Watson tops Simpson in Zurich playoff

By Associated PressMay 2, 2011, 3:09 am

2006 Zurich ClassicAVONDALE, La. – Bubba Watson overcame a three-stroke deficit over the final eight holes of regulation and beat Webb Simpson in a playoff Sunday in the Zurich Classic for his second PGA Tour victory of the year and third of his career.

“My wife, my caddie and my trainer would say my attitude’s in the right spot,” Watson said. “This week, I won (by) not getting down on bad shots, just staying focused on what I’m supposed to be doing.”

He also had a little luck. Simpson remained winless on the PGA Tour and was left to wonder what might have been if not for an unusual one-stroke penalty on 15 when his ball moved as he was addressing it on the green, less than a foot from the hole.

“I better limit my comments on that rule, because it’s such a bad rule,” said Simpson, who seemed to think windy conditions, combined with relatively dry, hard greens, caused the ball to move. “When the wind or other natural things affect the golf ball, the player shouldn’t be penalized. … It was just unfortunate, but Bubba deserves a win, and I’m pretty happy for him.”

Watson, also the winner at Torrey Pines in late January, matched Simpson with a 3-under 69 to finish at 15-under 273 at TPC Louisiana. Both players birdied the 18th on the first extra hole, with Watson making a 12-foot putt to force the second playoff.

Watson opened the final playoff hole with a 329-yard drive that narrowly stayed out of the water and landed in a fairway bunker. He hit his second shot – a 7-iron – 210 yards to the green on the 568-yard, par-5 18th.

Simpson’s second shot landed in a bunker short of the green, near the lip, and he blasted out to 12 feet.

After Simpson narrowly missed his birdie putt, Watson made a 3-foot birdie putt for the victory, which earned him $1,152,000 and moved him up from No. 16 to No. 10 in the world.

K.J. Choi, the 2002 Zurich winner, shot a 69 to tie for third at 13 under with Jason Dufner (66) and Tommy Gainey (69). Choi was 14 under after 16 holes, but three-putted for a bogey on the par-3 17th and narrowly missed a birdie putt on 18.

After Watson made his tournament-clinching putt, he hugged his mother, Molly, and wife Angie. In Watson’s estimation, both deserved credit for his latest victory.

His mother, who did not attend his previous two wins, asked him to play in the suburban New Orleans tournament so she could so she could drive from Florida to watch him.

“I want to ask mom where else I should play,” said Watson, who had or shared the lead at the end of every round. “Hopefully, it means a lot to her that she got to sweat and cry and do everything that I did and all my emotions that went through 18 holes and the two extra holes.”

His wife, meanwhile, has been telling him for a while to work on his composure on the course.

“She told me that I’m playing golf for a living, it’s a dream come true and … I’ve got to act differently,” Watson said. “If I’m going to support kids and do charity work, (getting angry on the course) is not a good example.”

The best proof of the 32-year-old Watson’s maturity came when he found water on the par-3 ninth and ended up with a double-bogey.

When Watson’s caddie, Ted Scott, offered a couple words of encouragement, Watson responded, “You don’t have to worry about me. I’m in it.”

Watson hooked drives to the left on Nos. 10, 11 and 12, but made par on each, losing only one more stroke when Simpson birdied 10.

Simpson’s bogey on 12 allowed Watson to make up one shot, then he pulled another shot back with a birdie on 13 that he set up with a bold drive over a massive sand trap.

Then came Simpson’s penalty on 15, after which Watson shook his head sympathetically before methodically two-putting for par to move into a tie with three holes to go.

Watson, who considers Simpson a good friend, called the penalty, “heartbreaking.”

“If I didn’t win, he would have been a nice guy to have win,” Watson added. “We went to a playoff, so one shot is the difference. It’s a sad way to win, but I won.”

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.