Woods falls short in Dubai with 3-over final round

By Associated PressFebruary 13, 2011, 6:15 pm
European TourDUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Alvaro Quiros of Spain won the Dubai Desert Classic with a wild final round on Sunday that included a hole-in-one and triple bogey as Tiger Woods’ fell out of contention early and lost his bid to win his first tournament in 15 months.

On a day when the leaderboard constantly changed, the 36th-ranked Quiros shot a 68 to finish with an 11-under 277, one shot better than overnight co-leader Anders Hansen of Denmark and James Kingston of South Africa. A shot further back were Jean-Baptiste Gonnet of France, Scott Strange of Australia and Alvaro Velasco of Spain.

Woods, who started the final day a shot off the lead, began his round badly for a second straight day with two bogeys in his first three holes and never recovered. The 3rd-ranked 35-year-old is still seeking his first tournament trophy in more than a year after falling well short with a final round 3-over 75 and ending tied for 20th with a total of 4-under 284.

“There were quite a few positives this week but a couple of glaring examples of what I need to work on,” Woods said. “It’s like anything. All my old feels (for the clubs) are out the window when the winds blow. That’s the thing when you are making change. It’s fine when the wind is not blowing. But when you have to hit a shot when the wind blows … the new swing patterns get exposed.”

Coming into Sunday, it was still anyone’s tournament to win and several big names along with Woods seemed poised for victory. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was tied at the top with Hansen and a resurgent Sergio Garcia of Spain was tied with Woods and five others a shot back. Twenty players were within three shots of the lead and many of them made runs on Sunday including the 148th-ranked Kingston who was three shots off the lead.

But it was Quiros who struck early with an eagle on the second and two birdies on the next three holes to stake himself to a three-shot lead. But just as dramatically, he fell back into a tie with Hansen and several others at 8 under when he triple bogeyed the eighth hole – hitting an unplayable drive and then a second shot into a tree.

But he recovered quickly with a birdie on nine and then a dramatic hole-in-one on the 11th, hitting a wedge 145 yards that landed on the green and rolled into the hole. It gave him back the lead.

But just as quickly, Quiros gave it up to Hansen after he bogeyed the 14th and Hansen eagled the 13th. Hansen could have at least tied it but missed several birdie putts on the way in including a 30-footer on the 18th to finish the round on 2-under 70.

“It was incredible for you guys outside but for me it was a difficult situation,” Quiros said of his fifth European Tour victory that will move him up the rankings to 21st. “The beginning of the day was perfect but after the eighth hole I was shaken.”

But, he added, victory was in sight after the hole-in-one.

“It was the perfect shot. Once a year, it happens,” he said. “It was a big point in the round. After the 10th hole, I was second or third with some of the other guys and then after the hole-in-one I was the leader.”

The 70th-ranked Hansen, who had his best finish since finishing second at last year’s Singapore Open, was left to rue his missed chances.

“Obviously, a little disappointed,” Hansen said. “I gave myself a chance after leading and got myself out of it early but brought myself back in it. Thought I played nicely but Alvaro played great.”

Woods was not alone among the big names on the star-studded leaderboard to falter down the stretch.

Garcia, who lost the lead Saturday after carding two bogeys and a double bogey, had similar problems Sunday. He briefly tied for the lead after a birdie on the opening hole, but fell back with a bogey on the fifth and ended his chances on the ninth with a triple bogey when his ball ended up in the water. The former No. 2-ranked Spaniard finished with a 3-over 75 to finish in a tie for 20th.

McIlroy lost the lead early after opening with a bogey. He pulled two shots back with birdies on the third and 10th, but trailing by three shots, he fell back down the leaderboard after carding three consecutive bogeys on the back nine to finish with a 2-over 74 and in a tie for 10th.

Top-ranked Lee Westwood quietly made a run on Sunday, moving to 8 under with four holes to play. But then he endured a double-bogey on 17 when his ball got stuck in a tree and ended with a bogey on 18 to finish on even par and in a tie for 15th.

“That will piss you off pretty quickly, won’t it, sticking it up a palm tree when you think you have a chance of winning,” Westwood said.

But Westwood said he took several positives away from a weekend where he initially struggled with distance and control and only started making his putts on Sunday. It was an improvement over Qatar where he missed the cut and the Abu Dhabi Championship where he finished 64th.

“Positives are I had a chance to win,” Westwood said. “First long putt I’ve made all week was on the 14th. I haven’t played my best, and had a chance with two holes to play to post a total that would have been probably half decent, I guess 10 under, if I could have birdied the last two holes. Plenty to take out of it.”

After his early struggles that echoed his difficulties Saturday, Woods managed to claw a shot back when his approach shot on the 6th ended a few feet from the pin. However, Woods twice followed a birdie on the back nine with a bogeys and then double bogeyed the 18th to end his chances for good.

Woods, who won in Dubai in 2006 and 2008, is now in the midst of the longest victory drought of his career. His last win came at the Australian Masters in November 2009.

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.