Phil Mickelson salvages round with strong finish

By Associated PressAugust 27, 2009, 4:00 pm
The Barclays JERSEY CITY, N.J. ' Phil Mickelson salvaged a 1-under 70 on Thursday in the first round of The Barclays at Liberty National, birdieing three of his final seven holes and hitting a trademark flop shot to inches for a closing par.
I had a great day with my putter, said Mickelson, who has an endorsement deal with Barclays and is a Liberty National member. I didnt make anything outside 10 feet, but I made everything inside of 7, 8 feet. Thats critical for me.
Though he belongs to the ultra-exclusive club, he admitted hed never seen some of the back tee boxes on the 7,419-yard layout until this week.
Because its such a tight golf course, having to play from those yardages is very difficult, the three-time major winner said. But you know, everybody has got to do it this week. I just dont do it when I have a choice.
Lefty had a bit of scare when he jarred his left elbow during a mid-round stretch when he dropped four strokes in five holes.
I stung my elbow, he said. It hurt for a few holes. On nine, I had to hit a shot hard out of the rough and the rough is pretty thick and heavy. I jarred my elbow. It feels a little bit better. I dont think it will be an issue.
Mickelson, who took six weeks off earlier this summer after his wife and mother were diagnosed with breast cancer, is taking time to soak in the sights at the waterfront course and on his way back and forth from his Manhattan hotel.
I love going by the Statue of Liberty every night. Thats cool, he said. Every morning we cruise right by it on the ferry and same thing going back. It makes me appreciate where we live. We live in the greatest place.

DIPLOMACY: Robert Allenby passed on a chance to criticize the course ' sort of.
I really dont know how to answer that in the right way because I could really get myself into a lot of trouble, the Australian said, when asked about Liberty Nationals tricky greens after his opening 3-under 68.
He did offer a telling sarcastic jab after struggling to detail his round. I cant remember which holes which, Allenby said. Thats the sign of a great course.
Davis Love III looked at the positives.
Condition-wise its the best course weve played in a long time, Love said. Its a pretty nice place to come and play, whether you like the third green or not.
Love opened with a 70. He parred the difficult par-4 third, holing a 10-foot putt on the small sloping green surrounded by shaved run-off areas.
Its hard, Love said. Youre not just going to bunt it around her and make a bunch of birdies. You better get 14 (the 144-yard par 3) and the par 5s.
Paul Goydos, tied for the lead with Sergio Garcia and Steve Marino at 65, accepted the hard course for what it is.
Its a long, hard golf course with difficult greens, Goydos said. I dont think its meant to be easy, I know that. I dont think (co-designer) Tom Kite was thinking, Lets see how easy I can make this course.

RETURN TO SENDER: Vijay Singh and Camilo Villegas shot 75s in the first round of the playoffs after combining to win all four events last year.
Singh won The Barclays at Ridgewood, then took the Deutsche Bank Championship the following week and went on to win the FedEx Cup.
The big Fijian has won The Barclays a record four times, three at Westchester Country Club. Fifty-ninth in the FedEx Cup standings, hes winless this year and has only three top-10 finishes in 19 starts.
Villegas, 35th in the points race, won the final two FedEx Cup events ' the BMW Championship and Tour Championship ' and finished second in the playoff standings.

BADA BING: The Gambino crime family had a 150,000-square foot warehouse on the site of Liberty Nationals $60 million clubhouse.
To be honest, they were more professional than some other landowners weve dealt with, said Dan Fireman, the son of club founder Paul Fireman.

OMEGAMAN: Sergio Garcia, tied for the first-round lead with Paul Goydos and Steve Marino after a 6-under 65, will select a partner Friday for the Spanish entry in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China on Nov. 26-29.
Garcia, seventh in the world ranking, will choose between No. 38 Miguel Angel Jimenez and No. 40 Alvaro Quiros.
Garcia has an endorsement deal with Omega and spent four hours Monday at the Swiss watchmakers Fifth Avenue boutique, in part working with children from The First Tee of Metropolitan New York. On Sunday after the tournament, he plans to visit countryman Rafael Nadel at the U.S. Open tennis tournament.

DIVOTS: Ian Poulter holed out from 120 yards for an eagle on the 442-yard, par-4 fifth. He shot a 67. The top 100 in the FedEx Cup points after the event will be eligible for the Deutsche Bank next week in Norton, Mass. The field will be cut to 70 for the BMW Championship at Cog Hill in Lemont, Ill., and to 30 for the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - The Barclays
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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 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.