Perry Cabrera lead Masters Tiger Phil seven back

By Associated PressApril 11, 2009, 4:00 pm
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AUGUSTA, Ga. ' Angel Cabrera and Kenny Perry have proven they can handle the pressure on golfs biggest stage. Next up is Sunday at Augusta National, a test unlike any other they have faced.
 
Cabrera, who won the U.S. Open two years ago at Oakmont, made three birdies on the back nine and scratched out an important par on the final hole Saturday at the Masters for a 3-under 69.
 
Perry, who thrived under the spotlight of a Ryder Cup in his native Kentucky last September, overcame two mistakes with his putter around Amen Corner and finished with five straight pars for a 70 to join the Argentine in the lead.
 
It will be the first time theyve played in the final group at a major.
 
And not just any major.
 
They were at 11-under 205, the lowest 54-hole score at the Masters since the course was supersized seven years ago. The back nine at Augusta National is among the most intense in golf, and officials are expected to set up the course to allow for birdies and eagles.
 
Im lucky enough to be in a very good position, Cabrera said. I havent been in this position before so Ill try to make the most of it.
 
Perry lost in a playoff at the PGA Championship at Valhalla in 1996, when he was criticized for being in the broadcast booth instead of keeping loose on the practice range. He never would have imagined that all these years later, he would have a chance to become golfs oldest major champion at 48.
 
The first two days felt like I was on vacation, Perry said. Today felt like a job.
 
They had a two-shot lead over Chad Campbell, who led briefly on the back nine until a blunder on the 16th hole when he took two shots to get out of the bunker, made double bogey and wound up with a 72.
 
Jim Furyk, another former U.S. Open champion, shot 68 and was three shots behind at 8-under 208.
 
The Masters began with the anticipation of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson going head-to-head in the final round, and thats what happened. Trouble is, both were seven shots behind and still trying to convince themselves that they still had a chance.
 
Woods began his Saturday charge by hooking his tee shot into the trees and making double bogey. His tee shot on the par-3 sixth hit the base of the pin and tumbled off the green. He rallied with three birdies over the last six holes for a 70.
 
Mickelsons rally was slowed by three poor chips, and he escaped with a 71 only after hitting a big slice from the trees on the 18th hole that started down the 10th fairway and wound up on the green.
 
They were at 4-under 212.
 
A lot of things happen on Sunday at Augusta, and I would never put it past happening again, Mickelson said. I think that at this golf course, funny things can happen, and if you get momentum on your side and youre making some birdies, you can make a lot of them.
 
And then he offered another scenario that he and Woods desperately need.
 
When it starts coming apart, its hard to get it back, Mickelson said. And its easy to tumble.
 
There was little sign of that happening with Perry and Cabrera on a breezy afternoon, on a course where the greens remained relatively soft from an overnight downpour.
 
Perry became the first player to reach 12-under par at any point in the tournament since 2002 when he rolled in an 8-foot birdie on the 10th hole, and it allowed him to wonder if this might really be his week.
 
But he three-putted from just off the front of the 11th green of his first bogey, then fell out of the lead on the par-3 12th. After hitting over the green, Perry tried putting up the slope and hit it too hard, the ball bouncing over the cup 15 feet away for another bogey.
 
He recovered with a 4-iron to about 25 feet for a two-putt birdie on the 13th.
 
Woods left the course knowing that even having a remote chance would depend on how the leaders played the back nine. They helped slightly but not running away, with Campbell shooting a 38 on the back and Perry getting around in 36.
 
The worlds No. 1 player has never won a major when trailing after 54 holes, and only once has he won when trailing by more than seven shots going into the final round of any tournament.
 
That was a hell of a fight, Woods said. Im pretty proud of the fact I got myself back in the tournament, considering that I didnt hit it as well as I wanted to and had two three-putts.
 
The forecast was for sunshine and fireworks, perhaps a back-nine charge not seen this decade at Augusta National.
 
Steve Stricker played bogey-free for a 68 that put him four shots behind at 7-under 209, with former British Open champion Todd Hamilton (72), Shingo Katayama (70) and Rory Sabbatini (70) another shot behind.
 
One player too far out of contention is Padraig Harrington, who saw his hopes of a third straight major end on the second hole when he twice hit a tree and took a quadruple-bogey 9. He shot a 73 and was 10 shots back.
 
Only once in the last 18 years at the Masters has the winner not come out of the final group, which bodes well for Perry and Cabrera. Even so, Perry glanced at the white leaderboard behind the 18th green and realized Sunday would be no picnic.
 
There are actually quite a few guys who have a shot at this thing tomorrow, he said. You will definitely see something happen on the back nine, where somebody is going to win it.
 

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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


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    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

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    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''