Sergio Sets Sights on No 1

By Associated PressNovember 11, 2008, 5:00 pm
2006 HSBC ChampionsSHANGHAI, China ' Sergio Garcias playoff victory over Oliver Wilson in the HSBC Champions gave the Spaniard a career-high No. 2 world ranking.
 
He also has some unfinished business after passing Phil Mickelson in the rankings ' winning his first major and, even more difficult, challenging Tiger Woods for No. 1.
 
I think my next goal is trying to win a major, Garcia said Monday after making a 7-foot birdie on the second playoff hole ' the par-5 18th ' after Wilson missed a 10-footer. Well, weve been trying for quite a while.
 
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia has won three times around the world in 2008. (Getty Images)
Attacking No. 1 probably depends a little bit on how much he takes off and if I keep playing well, Garcia added. Its possible, mainly because hes been injured. Ive never been this close to No. 1, so its exciting to be there.
 
This has probably been Garcias best season, due partly to improved putting.
 
He won The Players Championship and his home-course Castellon Masters, and finished second or tied for second in three events. One was the PGA Championship ' one of the four majors.
 
Garcias putting held up Monday at the Sheshan Golf Club on the outskirts of Chinas financial capital.
 
He forced the playoff by holing a 5-foot birdie on 18 to finish with a 4-under 68 and match Wilson at 14-under 274. The Englishman, a surprise star for Europe in the Ryder Cup, reached the playoff by saving his par on 18 with a 7-footer for a 70.
 
Its been a very solid year, Garcia said. I had some hard losses this year, but we came back strong and were finishing the year very nicely.
 
When you get into a sudden-death playoff, you have to hit the right shot at the right time, but you have to get lucky at the same time. Its happened to me a couple of times this year where I thought I won the playoff and I wound up losing.
 
Wilson is winless on the European tour, but has eight second-place finishes. He gained attention at the Ryder Cup, teaming with Henrik Stenson to beat Mickelson and Anthony Kim in foursomes. But hes fed up finishing No. 2.
 
Its just getting to a stage where second is not enough anymore, he said. There was a time when I was pleased to be finishing there, and its gone.
 
Mickelson, the 2007 champion, shot a 73 to tie for eighth in the $5 million tournament, five strokes behind the leaders. He is now third in the world rankings.
 
Peter Hanson (66) and Geoff Ogilvy (70) finished a stroke off the lead, while Stenson (71) was three behind.
 
Garcia and Wilson were the survivors on the back nine, where four players ' Garcia, Wilson, Hanson and Ogilvy ' were tied at 13 under during the closing holes.
 
Rain washed out play on Friday, slowed the start on Saturday and forced the Monday finish. Wilson played two holes of the final round on Sunday, and Garcia got in three before darkness stopped play.
 
The event was the first of the 2009 European Tour season, which will end next November in the Dubai World Championship. The European Tour also rebranded the Order of Merit ' the season money title ' as the Race to Dubai. That tournament will have a $10 million purse with another $10 million available in bonus money.
 
The HSBC is being suggested as a possible World Golf Championships event. Ten of the worlds top-20 were in this years field.
 
Though the rain delays made for a clumsy finish, Garcia wasnt complaining.
 
You have to deal with it, he said. You cant do anything about it so you just stay patient.
 
That patience was rewarded. He earned $833,000 and a career-high ranking with the victory.
 
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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.