Top LPGA players converge in Oregon

By Associated PressAugust 21, 2008, 4:00 pm
Safeway Classic Logo 2007PORTLAND, Ore. ' Twenty-eight of the LPGAs top 30 money-winners will play in the last Safeway Classic to be held at the popular Columbia Edgewater Country Club.
The $1.7 million tournament will move to the larger Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore., in 2009 after more than three decades in Portland.
For sure I will miss this place, said Lorena Ochoa, who shot a 12-under par 204 to win the 2007 tournament by five strokes. Its such a special golf course. I like the greens. Theyre similar to home. I like the par 5s. If you can get good drivers you can reach a few of them and make it exciting and have some eagle chances.
Ochoa and Sorenstam view the Safeway Classic as a chance to get back to their winning ways. Ochoa won five of the first six tournaments she played in 2008 but hasnt won since May.
Sorenstam, a three-time winner this season, has one top-10 finish in her last eight tournaments.
I would say the last few months have been a little trying, said Sorenstam, a two-time Safeway Classic winner who plans to retire from the LPGA after the season. Its been busy lately. Seems like Ive been everywhere. Im running on the last bit of gas I have in the tank.
The Safeway Classic is the longest running non-major on the LPGA. Columbia Edgewater has been a popular tournament site since the tour began making an annual stop in Portland in 1972. The par-72, 6,397-yard course has hosted the tournament 27 times, and each year since 1990.
The Classic has outgrown the course, though. Pumpkin Ridge, which played host to the U.S. Womens Open in 1997 and 2003, is a 36-hole course with larger banquet and parking facilities.
We support the decision, the LPGA and sponsors decision, to go to the next place, Ochoa said. But it will be missed very much.
Sorenstam, who shot a tournament-record 62 during the 2002 tournament, said the Safeway tournament committees willingness to listen has helped Columbia Edgewater thrive.
Theyve always made changes with the growth of our tour, said Sorenstam, who won at Columbia Edgewater in 2002 and 2003. Its been great to come here.
Paula Creamer, third on the season money list behind Ochoa and Sorenstam, said this weeks wet weather in Portland, which dumped about an inch of rain on the golf course, has changed the way players will approach the tournament.
Its noticeably different, Creamer said. Theres holes out there where I used to hit 8 irons, and now youre pulling head covers off. Its like youre playing a whole new golf course.
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  • 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 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.