Sergio seeking Spanish double

By Associated PressOctober 26, 2011, 2:19 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain – Sergio Garcia leads a strong Spanish collective intent on a Valderrama victory at this weekend’s Andalucian Masters, where Graeme McDowell is the defending champion.

Garcia, coming off an 11-shot Castello Masters win for his first victory in three years, is among 14 Spanish players looking for a first ever home triumph since Spain’s most famous golf course began hosting tournaments 23 years ago.

Photo gallery: Sergio Garcia through the years

Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jose Maria Olazabal, Alvaro Quiros, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Garcia lead the local contenders’ bid to triumph at the Robert Trent Jones designed course. Martin KaymerThomas Bjorn, Matteo Manassero and Italian brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari will also compete at the 96-player, $4.17 million event.

Since 1988, when the Volvo Masters was first held, there have been 20 European Tour events at Valderrama but not one Spanish winner.

“I’ve been three times runner-up on this course, and that really spurs me to try harder,” Garcia said. “It’s been really positive recently, after two really bad years. I’ve had great feelings and at the end of the day the most important thing is what I feel. I’ve been putting really well since before the U.S. Open, I like the consistency I’m achieving now.

“I think I am going the right way but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to relax.”

Valderrama’s cork tree-lined, par-71 course offers tight fairways and small greens that test a golfer’s game from tee to green, especially rewarding those who show patience and accuracy.

These characteristics suited McDowell on his way to a two-shot victory last year, which was the Northern Irishman’s last European win. The former U.S. Open champion is keen on a first 2011 title to improve his Race to Dubai position at the European Tour’s last continental event before moving on to Asia.

“It’s one of those iconic courses on the European Tour, and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with it,” McDowell said. “There are holes you can consider being decent birdie chances, and when the wind is up, well, good luck.

“But I like that challenge.”

Kaymer was second here in 2008 and the German player is looking for his first victory since January to put pressure on Dubai leader Luke Donald.

Bjorn has won three tournaments this season while Manassero’s first win came in Spain last year.

Valderrama gained fame in 1997 when former Spanish great Seve Ballesteros captained Europe to Ryder Cup victory here. Ballesteros died in May from cancer.

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.

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.