Stenson (66) builds one-shot lead at Wyndham

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2017, 10:44 pm

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Henrik Stenson kept his cool when some birdie chances turned into pars. That patience paid off late in his round.

Stenson shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the Wyndham Championship.

The 2013 FedEx Cup champion and 2016 British Open winner was at 16-under 194 at Sedgefield with a round left in the PGA Tour's last regular-season event of the season.

The Swede had four birdies on a five-hole stretch of the back nine to overtake Webb Simpson for sole possession of first place.

''It's all about how you finish, I guess,'' Stenson said. ''I came back strongly, great birdies coming home and right where we want to be.''

Simpson, Kevin Na and Ollie Schniederjans were tied for second. Na shot a 65, Schniederjans had a 66 and Simpson - a North Carolina native who won on this course in 2011 - had a 68. Johnson Wagner was 14 under after a 65.

''Any time you're within two or three of the lead, you know you've got a good chance,'' Simpson said. ''And for more guys on tour, it's not every week that you have a chance to win. Hopefully, I'm going to take advantage of it and come out and play a good, solid day.''


Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Stenson was at even par through his first 12 holes.

Then came the birdie binge he capped by sticking his second shot on the par-4 17th some 10 feet from the hole and converting that putt.

He could have ended his round with another one, but pulled his 15-foot birdie putt wide right and settled for par.

Still, his 72-hole score is second-best in tournament play at Sedgefield, surpassed only by Carl Pettersson's 191 in 2008.

''Obviously, what I've done so far is working pretty well, and I'm playing the course the way I think it's best for me,'' Stenson said. ''And I just trying to keep on hitting a lot of fairways, and if you do that, you can set up a lot of birdie chances with mid to short irons.''

Simpson - a local favorite who grew up in Raleigh, played in college at nearby Wake Forest and named his third child Wyndham after his first victory on tour came here - shared the 54-hole lead with Ryan Armour at 13 under.

Simpson birdied his first hole, then reeled off 11 consecutive pars before briefly taking sole possession of the lead with birdies on the 13th and 15th holes. He sank a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 13 and two holes later, he settled for birdie after missing a 35-foot eagle putt on No. 15.

Simpson could have caught Stenson on the 18th, but he pulled a 15-foot birdie putt left.

Winless on tour since October 2013, Simpson admitted his drought is ''on my mind a little bit,'' adding that he's ''very hungry to win again, very hungry to compete week in and week out.''

Schniederjans - a 24-year-old, third-year pro from Georgia Tech - is chasing his first victory on tour and his fifth top-10 finish of the year.

After shooting a 63 on Friday and starting his round two strokes off the lead, he became the first to 16 under with his birdie on the par-5 15th, hitting his second shot into the primary rough but recovering by chipping to 10 feet and converting the putt.

Then came trouble on the next hole. His tee shot on the par-3 16th landed in a low greenside bunker, and he stuck his chip into the rough just above the sand on his way to a bogey that dropped him back a stroke.

Na - who hasn't won on tour since 2011 - joined Stenson in making a big move on the back nine. He had birdies on Nos. 14, 15 and 17, landing his second shot inside of 10 feet.

''It's been a while since I won,'' he said, ''so I think I'm ready.''

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.

Getty Images

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.