Westwood ready for St Andrews bum leg and all

By Associated PressJuly 13, 2010, 12:15 am

Open ChampionshipST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Any other week, the British Open buzz would be all about Lee Westwood.

He’s No. 3 in the world, with top-three finishes at three of the last four major championships. Better yet, he’s actually won on the Old Course (OK, so it was the Dunhill Links), making him Britain’s best chance to snap that decade-long oh-fer streak at its own Open.

But Westwood’s right leg is being held together with tape and wraps this week after rupturing a muscle in his calf, making his prospects at St. Andrews uncertain, to say the least.

“These things happen. You can’t control when they happen,” Westwood said after playing a six-hole practice “round” Monday. “It’s frustrating that it’s the Open Championship. If I don’t play well this week, I won’t put it down to the injury. Obviously, it doesn’t help. But I’m hitting the ball well, feel like I’m very comfortable on these greens.

“So, you know, I’m still hoping for a good week.”

Few players have been better than Westwood recently, and it seems only a matter of time before the 37-year-old sheds that dreaded “best player never to win a major” title. He’s been in contention at each of the four majors at least once, including finishing second at this year’s Masters and tying for third at Turnberry and the PGA last year.

Lee Westwood
Westwood is still searching for his first career major. (Getty images)
He may not have been in contention at Pebble Beach, but a tie for 16th at the U.S. Open is a more-than-respectable finish.

After top-20 finishes in all but three of his 14 starts this year, including his second PGA Tour win at St. Jude’s, the British Open seemed to set up almost perfectly for him. Though Westwood has never finished better than a tie for 64th at a British Open at St. Andrews, he won the Dunhill Links here in 2003.

“I’ve played well here in the past, obviously played well last year, and I’ve been looking forward to this week for quite some time,” Westwood said. “There’s a rich history to the golf tournament, especially when it’s held at St. Andrews. I think it’s even more special when the Open Championship is here, and obviously it’s one I’d like to win.”

That’s what makes his injury so disappointing – though Westwood knows it could have been far worse.

While at the French Open two weeks ago, his right calf swelled so badly doctors initially feared the 37-year-old might have a blood clot. Further tests showed he had instead ruptured the plantaris muscle, which runs down the calf.

Though Westwood played the French Open – he tied for 18th – he skipped the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond to give the leg a chance to heal. He took almost all of last week off, not hitting balls until Friday, and will play one, maybe two full practice rounds before the Open begins Thursday.

“Apparently it’s six to eight weeks recovery time if you put your feet up. But, obviously, with the biggest tournament on the calendar this week, I can’t really afford to do that,” Westwood said. “It’s just a case of managing it, strapping it up, trying to keep the swelling from getting any worse and playing as well as I can.”

The leg doesn’t hurt as badly as it did in France, but Westwood said he can still feel it in his swing.

“When I try and go up on my toe and then twist, I’m using it then and it’s kind of stretching it out and feels uncomfortable,” he said. “The very last part, I’m just a little bit apprehensive.”

Westwood said he has no idea what caused the injury, other than playing professional golf for 17 years. But it might explain the aching Achilles’ he’d had the last eight months. The plantaris goes all the way down to the ankle – asked where, exactly, the muscle is located, Westwood cracked, “In the dictionary, under `P,”’ – and he thinks he might have mistaken the deteriorating muscle for Achilles’ pain.

Rest is the only real cure for the injury, but doctors have told Westwood he won’t cause further damage by playing. He wrapped the ankle when he played Monday, and will test out different alignments over the next couple of days to see what works best and gives him the most support.

After playing six holes Monday, he plans to play 18 on Tuesday. The forecast for Wednesday isn’t great – showers and wind – so Westwood said he might only play a few holes.

“I’m still pretty confident,” he said. “My legs feel like I haven’t done anything to decrease the power and the muscles in my legs. We’ve done tests on all of that. So I’m feeling fresh and think by Thursday, I’ll be ready to go.”

Reminded that Padraig Harrington won the 2008 British Open with a wrist so sore the Irishman wasn’t even sure he’d be able to start the tournament, Westwood smiled.

“That’s the old saying, isn’t it? `Beware the injured golfer,”’ he said. “Hopefully that will ring true.”

 

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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.