Sharp leads, Wie one shot back in Arkansas

By Associated PressJune 28, 2014, 12:39 am

ROGERS, Ark. – Michelle Wie didn't let a little thing like a hectic national media tour slow the momentum following her U.S. Women's Open victory last week at Pinehurst.

The former prodigy continued her resurgence on the LPGA Tour on Friday, shooting a 5-under 66 to finish a stroke behind leader Alena Sharp after the first round of the NW Arkansas Championship.

Wie spent much of her week leading into the tournament busy on the national morning television circuit, only arriving at Pinnacle Country Club on Thursday.

Following a practice round and 12 hours of much-needed sleep, the most recognizable name on the LPGA Tour shot a bogey-free 66 on the 6,375 yard layout - closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th and upstaging local favorite Stacy Lewis.

''Definitely running on fumes right now,'' Wie said. ''... I think it definitely struck me on the back nine, a little bit tired, but I just was really excited to get out here and start playing again. New York was fun, but it's just fun to get back to playing golf.''



Sharp, the Canadian ranked 234th in the world, had only 27 putts in her opening 65, while Mexico's Alejandra Llaneza matched Wie with a bogey-free 66.

The top-ranked Stacy Lewis, who played at the nearby University of Arkansas, was 2 over after four holes before recovering to finish with a 70.

Ten players, including major champions So Yeon Ryu and Shanshan Feng, shot 67.

Sharp entered this week having missed the cut in six of her 11 LPGA Tour events this year, though she did win the Symetra Tour's season-opening event in Arizona in February.

The Canadian entered the week 137th on the LPGA Tour with an average of 31.34 putts per round, but she credited a recently putting lesson for Friday's improvement.

''I'm trusting it more and just trying to relax,'' Sharp said. ''It's been a part of my game that hasn't been the greatest this year. I've hit a lot of greens and not making a lot of birdies, so today was definitely a step in the right direction.''

While Sharp controlled the leaderboard following the morning group, Wie overcame windy conditions to post the best round of the afternoon - closing with a 4-under 31 on the back nine.

She closed with a birdie on the par-5 18th and needed only 28 putts in her first round since earning her first major championship at Pinehurst.

Wie, who was 64th on the LPGA Tour money list in 2012 and 41st last year, has yet to miss a cut this year and leads the money list with nearly $1.6 million.

''I just feel comfortable out there, and I'm trying to keep improving a little bit every day and still working on a lot of things,'' Wie said.

Lewis earned an unofficial win in the rain-shortened event as an amateur in 2007, but the Texas native, who finished second to Wie in the Women's Open, struggled early on Friday - much to the dismay of her large pro-Razorbacks gallery.

She was 2 over after four holes, thanks to a missed 4-foot par putt on No. 2 and a bogey from the greenside bunker on No. 4.

Lewis recovered with three birdies to finish 1 under, but she needed 31 putts on her way to settling for a tie for 43rd.

''It's always hard playing here,'' Lewis said. ''People, I don't think they realize how hard it is. There's a lot of pressure, and it's hard to not put too much pressure on yourself.''

European Solheim Cup star Caroline Hedwall also was in the group at 67 along with Jennifer Rosales, Moriya Jutanugarn, Emma Jandel, Gerina Piller, Ji Young Oh, Pornanong Phatlum and Paz Echeverria.

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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.