Renovated Ocean Course Greets World Cup
But the Americans are quick to say there is no home course advantage.
Before this week, Furyk had never played the wind-swept course that fronts the beach and hosted the Ryder Cup back in 1991.
Leonard played here in 1997, the last time the World Cup was held in the United States, when the Irish team of Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley won on the same Ocean Course. Leonard has played the course perhaps 10 times in all.
'I don't know that that's quite a home course,' Furyk said. 'For me, I think it's a severe golf course. I think it takes some rounds to get used to. I think as the week goes on, we'll get a lot more comfortable with the golf course.'
Harrington and McGinley are back representing the Irish this week at the $4 million event - the winning team shares $1.4 million - which features two-man teams from 24 countries playing foursomes and four-ball.
'It's nice to come back to a course we won on before,' said McGinley. 'I think it will be tougher than last time. I think we're playing a lot more of the back tees.'
'We played 18 holes yesterday and we spent a good bit of time discussing the shots we hit in the last tournament while we were here,' Harrington said. 'Sometimes our perceptions weren't quite the same as the other guy's.'
The Japanese team of Shigeki Maruyama and Hidemichi Tanaka will be working to defend the World Cup crown they won 11 months ago in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Before this year's World Cup, Dye made some changes to the par 72, 7,296-yard layout.
He moved the 18th green about 40 yards closer to the ocean. And a new salt-tolerant grass allows the greens to be cut shorter and play faster.
'I didn't notice as big a difference in 18 as I expected,' Leonard said. 'I can't say how much the green has been moved, but it wasn't as drastic as I thought it would be.'
Conditions for Wednesday's practice round were ideal, with temperatures in the high 70s and relatively light winds of 10 to 12 mph. That's expected to change with brisker winds and cooler weather later in the week.
'Cooler for you is not cooler for us. I think the wind is going to be a factor,' said McGinley of the Irish team. 'In '97 we didn't have much of a breeze - 10 to 15 mph breeze. The forecast is stronger this week. You'll see a lot of guys hitting good shots in and rolling off greens.'
'It's going to be a fantastic challenge this week,' said Paul Casey who, along with Justin Rose, represents England. 'If the wind blows, it's going to be a brutal golf course. It's one which will bring out the better teams.'
'We like to see the wind,' said Stuart Appleby who, with Stephen Leaney is on the Australian team. 'We would like to see firm, fast - fastish conditions ... I don't know, 20, 25 mph might be too much' wind.
The format on Thursday and Saturday is four-ball. On Friday and Sunday, it's foursomes.
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Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
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.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
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
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.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.