Rain Relents Janzen Ties Lead

By Associated PressMarch 7, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007 PODS ChampionshipTAMPA BAY, Fla. -- Lee Janzen is coming up on the 10-year anniversary of one of his biggest victories, a steady performance in the final round at The Olympic Club in San Francisco that brought him his second U.S. Open title.
 
That also was his last victory, and there are times it seems longer than a decade ago.
 
Janzen has been mired in a slump so bad that he lost his PGA TOUR card two years ago, hasnt finished in the top 125 on the money list the last three years and now is having to rely on sponsor exemptions.
 
His start at the PODS Championship brought some hope.
 
Playing on a sponsors exemption, in a stretch of competing three out of four weeks, Janzen holed a 65-foot putt from the fringe on the third hole, played a brilliant shot off the pine straw to 7 feet for birdie on the tough 16th, and wrapped up a 6-under 65 on Friday morning to share the first-round lead with Bart Bryant.
 
Ive worked on my game for quite a while, Janzen said. Eventually, you have to shoot better scores.
 
Half the 144-man field had to return Friday morning to finish the first round because of rain and storms that stopped play for 2 1/2 hours Thursday, the first time all year a PGA TOUR event was stopped by rain. Janzen was in the bad half of the draw, for the wind gusted to 20 mph in the morning, and more rain was due in the afternoon.
 
Stuart Appleby, among 72 players fighting for space on the practice range, finished off a bogey-free round of 66 and was joined by Kenny Perry, Jeff Maggert and Stewart Cink, who completed the first round Thursday morning.
 
John Senden, a runner-up last year to Mark Calcavecchia, Jerry Kelly and Paul Casey were among those who played well in the wind and moved up the board to finish at 67.
 
John Daly shot 77 and was struggling no matter whom he used as a caddie. Daly was 2 over through three holes when play was stopped by rain for the first time on the PGA TOUR this year. He headed for the Hooters hospitality tent, ran into Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, and Gruden wound up on the bag until dark.
 
That was just another sideshow in the unpredictable world of Daly.
 
Janzen has been living a nightmare, but he hopes there are signs of turning things around.
 
I shoot good scores on Mondays and Tuesdays and weeks off, he said. Its just a matter of feeling the same way when you get into a tournament.
 
He felt extremely confident heading to the Mayacoba Classic in Mexico two weeks ago, making eight birdies in 13 holes during a friendly match early in the week. Then he missed the cut.
 
The good news was I didnt leave there totally dejected, Janzen said.
 
Bryant didnt allow himself to get dejected after a few errant shots early in his round Thursday, especially when he saved par both times that kept his score at even par and his spirits in good shape. When he started hitting it better, he made putts. And before he knew it, he was at 4 under with three holes to play.
 
Then came birdies at the 16th and 18th holes, two of the toughest at Innisbrook.
 
I felt like I got my bad stuff out of the way and I was still even par, Bryant said. I think that gave me a little confidence.
 
Cink was playing for the first time since losing to Tiger Woods at the Accenture Match Play Championship, and while he suffered the worst beating in the 10-year history of the final match (8 and 7), he figured this was a continuation of good play.
 
I had a lot of confidence after Match Play, Cink said. Even losing the last match, I was happy to be in the last match.
 
Rain earlier in the week took some of the bite out of the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook, regarded as one of the toughest tour tracks in Florida, and rarely has it played this easy.
 
Even so, it is a course that requires more brain than brawn.
 
You cant hit too many shots without putting thought into them, Jonathan Byrd said after a 67.
 
The good news for Bryant is that hes hitting shots without feeling too much pain. It seems every time he recovers from one surgery, another body part starts hurting, which was the case last year. Bryant said his right hip was in such bad shape that he took two months off during the summer. When he returned, his right elbow was acting up again, and he couldnt practice the last three months of the season.
 
No practice, just playing, the 45-year-old said. This year, Ive been able to start hitting balls. My health has been good.
 
The results are slowly coming along. It was only three years ago that Bryants career turned the corner with victories in the Memorial and the Tour Championship, the latter a six-shot victory over Woods.
 
Last week at the Honda Classic, he was among the leaders on Friday until taking a quadruple-bogey on the sixth hole that sent him back to the pack. Those big numbers can happen at PGA National, and Bryant wasnt too bothered.
 
It showed my game is in the kind of shape that I can get up there at the top, he said.
 
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  • 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.