Woods Again Named PGA TOUR Player of the Year

By Associated PressDecember 12, 2006, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Tiger Woods won PGA TOUR player of the year on Tuesday for the eighth time, and the numbers looked familiar. He won multiple majors for the fourth time, and more tournaments than anyone else.
 
But it was hardly a typical year.
 
Woods won his first tournament of the year, then finished his PGA TOUR season with six consecutive victories. In between, he disappeared from golf for more than two months to mourn the death of his father.
 
Tiger Woods and caddie
An emotional Tiger Woods and caddie Steve Williams after the British Open at Hoylake.
'I knew I had to go through -- like anyone -- the grieving process, and I had never done anything like that before,' Woods said. 'The hardest thing for me to do was play golf. Usually, people go to work to get away from a loss like that. But that's when I thought of my dad. He introduced me to the game of golf. He taught me a lot of life lessons on the golf course.
 
'When I came back and started working on my fundamentals ... I learned them from my dad.'

The award -- also called the Jack Nicklaus Trophy -- is decided by a vote of the players, although the PGA TOUR does not disclose the results or even who finished second. The award began in 1990, and no one else has won it more than twice.
 
'That's always an honor to get the respect of your peers,' Woods said. 'And this year has been an interesting one to say the least, on the golf course as well as off.'
 
Woods, who won eight times, also won the Arnold Palmer Award for leading the money list at $9.9 million, and he won the Byron Nelson Award for the lowest scoring average at 68.11. The tour's scoring award only requires a minimum of 50 rounds, and Woods played 55.
 
Jim Furyk won the Vardon Trophy from the PGA of America with an average of 68.86. That award requires at least 60 rounds.
 
Trevor Immelman was voted rookie of the year after winning the Western Open and finishing seventh on the money list with more than $3.8 million, highest money ranking by any PGA TOUR rookie.
 
Comeback player of the year went to Steve Stricker, who failed to get out of the second stage of Q-school last year. A three-time PGA TOUR winner, Stricker had to rely on sponsor's exemptions and played only four times the first four months of the season.
 
He was in contention at the U.S. Open, was strongly considered for the Ryder Cup team and finished 34th on the money list.
 
'This is pretty special,' Stricker said Tuesday. 'This year meant a lot just to prove I could play competitively again.'
 
There were questions about Woods' competitive drive after his father, Earl Woods, died May 3 of cancer. He took nine weeks off and returned at the U.S. Open, where he missed the cut for the first time in a major. In his next tournament, he opened with a 72 and again was in danger of missing the cut.

But he rallied to finish second in Chicago, and never lost on the PGA TOUR the rest of the year.
 
'I went back to the same things I was working on at the beginning of the year and they started clicking,' Woods said. 'And I won a few tournaments.'
 
He won the British Open at Royal Liverpool to become the first player in 23 years to successfully defend golf's oldest championship. He won the Buick Open, then added his second major at the PGA Championship at Medinah, a victory that made him the first player in history to win multiple majors in consecutive years.
 
Woods won the Bridgestone Invitational in a playoff, rallied from a three-shot deficit against Vijay Singh to win the Deutsche Bank Championship with a 63, then overwhelmed the field outside London to win by eight shots at the American Express Championship.
 
That was the last PGA TOUR event he played. Woods skipped Disney and the Tour Championship, saying he was worn out by an emotionally taxing year. He played twice in Asia and finished second both times, although he will carry a PGA TOUR winning streak into 2007.
 
Woods said he doesn't measure himself by trophies or awards, but a gauge only he can read.
 
'Am I a better golfer right now than I was at the beginning of the year? If the answer is 'yes,' then it's a successful year,' he said. 'Because if I did that for the rest of my career ... it's a great career.'
 
Woods is host of the Target World Challenge, an unofficial event with 16 players competing for $5.75 million at Sherwood Country Club. He is not sure when he will start his 2007 season, saying his mind is on this week and then going skiing with his wife.
 
The holidays and his birthday -- he turns 31 on Dec. 30 -- are a package, although he said they have been a blur the last couple of years as his father's health deteriorated.
 
'I didn't do anything for my birthday; I didn't even know it was my birthday,' he said. 'I was up three, four, five days in a row nonstop trying to be with Dad. I just hung around him as much as I possibly could.'
 
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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.

Getty Images

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.