A US lead a moral victory for International

By Associated PressOctober 9, 2009, 8:03 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)'The Americans were in a familiar spot at the Presidents Cup, taking the lead after the opening session of foursomes on the strength of its best players' Tiger Woods , Steve Stricker and Phil Mickelson .

The International team had to settle for a moral victory, which it gladly accepted.

Two years ago at Royal Montreal, the Americans didn't lose a match on opening day in building a five-point lead, which turned out to be the margin when the golf trophy was awarded. It was so bad that captain Greg Norman and Ernie Els were among those who thought anything better would be considered a good start.

It wasn't looking good. Not with the Americans already up 3-2 in matches, and leading the final alternate-shot match 1 up on the final hole with Justin Leonard only 3 feet away for a birdie to halve the hole.

Lucas Glover of the United Sta…
AP - Oct 8, 9:05 pm EDT Everything changed with one putt.

After some confusion over whether the putt had been conceded, Leonard missed with a putt that spun out of the right lip. The match was halved, although it felt like a full point for the International side. Instead of the U.S. team leading 4-2, it was 3 1/2 -2 1/2 .

At the end, we were pretty fortunate to have 2 1/2 points, Els said. That's one of the better starts we've had, believe it or not, for the last three Cups or so. So we are not too despondent about today.

Some of the matches were clean. Woods and Stricker combined to make six birdies against no bogeys'solid stuff for the difficult alternate-shot format ' and pounded Geoff Ogilvy and Ryo Ishikawa in the shortest match of the day, 6 and 4. It was a powerful tandem of Woods' iron play and Stricker's pure putting.

It's a pretty nice feeling to have Steve putting for us, Woods said.

Some of the matches were sloppy. Mike Weir and Tim Clark , the only partnership without a birdie Thursday, still had a 1-up lead with six holes to play until Mickelson and Anthony Kim came to life with four straight birdies for a 3-and-2 victory. It started with Kim's wedge to 3 feet on the 13th hole, and they never let up.

We needed something to ignite us and that wedge shot did the trick, Mickelson said.

Els and Adam Scott came up with a 2-and-1 victory over Hunter Mahan and Sean O'Hair , while Robert Allenby and Vijay Singh held off major champions Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink , 1 up. Those were the only two matches in which the Americans never led.

Then came the crazy finish.

Retief Goosen and PGA champion Y.E. Yang , 3 up after five holes, lost four straight holes at the turn and down themselves in a no-win situation when trailing 2 down with two to play. Somehow, they found a way not to lose.

Goosen holed a birdie putt on the 17th, although the U.S. had the advantage on the par-5 18th.

Leonard hit a beautiful fairway metal onto the green, which looked like a sure birdie. Goosen hit his metal to the right rough, from where Yang chipped to 4 feet and Goosen rapped in the birdie putt.

Goosen then forgot the score.

He looked over at Jim Furyk as if wanting to give Leonard the putt since the match was all square, only to realize eventually that the Americans had a 1-up advantage. Leonard stood over the putt, with his teammate ready to celebrate.

He missed.

The International team, ready to settle into another big hole, tried to contain their glee, but that was a big miss.

We wanted to get out of the day with pretty close to a push, and I'm very, very happy, Norman said.

Leonard made no excuses.

I just hit a bad putt, he said. I knew I was going to need to make that little putt. Unfortunately, I missed it.

U.S. captain Fred Couples said Goosen later spoke to him and Leonard and apologized for any misunderstanding.

He didn't mean anything by it, and Justin didn't have a problem, Couples said. No one has a problem with it. Did we think we were going to be up 4-2? Yes, we really did. But it won't be the last putt every missed at the Presidents Cup, and it won't be the last time a reversal was done. So we'll just come out tomorrow and try to get 3 1/2 more points against this team.

It looked simple enough on a cool, cloudy day on this public course south of San Francisco.

Until the final putt.

I was a little confused by the whole thing, to tell you the truth, Stricker said. It looked like he was going to give him the putt. Obviously, he didn't. We talked to Jim Furyk, and nothing was ever conceded. But from everybody standing there on the side, it kind of looked like he was going to give it to him.

Norman said there was no gamesmanship on Goosen's part.

He thought the match was over, Norman said. He didn't concede the putt. He just thought the match was over. It was a legitimate mistake, and no intent or malice. It was just the intensity of the game.

It only figures to pick up starting Friday, with six matches of fourballs.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.