Sabbatini leads by five at Honda Classic

By Associated PressMarch 6, 2011, 4:10 am

2007 Honda ClassicPALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – After making consecutive birdies, Honda Classic leader Rory Sabbatini stood in the rough along the sixth fairway, complaining to a PGA Tour official about a delay in play and wondering what had become of the group just ahead of him.

The strange interruption could have halted Sabbatini’s momentum. Instead, after a long wait he hit an iron 200 yards to 10 feet of the pin, one of his better shots among the 66 Saturday that gave him a cushy lead.

Sabbatini will enter the final round at 9-under 201, five shots ahead of Jerry Kelly and 2009 winner Y.E. Yang.

The wait at No. 6 occurred when Kelly, playing two groups ahead of Sabbatini, lodged a shot in a palm tree. A newspaper photographer’s zoom lens was used to identify the ball as Kelly’s, allowing him to avoid being penalized for a lost ball.

The inspection took time, so the twosome behind Kelly played through. Meanwhile, Sabbatini and playing partner Kyle Stanley waited and wondered how they had caught up with Kelly.

“It was a little bit of dazed and confused,” Sabbatini said. “We’re like, `OK, where did he come from?’ And we’re trying to figure out what’s going on.”

A South African who lives in Fort Worth, Texas, Sabbatini’s known for his feisty manner and candor on any topic – even Tiger Woods. But nothing has riled him up this week, and he tried to look at the delay as something positive.

“Actually, I think maybe that might have helped me slow down a little out there,” he said. “It allowed me to back off a little bit and kind of refocus again. So I think that was a good thing.”

Yang birdied the last two holes for a 3-under 67 and moved into a tie for second with Kelly, who shot a roller-coaster 68. Gary Woodland also had a 68 and was fourth, six shots behind. Second-round leader Stanley had a 74 to drop seven strokes back.

Sabbatini, who changed putters this week, made birdie putts of 2, 40, 12, 18 and 18 feet.

“I’ve been putting well all year; I just didn’t feel like I was making anything,” he said. “Sometimes just changing the look of things, changing the feel of things, can kind of just spur something.”

With his new mallet-style putter, Sabbatini had the lowest round for the second day in a row after tying the tournament course record with a 64 Friday.

Sabbatini has won five PGA Tour titles, most recently at the 2009 Byron Nelson Championship. But he’s perhaps best known for once calling Woods “more beatable than ever,” long before the sex scandal that sent Woods’ career off track.

Sabbatini said he dislikes being cast as a villain, which may be why he switched from Friday’s wide-brimmed black hat to a white one. He said he hadn’t decided what color to wear Sunday, but regardless, he’ll be wearing a target as the leader.

Given the tough course and conditions at PGA National, Kelly doesn’t consider his five-shot deficit insurmountable.

“It’s catchable in three holes,” he said. “You never know what three holes they may be. You’ve just got to play solid, get some birdies, and you never know.”

Sabbatini’s take on being the front-runner: “You’d better be able to run faster if you’re being chased.”

Windy conditions have made pars precious all week, and weather will likely be a factor again Sunday. With thunderstorms in the forecast for the afternoon, tee times for the final round were moved up.

Sabbatini, Kelly and Yang will tee off last. Kelly, a Wisconsin native and a former hockey player who can get feisty himself, played with Sabbatini just last week at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

“We always have a good time together,” Kelly said. “Him talking it up doesn’t bother me, because I tend to do the same thing.”

Lee Westwood, who fell to No. 2 in the rankings this week behind Martin Kaymer, was tied for 30th at 4 over after a 75. Westwood must finish alone in third place or better to regain the top ranking next week.

First-round leader Spencer Levin was tied for 16th at 2 over after a 73.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

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.