Thai teen leads Pettersen by one in Hawaii

By Associated PressApril 18, 2013, 12:13 pm

KAPOLEI, Hawaii – Thai teen Ariya Jutanugarn shot an 8-under 64 on Wednesday at Ko Olina to take a one-stroke lead over Suzann Pettersen and Hee Kyung Seo after the first round of the LPGA Lotte Championship.

The 17-year-old Jutanugarn played the front nine in 6-under 30 in her afternoon round, dropped a stroke on the par-4 10th with her lone bogey, then made a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 14th and birdied the par-4 15th. She matched the tournament record in the second-year event after only getting into the field Sunday when she won a qualifier.

''I have very good front nine, but I just wanted to make more birdies,'' Jutanugarn said. ''My record is 8 under and I want it to be lower. When I had bogey on 10, I thought I wasn't really confident in my putting. So, when I had eagle, I was more confident.''


Video: LPGA Lotte Championship Round 1 recap


Jutanugarn was in position to win the LPGA Thailand in February, only to collapse on the final hole to hand Inbee Park the title. Jutanugarn closed with a triple bogey to blow a two-stroke lead, missing out on a playoff when she lipped out a 3-foot putt. She rebounded three weeks ago in Morocco, winning the Ladies European Tour's Lalla Meryem Cup for her first professional title.

''I was very confident today,'' she said.

Pettersen had nine birdies and two bogeys in her morning round. The Norwegian is a 10-time winner on the LPGA and won an LET event this year in China.

''I went out today and tried to be really aggressive,'' said Pettersen, coming off a third-place tie two weeks in the Kraft Nabisco Championship. ''My dad was so disappointed after the Kraft that I left all the putts short. He's like, 'You got to hit the ball past the hole to make putts.'''

Pettersen played in a pair of unreleased Nike shoes that she's been testing back home. She got the green light to wear them this week.

''It's a female version of Tiger Woods' shoes,'' Pettersen said. ''I must say I feel the greens a lot better because the foot is sitting a lot better in the shoe.''

Seo, the 2010 Kia Classic winner, had a bogey-free round in the afternoon.

Hyo Joo Kim, the 17-year-old South Korean player who played in a group with Jutanugarn and 15-year-old New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko, matched Danielle Kang with a 66.

Ko had a 71. She won the Canadian Open in August to become the youngest LPGA winner at 15 years, 4 months, 2 days. The South Korea-born Ko has two other pro victories, the New South Wales Open last year and New Zealand Women's Open this year, and won the U.S. Women's Amateur last season.

''It was very fun because everybody is young,'' Jutanugarn said. ''We're friends. I've played with them before.''

Second-ranked Stacy Lewis, the winner of consecutive events this year in Singapore and Phoenix, was three strokes back at 67 along with defending champion Ai MiyazatoBeatriz Recari, So Yeon Ryu, Jane Park, Rebecca Lee-Bentram, Jane Rah and Gerina Piller.

Lewis missed the cut last year, the last time she has failed to advance to weekend play.

''I learned a lot from this tournament last year,'' Lewis said. ''I think you learn more from failures than you do from success.''

Recari, playing the back nine first in a group with Pettersen and Angela Stanford, Recari birdied four of the first six holes.

''We teed off at 7:50 and it was already blowing pretty hard, especially on the back nine,'' the Spaniard said. ''Those holes are really open to the ocean. So, I think it was a good challenge out there.

She enjoyed playing alongside Pettersen.

''It's always great to play with her because she's so competitive,'' Recari said. ''It got to the point where we were feeding off each other because we were making birdie, birdie. We were just hitting really good shots into the pin and making some putts.''

Recari won the Kia Classic last month for her second LPGA victory.

''The thing is, when you win, you want to keep winning,'' Recari said. ''I didn't feel like I just wanted to sit back and relax and just kind of cruise. Obviously, you want to put yourself in that position again and, hopefully, get more trophies.''

Lee-Bentram opened with nine straight pars, then birdied five of the next seven holes in her bogey-free round.

''I just told myself to be patient,'' Lee-Bentram said. ''Putts weren't going in on the front nine, but I was making pars. I knew if I kept making pars the birdies would come.''

Jutanugarn's older sister, Moriya, had a 69.

Top-ranked Inbee Park, the Kraft Nabisco winner, was in a group at 70 that included local favorite Michelle Wie and Natalie Gulbis, playing her second tournament following a bout with malaria. Third-ranked Yani Tseng, winless in more than year, had a 71.

The players, caddies, and staff wore red ribbons to honor victims from the Boston Marathon bombings.

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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.