Watson, Scott near lead at Australian PGA

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2011, 1:31 pm

COOLUM, Australia – Steven Bowditch and Choi Joon-Woo shot rounds of 6-under-par 66 Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the first day of the Australian PGA and outshine a strong field that includes British Open champion Darren Clarke and Americans Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler.

Bowditch, playing in intermittent afternoon rain, birdied the 17th and 18th holes after a bogey on No. 16 at the Hyatt Regency resort course. Choi, who plays on the OneAsia tour and has no wins in a four-year pro career, had a chip-in for eagle on the 16th hole.

Watson and Australians Andre Stolz, Aaron Townsend and Aaron Baddeley had 67s, while Wu Kangchun of China was in a large group with 68s. Clarke and Fowler were three behind after 69s.

Three International teammates at last week’s Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne – Australia’s Jason Day and South Koreans K.T. Kim and Y.E. Yang, also shot 69. U.S. Amateur champion Kelly Kraft started strongly, but shot 76 after back-to-back double bogeys on the back nine.

Clarke was in the same group as Adam Scott (70) and Greg Norman (72). Scott made a huge recovery from his opening 40 – including a triple-bogey 6 on the par-3 11th – to shoot 6-under 30 coming home.

Defending champion Peter Senior shot 70 and fellow Australian Geoff Ogilvy a 72.

Bowditch, a Sunshine Coast local who has been playing the Coolum course for 15 years, said “it’s in the best shape it’s ever been in.”

“They’ve narrowed a few fairways, the greens are firm and fast,” said Bowditch, who made a 25-footer for birdie on 18 but had two three-puts on his first three holes.

He’ll leave on Monday for the final six rounds of the U.S. PGA Tour Qualifying School in California.

“I’m in a fortunate situation, I have conditional status for 15 to 20 starts next year, and I’ve also got Nationwide,” Bowditch said. “The pressure will still be there, though.”

Scott had a rollercoaster of a round – nine birdies, a triple bogey, a double bogey and two bogeys. After a birdie on the 10th to open his round, his 6 on the par-3 third came after a ball in the water, one of three he plunked into ponds on his first nine.

“I played a little too aggressive on those opening holes, then after that, I had to play aggressive,” Scott said. “This is the kind of course where you can make birdies, but if you hit bad shots at bad places, it can really hurt you.”

Watson’s 67 included a bogey on the par-5 third and birdies on two of the par-3 holes on the front nine, his last. He came to Coolum from Melbourne, where he played in the winning U.S. team at the Presidents Cup.

“I’m not fresh, I’m dead tired,” Watson said. “You just have to try to fight through it. I lost my last two matches, so I don’t have much confidence coming in. Tomorrow I could come out exhausted and shoot 80.”

Clarke is playing at Coolum for the first time.

“I made a couple of silly plays because I don’t know the course and that is where it cost me,” said Clarke, who arrived on Monday from Northern Ireland. “It is a long way from home and I’m a little bit tired, the jetlag got me, but I’ll have a good rest and get ready for tomorrow.”

Clarke had a bird’s-eye view of playing partner Scott’s up-and-down round.

“He was shocking at the start and then he played fantastic,” Clarke said. “Great performance to come back and shoot 2-under.”

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.

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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.