Suzann Pettersen ends winless drought at Canadian Open

By Associated PressSeptember 7, 2009, 4:00 am

LPGA Tour _newPRIDDIS, Alberta – A text message from the greatest closer in golf helped give Suzann Pettersen the confidence she needed to end a long winless streak.

Tiger Woods sent the Norwegian a short note Sunday morning, urging her to keep doing everything that had allowed her to build a five-shot lead in the first three rounds of the Canadian Women’s Open. Pettersen took the message to heart and ended up cruising to a comfortable victory – her first in almost two years on the LPGA.

There had been six runner-up finishes and 19 top-10s since Pettersen last won on tour, so she had to work hard to keep doubt from creeping in.

“You’ve got to believe you can do it,” she said. “Don’t fear anything, the door is wide open. You’ve just got to keep doing what you’re doing. In that way, I usually use a lot of other sports and performances in kind of an inspirational way.”

Suzann Pettersen
Suzann Pettersen reacts to her first LPGA win in nearly two years. (Getty Images)
That included the encouraging text message from Woods and the U.S. Open tennis she watched each evening in her hotel room.

Pettersen vowed not to play conservatively with a big lead in the final round and made good on that promise – closing with a 1-under 70 at Priddis Greens for a five-shot victory over Momoko Ueda (65), Morgan Pressel (66), Ai Miyazato (67), Karrie Webb (69) and Angela Stanford (70).

None of those players were able to apply much late pressure, making the walk around the final few holes feel more like a coronation for Pettersen. She lapped a field that featured the LPGA’s top-75 money earners for a victory she considers an unofficial second major following her win at the 2007 McDonald’s LPGA Championship

“This is obviously not a major win on paper, but for me this means as much,” Pettersen said.

The 28-year-old star was the most consistent golfer all week, scoring well in the wind on Thursday and Saturday and finishing strong on Sunday.

Despite the large margin of victory, Pettersen did have some tense moments midway through the final round. Her lead over Webb had been whittled down to three shots when she missed the green at the 10th hole.

However, Pettersen calmly stepped up and drained the chip.

“I hit a terrible approach into 10,” she said. “And then I get my break because it might as well have just lipped out. But it went in.”

She followed that with two more birdies and the big lead had been restored.

Webb made the biggest run at Pettersen on the final day by making three birdies over her opening five holes to narrow the gap to three shots. Pressel also tried to make an unlikely run, but simply couldn’t make up all the strokes.

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  • Event: CN Canadian Women's Open

“I was only a couple shots out of second and third place so that’s what I was looking at,” Pressel said. “I wanted to make as many birdies as possible. If I could have found a 62 then I might have challenged Suzann.”

No one could keep up with her.

The victory was Pettersen’s sixth on the LPGA – the previous five all came during a breakout 2007 season – and pushed her season’s earnings over $1.1 million.

Most importantly, she finally has another LPGA trophy.

“To finally close the deal again feels really good,” Pettersen said. “I remember what it feels like.”

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.

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.