Thorpe returns to Champions Tour

By Associated PressApril 15, 2011, 9:56 pm
Champions Tour

LUTZ, Fla. – Jim Thorpe paid for not paying.

The 62-year-old golfer recently completed a one-year prison term for failure to pay $1.6 million in taxes between 2002 and 2004 and spent 10 months in an Alabama prison camp before transferring to a halfway house and home detention.

Thorpe was released Jan. 17 and is back on the Champions Tour for the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, which opened Friday at TPC Tampa Bay. It’s his first tournament since 2009.

“I did what I had to do there, and, no, you don’t want to be there,” Thorpe said. “I had to make it work, and you’d be surprised what you can do when you have to do something. I don’t want to see any of you guys go there, but I had to accept it.

“I apologize to everyone for the mistakes that I made, and I blame no one else but myself. I did the things I had do to and just want to move forward.”

Thorpe, who had three PGA Tour wins in the 1980s, joined the Champions Tour in 1998 and is making his 12th appearance at Outback, where his best finish was a tie for fourth in 2003. Thorpe was last on tour two years ago, appearing in 22 events and posting three top-10 finishes, including eighth at the Outback.

During his time in prison, Thorpe said he rarely worried about his golf game.

“With the situation I was in, I didn’t think about golf that much,” he said. “I watched a lot of golf while I was up there and I missed the guys, the competition more than anything else. I think that, in my case, being away 10 months, was good for me, because it let me look at the golf game and then get my life right.”

Thorpe says he’s returned, not only in shape, but also smarter. He created what he calls Team Thorpe – financial advisers to make sure what happened in the past doesn’t happen again.

The week leading up to the 54-hole Outback tournament was gratifying for Thorpe, who said he received lots of hugs from people glad to see him back on the tour.

He also mentioned letters from certain players, such as two-time Outback champ Tom Watson, who withdrew from the field Wednesday due to a death in the family, helped him get through the past year.

“Tom sent me some letters (in prison), which were unexpected, and he gave me some putting tips, and when I saw him (Wednesday), I said, `I could’ve used those tips 30 years ago,”’ Thorpe said with a laugh. “Certain people all realize we all make mistakes and those don’t hold it against you. Life is a game of mistakes, but I feel it’s behind me, that I did what I had to do, that I paid for my mistakes and my life is on the right track with the right people in my corner.”

Thorpe said he slowly got back into golf after his release, only chipping and putting the first week, then after a week hit long shots and “it started to feel like I hadn’t missed a beat.”

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.

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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.