Pettersen wins Evian by two strokes over Ko

By Associated PressSeptember 15, 2013, 4:11 pm

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France – Suzann Pettersen barely had time to hug her caddie before the Champagne started flowing in her direction.

In the first women's major played in Europe, Pettersen beat teenage star Lydia Ko of New Zealand by two shots to win the Evian Championship on Sunday and clinch the second major title of her career.

The Norwegian calmly rolled in her par putt to seal the title. Pettersen then leaned back and held her head in her hands, hugged her caddie and laughed as she was surrounded by friends spraying her with Champagne on the green.


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''I might start to get a bit emotional,'' Pettersen said, her voice wavering, as she collected the trophy.

It was her first major since the LPGA Championship in 2007 and her second straight tournament win after the Safeway Classic this month.

Pettersen shot a 3-under 68 to finish with a 10-under total of 203 after the tournament was reduced to three rounds when Thursday's play was rained out. The 16-year-old Ko, who was trying to become the youngest major champion, finished with a 70.

American Lexi Thompson shot a 68 to finish four shots back in third place, with South Koreans So Yeon Ryu and Se Ri Pak five shots behind in a tie for fourth.

This was the first year that Evian counted as the fifth and final major of the year on the women's calendar.

''I don't know if it's quite sunk in yet that I've won another major. It's been a while, but I'm pretty lucky to say that I've won two,'' Pettersen said. ''Hopefully, this is just the start. It's been such a great month, five weeks for me, starting off with the Solheim (Cup). It was a great kick-start for what became the best month of my career.''

The third-ranked Pettersen plans to have ''one heck of a party'' to celebrate, before focusing on her goal to earn the No. 1 ranking.

''This is part of the process, you have to win tournaments, you have to win majors,'' said Pettersen, who in the past has been hampered by a fiery temperament. ''I feel I've been a lot more relaxed around the golf course over the past year, smiling a lot more. ... I've come to the age when I'm too old to be around and not be happy.''

Top-ranked Inbee Park was looking to become the first golfer to win four majors in a year, but finished way out of contention.

Mika Miyazato of Japan held a one-shot lead going into the final round but struggled to a 79 and finished tied for 19th.

That left Ko – at 16 years, 4 months, 22 days – as Pettersen's main challenger. But she bogeyed the 13th to fall two shots behind and never looked likely to make a comeback. Her chip for birdie at the 18th – which would have put some pressure on Pettersen – stopped just left of the hole.

''She's such a great competitor. She keeps us on our toes,'' the 32-year-old Pettersen said. ''She's 16 and she's good enough to win tournaments, to win major championships. She's a future star for this game.''

She'll have to wait until next year for a chance to break American Morgan Pressel's record of youngest major winner. Pressel was 18 years, 10 months, 9 days when she won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2007.

''I don't think I felt that nervous today, but coming down the last two holes I thought Suzann had it in the bag,'' Ko said. ''It was really good to know that I could come close to a winner at a major. Hopefully, next year it will be a 72-hole event.''

An overnight downpour rendered the course soggy and led to a 90-minute delay in the morning.

''I thought today we would fight the weather more than we did, so it was a walk in the park just to stay dry,'' Pettersen said. ''I didn't know what to expect with the weather we had overnight. But the greens were good.''

When play got started, Ko opened her round with a birdie while Pettersen had birdies on the second and third holes. Pettersen bogeyed the seventh when she over-hit her approach shot.

She recovered with a birdie on the next hole and led Ko by one shot and Ryu by two after the front nine.

Ko looked stern-faced after missing a chance to move level on the 12th, and Pettersen shook her head in disbelief as her second shot on 13th drifted wide into the choppy rough. But she ended up saving a tricky par while Ko had to settle for bogey, leaving her two shots ahead.

Ko looked downbeat when she missed another birdie chance on 17.

''I didn't feel confident with my putting today. I left a couple short,'' Ko said. ''I misread some putts. I won't blame the greens that were bumpy, and blah, blah, blah. I don't blame others.''

Stacy Lewis won last month's British Open, but after a solid start the American finished six shots behind Pettersen in a tie for sixth along with American Angela Stanford and South Korea's Chella Choi.

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.