Notes: Kuchar brings the whole gang to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 9, 2011, 1:31 pm

SYDNEY – Matt Kuchar’s trips Down Under have been few and far between since making his professional debut at the 2000 Australian Open. Three years later, he returned for his honeymoon on Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

Kuchar is back for the Australian Open at The Lakes and next week’s Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, and he’s got company – his wife, Sybi, their two sons, Kuchar’s parents and his in-laws. The family tour stopped in Bora Bora on the way over from the U.S. and spent a few days at the famed Cape Kidnappers course in New Zealand.

Kuchar said “it’s a great way to get back in the game, have a couple of weeks off, then a little bit of a warmup.”

Although Kuchar has earned $9 million over the past two years, he’s winless this year. He’s among a strong American contingent this week: eight of the 12 U.S. team members for the Presidents Cup are in the Australian Open field.

Kuchar finished tied for second in the Memorial and was second in The Barclays.

“It’s been a bit frustrating,” Kuchar said Wednesday. “I played a great final round at the Memorial, but Steve Stricker just played even better. I just had a few opportunities that didn’t go my way.”


STAR ATTRACTIONS: The Australian Open, with next week’s Presidents Cup as the drawing card, has its best international field in decades, harkening back to the days when Jack NicklausGary Player and Arnold Palmer traveled Down Under for the championship.

The featured groups over the first two days help highlight it – four consecutive morning threesomes have defending champion Geoff Ogilvy and Americans Bill Haas and Bubba Watson, followed by International captain Greg NormanDustin Johnson and two-time former champion Aaron Baddeley. U.S. captain Fred Couples is in the following group, followed by another which includes U.S. team member David Toms.

In the afternoon, Kuchar and Adam Scott, who could play each other in next week’s Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, lead the featured groups off at midday, followed by the trio of Tiger WoodsJason Day and Robert AllenbyStuart Appleby and Nick Watney are in the next group, followed by one which includes Hunter Mahan and John Daly.

It will be the 23-year-old Day’s first time playing in a group with the 35-year-old Woods, but there’s plenty of history from Day’s side.

“I read a book about Tiger and that is why I woke up every morning at 5.30 and went out and practiced,” Day said. “I got up to 32 1/2 hours a week of practice because of that guy. He has influenced my life a lot, and I have always wanted to play against him.”

Day says he’ll try not to be intimidated.

“No, I don’t think so,” he said “I can’t control what he does. All I can do is control what I do. Looking back, 1997 to 2008 or 2009, he dominated for so long. When he came in he changed the way everyone looked at golf.”

Scott has some advice for his younger Presidents Cup teammate – don’t look.

“I never watched him hit a shot,” Scott said Wednesday. “My old coach Butch Harmon told me early on when he was still working with him, if you played with him you should not watch him hit a shot because in the early 2000s he golf ball was launching far faster than anyone else. We all saw the magnificent highlight reels he’s got. It was better not to watch and feel like you can’t match it.”

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.

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.