Open rookie Steve Marino learns a painful lesson

By Associated PressJuly 18, 2009, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship TURNBERRY, Scotland ' Steve Marino got a kick out of playing links golf for the first time. Took right to it, in fact.
 
Playing in the final group of a major on the weekend for the first time? With Tom Watson, no less?
 
Well, that was a little different.
 
Marino made it to the big stage for the first time in his fledgling career Saturday with a 67-68 start to his first British Open, but the nerves sure showed during a wild ride Saturday along the Scottish coast.
 
Despite a rough Round 3, Steve Marino still believes he can win. (Getty Images)
It was a combination of the good, the bad and the ugly out there, Marino moaned.
 
The 29-year-old went tumbling down the scoreboard in the first five holes, losing five strokes. He plugged his ball in the side of a hill, had to drop from an adjoining fairway and took triple bogey. He missed a bunch of putts inside 10 feet, the sort of thing you just cant do trying to win your first major championship.
 
But Marino also had an eagle, nearly made another and closed with a birdie-birdie finish that kept him on the fringe of contention, even as everyone else at Turnberry was toasting Watson, his 59-year-old playing partner in the last group and the improbable leader heading to the final round.
 
Right now, Im a little bit bummed out because I really hung in there in the middle of the round, said Marino, who finished with a 6-over 76 that included only seven pars. Its amazing how fast you can let a pretty good round get away from you.
 
He certainly deserves credit for hanging in there. His round started dismally'three straight bogeys beginning at No. 2, then a double bogey at the fifth when he drove his tee shot into a bunker, hit a poor approach that left him with a treacherous line above the hole, and wound up missing a short one after he finally got it down near the cup.
 
But two brilliant shots gave Marino a virtual tap-in for eagle at the par-5 seventh, and his first birdie of the round at No. 11 carried him within a stroke of Watson for the lead.
 
I was going along so well and all of a sudden it was like, bam! Marino said. Next thing you know I was like 8 over for the round.
 
He made a bogey at No. 12, but a few of those are acceptable with the wind howling off the Irish Sea and only five players managing to break par. Marinos real trouble came at the par-3 15th, where one bad shot off the tee led to all sorts of mayhem.
 
It took awhile just to find the ball, lodged among the tall grass on the side of a hill. A marshal finally located it, and Marino pondered whether to take a whack. But he could barely see the ball, wouldve had trouble just taking a stance and finally decided to take an unplayable.
 
Allowed to move his ball backward along a straight line, Marino wound up over by the eighth fairway. But there was no way he could stop a wedge near the flag, cut along the right side, and his shot skipped all the way through the green. From there, it took three more shots to get down ' a devastating triple bogey.
 
Still shaken, Marino drove in the bunker at 16, lipped out a short putt and had to write down a second straight 6, his score for the round climbing to 8 over.
 
I started playing real well, I thought, Marino said. All of a sudden I just missed it right on 15, had a horrible lie and my only option was to take an unplayable or go back to the tee.
 
Fortunately, he still had two holes left to mitigate the damage. Taking his own advice from a day earlier ' crazy things happen at a British Open and be ready to deal with them ' Marino somehow pulled himself together. Again.
 
He had an eagle putt at No. 17, but the ball slid by the cup. He pulled out the driver at 18, hit a brilliant approach toward the flag and made the putt for his second straight birdie.
 
Amazingly, hes still in the mix for the claret jug, five shots behind Watsons 4-under 206.
 
This is my first Open and its happened to almost every guy thats played in the British Open, so you know its just crazy, Marino said. It was definitely a learning experience. At the same time, Im only five shots off the lead and anything can happen in this golf tournament. I still think I have a chance to win.
 
If nothing else, he relished the chance to play alongside Watson, a five-time Open champion whos put himself in position to become the oldest major winner in golf history.
 
I joked with him and said, You could probably be the king of Scotland! These people love you, Marino said. It was just awesome watching him do his thing. You know theres a reason why hes won five claret jugs.
 
And Marino hasnt given up on winning his first.
 
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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.