Phil Mickelson falls eight back after terrible finish

By Associated PressJune 13, 2009, 4:00 pm
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. ' Phil Mickelson is tuning up for Bethpage Black and the U.S. Open. It might help if he can find a way to finish off the 18th hole at the TPC Southwind better than double bogey.
 
Playing the final three holes of his second round at the St. Jude Classic on Saturday, Mickelson started with a birdie that dropped him to 5 under, but then went bogey and double bogey on No. 18 for a second straight round.
 
He finished with an even-par 70 that left him 2-under 138 in his first tournament since announcing his wife has breast cancer.
 
He is eight strokes behind Brian Gay, whose 66 Friday gave him the clubhouse lead at 10-under 130 when play was suspended because of thunderstorms with 78 players on still on the course.
 
Robert Allenby finished a 64 on Saturday and was a stroke back. Bryce Molder (63) and Vaughn Taylor (65) were tied at 132.
 
John Daly made the cut at even par and will play the weekend in his first PGA Tour event since returning from a six-month suspension. That means a temporary restraining order keeping his estranged wife off the course remains in effect through the weekend.
 
Sergio Garcia (3 over) and defending champ Justin Leonard (5 over) were among those missing the cut.
 
After completion of the second round on Saturday morning, PGA Tour officials sent the 76 players who made the cut off both tees in threesomes trying to get back on schedule.
 
The storm brought heavy rains to the TPC Southwind that should help scoring on a course golfers already had found receptive.
 
Its obviously going to make the golf course a little softer, said Allenby, who lost here in a playoff a year ago.
 
He ended Friday off a bogey but rebounded Saturday with a birdie on his 18th hole to pull closer to Gay.
 
Woody Austin (66) was at 133 in a group that included David Toms, the two-time champ here (66). Rich Beem (68) and Loren Roberts (67) were among those at 134.
 
Officials already had fans heading toward the exits when the horn blew Friday. The timing was good with lightning seen 10 minutes later, and the tornado sirens went off about 40 minutes after the stoppage. Winds blew rain sideways and tossed carts across the grounds with some siding ripped off concession stands.
 
Mickelson was at 4 under and standing next to his tee ball in the 16th fairway with 210 yards to the par-5 hole. He marked his spot, tossed the ball to his caddie and got a ride off the course on a cart. He walked to his car without commenting.
 
He started well enough Saturday with a birdie. Then he hit a tee shot into the rough and a two-putt bogey on 17 that he followed up with his second consecutive double bogey on the par-4 18th.
 
Hundreds of fans followed Mickelson from hole to hole yet again, many wearing pink in support of Mickelson and his wife, Amy.
 
The star this week is Phil Mickelson, said John Senden, who shot a 66.
 
Mickelson looked more relaxed a couple days after an emotional news conference, even laughing a couple times during breaks in play Friday. He had three birdies and a bogey before just missing with his putter on the back nine. He is using this event to get back into competition mode, and that may have been why he hit iron instead of driver or a wood off the tee a couple times.
 
He birdied three of six holes to get to 5 under, and his last birdie came when he mashed his drive 348 yards on the par-4 ninth. He stuck his approach within 5 feet and rolled in another putt for birdie.
 
His putter failed him as he left a birdie attempt short on No. 11 and had to tap in for par. His second shot into the par-4 No. 12 dropped 12 feet from the cup. His birdie attempt rolled just right of the hole and a couple feet past.
 
Then Mickelson pushed his drive into the rough, coming up a couple feet short of knee-high weeds. He bogeyed the hole but not because of that drive. He missed a 25-footer for birdie, then lipped out a 3-footer for par when the ball hit the back of the cup.
 
He laid up again on the par-4 15th and had a short birdie putt he pushed a couple feet past with his frustration starting to show. He had a chance to rebound after a strong drive on the 16th, a good scoring hole. Then came the horn.
 
For Gay, he is trying to do what he did in Hilton Head in April, when he ran away with a victory by 10 strokes. A win here will get him a ticket to Bethpage Black next week, and he birdied five of his first eight holes and get to 12 under at No. 15 before bogeying his final two holes.
 
I did pretty good being ahead last time, so I was telling myself on the back nine out there to, I was really trying to push and try to make as many birdies as I could but probably pulled the wrong club on a couple holes coming in, Gay said.
 
Divots: The second-round stoppage marked the seventh PGA Tour event interrupted by weather this year. Gays 130 total for 36 holes is his personal best on tour. He shot 131 twice, most recently at the 2003 Zurich Classic in New Orleans. Guy Boros, tied for fourth after a 66, needed only nine putts over his final nine holes.
 
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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.