Tseng tops Miyazato to capture LPGA Thailand

By Associated PressFebruary 19, 2012, 3:03 pm

CHONBURI, Thailand - Top-ranked Yani Tseng successfully defended her LPGA Thailand title for her 13th LPGA victory, birdieing the final two holes Sunday to hold off playing partner Ai Miyazato by a stroke.

The 23-year-old Taiwanese star shot a 6-under 66 to finish at 19-under 269 on Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course. She opened with a 73, then shot consecutive 65s to enter the final round a shot behind Miyazato.

Before the tournament she made a wish on a lucky Thai statue.

“I had some luck out there,” Tseng said. I shot 1 over the first round, but I came back very soon and played 20 under the next three days. I felt like I could improve a lot and I feel like something gave me luck.”

She also visited the statue last year.

“I just wish I could win this tournament,” she said.

Last year, Tseng won the event for the first of her seven 2011 LPGA Tour victories, including major victories in the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open. The five-time major champion finished the year with 12 worldwide victories. She has 33 career worldwide professional victories.

“I feel much more pressure coming into this year,” Tseng said. “Last year, when I started, I was nothing. I was just in the top 5 in the world, but I don’t have 12 wins or world No. 1 title. After last year, I have world No. 1 and I had 12 wins and that pressure keep going on and on.”

On the par-5 18th, she came through with the pressure on, nearly holing her 104-yard approach and tapping in for the winning birdie.

“It was an incredible shot. I think it’s the shot of the week,” Tseng said. “Especially, I saw that Ai hit it so close and I knew she was going to make that putt. So, I tell myself, `I need to get this close.’

“It was tough. I had 104 to the pin and a little uphill. I know my ball is going to spin a lot, so I just tried to keep it low and not spin too much. … I was very proud of myself for hitting that shot into 18 and making birdie to win.”

Miyazato, the Japanese player who won the 2010 tournament, also birdied the final two holes in her 67.

“Of course, Yani is No. 1, so I knew it wouldn’t be easy today,” Miyazato said. “I kind of expected her to play that way.”

South Korea’s Jiyai Shin, tied for the lead with Tseng after a birdie of her own on the par-4 17th, had a 67 to finish two strokes back.

Tseng eagled the par-5 opening hole and Miyazato had a birdie, leaving them tied at 15 under. Tseng took the lead with a birdie on the par-4 third, and added birdies on the par-4 sixth and par-5 seventh. At the turn, she had a three-stroke lead over Shin and four-shot advantage over Miyazato.

“I played really well on the front nine, but it was tough on the back nine, especially when you see Jiyai and Ai keep making birdies,” Tseng said. “It got tight down the stretch. It was tough. I feel like I had lots of emotions today.”

Shin, playing a group ahead of Tseng and Miyazato, birdied the par-4 10th to pull within two and gained another stroke when Tseng bogeyed the hole. Tseng pushed her lead to two with a birdie on the par-3 12th, but bogeyed the par-4 13th.

Miyazato birdied the 10th and pulled within one of Tseng with a birdie on the par-4 15th, then matched Tseng with a par on 16 and the birdies on 17 and 18.

“Overall, I played really well and I’m very happy that I could finish strong today,” Miyazato said about her season debut. “I really enjoyed playing with Yani, but next time I want to win.”

South Korea’s Amy Yang shot a 69 to finish fourth at 14 under.

Sixteen-year-old Thai amateur Ariya Jutanugarn followed her third-round 65 with a 74 to tie for 12th to 7 under. She played the final five holes in 4 over, making a double-bogey 7 on No. 18. Last year, Jutanugarn won the U.S. Junior Girls’ Championship and was the Rolex Junior Player of the Year.

Seventeen-year-old American Lexi Thompson had five back-nine birdies in a 66 to tie for 14th at 6 under.

“I’m really happy with the way I’m hitting it,” Thompson said. “I’m playing consistent. Just need to get a few more of those putts to drop like today.”

Second-ranked Suzann Pettersen had a 78 to drop into a tie for 21st at 4 under. She began the round four strokes out of the lead.

Michelle Wie closed with a 73 to tie for 38th at 1 over.

Morgan Pressel had a hole-in-one with an 8-iron on the 136-yard eighth hole. She finished with a 71 to tie for 49th at 4 over.

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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.