Notes Woods working out kinks Leftys late charge

By Associated PressMay 3, 2009, 4:00 pm
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. ' When Tiger Woods shot a 30 on the front nine in a 7-under 65 in the opening round of the Quail Hollow Championship, he appeared poised to dominate on a tough course with a major-like feel.
 
But Woods was still working out the kinks in his fifth tournament back from knee surgery. Entering Sunday two shots out of the lead, Woods wasted several birdie chances and one eagle opportunity, closing with 10 straight pars for a 72.
 
He finished at 9-under 286, good for fourth place, two shots behind winner and buddy Sean OHair.
 
Ive been very pleased with some of my progress. Im also not so pleased with some of it, Woods said. Its been spotty, streaky. I just need to get a little more consistent.
 
In an event he won in 2007, Woods could have tied for the lead with an eagle when he drove the green on the par-4 14th. He ended up nearly four-putting.
 
It was baked out. I knew that, Woods said of the tricky, fast green, the signature element of this event. It was downwind and I saw George (McNeills) putt roll out. I kept telling myself, This putt is faster than it looks. Its faster than it looks. And I didnt heed my own warning.
 
The next one I blocked again. And I made a wonderful 6-footer for my three-putt.
 
Still, Woods believes his short game is ahead of the rest. He hit only 25 of 56 fairways.
 
Thats all I did for months is chip and putt, Woods said of his limitations during rehab. I just need to get more crisp with my driving and my long irons. The longer stuff is not where I want it.
 
Hes hardly been bad, with one win and four consecutive top-10 finishes. The next step is playing consecutive weeks for the first time at The Players Championship.
 
I havent done it yet and this will be a nice little test, Woods said. Obviously toward the end of the year we play a lot. Youve just go to keep building toward that throughout the year and have no setbacks. Thats the whole key.
 

 
JOHNSON HEADACHE: Third-round leader Zach Johnson had a nasty headache on Sunday that affected his vision, perhaps from allergies.
 
It only got worse when his undoing came in the most unlikely way: He triple-bogeyed a par 3 that has no water.
 
Johnson entered the day at 11 under and ahead by two shots. After parring the first hole, Johnson hit his tee shot on No. 2 so far right it hit a cart path and stopped 75 yards from the pin.
 
It was just a dead block push. Got in front of it. Terrible swing, Johnson said.
 
Facing a chip shot with a tree just to his right, Johnson hit the tree square. The ball ricocheted behind him and to the right, leaving him 80 yards to the hole.
 
I was in pine straw, Johnson said. I hit it 8 feet right of where I was trying to hit it.
 
He reached the green on his third shot, then three-putted after he lipped out a 6-footer for double bogey.
 
Johnson hit another tree on the next hole on the way to a bogey. He recovered with consecutive birdies, but played the final 13 holes at 2 over for a 76. He finished at 7 under, wasting an opportunity for his second win of the year.
 
Ill learn from it and figure out what happened, Johnson said. Hopefully Ill be better the next time around.
 

 
LEFTYS CHARGE: Phil Mickelson declared himself out of contention on Saturday after a 75 left him eight shots out of the lead. Leftys tune changed when he birdied No. 14 on Sunday to move to 8 under and within one of the lead.
 
I never really thought about winning until the last four or five holes, Mickelson said.
 
He finished with four straight pars and a 67 that momentarily left him in the mix'and gave him some momentum for next weeks Players Championship.
 
I enjoyed getting a good round and hitting some shots, making some key putts, feeling the pressure, Mickelson said. The last hole I had a 4-footer and I had pressure on that. Thats cool. I havent been in a tournament the last couple of weeks, and it was fun to feel that.
 

 
A SUCCESS: The tournament was forced to change its name only two months before the first ball was struck. Officials were selling tickets and sponsorships in a town hit hard by the financial crisis.
 
Still, Quail Hollow Championship director Kym Hougham was pleased at how the event recovered.
 
Ticket sales were down about 2,000 per day compared to last year. But Woods presence produced similar, if not larger, crowds than 2008 when Woods didnt play because of a knee injury.
 
He makes tickets used at a much higher percentage, Hougham said. So its likely that we sold less tickets but well have more people on the golf course this year.
 
Wells Fargo still paid about $3 million even though it took Wachovia, the company it purchased last year, off the name of the tournament. Hougham said they had trouble selling midlevel corporate hospitality packages in the $15,000 range, but overall the event did well considering the poor economy.
 
It all goes back to two things, the date and the golf course, Hougham said. Were blessed with really good with both. I think were one of the fortunate ones on tour, and we understand that.
 

 
DIVOTS: Jonathan Byrd shot a 66 on Sunday to tied for fifth at 8 under, his best finish in nearly a year. I went out (Saturday) and played more solid, more free. Thats a good word for me, Byrd said. And today I just tried to do the same thing. U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee double-bogeyed 18 in a final-round 76. He finished at 2-under 286 to collect his first check as a professional. Lee missed the cut in his debut the week before at the Zurich Classic Anthony Kim, the 2008 champion, recovered from Saturdays 78 with a 71. He finished at even par.
 
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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.