A wacky Sunday like no other at Augusta National

By Associated PressApril 11, 2011, 4:56 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. – They say the Masters doesn’t truly begin until the back nine on Sunday.

This one? Epic nuttiness.

So many lead changes you needed motion sickness pills to watch the scoreboard. A meltdown that makes Greg Norman’s heartbreak look good. And madness that went on right to the very end, until Charl Schwartzel made four straight birdies to end the hopes of all those players who’d had a chance to win it in the final two hours.

“There were so many numbers going up and down. It must have looked great on TV,” said Jason Day, who finished two strokes behind Schwartzel. “It was exciting stuff, it really was.”

For those who lost track of the leaderboard, here’s a rundown of some of the wackiness.

THE RUSH TO BUTLER CABIN: Despite a shaky front nine, Rory McIlroy had a 1-stroke lead as he walked to the 10th tee. All he had to do was make pars, and the green jacket would be his as a mere 21-year-old. But McIlroy, who still remembers Nick Faldo being gifted the Masters title by Norman in ’96, collapsed in spectacular fashion.

He pulled his tee shot into the trees left of the fairway, and the ball apparently ricocheted between two of the club’s famous cabins. McIlroy had no choice but to punch it back out, but then yanked his approach shot left of the green, near a scoreboard, before banging a shot off a tree limb.

He finally chipped it onto the green – barely. Two putts left him with a 7, and his lead was now a 2-shot deficit.

McIlroy could have survived it, but he three-putted for another bogey on No. 11. After a four-putt double-bogey on 12, the collapse was complete. After leading the first three days, the Northern Irishman wasn’t even on the leaderboard when the afternoon ended. He closed with an 80, finishing 10 strokes behind Schwartzel.

“I just hit a poor tee shot on 10 and unraveled from there,” McIlroy said. “I’ll have plenty more chances, I know that. It’s just very disappointing what happened today.”


TIGER’S ROAR: The roars were echoing through the pines like the old days as Tiger Woods reeled off four birdies and an eagle for a 31 on the front nine. Never mind his erratic game or the fact he hadn’t won since that infamous car crash 16 months ago. When he made the turn with a share of the lead, almost everyone expected him to tear through the back nine, dropping his challengers one by one.

But Woods isn’t quite his old self yet. A 3-footer for par should have been a gimme, but Woods banged it off the back of the cup for a bogey on No. 12. With a chance to take the outright lead on the par-5 15th, he missed another short putt for an eagle. He still made birdie, but on this wildest of days, it may as well have been a bogey for all the good it did him.

He would play his last three holes at par, and didn’t even bother sticking around for the finish.


BIRDIE STRING: Schwartzel running off four straight birdies was bigger, because they got him a green jacket. But Geoff Ogilvy made five in a row on Nos. 12 through 16 to jump to the top of the leader board.

“When I birdied 14, I thought I was in pretty good shape,” Ogilvy said.

But the Australian couldn’t go any lower, and there were still five groups playing when he finished. Ogilvy would finish at 10-under, tied for fourth with Woods and Luke Donald.


DONALD’S COMEBACK: The Par 3 Tournament winner has never gone on to win the green jacket, and that dubious streak sure looked safe when Luke Donald dunked his tee shot in the water on 12. Instead of being two shots off the lead, he was now four back.

But wait. Birdies on 15 and 16 got Donald within one shot of Adam Scott, only to give a stroke back on 17. When his tee shot on 18 landed on the right edge of a bunker, leaving him a lie only a stork could love, Donald was out of the mix.

Or was he?

Hitting off one leg, Donald’s ball came out perfectly only to hit the flag and carom back off the green. But Donald chipped in from the fairway, the ball bouncing several times on the green before dropping in to put Donald back at 10 under, one shot back.

“I dug in deep and made some birdies coming in,” Donald said, cheers of “LUUUUUKE!” still ringing in his ears. “But I think I’m going to come up a little bit short.”


THE AUSSIES: Adam Scott grabbed the outright lead for the first time with an 8-foot birdie putt on the 14th, giving all of Australia hope that its oh-fer at Augusta National might finally be over.

No way any lead was going to hold up for four holes on this day, however, and, sure enough, Scott’s second shot on 15 rocketed behind the grandstand. He managed a par, then stuffed his tee shot to 2 feet on the par-3 16th to take back the lead.

Meanwhile Day, his playing partner and fellow Aussie, had been stuck at 10-under for what seemed like an eternity on a day when the leaderboard was on spin cycle. (It was only three holes, actually.) But he made a long putt for a birdie on 17, then rolled in an 8-footer for another on 18. Suddenly he, too, was at 12 under with Scott.

But they were out of holes, and Schwartzel had just made a 10-footer to take the lead by himself. When the South African put his approach shot to a mere 20 feet, leaving him two shots to win the green jacket, Scott, Day and all of their fellow Aussies could only shake their heads again.

“I hung in there as long as I could,” Scott said. “Obviously, I can’t control Charl. When you birdie the last four holes at the Masters and you’re around the lead, that usually wins.”

It did.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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.