Els leads as Mickelson fades at Bay Hill

By Doug FergusonMarch 28, 2010, 2:14 am

Arnold Palmer Invitational

ORLANDO, Fla. – Winless for two years, Ernie Els put himself in position Saturday for his second straight victory.

Els made sure the last two holes did not unravel a solid day of work at Bay Hill. He made a 10-foot putt to save par on the 18th hole for a 3-under 69, giving him a one-shot lead over Ben Curtis in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The Big Easy is starting to make golf look that way.

Two weeks after his four-shot victory at Doral that ended the longest drought of his career, Els broke 70 for the third straight round at Bay Hill and was at 10-under 206.

“There’s a lot of work left,” said Els, who last won at Bay Hill in 1998 when he dominated Tiger Woods and Davis Love III in the final group of a 36-hole Sunday.

Curtis looked just as good. He just didn’t finish.

The former British Open champion had a two-shot lead until he chopped up the par-5 16th hole from 60 yards short of the green. He bladed a wedge some 70 feet long and three-putted for bogey on the easiest hole at Bay Hill. Then, he went long on the par-3 17th and chipped off the green for another bogey.

Curtis had to make a 6-foot par putt on the 18th to keep it together with a 70, leaving him one shot behind.

“That last putt on 18 was big,” Curtis said. “You always want momentum going forward.”

They will be in the final group Saturday with Chris Couch, who was headed for a double bogey until three big bounces. His approach to the 18th ricocheted along the rocks framing the green, and the third bounce sent the ball onto the green. Two putts later, Couch had a par and a 69 and was at 7-under 209.

The final round will be threesomes and start early to avoid thunderstorms in the forecast for Sunday afternoon.

Phil Mickelson was nowhere near the lead. Right when he was starting to build momentum with his putter, Mickelson made only two putts longer than 5 feet and staggered to a 75, leaving him seven shots out of the lead.

“I had a rough round today in that the ball just didn’t seem to want to go in the hole,” Mickelson said.

The best round – and the best move – belonged to Jim Furyk, coming off a victory last week at Innisbrook. He made the cut on the number, then shot a 66 in the morning when the greens were still relatively soft. He started the day in a tie for 59th. When the third round ended, Furyk was in a tie for sixth, five shots behind.

“I think it was pretty calm and smooth sailing early,” Furyk said. “But once I got it to 5 or 6 under, things tightened up a little bit more and I got a little more serious.”

Edoardo Molinari, who played with Mickelson, shot a 70 and was at 6-under 210 along with Kevin Na.

Davis Love III started the third round in a four-way tie for the lead, needing a victory at Bay Hill to get into the Masters. He made bogey on the first two holes, hit into the water on the 13th and bogeyed the final hole for a 74, leaving him an outside chance from five shots off the lead.

Els struggled to find a rhythm early in his rounds the first two days. That wasn’t the case Saturday. He rarely put any stress on his game, picking up a few birdies early, making birdies on the par 5s on the back nine and dropping only one shot along the way.

Then came the finish.

He managed to hit the green on the 17th, a tough tee shot given the wind off the right, then laid too far back off the tee on No. 18, leaving him 210 yards with water down the right side. Els went left into a bunker, and saved his par.

“It was a bit of a grind, but that was the nature of the course,” he said.

Curtis knew what not to do over the closing holes, but perhaps he thought too much.

Standing over a delicate sand wedge in front of the 16th, the last thing he thought to himself was, “Don’t chunk it.” He didn’t, sending it to the back of the green for a three-putt from 70 feet. And on the 17th, he reminded himself not to miss it to the right, and wound up pulling it to the left, well beyond the green.

Still, he couldn’t complain with his position – one shot behind Els, in contention for the first time this year.

“I can shoot even par, 1 over and win the tournament. Or I can shoot 3 under, 4 under and lose,” Curtis said. “It doesn’t matter what he does or anybody else does. I’ve got to play my game and be smart, and take advantage of some opportunities if they come.”

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

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.