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.

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.