Scott, Oosthuizen tied at HSBC; Mickelson one back

By Associated PressNovember 1, 2012, 10:43 am

SHENZHEN, China – Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott shot 7-under 65s to lead the WGC-HSBC Champions after the first round Thursday.

Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open winner, played a bogey-free round with seven birdies, while Scott finished his round with two birdies and an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole.

Two-time HSBC Champions winner Phil Mickelson was in a tie for third one shot back, along with Bubba WatsonPeter Hanson and Shane Lowry.


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Both Oosthuizen and Scott took advantage of the pristine conditions and the five par-5 holes on the Jose Maria Olazabal-designed course at Mission Hills. Oosthuizen birdied all five, while Scott had four birdies to go along with his eagle.

''It was a solid day that all of a sudden turned into a really good day,'' Scott said. ''With five par-5s, it kind of sets up well for my game and the plan is to just take advantage of the 5s and hopefully hang in there with the leaders all week.''

The Australian, ranked sixth in the world, is still looking for his first tournament win of the year. He nearly captured his first major at the British Open in July before blowing a four-shot lead over Ernie Els with four holes to play.

His best finish since that collapse was a tie for sixth place at the BMW Championship in September.

Oosthuizen also said the key to his game was hitting solidly off the tee on the par-5s, something he'll need to do all week if he's going to stay atop the leaderboard.

''If I can keep doing what I'm doing on the par-5s, you know, hitting the fairways and leaving myself with the irons or a 5-wood or something, you've got a good chance,'' Oosthuizen said.

Hanson backed up his big win at the BMW Masters in Shanghai last weekend with a superb opening round in Shenzhen, making seven birdies against one bogey.

The Swede is second on the European money list, within striking distance of leader Rory McIlroy. If Hanson wins the $1.2 million paycheck at Mission Hills this weekend, he will overtake McIlroy with only four events left on the calendar.

''It's nice to get off to a good start, of course, coming off last week. You try to save a bit of energy the last couple of days and try to be ready for today,'' Hanson said. ''I've been on the road now for three or four weeks. Just need to keep your head fresh and this is a very demanding golf course. You can make some easy mistakes around here,'' he said.

Mickelson was further off the pace before sinking a 25-foot putt for eagle on the same hole as Scott – the par-5 ninth – to finish off his round of 66.

''It was a great way to finish with an eagle. I was hoping just to make birdie on the last hole,'' Mickelson said. ''I think the reason I was so calm today was I drove the ball extremely well and hit every fairway.''

Lowry, meanwhile, stuttered down the stretch. After making birdies on the 15th and 16th holes to take a two-stroke lead over the field, the Irishman had bogeys on his final two holes – missing near-identical 10-foot putts – to drop him back into a tie for third.

''Felt like I had the ball on a string all day and felt like it came very easy to me today,'' Lowry said. ''Just to bogey those last two was disappointing.''

Dustin Johnson shot a 67 to sit two strokes off the lead with Thailand's Prom Meesawat.

Defending champion Martin Kaymer was in a group of seven golfers tied for ninth at 4 under, along with England's Luke Donald and American Jason Dufner.

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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.