Tiger Rolling Along Lefty Leaving

By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007- WGC-AccentureMARANA, Ariz. -- Tiger Woods had an easy time advancing Thursday in the Accenture Match Play Championship. And with Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson and the other top seeds no longer around, his road to an eighth straight PGA Tour victory started looking easier, too.
 
Woods was 5-up through six holes and never serious challenged by Tim Clark, the South African recovering from a neck injury and playing his first tournament of the year. The result was a 5-and-4 victory, the shortest match of the second round.
 
Mickelson's up-and-down West Coast Swing came to a stunning end with an incredible up-and-down by Justin Rose.
 
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson was ousted by Justin Rose in the second round. (WireImages)
Lefty figured the match would be all square going to the par-3 16th tee after Rose, who was 1-up, hit into the desert brush and had to chip out backward to the fairway, hitting this third shot 30 feet short of the flag.
 
Rose's par putt dropped on the last turn, however, keeping the lead and momentum on his side. Mickelson felt he had no choice to go after what he called a 'carnival' pin on the 16th, and it went a 3 yards too far and off a shelf, leading to bogey.
 
Rose closed him out with a birdie on the 17th to win, 3 and 1.
 
'It looked like all I had to do was make par and the match would be even,' Mickelson said. 'That hurt the most.'
 
Chad Campbell pulled off a valiant rally against Furyk, making an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to go overtime, then two-putting from 50 feet for birdie to win in 19 holes.
 
That left Woods, the No. 1 seed, as the only player among the top eight seeds still around.
 
But all he had to was look at his third-round match Friday to realize how far he has to go. Next up is Nick O'Hern, a short but straight-hitting Australian who beat Woods two years ago at La Costa.
 
'I'm sure he will obviously take positive vibes from what he did the last time we played,' Woods said. 'But the whole idea is you've got to play well.'
 
Woods had no trouble with that on a warm, sunny afternoon in the high desert north of Tucson.
 
He won the first two holes with a two-putt birdie and a bogey by Clark at No. 2, then poured it with three straight birdie putts. When he drove to the front of the 12th green for his seventh birdie of the round, and Clark missed a 4-footer, Woods was 6-up and counting the holes until it was over.
 
'I played well today. I put a lot of pressure on Timmy,' Woods said. 'He's still a little bit hurt. But I just wanted to put as much pressure as I possibly could on him and not give him any holes with bogeys. I did that today. I made a few putts, and Tim made a couple mistakes. And basically, I ended up having a pretty good-sized lead early in the match.'
 
Woods is among five players who have yet to trail over two days at The Gallery. The others are O'Hern, David Toms, Ian Poulter and Stephen Ames, who staved off a birdie-birdie finish by Vijay Singh and beat the Fijian in 19 holes.
 
The highest seed still alive is Shaun Micheel, who thrives in match play whether it's in dreary ol' England or sunny Arizona.
 
Micheel ended Woods' worldwide winning streak at five last September by beating him handily in the first round of the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth. After beating third-seeded Adam Scott in 21 holes on Wednesday, Micheel birdied his last two holes to steal a 1-up victory in the second round over Rod Pampling.
 
Still around in Woods' half of the draw are Henrik Stenson, who beat Woods in Dubai three weeks ago; and Trevor Immelman, who won the Western Open, the last PGA Tour event Woods played without going home with the trophy.
 
Mickelson ends his first part of the season with a mixed bag of results -- a five-shot victory at Pebble Beach, a playoff loss to Charles Howell III at Riviera after leading by two shots on the back nine, and an early exit from Match Play. It was the first time in five years that Mickelson failed to advance to the third round.
 
Mickelson and Rose halved only three of the first 12 holes -- all those with birdies -- and Mickelson was looking late in the back nine for an opening to square the match and let his experience take over. He figured he had it when Rose drove into the desert on the 15th and hit his third shot before Mickelson hit wedge for his second.
 
Then came Rose's putt, and Mickelson felt like a batter who froze on a 3-2 curve that broke over the plate.
 
'I wanted to tee off first on the 16th and hit it the middle of the green,' Mickelson said. 'He hit the green, and I had to be aggressive. It was a carnival pin, and I hit it 3 1/2 to 4 yards too far.'
 
The ball trickled down a swale, and Lefty faced a delicate chip up the slope, with the green then running swiftly toward a false front. His chip caught the hole, trickled to the slope and Mickelson stood their staring, hoping that the ball would stop. It didn't, rolling off the green, and his par putt also caught the lip.
 
Rose found a greenside bunker on the par-5 17th, blasted out to 4 feet and never had to putt. Mickelson went through the green, but his chip checked and he missed a 10-footer for birdie, removing his visor when the ball slid by on the right.
 
Why not play it safe on the 16th and take his chances?
 
'The 17th was a hole we both would probably birdie,' Mickelson said. 'And I didn't want to leave it up to 18.'
 
Instead he was leaving, with Furyk, Retief Goosen, and Singh fast behind.
 
That doesn't mean Woods has to the show to himself. Still around are two past champions -- David Toms and Geoff Ogilvy -- and Paul Casey, who won at Wentworth five months ago.
 
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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.