Pressel riding surge of confidence into ADT

By Associated PressNovember 18, 2008, 5:00 pm
2006 ADT ChampionshipWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. ' Morgan Pressel has playing privileges at Trump International, meaning she can get on the lavish course whenever she wants.
Fortunately, she wont have to call in any favors this week.
It was a rocky 2008 for Pressel, who became the youngest major winner last season by claiming the Kraft Nabisco title but never got rolling this year, with her one victory overshadowed by five missed cuts (three consecutively) and not being able to finish better than 25th in 17 of 25 tournaments.
Still, she managed to be among 32 qualifiers for the ADT Championship, the season-ending LPGA bash which starts Thursday on one of her home courses, a mere 30-minute ride north from her Boca Raton home.
And the cool $1 million winners prize would surely help Pressel forget the headaches that plagued 08.
Anytime that you play poorly, its not a confidence builder, said the 20-year-old Pressel, whose win at the Kapalua Classic in October went a long way toward assuring her a spot for the ADT, which chooses its qualifiers through points accrued over each half of the season. It wasnt pretty.
Not even close to pretty.
Pressels emotions got the best of her more than once, she broke 70 only once in her first 28 rounds this year, and was never really in contention at the Nabisco in her first chance to defend a title.
So Pressel ' who freely acknowledges she has very little patience ' didnt wait until the season ended to change things.
She hired a new swing coach over the summer, with hopes of generating more clubhead speed and regaining distance she was rapidly losing off the tee. An added commitment to fitness and strength helped there considerably, and Pressel even decided it was time to refine her putting game, too.
Pressel skipped the LPGA stop in Mobile, Ala. in early September, so she could get a full month off to work on her game. Before the layoff, her last result was a tie for 60th at the Safeway Classic; three starts after the layoff, she was a winner again at Kapalua ' and enjoyed a surge of confidence that was sorely lacking.
Its better to make changes than to continue playing poorly, Pressel said. That was kind of my mind-set. I didnt want to continue playing like that, continue beating myself up over the poor play and it feeds off itself after a while. Its not easy to make a change while youre playing but it was something I set my mind to.
The bold move could pay further dividends this week.
Pressel is a fan of the unusual ADT format, and just might have the necessary amount of confidence right now to be in that mix for the $1 million prize, which gets displayed, in cash, in a thick plexiglass cube on Sunday.
The field gets cut to 16 after Fridays second round and the scorecards are wiped clean, and Saturdays round trims the field to eight finalists, with $100,000 for second place and $20,000 for third.
It is a true playoff tournament where you have 32 people, and everybody getting eliminated up until the last day, said Cristie Kerr, a Miami native and member at Trump International. So I think it adds to a lot of drama. You know, having eight people and not knowing whats going to happen.
Sundays round starts with everyone tied once again.
Its the third year of the $1 million winners prize; Julieta Granada won in 2006, Lorena Ochoa is the defending champion.
Annika Sorenstam ' who is making whats billed as her final LPGA Tour appearance this week before stepping away from the game to start a family and pursue business interests ' has won four ADT titles, but each of those came in the conventional, four-round, stroke-play format.
I dont know if you ever get used to this format, Pressel said. Its definitely a bit crazy. Thats part of the reason why its like that. Its a story line and it draws attention. It makes it exciting. It definitely makes it exciting come Sunday. Youve just got to play well.
It really is that simple.
Now, maybe for the first time all season, Pressel believes shes playing well enough to win.
Shes got a great will for the game and a feistiness about her, that as long as it takes, nothings going to hold her down, said Kerr, a longtime friend who had Pressel among the bridesmaids in her wedding. Thats just the way she is. She made a change in coach and some changes to her putting and some things, but thats what good players do. If somethings not working, they find a way to make it work.

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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 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.