Notes Lefty Linked to Riviera US World Cup Team

By Associated PressSeptember 11, 2007, 4:00 pm
ATLANTA -- For the first time in nearly two decades, the PGA TOUR is getting a new title sponsor for Riviera.
 
While the final details are still being worked out, a TOUR official and tournament organizer said that Bearing Point will become the new title sponsor of what began in 1926 as the Los Angeles Open.
 
The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.
 
Nissan was the presenting sponsor in 1987, and two years later became the title sponsor. The company last year moved its U.S. headquarters from southern California to Nashville, Tenn., which is one reason it wanted out of its contract with the PGA TOUR. The contract was to expire in 2010.
 
Bearing Point, based in McLean, Va., provides management and technology consulting services worldwide. It had been a candidate to become title sponsor at the now-defunct International in Colorado, but did not think it was a good fit.
 
Until now, Bearing Point's main involvement in golf has been an endorsement with Phil Mickelson, who wears the logo on his cap.
 
Still to be determined is what role Mickelson might have with Bearing Point at Riviera, although it likely will fall well short of Lefty serving as the official host. The only host in the 80-year history at Riviera was singer Glen Campbell.
 
Mickelson had gone six years without playing Riviera, but returned this year and had a one-shot lead playing the final hole until taking a bogey and losing in a playoff to Charles Howell III.
 
WORLD CUP:
Arron Oberholser tied for fourth at the PGA Championship and went from 44th to 29th. And when he tied for second in the Deutsche Bank Championship, he moved up to No. 22.
 
He thought that was a positive development, nothing more.
 
Only when Oberholser got a phone call last week in Chicago did he realize the significance. And when five other Americans ranked ahead of him declined an invitation, Oberholser jumped at the chance to represent the United States in the World Cup.
 
'Are you kidding me? I got the call and was half in shock, to be honest with you,' Oberholser said Tuesday. 'The correlation between the world ranking and the World Cup didn't cross my mind. I wouldn't pass up something like this.'
 
The first thing he did was call Sean O'Hair and ask him to be his teammate. It will be the first World Cup for both of them. It will be held at Mission Hills Golf Club in China on Nov. 22-25.
 
The Deutsche Bank Championship was the last event before the U.S. team was determined based on the world ranking. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker and Masters champion Zach Johnson all declined.
 
Oberholser and O'Hair have become friends over the last year.
 
'We really enjoy playing with one another,' Oberholser said. 'I root for the kid very hard when I'm not playing. He's got a lot of talent and his maturity level impresses me to an extent I can't explain. To be 25 with two children and be so calm, cool and collected ... I couldn't find my rear end with a microscope when I was 25. He was on my short list of guys to take with me to China.'
 
Oberholser, meanwhile, had an MRI on his right hand Monday and found no breaks or tears. He said doctors assured him that with therapy, he'll be ready to play Oct. 18 at the Fry's Electronics Open in Scottsdale, Ariz.
 
The World Cup dates to 1953. The last U.S. victory was with Woods and David Duval in Argentina in 2000.
 
The only other time Oberholser played in Asia was 2004 at the Shinhan Korea Golf Championship, which he won.
 
'I'm hoping to go 2-0 in Asia,' he said.
 
OLD SCHOOL:
David Toms left Cog Hill not certain if his 68-67 weekend would be enough to get into the Tour Championship, figuring he would either go to Atlanta or go duck hunting.
 
But he couldn't help notice the money list.
 
Toms is among four players who would have qualified for the TOUR Championship had it been based on the top 30 in earnings instead of the new FedExCup system in which points are awarded for each tournament. He is No. 26 on the money list with just over $2 million, but finished 33rd in the playoff standings.
 
'I'm not going to miss on money, but I'm missing on points,' Toms said. 'But I knew that going in. It's not like they just announced it.'
 
Toms started out the playoffs at No. 25, but missed the cut at The Barclays and withdrew from the Deutsche Bank Championship, both tournaments he ordinarily doesn't play. That was his only beef with the playoffs, a rotation of courses that suit some more than others.
 
'There are two golf courses I wouldn't go to on a regular basis,' he said. 'I had a bad attitude the first two weeks, and I played bad.'
 
This will be the first year he has missed the TOUR Championship since 1998.
 
Others who finished in the top 30 on the money list but outside the top 30 in FedExCup standings were Luke Donald, Henrik Stenson and Jerry Kelly. On the other side, Tim Clark, Jonathan Byrd, Heath Slocum and Camilo Villegas all are outside the top 30 on the money list and have a tee time at East Lake.
 
GEORGIA ON HIS MIND:
Zach Johnson has a chance at the TOUR Championship to enter the record books alongside Tom Watson.
 
Having won the Masters at Augusta National and the AT&T Classic outside Atlanta, Johnson will go for the hat trick at East Lake, which would make it a sweep of PGA Tour events in Georgia.
 
Watson won three times in the same state in 1980 -- the San Diego Open, Los Angeles Open and the Tournament of Champions when it was held at La Costa.
 
Johnson could not think of a better state than Georgia to sweep the TOUR events.
 
'Not with that one tournament about 120 miles east of here,' he said, referring to Augusta.
 
DIVOTS:
Steve Stricker has changed his mind about going to South Africa for the Nedbank Challenge. He was going to take 9-year-old Bobbi on the ultimate father-daughter trip, but then figured it was too far to go. Plus, he doesn't want to repeat his mistakes from 1996 when he played too much in the offseason. ... The Canadian Open will be played at Glen Abbey the next two years, with 2009 the 100th anniversary of golf's third-oldest championship. ... Stricker and Rory Sabbatini are the only players to record top 10s in the first three playoff events.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK:
The top four players at the Wachovia Championship in May are the same four players atop the FedExCup standings going into the final event -- Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson and Rory Sabbatini.
 
FINAL WORD:
'There's still going to be a tournament. Somebody is going to finish first and somebody is going to finish 30th, and I know who the favorite is for that.' -- Mark Calcavecchia, who has finished in last place the past two weeks.
 
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  • 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 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.