Weir looks to break par at Canadian Open

By Associated PressJuly 21, 2011, 1:29 am

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Mike Weir has enjoyed a lot of breakthroughs playing golf in Vancouver, including his first professional win while playing on the Canadian Tour in 1997, and his first PGA Tour victory two years later.

Weir has also long been the favorite to end a Canadian drought at his national open that dates back to Pat Fletcher winning down the road from here in 1954. In 2004 he almost did, losing in a playoff to Vijay Singh just one year after becoming the first Canadian to win a major at the 2003 Masters.

Now, the little lefty returns to Vancouver just trying to break par.

Coming off elbow surgery late last season and an operation to drain fluid from his wrist in March, Weir has yet to finish under par in 14 events in 2011, making the cut in just two while losing his status on the PGA Tour and tumbling down to No. 475 in the world rankings.

“I was injured and developed some bad habits,” Weir said on the eve of the $5.2-million Canadian Open. “I’m fighting my way out of that. I’m trying to work my way back into form and gain some momentum, just string some solid shots together and hopefully it’ll lead to some good rounds.”

If nothing else, after more rounds in the 80s (three) than 60s (one) this season, Weir comes into his home championship with a different set of expectations, at least externally.

“As poorly as I’ve played I still like to think that I have a glimmer of hope if I can find the fairway a few more times than I have been,” Weir said.

He’ll have to this week, with the long, thick rough guarding tree-lined fairways at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club already earning widespread comparisons to a U.S. Open.

“Probably the thickest we played all year,” said Luke Donald, still the world’s top ranked golfer despite missing the cut at last week’s British Open. “I’d say it’s even thicker than the U.S. Open.”

The rough was just as thick – but not as consistent – when Shaugnessy first hosted the Canadian Open in 2005. Marc Calcavecchia won then with a score of 5-under on the 7,010-yard, par-70 layout above the banks of the Pacific Ocean.

Despite some scores as high as the rough, players raved about the course. It’s a big reason the Canadian Open has its best field since 2004 – three years before it was moved from September to a mid-summer date after the British Open.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things from other PGA players,” said Rickie Fowler, coming off a tie for fifth at the British Open with fellow AmericansAnthony Kim and Chad Campbell, who are both in this week’s field. “Ben Crane was the first one to tell me about it. He said it’s probably one of his favorite places, definitely his favorite place to play in Canada. So I was excited to come.”

Having the tournament’s title sponsor, RBC, on the bag of top players didn’t hurt, helping ensure Donald and Kim made the long trip from England. So too did RBC-backed players like No.8-ranked Matt Kuchar, No. 22Jim Furyk, and No. 25 Ernie Els. Fellow South African Charl Schwartzel, the world’s 12th-ranked player and current Masters champion, is also here, as are No. 15 Paul Casey and No. 18 Hunter Mahan. To make things easier, the tournament chartered a flight from the British Open.

“The charter definitely helps out with getting guys here,” Fowler said of his first trip to Canada’s west coast. “This is about as far as you’re going to get traveling-wise from England all the way to Vancouver but it really wasn’t too bad.

Even after traveling eight time zones, most players didn’t seem to mind the difficult set up.

“I wish we played more golf course like this on Tour,” said Carl Pettersson, who is the defending champion after winning at St. George s Golf and Country Club in Toronto last year – including a tournament record 60 on the Saturday. “It’s set up like a U.S. Open, major-style golf course, very demanding off the tee, the rough is up, the greens are small. It’s a great golf course.”

It’s just not a great place to try and find your game, like Weir.

Or one where you can expect to see any repeats of Pettersson s 60 from last year.

“Yeah,” he said when asked if 60 was out there. “Maybe after 14 holes.”

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.