Notes One Coach Two Masters

By Associated PressJune 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. OpenOAKMONT, Pa. -- Swing coach Butch Harmon had to serve two masters Friday at the U.S. Open.
 
Harmon has been working the past several years with Adam Scott, the No. 4 player in the world ranking. He began working about two months ago with three-time major champion Phil Mickelson.
 
Just his luck, Mickelson and Scott played together the first two rounds.
 
Even though Mickelson is the more celebrated and accomplished player, Harmon has gone to great lengths to say his priority was helping the 26-year-old Australian win his first major. Still, Harmon didn't arrive until Scott was already about 10 minutes into his warm-up session, and then he spent five minutes chatting with Mickelson's caddie.
 
Lefty finally arrived and made it easy for the coach.
 
'Where do you want to go?' he said to Harmon. 'Would you rather have me hit by Adam? Would that be easier?'
 
'Wherever you want,' Harmon replied. 'But that would be easier for me.'
 
Mickelson found an opening two spots down from Scott, separated only by Jeff Sluman. Harmon, however, headed straight for Scott and spent the next 10 minutes working with him, then switched over to Mickelson.
 
Scott took triple bogey on the first hole on his way to an 82. Mickelson shot 40 on the back nine for a 77.
 
OW, MY NOSE
Justin Rose had the perfect excuse for his three-putt bogey on No. 2.
 
Rose had a nosebleed on the second hole, and he was still sniffling when he reached the green on the par 4.
 
'Certainly I would say the second green was a little bit difficult,' he said. 'I can't necessarily blame the three-putt on that, but it was unusual that it happened, yeah.'
 
The Englishman recovered nicely, though, shooting a 1-over 71 that left him 2 over for the tournament.
 
Rose didn't know what caused the nosebleed -- 'My caddie didn't hit me or anything' -- but said it might have been his allergies. He tends to get hay fever, and people in Pittsburgh have complained all spring that this is a particularly bad year for allergies. Brisk winds stirred things up even more Friday.
 
'I don't know if something got irritated,' Rose said. 'It was a little annoying, but by the fourth hole it was all good.'
 
How did he cure it?
 
'What do you do with nosebleeds?' he laughed. 'You just throw a bit of tissue up there and off you go.'
 
PAIN IN THE BACK
Steve Stricker was on the practice range when, without hitting a shot, he felt a twinge in his back.
 
He did a slow knee bend, trying to stretch it out, which got the attention of caddie Scott Steele. He reached into the bag for a bottle of pain relievers, which Stricker quickly downed.
 
'Something just grabbed it,' he said.
 
Stricker made it through his round in 73 and was at 8-over 148, but his back wasn't feeling any better. He said he has been feeling a few aches in the back of his knee, and worried that it was causing problems in his back.
 
QUIET, PLEASE
Tom Pernice Jr. played the first two rounds with Charl Schwartzel, a 22-year-old South African in his second U.S. Open who is No. 46 in the world ranking.
 
Asked for his impressions, Pernice said he sounded familiar -- in other words, not much chatter.
 
'I'd say he's your typical South African,' Pernice said. 'They never talk, just like Retief (Goosen) or Ernie (Els); not the most exciting personalities, but loads of talent, no question.'
 
Typical South African?
 
Apparently, Pernice hasn't played too often with Rory Sabbatini.
 
EARLY DEPARTURE
The youngest player in the field didn't make the cut at the U.S. Open. He didn't even make it to the end of his second round. Richard Lee withdrew after 13 holes Friday with a wrist injury. The 16-year-old was 11 over for the day, 20 over for the tournament when he stopped.
 
'I am disappointed,' he said. 'But I'm still happy that I came here this week to this wonderful golf course, Oakmont. A lot of history to this course. It's an honor that I played here.'
 
Lee was trying to chip out of the rough beside the green on the par-4 11th when he tweaked his right wrist.
 
'I took a full swing at it because it was all the way down there,' he said. 'After that shot, I was like, `Whoa, what happened to my wrist?' I was just trying to concentrate, but I couldn't. There was a lot of pain.'
 
Lee played the 12th and 13th holes and then withdrew.
 
EAGLE HELP
Paul Goydos was 11 over par for the tournament, surely headed home, when he played final 13 holes in even par.
 
He had some help.
 
Goydos holed out for eagle from 231 yards in the seventh fairway, even though he gave that back with a double bogey on the 10th. He birdied the 12th, only to bogey the 13th, then finished with five straight pars.
 
'My patience is horrible,' he said. 'This golf course, and the U.S. Open, test your patience. I was 11 over after five holes today, so I must have hung in there pretty good. It's easier to stay patient when you're holing 231-yard 3-irons.'
 
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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.