Ochoa holds off hard-charging Wie in Alabama

By Associated PressOctober 5, 2009, 2:44 am

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PRATTVILLE, Ala. – Lorena Ochoa successfully defended her Navistar LPGA Classic title, overcoming early troubles to shoot a 2-under 70 on Sunday for a four-stroke victory over Michelle Wie and Brittany Lang.

Ochoa finished at 18-under 270 on The Senator course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Capitol Hill complex to snap an 11-start winless streak dating to the Corona Championship in late April. The top-ranked Mexican star has three victories this year and 27 overall on the LPGA.

“There are places where you feel comfortable and you feel a good vibe and you like the course,” Ochoa said. “This has been really good for me. I feel comfortable here. I have a lot of good memories.”

One more: Friends Shanti Granada from home and Marisa Baena, a Colombian LPGA player, chased her around the green spraying her with cans of beer afterward.

“It feels good,” said Ochoa, second behind Sophie Gustafson last week in California. “I have a lot of emotions because it hasn’t been easy. I’m ready to keep playing good ball and would love the chance to finish with a few more wins.”

Ochoa wiped out her three-stroke lead coming into the day with a bogey and double bogey in the first five holes, sending her drive into the trees for an unplayable ball on No. 5.

“I told myself, ‘Forget it, you have many holes to play and just be patient,”’ Ochoa said.

She erased any drama with a birdie on No. 17 for the third straight day. Ochoa two-putted from some 50 feet.

The conditions made for few low scores on the day.

“The wind picked up, the temperature was lower and the greens were a little harder,” Ochoa said. “They were really hard. It changed the golf course.”

Wie overcame a gimpy left ankle to close with a 66, while Lang had a 70 to keep pace with Ochoa. Yani Tseng (70) and Janice Moodie (71) were five strokes back.

Fourteen-year-old Alexis Thompson shot her second straight 74 to tie for 27th at 6 under. She opened with rounds of 65 and 69 to share the second-round lead.

Wie sprained her left ankle about a month and a half ago, reinjured it Thursday by stepping in a hole and tweaked it again Saturday.

She had five birdies on the final nine holes, and the ankle might have actually taken some of the pressure off her.

“I’m very proud of the way I grinded out there, especially on the back nine,” said Wie, who has finished second twice this year. “There were a lot of times where I felt like I had to stop and catch my breath and keep going.

“My ankle was the only thing I could think about – one step forward, another step forward. That was all I was thinking about on the back nine. Score wasn’t really a factor. I just wanted to finish.”

The 14-year-old Thompson, a ninth-grader from Florida, finished with a crowd-pleasing shot to set up a 6-inch tap-in on the final hole, pumping both fists in the air as the ball rolled toward the hole.

“That was a pretty good shot to end it on,” said Thompson, who was part of a five-way tie for the second-round lead. “That’s all I wanted. I thought it was in there. I reacted like it was in the hole. That would have been nice.”

Her caddie and father, Scott Thompson, said his daughter really wanted a strong finish. “She was like, ‘I’ve played so bad, let me hit one good shot for all these people,”’ he said.

Thompson was bombarded by autograph seekers, including plenty of girls about her age.

“It was a great experience,” she said. “I wish I would have finished better. I didn’t expect to do this bad. The first two days, it was pretty good. The last two days, it seemed like I hadn’t hit a ball in forever.”

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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.