Friendship Double-Parked

By Brian HewittJuly 2, 2008, 4:00 pm
If you detected a chill in the Minnesota air last Saturday when Inbee Park and Angela Park played in the same grouping'by the way, theyre not related'it was not just your imagination.
Inbee Park would win the U.S. Womens Open the next day. Angela Park would finish in the top three for the second straight year. But afterward Don Brown, Angela Parks coach, said that, sadly, Inbee and Angela are no longer best golfing friends.
Seems there was a falling out'between Angelas parents and Inbees parents and it developed into something of a family feud that dragged the daughters into it. What was a very tight relationship between Angela and Inbee has suffered as a result.
When I asked Angela Park about this after the tournament, she was clearly uncomfortable with the subject. It has been hard, she said. You never want to lose a friend. I have nothing against Inbee. Were still young.
When I asked Angela if their friendship could be restored in the future, she said she hoped so. Lets hope so, too. Both women are just 19 years old.
Meanwhile, Mickey Wright, who Ben Hogan once said owned the best golf swing of all time, told me she agrees with NBCs Johnny Miller that Angela Park has the best move in womens golf today.
When I asked her to name a few of her other favorite actions, she mentioned world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa and South Korean Mi Hyun Kim.
The 5-foot-1 Kim, Wright said, plays clubs that look longer than she is but hits it straight every time and is always aggressive.
Overall, Wright told me, her biggest disappointment with women players today is that they dont practice the short game shots enough.
Let that be a word to the wise.
Asked earlier this week if he might visit his teammates at the Ryder Cup matches in September to help provide inspiration, Tiger Woods made his position quite clear.
Well, Im not part of the team, unfortunately, said Woods, recovering from knee surgery. Because of my procedure, Im not on the team. Its about those 12 guys, its not about me. Im not part of that crew.
Fair enough. Woods doesnt want to be a distraction. But Im not ruling out a guest appearance by Woods in the team room Saturday night before the final days singles matches.
If he arrives unannounced, it wont be a distraction. And even if its just for a Ping Pong game with rival Phil Mickelson, I dont see any bad karma involved.
Meanwhile, Im all for Rocco Mediate, Woody Austin, Kenny Perry, Paul Goydos et al. making the American Ryder Cup squad. Great guys in the team room.
I know, I know, nobody makes any putts or stiffs any irons in the team room. But if the Americans are going to lose, Id like to see them do so with a loose bunch of personalities.
You never have fun losing. But Ive seen a few American teams (it was a long time ago) that were so uptight about playing the Europeans, they didnt even have fun winning.
Woody Austin is self-deprecating. Paul Goydos may be the driest wit on TOUR. Kenny Perry is Aw Shucks. And Rocco is a motormouth.
All of which covers up the fact that all of those guys are very good players who have delivered very good stretches of golf this year.
When Craig Barlow holed a long putt for eagle on his first hole of the final round of the Buick Open last Sunday it was a really long. The Shotlink measurement was 111 feet and five inches, which made it the longest recorded putt on TOUR this year. The previous longest was a 76-footer by Justin Rose. . . . Kenny Perry now has 11 career wins and seven of them have come in just three events'The Memorial, the Buick Open and the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial..J.B. Holmes carries his tee shots an average of 302.3 yards. Corey Pavins average carry is 233.3.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Related Links:
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    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.

    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 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.