Notes New Solheim Pecking Order Shark Bites

By Associated PressApril 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
Europe is changing how it picks the Solheim Cup team by leaning heavily on the Women's World Rankings.
 
The top five will come from European tour standings, followed by four from the world rankings. That leaves Helen Alfredsson with three captain's picks to fill out the 12-player team.
 
Previously, the top seven came from European tour standings with five captain's picks. Players must compete in six Ladies European Tour events to be eligible.
 
'I think this is the best combination because it keeps it fair for the LET, but it also rewards the Europeans who play elsewhere in the world,' Laura Davies said.
 
The Solheim Cup will be held next year in Sweden.
 
SHARK BITES
The sure sign that Greg Norman isn't playing much golf is that his hands are free of calluses.
 
Norman is recovering from knee surgery in February, and he expects doctors to give him the green light in June to start practicing with a busy summer schedule that starts with the Senior U.S. Open the last week in June and takes him through the Jeld-Wen Tradition the last week in August.
 
'I know that sounds like a lot of golf,' he said. 'Last year coming out of my back surgery, it probably was a lot of golf.'
 
Norman said his knee is fine, but he needs to spend the next six weeks rebuilding muscles in his thigh and calf because he hasn't used his right leg properly since September. He has been coming back from surgery more times that he would like, although this break of nearly eight months is the longest he can remember.
 
'I'm excited about getting back, but I'm also interested to see how excited I will be come middle of June,' he said.
 
SOMETHING TO PROVE
Vaughn Taylor has won each of the last two years on the PGA Tour, although he still feels as though he has something to prove. Both his victories were at the Reno-Tahoe Open, held opposite a World Golf Championship at Firestone that attracts the top players in the world.
 
'No one in particularly says anything about it, but we all know that it's a week opposite a bigger tournament,' Taylor said. 'I really want to win a regular event and prove to everyone that I'm not just capable of winning an opposite event.'
 
Dating to 1999, when the World Golf Championships created an extra layer of opposite-field events, only three players who earned their first PGA Tour victory at an opposite-field event have gone on to win against a regular field -- Geoff Ogilvy (Tucson, Match Play), Bart Bryant (Texas Open, Memorial and Tour Championship) and Luke Donald (Southern Farm, Honda Classic).
 
DIVOTS
The Evian Masters has raised its purse $100,000 to $2.6 million, making it the second-highest purse on the LPGA Tour behind the U.S. Women's Open, which was $3.1 million last year. ... Greg Norman says he was 'courted' by CBS Sports a few years ago about being its analyst in the booth with Jim Nantz. The Shark said he turned it down because he had spent the last 25 years being gone on the weekend. 'For me to pack my bags on a Thursday, go away on the weekends for the next five or six years, I don't think you guys have enough money at CBS,' he said. ... Former U.S. Women's Amateur champion Virada Nirapathpongporn is suffering from internal bleeding in her right eye after an accident March 31 with a resistance tube used for stretching exercises. A full recovery is expected, and she is expected to return to practice as early as next week.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
The Atlanta Charity Classic will be only the third time in seven tournaments this year that the LPGA Tour is scheduled for 72 holes.
 
FINAL WORD
'I don't want to be Tiger or Annika and I don't want to break down barriers like Michelle Wie, but I want to be successful on my own terms. I don't know what that is, but when I get there, I'm sure I'll know.' -- Elizabeth Stuart, a rookie on the Futures Tour. She is believed to be the first player from The First Tee program to join a professional golf tour.
 
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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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.

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.