Sorenstam Ochoa to compete in skins game

By Associated PressJune 9, 2010, 8:09 pm

VERONA, N.Y. – All it took was a phone call from Notah Begay III to convince Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa to take a few swings for charity.

The two former LPGA stars, who have combined for 99 career wins, will take part in the third annual Notah Begay Challenge, a fundraiser aimed at helping fight obesity and diabetes among Native American youth.

“They’re very big advocates in their own right for their own causes. For them to get behind this says a lot about what we’re trying to do,” said Begay, the only full-blooded Native American on the PGA Tour. “It means something to people. The only requirement that Annika had was that she had to make sure her ball wasn’t going to count the whole time. She’s a little worried. You never lose that competitive desire. She wanted to make sure she had a safety net.”

Also playing in the mixed team skins match on Aug. 31 are LPGA players Suzann Pettersen, Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressel and Anna Rawson and PGA Tour regulars Anthony Kim, Camilo Villegas, Hunter Mahan, Vijay Singh, and Rickie Fowler, who is part Navajo.

“To get players of this caliber, assemble this kind of field, pull players out of retirement and get them interested and behind what we’re doing is very inspiring to me,” Begay said Wednesday during a teleconference. “It makes me want to continue to do even more for Native American youth.”

Ochoa abruptly retired in May in order to raise a family and run her charity foundation. She’s a perfect fit for this event.

“There’s a mutual interest and there’s a lot of crossover,” Begay said. “She works with a lot of the poor Mexican communities, and to a certain degree they’re partly indigenous. A lot of the indigenous traditions in Mexico are similar to some of the southwestern Native American tribes. I think that she does realize that there are some similarities. If we’re able to support her efforts down the road, we’re certainly going to do that.”

The NB3 Challenge, staged at Turning Stone Resort and Casino’s Atunyote (ah-DUNE’-yote) Golf Club, is a collaboration between the resort’s owner, the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, and the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians of California.

The event was a pure skins game the first two years and featured only PGA Tour players. Last summer, Begay pulled off a coup when his former college roommate at Stanford accepted Begay’s invitation to play, and Tiger Woods didn’t disappoint. He won three straight holes at the close to edge Villegas for top money.

The inaugural NB3 Challenge in 2008 was the foundation’s first national event and raised around $200,000. Last year, with Woods wowing the crowd, the total surpassed $1 million and Begay said he expects a similar return this time.

This year the Challenge has been switched to a mixed-team, best-ball format with a total purse of $400,000. The winning twosome will split the top prize of $100,000. Begay said he decided on the change because of Woods, who is trying to put his personal life back together.

“One of the biggest reasons (for the change) is I did not extend an invite to Tiger this year,” Begay said. “I felt like he had some more pressing matters that were a priority in his life, give him a year to sort of work on whatever he felt was important to work on. In light of that, you take away the biggest draw in golf and you certainly have to bring in equally big names. So I thought, the more the merrier.”

Begay said ticket sales would be limited to between 5,000 and 10,000 (only 3,000 were sold last year because of the presence of Woods), and many will be given away to youth groups and charities that promote youth-based initiatives.

“The focal point will always be to generate a fundraising base for our organization,” Begay said. “But I feel like this event is just going to continue to grow and gain more and more support across the country. There’s so much need out there.

“It’s a big struggle, but it’s a lifelong commitment for me. I’m 37 years old and I’ll be doing this until the day I die. I just want to serve my people any way I can.”

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.