Els Schwartzel hold 54-hole lead at Doral

By Doug FergusonMarch 14, 2010, 4:21 am

2010 WGC-CA ChampionshipDORAL, Fla. – Charl Schwartzel finally has a chance to show off his game on a world stage. The next step is to take on Ernie Els, a familiar face from his native South Africa.

Schwartzel ran off four birdies in the opening six holes to catch up, then stayed in the game with three big par putts on the back nine for a 5-under 67 at Doral and a share of the lead with Els going into the final round of the CA Championship.

Els was in front for most of the sunny, blustery day on the Blue Monster until he started missing birdie opportunities. He had to settle for a 2-under 70 to join the 25-year-old Schwartzel at 12-under 204.

It will be an all-South African final pairing, three weeks after another WGC produced an all-England pairing in the final of the Match Play Championship.

Only this time, there are loads of other possibilities.

Padraig Harrington of Ireland, who had downplayed his chances most of the week, ran off four birdies on the back nine only to have his streak of 26 holes without a bogey end with a three-putt on the 18th. He still had a 67 and was one shot behind.

Robert Allenby, somehow, remains in the mix.

The Australian missed eight putts from inside 15 feet and was falling out of contention until two late birdies allowed him to salvage a 1-under 71, leaving him only two shots behind.

Bob Hope Classic champion Bill Haas nearly holed his final shot on the 18th for a tap-in birdie and a 70. He was three shots behind.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson failed to make up any ground with a 72, which put him eight shots behind. He suffered a stinger in his left elbow hitting off the firm turf on the 18th hole, and while he said it was tender, did not expect it to be a problem.

Schwartzel is the least accomplished among the top four players, although he has one advantage – the recent experience of winning.

Els has not won on any of the major tours since the Honda Classic two years ago, and last year failed to win anywhere in the world for the first time since his first full year as a pro in 1990. Harrington hasn’t won since his the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.

Schwartzel, who stayed with Els last week after failing to qualify for the Honda Classic, qualified for this elite event by winning consecutive weeks in South Africa to move into the top 50 in the world.

He didn’t win against a strong field. But he won.

“It doesn’t matter what you win,” Schwartzel said. “To win is difficult. You’ve still got to play all 72 holes and make that putt on the last hole. It gives you a lot of confidence to win. And as I sit here, I’m very positive. I feel like I can play with the best. And to me, that’s a step in the right direction.”

It’s a big step for Els, too.

He won on the Blue Monster in 2002, when he took an eight-shot lead into the final round and survived a frenetic rally by Tiger Woods to win by two. Els now has a chance to join Woods as the only multiple winners of this WGC event, having won in Ireland when it was the American Express Championship in 2004.

Els showed so much confidence in his swing that he took his drive over the left bunkers on No. 5, about a 285-yard carry with the wind blowing across and slightly helping, which left him a flip wedge to a few week for birdie. That started a stretch of three birdies in four holes, only Schwartzel stayed with him.

Schwartzel tied him briefly three times on the front nine, but what kept the 25-year-old in the game was a series of pars on the back. He holed an 8-foot par putt on the 11th, and one from about the same distance on the 13th after a dreadful tee shot that was so far to the right that it clipped a tree and tumbled into the rough.

Then came the 14th, when his tee shot hung up in the shaggy collar of a bunker, forcing him to place his left foot on a mound and his right foot in the sand, no shot at reaching the green. He hit wedge to 18 feet and made that for par.

Els started missing short putts, which cost him a birdie on the par-5 12th and a par on the 13th when his 4-foot putt spun 270 degrees around the cup. He also missed from about 3 feet on the 16th, which played downwind and allowed most players to drive around the green.

Els is closing in on legendary status in South Africa, a three-time major champion who has played and won around the world. It can be intimidating for a young South African, although Schwartzel has been around him a long time.

How long?

“I’ve played golf with his dad. That’s how far back we go,” Els said earlier in the week, referring to a team event played when Schwartzel was barely walking.

Els has been touting him for years, and Schwartzel is just now starting to show what the hype was all about.

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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

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.