Notes Too soon for Cink Lefty the math professor

By Associated PressJuly 30, 2008, 4:00 pm
WGC-Bridgestone - 125wAKRON, Ohio ' Based on his record, Stewart Cink wont win this week at the Bridgestone Invitational.
 
But dont bet against him in two weeks at the Wyndham Championship ' right after the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.
 
All of my tournament wins have come the week after majors, including one on the Nationwide Tour, Cink said Wednesday during preparations for the Bridgestone at Firestone Country Club.
 
Cink captured his fifth PGA TOUR title last month at the Travelers. Naturally, that came seven days after the final round of the U.S. Open.
 
He also has won the Greater Hartford in 1997 the week after the U.S. Open; at Hilton Head in 2000 and again in 2004 the week after the Masters; and the 2004 NEC Invitational, the predecessor of the Bridgestone, which followed that years PGA Championship.
 
You play in a major, and after that you feel like youre pretty well prepared to play in any tournament, Cink said, attempting to explain his majors-plus-one success.
 
Cink is satisfied with his career. Its just that hed like to win a major instead of always basking in the afterglow of one.
 
As long as I keep on having wins, Im OK with it, he said. But eventually Id like to try to shift it back a week and win a major. My timing has always been bad.
 
FAVORITE SON
 
When the Ryder Cup takes place outside Louisville in September, native Kentuckian Kenny Perry will be more than just a member of the U.S. team. Hell also be an unofficial tournament host.
 
Perry has played some of the best golf in his career (he turns 48 soon) to earn a spot on the team. Of course, he wants to win but he also wants the event to be a huge success at Valhalla because of the thousands of fans from Kentucky wholl be cheering his every shot.
 
It may be too much pressure, too much burden, that I cant handle it. I dont know, Perry said.
 
There are many reasons why the Ryder Cup will be special for him.
 
My (85-year-old) dad is going to be there, he said. Weve got a special exemption for him to ride in a golf cart on each hole. He hasnt gotten to see me ' I dont know the last time he was at a golf tournament.
 
Its just going to be a neat week.
 
MICKELSONS MATH
 
Phil Mickelson and his short-game guru, Dave Pelz, work with a software program that analyzes tour statistics and applies them to various top venues.
 
The Left-handed professor offered an example of the wonders revealed by the program ' and closed with a pop quiz.
 
If you increase any statistical category across the board, it lowers scores, Mickelson explained. OK, 10 percent fewer putts, 10 percent more greens, 10 percent closer to the hole, 10 percent more fairways ' every one lowers scores except longer driving distance.
 
Warming to the subject, he added, Theres one golf course in America where 10 percent longer driving equates to lower scores. What would you think it would be?
 
After a pregnant pause, he smiled and said, Augusta National.
 
NATIONAL ICON
 
Even before he captured his second consecutive British Open two weeks ago at Royal Birkdale, Padraig Harrington was one of the most famous celebrities in his Irish homeland.
 
In the media frenzy after his latest victory, he has faced his share of almost an embarrassing amount of praise from a proud nation.
 
A question came up at home about how do I rate now in terms of sportsmen in Irish history, Harrington said. As much as its a valid conversation for two guys sitting in the pub over a pint to discuss whether Im as good as somebody else was, its not for me to get into.
 
Instead, Harrington has tried to remember what got him those two major championships.
 
Im not the guy who can fly in on a Wednesday evening and not play his practice rounds and not do the right things ' and all of a sudden have a good week, he said. Im the guy I got here and was practicing on Monday. I know if I want to play good golf, Ive got to do the same things I do every week and be prepared to go out there.
 
WIE VS. MEN
 
With Michelle Wie playing this week at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open, Stewart Cink wished her the best ' while offering a gentle criticism.
 
Wie has missed the cut in all seven previous forays on the PGA TOUR and has struggled so far in her young LPGA Tour career.
 
I hope she makes the cut in one of these (mens) tournaments and maybe that will satisfy her, or her parents or whoever are behind it, Cink said. I hope theyre satisfied soon and she can just be allowed to grow up and play golf against her competitors. The LPGA Tour offers a lot of competitiveness out there, and shes obviously had her struggles. I just hope that she can be allowed to just blossom into the great player that she can be.
 
NO BAGS TO CHECK
 
It wasnt until after Padraig Harrington and his wife were standing at the baggage claim in Chicago that he realized that he had left his clothing bag back in his bedroom in Dublin.
 
My wife looked at me and said, Youre lucky you won the Open two weeks ago. Were going to give you a pass on this one, he said with a laugh.
 
DIVOTS
 
Anthony Kim is still sore after taking batting practice with the Boston Red Sox on Monday night. Harrington is building a house in North Carolina to have a base over here to bring the family and get away from it. Cleveland native Charlie Sifford, the first black to earn a Tour card and to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, was honored by the tournament as its 2008 Ambassador of Golf. No. 1 Tiger Woods is home recuperating from knee surgery, but the next 19 players in the world rankings are in the 80-player field at the Bridgestone.
 
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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.