Park wins North Texas Shootout with final-hole birdie

By Associated PressApril 28, 2013, 10:46 pm

IRVING, Texas – Inbee Park was already preparing to congratulate Carlota Ciganda for winning the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout.

Park, the top-ranked woman in the world, was in the middle of a solid final round and still trailed by two strokes after the playing partners both had birdies at the par-5 10th on Sunday.

Everything changed in a two-hole stretch, when Park went ahead with consecutive pars. The 24-year-old South Korean went on to a bogey-free 4-under 67 that put her one stroke ahead of Ciganda, good enough for her third victory this season and fifth in her last 18 starts.

''She was hitting fairways and greens and making putts,'' said Park, who finished at 13 under. ''And I thought I played really great today, but I just missed a lot of birdie opportunities, so I thought this tournament might not be mine because I missed that many opportunities and Carlota was playing great golf. But she made a couple mistakes on the back nine.''

Ciganda's drive at the 416-yard 14th hole settled in the right rough with a tree between her and the green, and her shot from about 130 yards clipped a branch and came up short. She had a chance to save par but her 6-foot putt was short, and Park's par had her within a stroke of the lead.

After stepping away from her approach at No. 15, to a green surrounded by water on three sides, Ciganda hit a shot that went to the right and then rolled down into the water. Ciganda had to go back to a drop zone, where the 22-year-old Spaniard had a decent pitch before her first putt rolled over the left edge of the green for a double-bogey 6.

Park had another par and never trailed again.

''I'm very happy with my round and with my week. ... I had two bad holes on the back nine,'' Ciganda said.

With the $195,000 check for first place, Park exceeded $6 million in career earnings and will be No. 1 for the third week in a row. It was her sixth career LPGA victory, along with four more wins in Japan.

Fifth-ranked Suzann Pettersen from Norway, the winner in Hawaii last week, had a closing 66 to get to 10 under and finish third. Hee Young Park (64) and So Yeon Ryu (68) tied for fourth at 275.

Ciganda played last season on the Ladies European Tour, where she was the top rookie and the top money winner – the first player since Laura Davies in 1985 to accomplish that feat. She won twice in Europe last year and now has her best LPGA finish.

At the 403-yard eighth hole, Park made a birdie before Ciganda followed with one of her own and responded with a slight fist pump when her ball dropped into the cup. They both had pars at No. 9, where Park was closer to the hole even though she had missed the green to the left, and they traded birdies again at the par-5 10th.

''I was happy and playing good and having fun and enjoying the day,'' said Ciganda, who had a closing 70. ''And then I think, let me see, the hole it bounced to the right, but I had a bogey there and then hit it to the water on 15.''

Caroline Masson had a 75 and finished eight shots back. The LPGA rookie from Germany led after each of the first two rounds and started the final round tied for second with Park.

Hee Young Park's 64 was the best round of the day on the 6,439-yard course with plenty of sloping fairways and raised greens.

Stacy Lewis, the Texas native and No. 2 player in the world, had a closing 66 when all six birdies and her only bogey came between Nos. 7-17. She tied for seventh for her sixth top-10 finish this season.

At the end of her round, Lewis signed the back brace of a 6-year-old Dallas girl who was diagnosed with scoliosis at 18 months old. Lewis wore a similar brace 18 hours a day for seven years after being diagnosed with scoliosis at age 11 and missed her first collegiate season after a spinal fusion.

Third-ranked Na Yeon Choi, among the four players tied for seventh, had 44 consecutive bogey-free holes and was 9 under before consecutive bogeys at Nos. 10-12. She went on to a 72.

Inbee Park sank a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th after Ciganda also birdied even after her final drive went into the right rough. But they had an unusual wait after hitting their drives, when Jee Young Lee, playing two groups ahead of them, had to replay the hole.

Before Lee signed her scorecard, officials determined she took an improper drop after her drive at No. 18 went out of bounds. Lee carded a 10 before Ciganda and Park got to play out the hole.

''It was all right. I mean it was actually really good, it ended up really good for me because I made a birdie,'' Park said of the delay. ''Maybe if I hit it in the water maybe I could have blamed it on them.''

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.

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.