Rookie Park Leads After Rd 1

By Associated PressJune 29, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. WomenSOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -- Alexis Thompson is now one better than Morgan Pressel in two areas at the U.S. Women's Open.
Thompson, the 12-year-old from Florida who beat Pressel's record by one year as the youngest qualifier in history, finished off her first round Friday morning by chipping in for birdie from 40 yards, giving her a 5-over 76 and a big smile after she signed her card.
It was one shot better than Pressel's 77 when she made her debut at Pine Needles six years ago.
She was eight shots behind Angela Park, who finished her 68 some 20 hours earlier on Thursday, before dangerous weather moved into the area and caused half the field to return the next morning to finish the round in sunny, serene conditions.
'It was going off the green,' Thompson said of her bump-and-run with a lob wedge. 'But it goes in. I was like, 'Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, thank God. Whew!''
In-Bee Park and Shiho Oyama each completed a 69 to finish one shot out of the lead. Defending champion Annika Sorenstam birdied the par-5 15th and hung on for pars to finish at 70. Only 10 players broke par in the first round.
Thompson was in a tie for 93rd, and had a decent chance of making the cut if she kept the ball in the fairway.
The only way 17-year-old Michelle Wie would make it to the weekend was if weather interrupted play again, and thunderstorms were likely Friday afternoon.
Wie was 13 when she made her Women's Open debut four years ago and opened with a 73. She was a lot like Thompson then, a constant smile, occasional frustration typical of any golfer, mostly joy from competing. Based on the way she continued her free fall Thursday, that must seem like a distant memory.
'I know I'm a better player than this,' the 17-year-old from Hawaii said after hitting only four fairways, four greens and signing for an 82 that extended her streak to 21 rounds without breaking par, 13 of those on the LPGA Tour.
Thompson figured she could do better, too. She finished the tougher back nine in darkness at 3 over and was hopeful of playing the front nine at around even. But she twice had to save bogey, chipping over the green at No. 2 and barely getting out of a bunker on the next hole. She ran into problems off the tee, usually pulling her shots into the rough or pine needles.
But she came up with two big shots at the end. After running a 35-foot birdie putt some 15 feet by the hole at No. 8, she made that coming back for par, then drew the biggest cheers from a gallery of some 75 people by chipping in for birdie.
'I just wanted to treat this like another junior tournament,' Thompson said. 'I knew there was going to be more people and more media. But just do your best.'
Angela Park is an 18-year-old rookie on the LPGA Tour who is quickly gaining experience leading the majors. She made three straight birdies in the crisp, calm morning, and dropped only one shot for her 68. She also was atop the leaderboard after one round of the LPGA Championship, where she wound up fifth.
'Maybe this week will be different,' said Park, who was born in Brazil to South Korean parents and grew up in California.
It was different for Karrie Webb, bordering on surreal.
She won the Women's Open the last time it was played at Pine Needles in 2001, and was considered one of the favorites. No one could have guessed the Hall of Famer would fail to make a birdie on her way to an 83, the highest score of her career.
That includes Webb.
'I have no excuses. I'm not that kind of player,' Webb said. 'Do you think I had any idea I'd shoot 83? It was a terrible round, one of the worst days of my career.'
There were plenty of other surprises over 13 1/2 hours of the first day.
-- Lorena Ochoa went from celebrating one of the most amazing shots of her career, holing out from a bunker with a 5-wood, to stunning bad luck when her approach bounced between two bleachers and out-of-bounds. She was at even par, along with Pressel, the youngest LPGA major champion, Brittany Lincicome and Cristie Kerr.
-- Laura Davies, needing a victory at a major to get into the Hall of Fame, holed out from the fairway on No. 8 for eagle to get within one shot of the lead, only to drop three shots over the next six holes. She finished up a 72.
-- Juli Inkster was working her way up the leaderboard and was 50 yards in front of the green on the par-5 10th. But her flop shot was blocked by a bunker, and it came out 40 feet long. She then four-putted for double bogey and was 2 over through 12 holes. When she returned, she dropped six more shots over four holes and shot 78.
Wie was hopeful this tournament would be different, but she offered only a feint smile when she rapped in her 82nd stroke of the round on the final hole. She played without a brace on her left wrist, and her injury seemed to be the least of her worries the way she slashed out of the Bermuda rough.
'All I need is the confidence to play well,' she said. 'And I just need to see one round where all my shots are where I want them to be. Then after that, it's a done deal. I just need to see it.'
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.