Three Leonards Magic Number in Texas

By Associated PressOctober 7, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Valero Texas OpenSAN ANTONIO, Texas - Justin Leonard can stop tinkering with his swing.
 
Putting a series of big changes to the ultimate test Sunday, Leonard won the Texas Open for the third time, beating Jesper Parnevik with a 10-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a playoff.
 
'There's no better way to validate (the changes) than to come out and win a golf tournament like this,' Leonard said.
 
Leonard, also the 2000 and '01 winner at LaCantera Golf Club Resort Course, closed with a 5-under 65 to match Parnevik at 19-under 261. Parnevik, who opened with a 61 and led after each of the first three rounds, finished with a 69.
 
Earlier this year, he switched instructors from Butch Harmon to his old coach Randy Smith. He also changed caddies and is trying to move to a home closer to Royal Oaks Country Club, his old club in Dallas.
 
Leonard is the first three-time Texas Open winner since Arnold Palmer in 1960-62.
 
'That's pretty special,' Leonard said. 'It's great company to be in. I played pretty solid.'
 
Leonard had plenty of opportunities to win before finally finishing off Parnevik for his 11th PGA TOUR title and first since 2005.
 
On the final hole of regulation, the Texan's 14-foot birdie putt to win just slid by the hole. On the first extra hole, Parnevik took an unplayable lie after driving into the trees left of the fairway. But he hit a 153-yard approach to 3 feet to set up a par. Leonard chipped from the greenside rough to set up his par.
 
'That's kind of the way Jesper plays,' Leonard said. 'He's not going to hit every fairway. He's not going to hit every green. But he's very creative. He hit some gutsy shots.'
 
Leonard, 1-4 in playoffs after the victory, missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the second hole. Parnevik had a 28-footer for birdie to keep the playoff going on the third extra hole, but left it a foot short.
 
The 42-year-old Swede was trying to win for the first time in 6 1/2 years.
 
'It's tough to get into position to win, but I'm happy I got to feel it again,' Parnevik said. 'It had been a while.'
 
Parnevik entered the round with a three-stroke lead over fellow Swede Mathias Gronberg and a four-shot margin over Leonard.
 
The finish brought back memories of the 1997 British Open when Parnevik began the final round at Troon five shots ahead of Leonard. But Parnevik shot a 71, and Leonard had a 65 to win.
 
Daniel Chopra, another Swede, shot a 66 to tie for third with Gronberg (69) at 16 under. Heath Slocum closed with a 62 to finish fifth at 14 under.
 
Parnevik struggled off the tee throughout the back nine. At the 15th, he pulled his drive well left. He immediately looked away, then walked through the gallery ropes to find it in the trees with a clear path to the hole about 165 yards away.
 
He punched it to 16 feet from the cup and made birdie.
 
But on the next tee, after a lengthy wait while Chopra got a ruling on a wayward drive in the group ahead, he pushed one far from the fairway. Then, with a provisional ball, he pulled one that hit a spectator in the head.
 
He found his first ball in the brush and punched it into the rough on the way to a bogey and a one-stroke deficit.
 
But he hit a hard 7-iron to 3 feet on the 174-yard 17th and made birdie to tie it going into the final hole.
 
'Give the credit to Justin,' Parnevik said. 'He didn't do too much wrong today.'
 
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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.