Notes: Players happy about changes to 17th

By Associated PressMay 2, 2012, 9:01 pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - PGA Tour players have been clamoring for change at Quail Hollow for nine years, and finally someone listened.

Club and tournament officials significantly altered the course's signature hole - the watery par-3 17th - by moving the tee box about 75 yards left to the member's tee for this week's Wells Fargo Championship. It not only shortens the hole by about 25 yards to 192, but also provides a more receptive angle to the green.

Players argued for years that the tees built specifically for the pros made for an awkward tee shot.

''I think it's a great decision just because of the way the green is designed,'' said Phil Mickelson, who was one of those who pushed for the modification.

''It's designed to receive the shot from over there,'' he added. ''When the green gets firm like it will be this week it's a much better hole from over there. There is more decision-making and more risk-reward as opposed to 100 percent defense. I think it's a great hole from over there.''

Mickelson has six top-10 finishes at the Wells Fargo Championship in nine attempts but has never won.

Quail Hollow's 17th hole has been one of the toughest par-3s on the Tour for years - a fact not lost on Mickelson.

In his previous 36 rounds at Quail Hollow he's a combined 14-over par.

RETURNING THE FAVOR: Bill Haas took to carrying the bags for his younger brother Jay Jr. at Monday's qualifying event in Charlotte.

Normally it's the other way around.

Jay Jr. has been caddying for Bill since the middle of last year and the two have experienced great success together, with Bill winning the Tour Championship and the $10 million FedEx Cup in 2011. He started this year by winning a playoff at Riviera.

''Jay likes to play and I know that he has the itch every time he's out here,'' Bill Haas said of his brother. ''He thinks he can play with all of the guys out here. I think he's got the talent.''

Jay Jr. shot a 1-under 71 but didn't qualify for the tournament.

''I wanted him to get into the field,'' Haas said. ''I thought maybe I could help him with a shot or two.''

When asked who's more expensive as a caddie, Bill laughed and said, ''He doesn't pay much.''

WHAT'S THE MASTERS?: Hunter Mahan recently threw out the first pitch at a Texas Rangers game and got to mingle with some of the players.

Mahan said most of the guys knew who he was, but Rangers star Josh Hamilton didn't.

''After he hit batting practice he goes, 'So what tournament did you play?'' Mahan said. ''I told him 'The Masters.' You've got to the love the guy (because) he had no idea what the Masters was or ever heard of it. I mean he was just ... he was so funny.''

TOP FIELD CONTENDING: The Wells Fargo Championship is always a competitive field and this year is no different. Five of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Rankings are in the field, including McIlroy, Westwood, Mickelson, Mahan and Tiger Woods. Fifteen of the 19 PGA Tour winners from last year are entered.

The one notable absentee is Masters champion Bubba Watson, who withdrew a couple of weeks ago to spend more time with his family.

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 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.