Tiger wins for first time in Australia

By Associated PressNovember 15, 2009, 10:04 pm

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)—Tiger Woods gave the record crowds at the AustralianMasters everything they could have wanted with his victory Sunday, except adefinitive answer when he would return.

“I promise it won’t be as long,” Woods said to yet another warm ovation.

Woods took the lead for good with a 7-iron to within four feet for birdie onthe fifth hole, and he hardly missed a shot the rest of the way for a 4-under 68and a two-shot win over Australia’s Greg Chalmers .

He won for the seventh time this year, and the 82nd time worldwide in hiscareer. Woods now has a trophy from every continent where golf is played.Australia, the 13th country where he has won an individual event, had been themissing link.

“I’ve never won down here, so now I have won on every continent, except forAntarctica,” Woods said. “I haven’t played the Antarctica Four-Ball yet. Butto have won on every playable continent, it’s something I’ve always wanted todo. And now I’ve done that.”

It had been 11 years since Woods last competed in Australia, at the 1998Presidents Cup. Since then, he has won 13 majors and 72 times around the world,becoming the face of golf and one of the most famous athletes in the world.

More than 100,000 fans who passed through the gates of Kingston Heath gavehim rock-star treatment.

Woods put on quite a show.

One day after he lost his swing and nearly fell out of contention, Woods hitevery fairway and only ran into trouble when a photographer standing too closeclicked twice in the middle of his swing, leading to his lone bogey.

Starting the day in a three-way tie for the lead, Woods began his finalround with a 3-wood to the par-5 first hole that landed next to the hole androlled 30 feet away, producing the first of many roars from thousands of fanssurrounding the green, some of them perched in trees.

After his birdie on the fifth, he followed with his most exquisite shot ofthe day—from 82 yards away to a firm green just over a ridge, the pin on aslope feeding toward a deep bunker. Playing a 56-degree wedge for a flattershot, it bounced 30 feet from the flag, checked slightly and trickled down theslope to 2 feet.

“It came off perfect,” he said.

Chalmers, who hasn’t won on his native soil since 1998, found consolation inhis runner-up finish. It was one of the biggest weeks of golf in Australia,energy not felt since the glory days of Greg Norman .

He stayed within range of Woods on the back nine, but failed to convert acouple of good birdie chances and shot 70.

“It was like a football crowd brought to the golf, and for us as players, Ihave only experienced that a handful of times, and I’ve never experienced it inAustralia at all,” Chalmers said. “That was special. It really was veryexciting, and it made you play better. Even though I finished second, I’mthrilled that he’s here. I wish he would come every couple of years. I’m sure weall do.”

Asked on live television, the closing ceremony and in his press conferenceabout returning, Woods only said, “I would love to.”

“I want to come back, no doubt,” Woods said.

He said he would go over his 2010 schedule during the holidays, althoughAustralians are assured of at least seeing him in two years at Royal Melbournefor the Presidents Cup.

Woods received a $3 million appearance fee to play in the AustralianMasters. Half of that fee was paid by the Victorian government, which estimatedthe economic return at $20 million.

“He over-delivered,” said Ian Baker-Finch , the former British Openchampion helping out with local TV analysis.

Woods wasn’t too shabby on the golf course, either.

One week after he fell apart in the final round at the HSBC Champions inShanghai, Woods sorted out his swing problems overnight and was precise as everaround Kingston Heath. He saved par with a 10-foot putt on the ninth, and hereached the 574-yard 12th hole into the wind with a 3-wood for a key birdie.

The only mishap came on the 13th, with a sand wedge in his hand.

“I thought I was in control of the tournament after I made that birdie on12,” Woods said, “and then a photographer took the control right away fromme.”

The photographer, standing unusually close, took two pictures in the middleof his swing, and the ball sailed right of the green. Still fuming on the par-514th, he failed to make birdie and left himself open to Chalmers cutting intothe lead.

On the next hole, however, Woods hit an 8-iron that had the crowd buzzingduring its entire flight, the cheers getting louder as it covered the flag androlled 6 feet beyond the hole. He made the last birdie he needed.

The result was Woods slipping into a jacket after winning the Masters—thisone Australian gold, not Augusta green, but it will do. He finished at 14-under274 and earned about $250,000 from a purse that was half the size of hisappearance fee.

American Jason Dufner , who received an exemption between tournaments inAsia, shot 70 and tied for third with Frenchman Francois Delamontagne (69).James Nitties , part of that three-way tie for the lead going into the lastround, shot 73 to finish fifth, while fellow Australian Adam Scott recorded hissecond straight top 10 finish with a 69 to tie for sixth.

Asked what legacy he would leave behind, Woods smiled and said, “I got a W.That was the goal this week.”

No matter the country, the time zone or the size of the gallery, that’s onething that doesn’t change.

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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.