US leads by four points at Walker Cup

By Associated PressSeptember 13, 2009, 2:17 am

USGAARDMORE, Pa. – The United States moved closer to winning its third straight Walker Cup behind the strong play of Rickie Fowler on Saturday, taking an 8-4 lead over Great Britain and Ireland at Merion Golf Club.

Fowler posted two lopsided victories and the Americans won three singles matches and halved four others on the opening day of the biennial competition.

The U.S. won three of four alternate-shot matches in the morning and need five points out of four alternate-shot matches and 10 singles Sunday to retain the title.

The Americans lead the series 33-7-1.

At one point during the singles, the U.S. team led in six of the eight matches. But GB&I rallied to remain in contention, leaving the Americans with plenty of work remaining.

The first day of competition belonged to Fowler, who is finishing his amateur career with the Walker Cup matches before turning pro next week. He teamed with Bud Cauley for a 6-and-5 win in foursomes and made short work of Sam Hutsby in singles, winning, 7 and 6, and closing out the Englishman with a curling birdie putt on the par-4 12th.

The 20-year-old from Murrieta, Calif., matched former Walker Cup players Scott Simpson and Robert Gamez for the third-largest winning margin by a U.S. player in singles.

Fowler had a 3-1 record for the U.S. team at the 2007 Walker Cup at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland. He finished third at the 2009 NCAA Division I championship and has played in two U.S. Opens, missing the cut this year and finishing tied for 60th in 2008.

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His first pro event is expected to be a Nationwide Tour event in Boise, Idaho, next weekend.

Other U.S. singles winners were Cauley and Peter Uihlein.

Stiggy Hodgson was a double-winner for Great Britain and Ireland, teaming with Niall Kearney for a 3-and-1 win in alternate-shot and picking up a 2-and-1 singles win over Brendan Gielow.

GB&I worked hard for the matches it halved, with Gavin Dear, Matt Haines and Chris Paisley earning splits on the last hole. Wallace Booth also earned a half point.

Brian Harman, a member of the 2005 Walker Cup team, Cameron Tringale, Morgan Hoffmann and Drew Weaver earned half points for the U.S.

In the alternate-shot matches, Uihlein rolled in an 18-foot par putt at the 18th hole and teamed with Nathan Smith for a come-from-behind 1-up victory in the most dramatic match of the morning session.

Fowler and Cauley made quick work of Luke Goddard and Dale Whitnell, 6 and 5, and Harman and Hoffmann added the other U.S. point, beating Booth and Hutsby ,2 and 1.

Uihlein, a sophomore at Oklahoma State, and Smith, the oldest member of the U.S. team at 31, held their only lead over Dear and Haines after winning the second hole. They cut GB&I’s two-hole lead to one at the 10th and squared the match with a par at the 12th.

Dear and Haines teamed for par at the 13th to go 1-up, and maintained that edge until the Americans squared it with a par at the 246-yard, par-3 17th.

After Uihlein’s approach to the 18th landed short and right of the green, Smith, who was the youngest U.S. Mid-Amateur champion at 25 in 2003, pitched to 18 feet and set up what proved to be the winning putt after Haines missed a 5-footer for par.

Catch final-day coverage on Golf Channel Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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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 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.