Green leads in Scotland Scott just two back

By Doug FergusonJuly 9, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 European TourLUSS, Scotland ' Martin Laird finally came home and put on quite a show Thursday in the Scottish Open, twice chipping in for birdie on his way to a 6-under 65 that left him one shot behind Richard Green after the opening round at Loch Lomond.
Laird was born in Glasgow and would stand outside the ropes at Loch Lomond, dreaming of a career in golf.
He just never imagined it would take such a curious route. He was recruited to play college golf at Colorado State and went straight to Q-school, where he earned a Nationwide Tour card. He advanced to the PGA Tour last year and played well enough to keep his card.
But he had never played as a pro in Scotland, or any European Tour event, until Thursday.
I couldnt wait to play today and I couldnt really go to sleep last night, he said. I was ready to go, and once I got out here and started warming up, I was excited and ready to go.
His grandparents, who live across the country in Fife, watched him play for the first time. So did his parents, his girlfriend and an uncle, giving him more fans than he gets in America. Laird delivered a bogey-free round that included consecutive birdies at the end to join a crowd atop the leaderboard.
A dream start, he said.
Green was thankful his start wasnt a nightmare. The left-hander from Australia had shown good form coming to the final event before the British Open, with top 10s in Wales, Germany and France. His swing deserted him during the pro-am Wednesday, however, and he spent nearly two hours on the range until he felt it had returned.
Green was satisfied after hitting a 3-wood from 250 yards to 35 feet on the par-5 13th, and the eagle putt that followed. That sent him to a 64 and a one-shot lead over Laird, Paul McGinley, Graeme Storm and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.
Its never a long way away, Green said. But Im pleased Ive worked it out a bit.
Adam Scott was miles away from a game that put him as high as No. 3 in the world, although he appears headed in the right direction, too. With tennis star Ana Ivanovic watching in the gallery, Scott played bogey-free and opened with a 66.
It was the golf I remember playing myself once, Scott said with a grin.
Buick Invitational winner Nick Watney had the best score among a strong contingent of PGA Tour regulars at Loch Lomond, opening with a 67. John Daly, who continues to play most of his golf in Europe after his six-month suspension on the PGA Tour was lifted, threatened to join the leaders until three bogeys on the back nine dropped him to a 69.
Also at 69 were Ernie Els, Geoff Ogilvy and Camilo Villegas, all of whom played in the afternoon in breezy conditions.
Lairds career is so obscure that a local radio reporter asked the 28-year-old Scot what had taken him so long to contest at a European Tour event. Laird smiled and replied, Its my first one.
Aside from his family, not many knew who he was because of his time in America.
I wouldnt say I came over here with the mindset that Im going to show everyone how good I am, Laird said. I knew I could play well and I wanted to come over here and hopefully play we as well as I could and see where I finished. My game is getting closer.
When someone asked how it would feel to win here ' which would make him eligible for the British Open next week at Turnberry ' Laird was quick to put his dream day into perspective.
Yes, he had a 65, but that included chipping in on the par-3 11th and the par-4 16th, a short game that hid some suspect iron play.
I got lucky today, he said. It was absolutely perfect.
DIVOTS: The European Tour announced an alliance with the Asian Tour in which they will work together on TV and marketing endeavors under a group called EurAsia Golf. More than anything, it sent a message that Europe and Asia are together, leaving little room for negotiations with the new OneAsia tour. In his first tournament since knighthood, Sir Nick Faldo opened with a 71. Rory McIlroy is allowing fans on his Web site choose his clothing for the week, all of which will be tartans. McIlroy opened with a 68.

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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 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.