Watson shoots 62 to surge into Bob Hope lead

By Associated PressJanuary 23, 2010, 5:58 am

bob hope classic logoLA QUINTA, Calif. – Bubba Watson loves a little rain on his game. With his mammoth drives sticking to fairways instead of bounding across them, he had the best round of his pro career to take the Bob Hope Classic lead.

Watson shot a course-record 10-under 62 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead over Alex Prugh after the second round, which began and ended in the driving storm that washed out Thursday’s play and pushed the final round to Monday.

But there were just enough hours in between squalls for a SilverRock course record by Watson, who’s trying to show there’s more to his game than his jaw-dropping work off the tee.

“I didn’t expect it to be that wet,” Watson said. “I didn’t come out of my house yesterday, so I didn’t know what it was. It was really wet.”

The Palm Springs area, which typically gets about 5 inches of rain a year, has been pounded by 3.3 inches already this week. Although it’s expected to clear on the weekend before returning Monday, the storm has wreaked havoc on the PGA Tour’s only five-round, four-course tournament – but some players handle it better than others.

Prugh, no stranger to rain from his college career at the University of Washington, followed his opening 64 with a bogey-free 66 on the Palmer Course at PGA West. First-round leader Shane Bertsch (69) was at 13 under with Joe Ogilvie (66), Chad Collins (64) and Martin Flores (65).

Watson passed off his Thursday by filming videos for Twitter of himself hitting balls out the door of his rental house – but the prolific tweeter had no trouble getting back to business.

Watson still hasn’t won on the PGA Tour, but he showed off an improved putting stroke and capitalized on wet fairways at the four-course tournament’s longest venue for a 29 on the front nine, including an eagle on the fifth hole when he drove the green from 335 yards and made a 7-foot putt.

Watson, who led the tour in eagles and was second in driving distance last year, was at 16-under 128 after taking on the tournament’s two toughest courses in his first two rounds.

“My length is definitely going to play a part on that golf course, because it’s got wide fairways,” Watson said. “I can rip it if I want to. The par 5s are reachable, unless you get a day like today. … It’s different (in the rain). It’s going to be hard for everybody, but I putted well today. That was my key. I hit a lot of good shots, but I putted well.”

After a morning delay to avoid the worst of Friday’s storm, the early starters played through the rain before it largely stopped an hour later. Their iron shots still produced large sprays of water from the fairways throughout the round.

In such marshy conditions, the rest of the players could see reasons for Watson’s success.

“The wet weather just totally plays into his favor, because his ball’s not going to get out of control when it hits the ground,” Bertsch said. “He can just fly it his 330 (yards), and plug it and lift it, clean it, and hit wedges into every hole. It doesn’t surprise me one bit.”

The rain hasn’t been quite so kind to Watson’s wife, Angie. Her Friday round with actor Kevin Nealon in the pro-am portion of the Hope Classic was canceled when the amateurs were scratched in an effort to get the round in between the raindrops.

“She would rather her play and not me,” said Watson, who got his wife into the field as a fifth-anniversary present of sorts.

Angie Watson is a former Georgia basketball player who’s even taller than her 6-foot-3 husband. She’s a 4 handicap after six years of serious play.

Bubba Watson finished fifth at the 2007 U.S. Open in Oakmont, but he’s best known for his freakishly long drives and his even more prodigious tweeting abilities. Watson attempts to answer every tweet sent to him, and he posts links to videos of everything from his swing to his rendition of “Happy Birthday” to talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres.

In the morning hours before Friday’s round, he tweeted 112 responses to fans  – albeit most of the one-word variety.

While Watson played indoor golf Thursday, Prugh waited out the rain by going to see “The Book of Eli” with another pro.

“I think the biggest factor was having to control your wedge shots,” Prugh said. “Water-wise, there wasn’t any trouble, no casual water that I found. There might be (Friday night), with all this downpour that we’re getting.”

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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.