Park in control at Kraft; Pettersen six back

By Associated PressApril 7, 2013, 1:18 am

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Inbee Park’s 7-iron tee shot Saturday on the 168-yard 17th hole turned to the left on a perfect line at the back-left pin, landed softly and rolled to 2 1/2 feet for yet another birdie in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

The 24-year-old South Korean player, three strokes ahead with a round left in the first major championship of the year, admitted it wasn't quite the way she planned it after watching playing partner Lizette Salas' ball sail too far left and into a bunker.

''It was actually a little bit of a mis-shot,'' Park said. ''I aimed a little more right, but I slightly pulled it and it ended up perfect.''

Bogey-free in her last 22 holes at Mission Hills, Park shot her second straight 5-under 67 in tricky wind conditions to reach 12 under.


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''I feel really good about my swing and the stroke at the moment,'' Park said. ''I feel really comfortable around this golf course, too. That helps. Three good rounds, and I just need another one tomorrow. ... I was really used to the wind after yesterday, because we had a really similar wind. It was a lot easier to judge today.''

She's in position for her second major title and second victory of the year. She won the 2008 U.S. Women's Open and added her fourth LPGA title in February in Thailand when Ariya Jutanugarn closed with a triple bogey to blow a two-stroke lead.

''This one would mean a lot,'' Park said. ''It's just been a tournament I always wanted to win and, with the special ceremony jumping in the water, everybody just wants to do that.''

Salas, a stroke behind Park entering the round, had a 69 to remain second.

''I've just got to stay patient and just trust my putter and just keep it simple,'' Salas said ''I'm just going to stick to my game plan. I can't control what she does. I can only control my swing thoughts and my routine.''

Hall of Famer Karrie Webb, the tournament winner in 2000 and 2006, was five strokes back at 6 under along with Suzann Pettersen, Angela Stanford, Jessica Korda, Karine Icher and Pornanong Phatlum. Stanford had a 66, the best round of the tournament. Webb and Pettersen shot 67, Korda and Icher 68, and Phatlum 70.

Park matched Salas with a birdie on the par-4 opening hole and got to 9 under with a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-3 ninth. Park stretched her advantage to two strokes with another 25-foot birdie putt on the par-4 10th, then nearly holed her 9-iron approach on the par-4 12th, leaving only 2 1/2 feet for another birdie that pushed the lead to three.

Salas pulled within two with a birdie on the par-4 13th, and Park countered with the birdie on 17. Park saved par on 17 after hitting into the bunker, then missed a chance to get closer on the par-5 18th when her 6-foot birdie attempt slid by to the right.

''I wasn't hitting the ball as well as the first two days, but I kept putting myself in good position, hit some good shots out of the rough, and hit a great bunker shot on 17 to get up and down for par,'' Salas said. ''Obviously, you want to end with a birdie, and it didn't quite drop. Overall, pretty good day considering I didn't hit the ball well.''

The 23-year-old Salas grew up west of Los Angeles in Azusa, where her father is the head mechanic at a golf course, and was a four-time All-America selection at the University of Southern California.

''I feed off the crowd and, to have my fans out here, my family here, it just helps me stay calm,'' Salas said. ''I'm playing in my backyard, so I can't ask for anything more than that.''

Stanford rebounded with the 66 after opening with rounds of 70 and 74.

''I've kind of been fighting it all week and I kind of found a thought that worked the rest of the day,'' Stanford said. ''I made the turn and started hitting some good shots.''

Pettersen birdied the final four holes. She had a share of the first-round lead after a 68, then dropped back with a 75 on Friday.

''I probably should have had six straight birdies coming in,'' said Pettersen, a three-time runner-up in the event. ''I've given myself a chance for tomorrow.''

The 38-year-old Webb won the last of her 38 tour titles in 2011.

''I'm just glad I gave myself a chance,'' Webb said. ''If we can get some breeze going tomorrow, I think that'll make it interesting.''

Korda, the 20-year-old daughter of former tennis star Petr Korda, is spending time with her family for the first time since January.

''It's really nice,'' said Korda, the Women's Australian Open winner last year. ''My brother and sister got so big. It was really nice to see everybody. I miss my dad's humor and my mom's calmness, and she did my laundry last night, so it was kind of nice.''

Michelle Wie had a 73 to drop to 1 under. She has broken 70 only once in 17 rounds this season and is using an unorthodox putting stance with her torso bent parallel to the ground,

Top-ranked Stacy Lewis was 1 under after a 71.

''Coming into the week my swing didn't feel great and I was kind of hoping I would figure things out by now, but I just haven't,'' said Lewis, the 2011 champion.

She has struggled after winning consecutive events this year in Singapore and Phoenix to take the top spot in the world from Yani Tseng.

DIVOTS: The second-ranked Tseng was even par after a 69. She won the 2010 tournament and finished second in 2011 and third last year. ... Lydia Ko, the 15-year-old New Zealand amateur who won the Canadian Women's Open last August to become the youngest LPGA champion, shot a 71 to reach 1 over. ... Natalie Gulbis was 2 over after a 72 in her return from malaria.


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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.