Notes Tigers Wild Ride Rorys Roar

By Associated PressAugust 5, 2007, 4:00 pm
WGC-Bridgestone - 125wAKRON, Ohio -- The ninth hole is where all the action is at Firestone Country Club.
 
Tiger Woods struck a ball that landed in the crook of a woman's arm and he later chipped in for par. Then Rory Sabbatini, in second place six shots back of Woods at the time, took offense at a spectator's question and had the fan expelled from the course.
 
In other words, it was another routine day at the ninth during the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday. Remember how Woods bounced an approach to the ninth up onto the clubhouse roof there during the second round last year?
 
Woods was leading by four strokes Sunday as he stood over his ball far to the left of the fairway after a wild 358-yard drive. He pulled his 9-iron second shot into the trees left of the green and it hit a limb and dropped directly onto Rudy Wittensoldner. The 58-year-old native of nearby Louisville was sitting with friends while covered with a clear sheet of plastic. The ball hit her in the forearm and she pulled her arm up against her body so the ball wouldn't fall, gamely waiting until Woods came up to collect it.
 
Woods walked around the greenside bunker and laughed when he saw her scrunched down in her chair with the ball nestled against her body. Woods then asked for a ruling and received a free drop, chipping through the green. While marshals went to get ice for Wittensoldner's arm, Woods calmly holed an 18-foot chip for par that was met by a huge ovation.
 
'It's kind of hot,' Wittensoldner said of the spot where the ball hit her.
 
Woods was asked for a blow-by-blow of the hole.
 
'It ended up right on the lady's jacket, poncho, whatever you want to call it,' he said. 'I took a drop, hit a terrible pitch over the green, and I holed it from there with a little 9 iron. Four shots.'
 
Seconds later, after Sabbatini made a double bogey and was walking away from the ninth green, retired firefighter and paramedic Steve Banky casually said to him, 'Hey, Rory. Still think Tiger's beatable?'
 
Sabbatini wheeled and pointed to Banky, telling a police officer that he wanted Banky removed from the course. He was escorted to the course's front entrance by two officers.
 
'We're out here to do our job -- let us do our job,' Sabbatini said later. 'Have a little bit of decorum, a little bit of class out there. I guess a few too many beers were talking.'
 
Sabbatini shot a 74, Woods had a 65 to overcome a one-shot deficit to start the day and win by eight strokes.
 
It was at the Wachovia tournament earlier this year that the fiery Sabbatini said he wanted Woods in the final group. Woods then beat him by five shots in the final round to win the tournament. Four days later, Sabbatini said Woods looked 'beatable as ever.' Woods countered that he had already won three times this year, matching Sabbatini's career total.
 
Banky was stunned that he had been tossed from the course after paying $55 for his ticket.
 
'I figured he was talking a better game than he was playing,' said Banky, who was making his first trip to the tournament in 15 years. 'I wasn't trying to dog him. At the press conference he had, he said Tiger was beatable. I just called him on it.'
 
Banky then strolled away to his car.
 
HURRY IT UP
A storm front was predicted to come through Firestone Country Club, so changes were made to get the players off the course as quickly as possible in the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational.
 
Players teed off in threesomes on both the No. 1 and 10 tees. They were originally set to go off in twosomes from the first tee with the leaders starting almost 4 hours later.
 
After hot and humid weather the first three days of the tournament, overcast skies and a light drizzle cooled things down throughout the round.
 
RECORD WIN
Woods' sixth win at the Bridgestone moved him into a tie for second for most victories by a player in one PGA Tour event.
 
Sam Snead won the Greater Greensboro Open in 1938, '46, '49, '50, '55-56, '60 and '65, with the 27-year span between his first and eighth victories also a tour record.
 
Woods has now won the Bridgestone in 1999-2001, 2005-2007.
 
He joins Harry Vardon (British Open 1896, 1898-99, 1903, '11, '14), Alex Ross (North & South Open 1902, '04, '07-08, '10, '15), Snead again (Miami Open 1937, '39, '46, '50-51, '55) and Jack Nicklaus (Masters 1963, '65-66, '72, '75, '86).
 
Woods has also won another World Golf Championship tournament six times -- the American Express Championship five times and then this spring, the WGC-CA Championship. Those were won on six different courses.
 
Only four players -- including Woods, at Bay Hill from 2000 to 2003 -- have ever won the same tournament more than three times in a row.
 
DIVOTS
Jose Maria Olazabal, who shot a record-low 262 in winning the 1990 World Series of Golf on the same Firestone course, struggled to a 314 -- last in the field -- while never breaking 77. ... Woods' 65 was the lowest round Sunday by two strokes. ... Woods was 40th -- barely in the top half of the field -- in putting.
 
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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.