Ochoas status as player of year on the line

By Associated PressNovember 11, 2009, 5:28 pm

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP)—Lorena Ochoa has been the LPGA’s player of the yearthree straight times, a string that could end this week at her own tournament.

Threatening to ruin the party at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational is21-year-old South Korean Jiyai Shin. She has already won the rookie of the yearaward and leads Ochoa by four points in the player of the year contest.

Two tournaments remain, including next week’s LPGA Tour Championship inHouston.

“It’s been a year with a little bit more ups and downs,” said Ochoa, thegame’s top-ranked player. “The great thing is that I have the opportunity to beplayer of the year again. It’s going to be tough.”

Shin has won three times this season, and she won three times last year onthe LPGA Tour before she was even a member, including a victory in the 2008Women’s British Open. If she wins Ochoa’s tournament on Sunday—and Ochoafinishes eighth or lower—Shin will be the player of the year.

The last player to pull off the double was Nancy Lopez in 1978.

Shin also leads the season money list with $1.7 million, ahead of Japan’s AiMiyazato with $1.5 million. Ochoa is fifth at $1.3 million.

No South Korean—not even veteran Se Ri Pak—has finished No. 1 on themoney list, and no Korean has ever been player of the year. Shin is the sixthKorean to win rookie of the year.

“At the beginning of the season my goal was rookie of the year,” Shinsaid. “But I’ve already made that and now I have a chance for player of theyear, too. … There’s no pressure because I have already made my goal. Playerof the year is a bonus thing for me.”

Besides Shin and Ochoa, a few others have mathematical chances at player ofthe year, but they are long shots. They include: Cristie Kerr, Miyazato, YaniTseng, Suzann Pettersen, Na Yeon Choi and Angela Stanford.

The 27-year-old Ochoa has won three times this season, but she failed tocontend in any of the four majors. Of course, this season is being compared tothe three previous when she won a combined 21 times, including two majors.

She’s playing better after a midseason slump with top-five finishes in fourof her last five tournaments, including a victory in the Navistar LPGA Classic amonth ago.

But she’s acknowledged that planning for her marriage next month and otheroff-course obligations have been a distraction.

“I’m going to try to play like it’s any other week,” Ochoa said. “I’llconcentrate on my game and leave all the distractions outside the ropes.”

The 36-player field at the Guadalajara Country Club—where Ochoa learnedthe game—is small but loaded with the top 31 on the LPGA money list, and fiveplaying on sponsors exceptions. Included among the exceptions are Laura Davies,Natalie Gulbis and Juli Inkster.

“There is nothing nicer than playing at home,” Ochoa said. “I’m going todo my best to enjoy the event.”

And hope Shin doesn’t spoil it.

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.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.