Piller takes 2-shot lead in Texas

By Associated PressApril 30, 2016, 11:51 pm

IRVING, Texas - Gerina Piller took a two-stroke lead Saturday in the LPGA's Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, putting her in position for a breakthrough victory in her home event.

Winless in 123 career starts, the 31-year-old Piller shot a bogey-free 4-under 67 to reach 14-under 199 at Las Colinas Country Club.

''It is a big deal, but to me it's not a big deal,'' Piller said. ''The golf ball doesn't know that I'm in the lead. So I just try to kind of dumb it down for myself and control the things I can do and that's myself, and being calm and being confident and committed. ... I still have the same mentality.

''I've got to go out there and I'm going to play aggressive, play smart and play committed.''

South Korean players held the next four spots on the leaderboard. Amy Yang (65) and Mi Jung Hur (66) were tied for second at 12 under, and Jenny Shin (65) and Sei Young Kim (68) were 10 under.

Piller lives in Plano, about 20 miles from Las Colinas. The long-hitting U.S. Solheim Cup hero grew up in Roswell, New Mexico, and played at the University Texas-El Paso.

A number of friends from high school and college joined her family - led by her husband, PGA Tour player Martin Piller - on the course following her. Martin Piller was back in town after missing the cut in the Zurich Classic in Louisiana.

''It would be awesome, it would be ideal,'' Piller said about the possibility of winning in front of her family and friends. ''But the cool thing about it is no matter how I play tomorrow, I know that they're going to be proud of me and we're going to go back and hang out and they're not going to think anything different of me, so it's pretty cool to have that support.''

Piller hit to 4 feet to set up a birdie on the par-4 second, then birdied three straight par 5s - two-putting No. 3 and making a 5-footer on No. 7 and a 10-footer on No. 10. She parred the final eight holes.

''I felt like I gave myself opportunities,'' Piller said. ''Had some great shots, just couldn't get some putts to fall. These greens are pretty tricky and they have a lot of slope to them so you definitely have to give them respect. But I don't feel like I kind of like barely got by with eight pars, I felt like I could have been a lot lower. So, definitely a lot of confidence going into tomorrow.''

Piller has hit 52 of 54 greens in regulation, with the two misses coming in the first round. She tied for third last week in California in the Swinging Skirts for her third straight top-six finish.

''Last week, just because I didn't win, I still consider that a winning performance for me,'' Piller said. ''I felt like I played well. I just wasn't good enough.''

Hur also lives in the area in McKinney. She finished the second round Saturday morning.

''My body feels a little bit tired, but we had a rest between the teeing off the third round so we recover the body conditions and everything,'' Hur said.

Yang had the best round of the day.

''Shot and putting both together,'' Yang said. ''I hit it very solid out there and I made some putts. I left some putts short right in the heart.''

Fifth-ranked Brooke Henderson had a 73 to drop into a tie for 19th at 3 under. The 18-year-old Canadian has eight straight top-10 finishes.

Amateurs Cheyenne Knight and Karah Sanford were among the 53 players to advance to the final round in the event that features two cuts.

Knight, a 19-year-old University of Alabama freshman from nearby Aledo, was tied for 26th at 2 under after a 72. The 14-year-old Sanford, a high school freshman from San Diego, was tied for 46th at even par after a 71.

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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.