Pros Tell Tales of Two Bubbles

By Associated PressNovember 5, 2003, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)HOUSTON -- Per-Ulrik Johansson was No. 125 on the money list when he missed the cut at Innisbrook and thus failed to keep his PGA Tour card.
 
Johansson at least gets a free pass to the final stage of Q-School. If that doesn't work, he can expect to get into at least 20 tournaments next year that have to dip into the pool of 126-150 on the money list to fill their fields.
 
The greater pain might have been for Chris Anderson. He was No. 150 on the money list and missed the cut by one stroke. By finishing out of the top 150, he has no status at all.
 
Which is the bigger bubble - top 125 or top 150?
 
'Oh, no question, it's 150,' said Jay Williamson, who has experienced both bubbles. 'Because if you're out of the 150, you've got to head to second stage next week. And that's brutal.'
 
A year ago, Williamson tied for fifth in the final event and wound up 125th on the money list to knock out David Frost.
 
Still, Frost managed to play 26 times this year. He finished in the top 125 to get his card.
 
'It's to the point now where a number doesn't matter,' Williamson said. 'It's playing good when you get the opportunities. And if you get 20 opportunities, you should be able to play good a couple of times.'
 
Ten of the 16 players who finished between 126 and 150 on the money list last year played in at least 20 events. Five of them finished in the top 125, while Peter Jacobsen and Tommy Armour III won.
 
Even so, there is a huge advantage to getting into the top 125.
 
For starters, players can set their own schedules instead of having to show up each week and hope enough people withdraw so they can get in.
 
'The 150 status, you can get in several events,' Briny Baird said. 'But they all come in bunches in the middle of the summer, when it's hot as can be. You want to play seven in a row in the middle of summer?'
 
Baird also said those in the top 125 have a better chance to get sponsorship deals, no matter how small, because of the guaranteed schedule.
 
TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP TIDBITS
 
The 31-man field at the Tour Championship offers a snapshot of what kind of year it has been on the PGA Tour.
 
Because so many top players have won multiple times this year, the Tour Championship might have a larger field than Kapalua to start the next season. Only 30 players have qualified for the winners-only Mercedes Championships.
 
Of course, the Maui field could get an extra player because 15 players who finished in the top 30 on the money list have not won this year.
 
The Tour Championship has an extra player because Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland is a temporary member. While his earnings don't appear on the official money, they were equivalent to top-30 money.
 
Adam Scott had a chance to make it 32 players at Champions, but he elected to stay in Europe last week and play the Volvo Masters instead of going to Tampa for a chance to crack the PGA Tour top 30.
 
DIVOTS: Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kan., where Juli Inkster won a U.S. Women's Amateur and a U.S. Women's Open, has been selected to host the 2006 U.S. Senior Open. ... Jose Coceres is expecting big things from fellow Argentine Eduardo Romero when he turns 50 and joins the Champions Tour. 'I want to be his manager,' said Coceres, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour. 'Easy money.' ... Of the 29 rookies on the LPGA Tour next year, only 12 of them are from the United States. ... Retief Goosen is 10-6 when he has at least a share of the 54-hole lead in Europe or on the PGA Tour. He has never finished worse than fourth from that position.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Justin Leonard and Tiger Woods are the only players to have qualified for the Tour Championship every year since they started playing a full PGA Tour schedule.
 
FINAL WORD: 'The one thing it will never measure is where your head was over the shot.' - Brad Faxon on Shotlink.
 
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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.