Notes Pressel the perfect host Inksters solution

By Associated PressOctober 21, 2008, 4:00 pm
Morgan Pressel, who last year signed an endorsement as Kapaluas touring professional, had a share of the lead going into the final round of the inaugural Kapalua LPGA Classic. She said she tried to stick to her routine by going to dinner and getting to bed.
 
Turns out theres more to the story.
 
Upon learning Kapalua officials were meeting with a potential sponsor Saturday night, Pressel invited herself to dinner to meet with company officials. Then, she went out and won the tournament with a 15-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the 18th hole.
 
WESTWOOD WAITS
Lee Westwood now has gone 27 tournaments without winning dating to the British Masters last year, but he still rates this season as a success. He was a serious threat to win a major for the first time, finishing one shot out of the U.S. Open playoff. He also came close to winning his first World Golf Championship, finishing one behind Vijay Singh.
 
More than those close calls, he looks at consistency. He has had a dozen finishes in the top 10, including seven top 3s.
 
Its a fine line between winning a golf tournament and finishing second and third, Westwood said last week in Portugal. So I could quite easily be sitting here with four, five, six wins.
 
Padraig Harrington would be among those who understand.
 
From 1998 through 2001, Westwood won 12 times and had four runner-up finishes on the European tour. Harrington won three times and was runner-up 14 times during that same stretch.
 
Its just one of those things you cant really quantify and put your finger on the difference between winning and finishing second, Westwood said.
 
LPGA PRO-AMS
For all the fuss over LPGA players who cant communicate well during pro-ams, Juli Inkster believes the issue goes far beyond language, particularly with Asian players.
 
The LPGA contemplated a policy demanding English efficiency from its players until it backed down under public criticism. Theres still plenty of discussion of the topic, though, and Inkster said earlier this month that it was more about culture.
 
The Asian players its kind of a respect thing, a pecking order thing, Inkster said. They are brought up to really honor their roots and their grandparents, and the people before them, and the higher-ups. So all of a sudden, you put an 18- or 19-year-old girl thats maybe not really comfortable with her English.
 
Playing with four CEOs ' men or women ' she is not going to feel comfortable going up there and making small talk. Thats not the way they are brought up.
 
Her solution? Have them accompany a veteran who makes everyone comfortable in pro-ams ' and theres no shortage of those on the LPGA, whether its Inkster, Meg Mallon or Lorena Ochoa.
 
Count that as their pro-am, just so they can learn, Inkster said. Its teaching these girls how to play a pro-am more than teaching them English. If I get four Korean men in this pro-am, even though I dont speak their language, Im going to make it fun for them.
 

FAXON'S LOST SEASON
In reviewing last season, the PGA Tour media guide notes Brad Faxon had season-ending foot surgery in August but is expected to be ready for the 2008 season.
 
It just didnt say when.
 
Then again, Faxon didnt realize he would have another ACL surgery on his right knee ' his third since 2003 ' or a microfracture surgery that followed, a complicated procedure in which tiny fractures in the bone begins the process for cartilage to rebuild.
 
The good news for Faxon is his doctor has cleared him to play next week in the Ginn sur Merr Classic in Florida, his second start of the year. The first one came at Turning Stone three weeks ago, where he missed the cut and wondered if he would be one-and-done after swelling in the knee.
 
Being out on tour is not the same as being home in a cart, he said.
 
Faxon wanted to make sure he wouldnt do any more damage to his knee, and doctors gave him the go-ahead last week.
 
My season is a wash anyway, Faxon said. I just want to make sure that when January gets here, Im ready to play. It would be a hard winter if I cant play, especially not having played the last year.
 
Except for Turning Stone, his last official event was the Wyndham Championship in August 2007.
 

KARLSSON STAYING PUT
Robert Karlsson, on the verge of winning the Order of Merit in Europe, has earned enough in the majors that he could be eligible to take up PGA Tour membership next year.
 
But it sounds as though the Swede is staying put instead of playing the minimum 15 required for U.S. membership.
 
(Im) not really interested in playing 15, especially with the Race to Dubai coming here, he said, referring to Europes new points race culminating in $20 million in prize and bonus money available in Dubai at the end of the year.
 
Karlsson played 28 times last year and already has played 22 times this year. The ideal schedule would be 25 events a year around the world, although like other players, he finds it hard to cut back.
 
Theres too many good events around, thats the thing, Karlsson said. If you can be about 25, that would be good. You would like to remember what the kids look like.
 
LEWIS WAITS
Stacy Lewis closed with a 66, the best score of the week at the Kapalua LPGA Classic, to tie for sixth. Now she waits six weeks before her biggest event of the year ' the final stage of LPGA qualifying.
 
If not for a puzzling policy, Lewis wouldnt have to worry about Q-School.
 
Lewis made $47,077 at Kapalua, pushing her earnings in seven events to $247,464, which would have put her 57th on the money list. Those finishing the equivalent of the top 80 on the money list get their cards. But the LPGA does not count earnings from the U.S. Womens Open ' Lewis finished third in her pro debut ' for nonmembers.
 
Instead, Lewis was credited with $84,977 from her six sponsor exemptions. She missed the cut in one event after flying across the country for the first stage of Q-School.
 
DIVOTS
Hal Sutton tied for 23rd in his Champions Tour debut and earned $14,620, his largest tour paycheck since he tied for 41st in the 2004 Colonial and made $20,620. Ben Crane shot all four rounds in the 60s in Las Vegas and tied for 53rd. Two players who reached the third round of the PGA Tour Playoffs in St. Louis ' Jay Williamson and Martin Laird ' are outside the top 125 on the money list. Of the 95 eagles last week in Las Vegas, 14 of them were on par 4s.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Las Vegas has produced a first-time winner on the PGA Tour the last five years, the longest streak of any event. None of the previous four have won again.
 
FINAL WORD
Parking spot with your name on it. I dont get that anywhere else. ' Hal Sutton on his Champions Tour debut.
 

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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.