A rookie no more, Mediate looks to defend in Boca

By Associated PressFebruary 6, 2014, 9:59 pm

BOCA RATON, Fla. – A year ago, Rocco Mediate was just another rookie on the Champions Tour.

He thought he could win his inaugural start in the Allianz Championship at Broken Sound. But he admitted he had no idea.

''I put the work in, but you don't really know what's going to happen,'' Mediate said. ''I know how good the guys are on the Champions Tour.''

Mediate didn't take long to prove he could play with the 50-and-older set. He shot an 11-under 61 in the second round, the lowest of his 29-year pro career and a tournament record. It gave him a three-shot lead he parlayed into a two-shot victory over Bernhard Langer and Tom Pernice Jr.

Mediate became the 16th player to win his Champions Tour debut.

''It was great, honestly unexpected,'' said Mediate, who won six times on the PGA Tour, but may be best known for his spirited playoff loss to Tiger Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. ''To have it happen the first week was kind of wild, actually.''

Mediate's first PGA Tour victory also came in South Florida at the 1991 Doral-Ryder Open, when he became the first player to win with a long putter he used to alleviate back pain.

On Wednesday, Mediate played a practice round at Doral's renovated Blue Monster course with new owner Donald Trump.

Mediate won win another Champions Tour title and claimed Rookie of the Year honors in 2013 after earning $1.34 million, more than he made in any season since 2008. He's also enjoyed success off the golf course, marrying Jessica Somers last month.

At 51, he insists he's playing the best golf of his career. He'll attempt to become the first player to successfully defend his title since Hale Irwin at the 2005 Turtle Bay Championship in the Champions Tour's first full-field event.

''I think every single part of my game is improving,'' Mediate said. ''I hit it farther than I ever hit it, I think my technique's better, I definitely putt way better than I ever putted, with any putter. I definitely think I'm a better player than I ever was, especially around the greens.''

Mediate isn't the only player trying to make history this week. Langer, who lives 5 miles from Broken Sound, will be trying to become the 10th player in Champions Tour history to reach 20 career wins.

Langer has a good chance this week, having finished among the top three in his hometown event four of the last five years, including holing a plugged bunker shot for an eagle to beat John Cook in a playoff in 2010.

Two players also will make their Champions Tour debut: Four-time PGA Tour winner Billy Andrade and Wes Short Jr., who won the 2005 Michelin Championship in Las Vegas.

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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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

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.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.