Pettersen procures early lead in Hawaii

By Associated PressOctober 16, 2008, 4:00 pm
Kapalua LPGA ClassicKAPALUA, Hawaii ' The more it blew, the better Suzann Pettersen played.
 
Pettersen birdied the final two holes for a 4-under 68 to take the first-round lead Thursday in the inaugural and windswept Kapalua LPGA Classic.
 
Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa, seeking her eighth victory of the season, opened with a 74. She was paired with No. 2 Annika Sorenstam, who struggled to a 77.
 
Tracy Hanson aced the 165-yard 12th hole to match Brittany Lang at 69. Australian rookie Anna Rawson was another stroke back along with Laura Diaz, Kristy McPherson, Ji Young Oh, Brandie Burton and Sun Young Yoo.
 
After a relatively calm morning, Mauis trademark tradewinds picked up and kept the players from attacking the pine tree-lined Bay Course.
 
Only 19 of the 132 players in the field were able to break par, with only five players from the afternoon groups shooting below par.
 
The wind is the only thing that can protect this course from the players, and if it stays like this, I would take four rounds at 4 under, said Pettersen, who took advantage of her early start time.
 
Despite the breezes, Pettersen made a move at the end, birdieing three of her final four holes. She hit a wedge to 3 feet on No. 8 and to 10 feet on the next hole.
 
I like to play in the windy conditions because I like to create different shots, said Pettersen, who started the day on No. 10 and made the turn with two birdies.
 
She sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 first to move to 3 under. Her bogeys came when she three-putted from 20 feet on the par-4 fourth and her second shot landed in the bunker on the par-4 seventh.
 
The 27-year-old Pettersen is seeking her first LPGA Tour victory of the year after a breakout season in 2007 when she won five times, including the LPGA Championship.
 
This year, the Norwegian star is ranked No. 5 in the world and has seven top-10 finishes in 19 starts, including a runner-up finish at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
 
Last year, I played great and when I had a chance, I got it, she said. This year, I had a chance, but I havent got it. Its such a fine line of what kind of defines a great year, a good year (and) an average year.
 
She did win twice this year on the European tour.
 
I know that if Im patient and I play well, Im capable of winning and thats the most important thing, she said.
 
Hanson opened with 11 straight pars and aced the 165-yard 12th to reach 2 under. She birdied three holes later to finish a stroke behind Pettersen.
 
Hanson is trying to finish strong after a difficult season. She has missed the cut in eight of 17 events with a 38th-place tie in the Sybase Classic as her best finish.
 
Ochoa and Sorenstam were among the afternoon starters who took the brunt of the winds. Ochoa was steady most of the day but got into trouble in the rough and bogeyed Nos. 15 and 16.
 
They were outscored by their playing partner and Kapalua touring pro, Morgan Pressel, who birdied two of her final four holes for a 72.
 
It was an uncharacteristic round for Sorenstam, especially in Hawaii. She opened the season with a victory at Turtle Bay and finished fourth the following week at Ko Olina.
 
Sorenstam had trouble with her short game and navigating the fast and undulating greens. She had two double bogeys and two bogeys in a horrendous six-hole stretch to make the turn at 5 over.
 
On the par-4 fourth, Sorenstam had to chip over a small hill, directly into the howling wind three times from almost the same spot just to get it on the green.
 
The 72-time tour winner had just two birdies and dropped to near the bottom of the leaderboard at 6 over when she missed a 7-foot par putt on No. 13.
 
Shell have more favorable conditions Friday with an early tee time but will still require a better round to make it to the weekend. The last time she failed to make the cut was the 2006 Michelob ULTRA Open.
 
Sorenstam is making one of her last competitive appearances in the United States. Sorenstam, who drew the loudest applause during introductions, plans to retire at the end of the year.
 
The group at 71 included Pat Hurst, Cristie Kerr and Hee-Won Han.
 

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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.