Notes Noh playing fearless in PGA Championship

By Associated PressAugust 14, 2010, 4:16 am

2010 PGA ChampionshipSHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Seung-yul Noh says he’s not very famous back home in Korea. That’s reserved for stars like K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang.

The 19-year-old Noh is lurking on the leaderboard at 5-under 139 after a 68 in his second round on Friday at the PGA Championship. Noh, who wants to known by his initials S.Y., will likely be somewhere near the top when Saturday’s third round begins, even though he insisted he isn’t looking at the leaderboard yet.

Noh hasn’t quite reached celebrity status in South Korea, but that may change with a strong performance at Whistling Straits.

“I don’t play much on the PGA Tour, so that’s why I’m not very famous back in Korea,” Noh said through an interpreter. “After this, maybe I’ll be famous.”

Maybe that’s not something he’ll want, either. Yang said after he won the PGA Championship last year, he needed six bodyguards for a trip back home and their clothes were in tatters after fans tried to get to Yang to celebrate their star.

This is Noh’s first PGA Championship after winning the Malaysian Open to make him the second youngest winner ever on the European Tour.

Noh started hitting golf balls near his home in Gangwando, South Korea, when he was 7 and had a strong amateur career before turning pro three years ago.

He declined to say he thinks he could win the tournament, but he’s got his style of play down pat. “I play fearless,” he said.


 

NOT SO FULL MONTY: Colin Montgomerie will have to wait until the second round is completed Saturday to find out whether he will finish in last place among 156 players. He shot an 83 on Friday afternoon and was at 18-over 162.

He was primarily entered as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain, and that’s his focus – along with a flurry of reports about his personal life. Montgomerie was asked after he finished his first round 78 if he had prepared and what were his expectations.

“There weren’t. I couldn’t. I’m sorry,” he replied.

It was his fourth consecutive year at the PGA that he failed to break par.

All that boosted his spirits was the play of his potential team – Francesco Molinari a co-leader after the first round, Rory McIlroy playing well in another major.

One player who won’t be in Wales – and this is no surprise – is Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard, who has played every Ryder Cup since 1999, said last week he was taking a two-month break after the PGA Championship unless the Ryder Cup got in the way.

Asked if he could see Garcia on the team, Montgomerie replied, “At this stage, it is not looking likely, no.”


 

CLARKE’S RESTART: Darren Clarke was 3-under par, one shot out of the lead, when he left Whistling Straits on Thursday night with five holes left in his first round. He wound up at 2-over 74 and had no idea what went wrong.

Clarke had a 30-foot par putt for his first shot Friday, and knew bogey was likely.

Then came a missed tee shot on the 15th (bogey), a poor chip on the 16th (bogey) and a bad break in the bunkers on the par-3 17th, which led to a double bogey.

Clarke pulled his tee shot to the left and down the slope into a bunker. Someone had walked through it, and his ball wound up in a deep heel print.

“It was one of those that was supposed to be raked and someone had walked through it,” he said. “Just one of those mistakes. There are so many out here, they are going to miss one now and again. Just unfortunate I was the guy in it.”

He was lucky to move it a a few feet, chipped on and made double bogey.

“I was hoping for better, but that’s the way it is,” Clarke said. “I’d love to find an excuse, but I can’t.”

What about the heel print?

“A good shot doesn’t go down there,” he said. “A good shot goes on the green.”


DALY DONE: John Daly notified organizers late Friday that he would not be back Saturday after finishing the par-3 seventh hole because of a shoulder injury. He was 5 over in his second round to that point after shooting a 76 in his opening round Thursday.

Daly was in a group with Padraig Harrington and Davis Love III.

The 44-year-old Daly won the 1991 PGA Championship, earning a lifetime exemption to the event. He’s been cut or has withdrawn in 13 of the 17 appearances since his victory, never finishing higher than tied for 32nd place.


 

SLICK SLIDE: Keith Ohr needed a savvy slide to get out of a slick situation on the 11th hole in his second round Friday.

Ohr’s tee shot came to rest on the last foot of the left edge of the fairway at Whistling Straits and as he took a stance atop some railroad ties that wall a bunker about 10 feet below, he lost his balance. Ohr skillfully got both feet flat on the side of the ties, like a skier going backward, and landed on both feet.

He wasn’t hurt. He walked back up to the fairway, made sure he kept his balance on his second shot and continued on his way.


 

FAIR EXCHANGE: Phil Mickelson, aiming for the world’s No. 1 ranking, gained a fan despite his errant ways. Mickelson struck a fan on the 15th hole on Friday, immediately making amends.

He signed a glove writing “sorry” in capital letters and put a sad, frowning face inside the “O.” The man he hit had a big smile, and didn’t appear seriously injured.


 

DIVOTS: The fog has delayed the first two days of play a total of 5 hours, 56 minutes. … The first round ended at 1:02 p.m., more than 30 hours after it was scheduled to begin. … The scoring average in the first round was nearly a quarter of a stroke higher than the first round of the 2004 PGA Championship on the same course.

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.