Ryder Cup back in US hands

By Associated PressSeptember 21, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ryder CupLOUISVILLE, Ky. ' The Americans didnt need a miracle putt or even the best player in the world to take back the Ryder Cup.
 
Strong as a team, strong as individuals, the Americans rode the emotion of a flag-waving crowd and its two Kentucky players on Sunday to win the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1999.
 
Kenny Perry, the 48-year-old native son who felt this week would define his career, was part of an early push that swung momentum toward the Americans. Then came fellow Kentuckian J.B. Holmes, blasting drives over the trees to birdie his last two holes and position the United States for a victory it felt was overdue.
 
Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk earned the Cup clinching point for the Americans. (Getty Images)
The Ryder Cup was clinched with a handshake when Miguel Angel Jimenez conceded a short par putt to Jim Furyk, giving the Americans the 14 1/2 points they needed to take possession of the 17-inch gold chalice.
 
Dressed in red shirts ' the Sunday color of Tiger Woods, who could only watch from home while recovering from knee surgery ' the Americans erupted into hugs and tears behind the 17th green.
 
I poured my heart and soul into this for two years, U.S. captain Paul Azinger said, his voice cracking. The players poured their heart and soul into this for one week. They deserved it. I couldnt be happier.
 
Ben Curtis and Chad Campbell, the final player picked for this U.S. team, won the final two matches for a lopsided score that for the last three years had been posted in European blue.
 
United States 16 1/2 , Europe 11 1/2 .
 
It was the largest margin of victory for the Americans since 1981. And it was only fitting that Furyk won the decisive point.
 
He felt hollow six years ago at The Belfry watching Paul McGinley make a par putt that clinched victory for Europe, the start of three straight victories that extended its domination in golfs most passionate event.
 
The only U.S. victory over the last 15 years was in 1999, and only after Justin Leonard knocked in a 45-foot birdie putt to complete the greatest comeback ever in the Miracle at Brookline.
 
This time, it was the Americans who produced unlikely stars ' Boo Weekley, from the backwoods of the Florida Panhandle; Anthony Kim, the brash kid from the streets of LA; and Hunter Mahan, who tied a U.S. record by winning 3 1/2 points as a captains pick. Mahan was the only player to play all five matches at Valhalla without losing.
 
Even so, the biggest star might have been Azinger.
 
It was his idea to overhaul the qualifying system, which he felt was keeping the Americans from fielding their best team. He also doubled his captains picks, and they all brought something.
 
If we win, Ill go down as having the lowest IQ of any genius who ever lived, Azinger said this summer.
 
European captain Nick Faldo wont get off that easy.
 
The British press blistered him for benching Garcia and Lee Westwood ' the most successful European tandem ' on Saturday, the first time either of them had ever missed a match. Even more peculiar was putting double major winner Padraig Harrington, Westwood and Ian Poulter in the final three matches Sunday.
 
The Ryder Cup was over before their matches were over.
 
Poulter closed out Steve Stricker, 3 and 2, to go 4-1 for the week and validate Faldo picking him over Darren Clarke. Even so, Europe didnt quite have the team spirit that carried it to record victories over the Americans the last two times. And sure didnt get the performance from some of its best players.
 
Garcia, Westwood and Harrington failed to win a match all week.
 
Related Links:
  • U.S. Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • European Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • Full Coverage - 37th Ryder Cup
  • 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.

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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.