Tiger makes eight birdies shoots 66 in Round 3

By Associated PressJune 20, 2010, 5:29 am

2010 U.S. Open

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. –  Forget fist pumps. When Tiger Woods watched a putt on No. 17 roll in –  a putt he later admitted was “a joke” –  he raised his right arm and extended his index finger high in the air.

No. 1.

Who knows? Maybe he can still get there this week after a remarkable round of U.S. Open golf Saturday at Pebble Beach.

Woods shot 5-under 31 on the back nine to post a 5-under 66 for the day and vault from also-ran to big-time contender. When his round was over, he was at 1-under 212 for the tournament, alone in third place, only four shots behind leader Graeme McDowell.

The 66 was Woods’ best score since returning to tournament golf following his uncomfortable winter on the sideline. The putts, on greens he ridiculed as “awful” on Thursday, finally started falling, and he started converting on a swing that suddenly started rounding into form.

Tiger Woods
Woods dazzled Saturday with a 5-under 66. (Getty Images)
“It’s a process,” Woods said. “You have to just build. All the Opens I’ve won, I’ve had one stretch of nine holes where I put it together.”

It’s a testament to his game that he chose the back nine to do it at Pebble  –   the tougher nine, and the nine the leaders were playing with bright sunshine and brisk winds drying out the course and making the greens bumpy.

The highlight of Woods’ round will go down as his second shot on No. 18. Squirreled behind one of the two huge trees on the right side of the fairway, his caddie, Steve Williams, told him he was 260 yards away –  the perfect distance to go for it. He crushed a 3-wood, hustled to his left, yelled at the ball to go, then watched it land 20 feet from the pin.

A two-putt for a birdie and a round of 66 –  only one stroke higher than the 65 he shot on opening day at Pebble in 2000, when he was a different player and he went on to win by 15.

On this day, though, memories of Torrey Pines were more apropos. Two years ago, he was injured, trying to turn a good Saturday into something better when he hit a chip shot from the side of the 17th green that came out of the rough hot, bounced once and somehow went in. He took his hat off, covered his face, laughed sheepishly. Didn’t mean that to happen. But sometimes it does.

Sort of like his putt on No. 17 at Pebble. Above the hole, 15 feet away, Woods said the only goal there was “don’t throw away a great round now.”

“The putt on 17 was a joke,” he said. “I’m just trying to get it close and walk out of there. And it happened to go in.”

It’s putts like those that can turn players into believers, though Woods never stopped believing, even when others might have.

His spiel after Friday’s round, when he was seven strokes out of the lead, buried in 25th, sounded more canned than condensed soup: He was close, just needed to make a birdie or two, get to par and anything could happen at a U.S. Open. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

He looked like nothing more than a dreamer after the second and third holes of Saturday’s round. A pair of bogeys. The worse one came on No. 3, when he drove the ball to 40 yards in front of the green, then tried to get a flop shot to lock up on the top right corner of the green –  one of the many at Pebble that Tom Watson said made players feel like they were “putting over a herd of turtles.”

The shot ran off the green, into the rough. The bogey ballooned Woods to 6-over par, nine shots behind a leader who hadn’t even hit the course yet.

Eight birdies (and one more bogey) later, it was a different story. Woods looked like a genius. What’s new?

And for all the drama and trauma he’s put himself through over the past few months, he showed his game hasn’t gone too far away. A 15th major this week? That doesn’t seem like such a stretch anymore, either.

“Well, I’ve got a long way to go before that happens,” he said. “It would feel good. I’ve won U.S. Opens before and it certainly didn’t feel bad.”
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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.