South Korean leads Australian PGA after 9-under 62

By Associated PressDecember 10, 2009, 6:13 pm

COOLUM, Australia – South Korean Han Min-kyu upstaged the big-name locals at the Australian PGA on Thursday, shooting a 9-under-par 62 to take a four-stroke lead after the first round.

Han, who teed off at 6:25 a.m. in mild conditions and with little wind at the revamped Hyatt Regency resort course, had 11 birdies and two bogeys – on the first and 18th.

Ryan Haller was second after a 66, followed by five other Australians at 67: Stuart Appleby, Matthew Griffin, Scott Strange, Andrew Dodt and Henry Epstein.

Adam Scott, last week’s Australian Open winner, was in a group at 68. Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Allenby each shot 70 and John Daly had a 71.

Han, who birdied his first four holes, is one of 15 South Koreans in the tournament, which is now part of the One Asia regional tour.

“I played like Tiger Woods today,” Han said after his round which included just 21 putts. “I felt almost like I was in heaven.”

Han, 26, lived in Florida for five years from the age of 16 to develop his game. He was winless in 16 tournaments on the Korean tour last year, although he was close in the final round of one tournament before shooting 80.

He made his first appearance in an Australian tournament at last week’s Australian Open in Sydney, where he missed the cut by one stroke.

Haller, recovering from the disappointment of two weeks ago when he missed out on a Japanese tour card by just one stroke in qualifying, was surprised by the names on Thursday’s leaderboard.

“No disrespect to Mr. Han, but I have never heard of him,” Haller said. “I looked at the leaderboard because I liked looking at my name up there. It’s not there very often.”

Scott had a strong start – four birdies after starting on the back nine – “but I just didn’t keep it going.” He had three bogeys on his final nine, including three-putting from just off the green for bogey on his last hole.

“I missed three fairways in a row, and that was annoying,” Scott said. “It was still a pretty good round, though.”

Scott was impressed with Han.

“Good for him, he ran with it,” he said. “That’s what you have got to do when you’ve got everything right and not be afraid to go low.”

The first six holes of the course are new because a portion of the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed layout, between a coastal road and the Pacific Ocean, was earmarked for development.

The course was par 72 until this year. The old course record of 63 was set by five players, the last time by Nick O’Hern in 2006.

Allenby, who won last week’s Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, had early trouble on the first, which is lined by water on the entire left side and along the front and right side of the green.

Allenby’s tee shot trickled into the edge of the creek, and he took off his shoes and socks and rolled up his trousers to attempt to knock it out. The ball moved only about 10 feet – just out of the hazard – and Allenby made bogey.

“A little bit of jet lag there, but there’s a lot of golf to be played,” said Allenby.

He wasn’t alone in having problems on the first hole. There were 30 bogeys, three double bogeys, two 8s and a 9 on the first, and only 33 birdies and one eagle.

That’s a rarity in pro tournaments, when players usually look to make up, not give up, strokes on the par-5s.

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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 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.