Daly gets 3 early starts but no Hope

By Doug FergusonJanuary 6, 2010, 6:18 pm

KAPALUA, Hawaii – John Daly already can count on playing in at least three PGA Tour events during the first two months of the season, quite a change from where he was a year ago.

Daly was in the early stages of a six-month suspension for conduct unbecoming a professional when the 2009 season started, and his future in golf was limited to tournaments in Australia and on the European Tour.

He will start at the Sony Open next week in Honolulu. He said he also received an exemption to the San Diego Open, and that he was in the 156-man field at Pebble Beach next month.

Even so, he was stunned that he did not receive an exemption to the Bob Hope Classic. The tournament gave its unrestricted spots to Rickie Fowler, Rocco Mediate, Jamie Lovemark and David Duval, who shot 59 in the final round of his 1999 victory. Another unrestricted exemption went to Sam Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer.

“That was kind of a shocker they didn’t give me one,” Daly said on Monday. “I felt like I brought a lot of celebrity friends to that tournament. That was kind of a slap in the face. I supported that tournament for all those years. My feelings were hurt there.”

Daly didn’t mind that Palmer’s grandson received one because “those are Palmer’s courses” and the King was so connected to the Hope. He is hopeful of getting spots to Riviera and Phoenix, although he realizes tournaments have plenty of choices.

“It’s tough,” he said. “This is a year I really need favors from a lot of tournaments. I need some loving this year. That’s why I used to do all this stuff for the tournaments. It was always in my mind that I might need some help someday.”

Daly said his Florida swing already includes a start at the Transitions Championship at Innisbrook, where two years ago the two-time major champion was criticized for using former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden as a caddie for a few holes after a rain delay.

En route to Hawaii, Daly stopped by Ping to get fitted for some new irons, although a deal was not imminent and Daly said he was not in a hurry. He last played Ping when he won the 1991 PGA Championship.

Looking back, Daly said the suspension had its benefits. The time off led him to get lap-band surgery, and he has lost 115 pounds (52 kilograms) over the last nine months.


SPECIAL GUEST: During his whirlwind travels in December, when Y.E. Yang found time for a round of golf that he won’t soon forget. Making good on a pledge a week after winning the PGA Championship, he played with former President George W. Bush.

Yang met Bush in August during a trip to the TaylorMade facility in Carlsbad, California, and since they live relatively close to each other in Dallas, they arranged to play.

The round took place at Brook Hollow, and it turns out Bush is very much like his father when it comes to pace of play.

“Very fast,” Yang said. “We had a fivesome and played in three hours.”

Yang said Bush played off about a 12 handicap and said he shot 85.

“He was a nice guy, very fun to play with,” Yang said.


AWARDS: Tom Watson and Ken Green will share the Ben Hogan Award from the Golf Writers Association of America for continuing to stay active in golf despite a physical handicap or serious illness.

Green lost the lower part of his right leg when his recreational vehicle ran off a road in Mississippi and killed his brother and his girlfriend. Green has been fitted with a prosthesis and hopes to resume his career on the Champions Tour. Watson had hip replacement surgery, and eight months later nearly became golf’s oldest major champion at 59 until losing in a playoff at the British Open.

It was the first time the Ben Hogan Award ended in a tie.

Padraig Harrington was honored with the ASAPSports/Jim Murray Award for his cooperation with the media, while golf course architect Pete Dye won the William D. Richardson Award for consistent and outstanding contributions to golf.

They will be honored at the GWAA Awards Dinner on April 7 in Augusta, Georgia.


A WINNER IN TIGER’S CAMP: At least one member of Tiger Woods’ team has reason to celebrate these days.

Steve Williams, who races cars on a dirt track when he’s not caddying for golf’s No. 1 player, made it through a series of qualifying races to a 24-car field and won the New Zealand Saloon Car Championship last weekend.

That made him the first driver to win the Saloon Car Championship and the Super Saloon Car Championship, which he captured in 2006. Next up is a chance to win his third straight race at the Super Saloon this weekend as he tries to become the first driver to hold both titles in the same season.

As for when he might return to his other job? Williams offered no insight in a telephone interview on Tuesday.


LONG WALK: Players are allowed to use carts during the practice rounds and the pro-am at the SBS Championship because of the massive elevation changes on the Plantation Course at Kapalua.

So why was Retief Goosen’s caddie wiping sweat from his brow after nine holes?

“I walked,” he said while catching his breath. “The ninth hole is the worst.”

Goosen said he has spent plenty of time in the gym, but wanted to get used to walking a golf course. It was bad enough that he had his caddie go for a long and hilly walk. He also had 17 clubs in the bag.

Ryan Moore also chose to walk during the practice rounds.

DIVOTS: Geoff Ogilvy is sporting a new look at Kapalua – Titleist on his cap instead of Cobra, Foot-Joys on his feet instead of Puma, and he shaved, which he didn’t do at all last year. Ogilvy said he was not able to renew his deal with Puma. … Seven players are making their debut at the SBS Championship. Even more alarming is that only seven players are in the winners-only field for the second straight year. … The Sony Open next week in Honolulu got a big boost this week when Ernie Els and Vijay Singh committed to play.

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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.