Sun comes out Prugh surges at Hope Classic

By Associated PressJanuary 24, 2010, 2:02 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP)—Alex Prugh ’s last name rhymes with “Who?”

That’s a good question—and a good young player leading the Bob HopeClassic.

The 25-year-old PGA Tour rookie surged ahead when the sun finally came outSaturday, shooting a 7-under 65 on the tough La Quinta course to take aone-stroke lead over Bubba Watson and fellow tour rookie Martin Flores .

With his third straight remarkably consistent round in the five-round,four-course tournament, Prugh pulled ahead at 21-under 195. Yet if the formerUniversity of Washington star had any strong feelings after his second straightbogey-free round, Prugh wasn’t letting on.

Alex Prugh reacts to missing h…
AP - Jan 23, 7:10 pm EST

“I was almost bored with myself a little bit,” said Prugh, who trailedWatson by two strokes entering the third round. “It’s not a bad thing. I washitting the driver very well, and I kept on hitting fairway after fairway. …Boring rounds are actually fine with me.”

Prugh thinks the pro-am format keeps him away from any mental dangers thatmight otherwise arise from leading a PGA Tour tournament after three rounds.Perhaps helping amateurs with their game prevents him from overthinking his own.

Whatever the magic formula, Prugh is the first rookie to lead a round at theevent since John Senden took the second-round lead in the 2002 tournamenteventually won by Phil Mickelson .

“I’m just trying to entertain my amateur partners as well as I can, andhopefully they get their money’s worth when they’re out here,” Prugh said.

Flores was every bit as impressive as Prugh, shooting the second straight 65of his bogey-free tournament to pull into a tie with second-round leader Watson(68), who rallied after a slow start on the Arnold Palmer Private course.

Joe Ogilvie (68) was four strokes back at 17 under. Chad Collins (69), TimClark (67) and Bill Haas (66) were 16 under, and Mike Weir (67) was 15 under.

After rain washed out play Thursday and threatened Friday, the playersfinally reveled in perfect Palm Springs scoring weather. Amateurs, celebritiesand pros alike were thrilled to see fewer fairway marshes and more sturdygreens, but two unheralded rookies made the biggest splashes by crowding aroundWatson, who’s also seeking his first PGA Tour victory.

The long-hitting Watson was in prime position to pull away a bit after doingwell on the two tougher courses during the rainy first two days, but he was 1over after eight holes on the Palmer course Saturday before stringing togetherfour birdies on the back nine. Although he’s touting a new mental attitude thisseason, Watson couldn’t help jabbing himself after wasting a chance.

“I just played bad,” said Watson, the tour’s second-longest driver lastyear. “The 68 was getting a lot out of my round today, so I’m not mad at a 68.It’s just (that) I wanted to play better. My caddie kept yelling at me, tryingto get me to pay attention and stay focused. I just hung in there.”

After finishing 72nd last week at the Sony Open, Prugh played as well as aPacific Northwest native might be expected to do on the Hope Classic’s two rainydays. He shot an opening-round 64 on the easier Nicklaus Private course at PGAWest, followed by a steady 66 on Friday at the Palmer course.

Prugh has played 41 straight holes without a bogey, while the 27-year-oldFlores has yet to make a bogey in the tournament. The Texas native seemed a bitmore excited than Prugh about the auspicious debuts of two Nationwide Tourregulars last year.

“There’s a first for everything, and I just seemed to be very comfortablein this situation for some reason,” said Flores, whose last bogey was on the17th hole of his final round at the Sony Open last week. “I don’t know why thatis. I never want to come off as arrogant, but … I’m just confident in my game,and I like that right now.”

Prugh and Flores both played on the Nationwide Tour last year. Prugh won theNew Zealand Open and earned his PGA Tour card by finishing 16th on the moneylist, while Flores didn’t do particularly well in his nine starts, but earnedhis card by finishing fourth at the national qualifying tournament.

After two weeks, Prugh hasn’t found the PGA Tour competition to be a wholelot stiffer than on the Nationwide Tour. With none of the tour’s top 35 playersin the Hope Classic field, he might have a point.

“The competition level is very similar,” Prugh said. “I think you’re verywell prepared after coming out of there.”

DIVOTS: Sony Open winner Ryan Palmer has rallied after his opening 72,moving up from 93rd place to a tie for 15th with a 64 on the Nicklaus course.… Haas is the son of Jay Haas , the 1988 Hope winner. … Kevin Steelman hadlowest round Saturday, a 63 on the Nicklaus course. He was 9 under overall.

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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.