Pettersen leads Lotte Championship in Hawaii

By Associated PressApril 19, 2013, 4:44 am

KAPOLEI, Hawaii – Suzann Pettersen rebounded from her lone bogey with three back-nine birdies Thursday at windswept Ko Olina to take the second-round lead in the LPGA Lotte Championship.

The 32-year-old Norwegian, a 10-time LPGA Tour winner ranked sixth in the world, shot a 3-under 69 in the challenging conditions in her afternoon round to reach 10-under 134.

''I said, 'Par isn't going to hurt me today,''' Pettersen said. ''So, decent day. It was tough. It was tough to play solid golf. It was tough to kind of get the right club to my hand at all times.''

Defending champion Ai Miyazato was a stroke back after a 68 in the morning session. The Japanese player, a nine-time winner on the LPGA Tour, had five birdies in a late six-hole stretch.


Video: Lotte Championship Round 2


''It was definitely windier than yesterday, so it was pretty tough out there,'' Miyazato said. ''I grew up in the wind and I like to play in this wind. This morning when I get to the golf course I'm like, 'Now I'm in Hawaii.' Hawaii is always windy place and always fun to play this weather conditions.''

Pettersen got to 8 under with a birdie on the par-3 fourth, then dropped two strokes behind Miyazato with a bogey on the par-4 10th. The European Solheim Cup star rebounded with a tap-in birdie on the par-4 11th, made a 12-footer on the par-5 13th and a 15-footer on the par-3 16th.

''Overall, it's been very fair conditions to the entire field today,'' Pettersen said. ''I think it was blowing quite hard in the early morning, and I think it's been pretty steady throughout the day. At least the entire field has kind of played under the same conditions. It was definitely pretty tough out there. The range is the most exposed part, so warming up was almost the toughest.''

She had consecutive victories late last season in South Korea and Taiwan and won a Ladies European Tour event last month in China.

''The closer I get to Asia, the better I feel with my game,'' Pettersen said. ''I am just really trying to take advantage of being as close to Asia as I can and try to bring it closer toward the mainland.''

Spain's Beatriz Recari, the Kia Classic winner last month, was three strokes back along with South Koreans Hyo Joo Kim and Hee Kyung Seo. Recari, paired with Pettersen, shot 70. She had a share of the lead with Miyazato at 9 under after birdies on Nos. 11 and 12, but bogeyed Nos. 13 and 16 to fall back.

Kim, the 17-year-old who played in a group with 17-year-old Ariya Jutanugarn and 15-year-old New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko, had a 71, and Seo shot 72.

Second-ranked Stacy Lewis was alone at 6 under after a 71.

''We were warming up at 6:30, 7 in the morning and the wind is howling,'' Lewis said. ''I mean, going into the day sitting on the range, you knew it was going to be hard. You just had to fight for every shot. You couldn't really try to make too many birdies. You just had to kind of take some putts if they came and grind out a few pars. Anything under par today, I think, is a good score.''

The winner of consecutive events this year in Singapore and Phoenix, Lewis played the first two rounds with Miyazato.

''I think the best thing about her is she doesn't let a bad shot get to her,'' Lewis said. ''She'll make a bogey and be OK with that, because she knows she can make some birdies.''

Playing the front nine last, Miyazato began her birdie spree with a 12-foot putt on the par-4 third, made a 25-footer on the par-3 fourth, and followed with a 10-footer on the par-5 fifth. After a par on the par-4 sixth, she holed out from 12 feet on the par-4 seventh and rolled in a 20-footer on the par-3 eighth.

''I just have a good feeling with this golf course,'' Miyazato said.

Jutanugarn, the first-round leader after a 64, had a 75 to fall to 5 under.

''I hit a lot of bad shots today,'' she said. ''I cannot control my irons and I still miss a lot short putts.''

Top-ranked Inbee Park, coming off a victory two weeks in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, was 3 under after a 71.

Ko was 2 under after her second straight 71. She won the Canadian Open in August to become the youngest LPGA Tour winner. The South Korea-born Ko has two other pro victories, the New South Wales Open last year and New Zealand Women's Open this year, and won the U.S. Women's Amateur last season.

Third-ranked Yani Tseng, winless in more than year, was 1 under after a 72.

Local favorite Michelle Wie followed her opening 70 with a 76 to make the cut by a stroke.


Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

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.