: PGA Tour rookie Scott Langley was the last player in the field at The Players when the entry list came out Friday. The only thing that could bump him would be if someone won the Wells Fargo Championship who was not already eligible.

Someone like 22-year-old rookie Derek Ernst, who happens to be one of his close friends.

Ernst won at Quail Hollow in a playoff, and Langley has been at TPC Sawgrass all week wondering if someone would withdraw. So far, no good.

For Ernst, it was a case of mixed feelings.

''Like, 'Hey, I just won, this is kind of cool.' And then my buddy falls out, and I didn't want him to fall out,'' Ernst said. ''I hope he gets in this week. I saw him walking around, so he's right there.''

DIVOTS: Three-time U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps walked the Stadium Course on Wednesday, posing for pictures and signing autographs while watching some practice rounds. His tour came a day after he caddied in the PGA Tour Wives Association's Golf Classic at the nearby Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass. ... Country music star Dierks Bentley performed at TPC Sawgrass on Wednesday night as part of the Tour's Military Appreciation Day. ... New Jaguars coach Gus Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell got their first look at The Players on Wednesday. Both brought their families to the course.

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.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.