Lefty's 77, 68 doesn't cut it at Torrey

By Doug FergusonJanuary 27, 2012, 11:28 pm

SAN DIEGO – The tougher South Course at Torrey Pines suited Kyle Stanley just fine Friday in the Farmers Insurance Open.

Stanley overcame a double bogey early in his round by running off four birdies on the front nine for a 4-under 68, giving him a one-shot lead over Brandt Snedeker going into the weekend.

A tournament already missing Tiger Woods will have to do without hometown star Phil Mickelson on the weekend. He shot himself out of the tournament with a 77 on the South in the opening round, and didn’t make nearly enough birdies on the North to make the cut. Mickelson had to settle for a 68, missing the cut for the first time in 10 years at Torrey Pines.

“We’re going to have perfect weather out here at Torrey, and I’d love to be playing,” Mickelson said.

Snedeker, who first gained notoriety as a rookie at Torrey Pines when he shot 61 on the North Course, had a 64 on the North to make a swift climb up the leaderboard. He is coming off hip surgery at the end of last year and made his season debut at the Humana Challenge last week by getting into the hunt. He tied for eighth, and here he is again.

“I’m certainly surprised that I played this well this fast,” Snedeker said. “Normally, it takes me a while to get the rust off. But my practice at home went really, really well. I was actually chomping at the bit to get out here because I knew I was playing well.

“Hopefully, that can happen through the weekend.”

Stanley, long off the tee and as polished as any of the PGA Tour rookies who won last year, was at 14-under 130.

Sang-Moon Bae, a PGA Tour rookie who is No. 34 in the world, had a 67 to match the best score on the South for the second round. That put him two shots behind at 12-under 132, along with Martin Flores, who also had a 67 on the South.

Hunter Mahan shot 65 on the North, while FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas had a 71 on the South. They were three shots behind.

The cut came at 2-under 142, and there will be another cut Saturday because more than 78 players are still around. That group includes Geoff Ogilvy, who birdied his last hole on the North for a 70, and Ernie Els, who was at 3-under 141.

Stanley goes about his work quietly. He prefers boring golf of fairways and greens, though there was a little too much excitement when his 7-iron from the rough jumped on his and went over the green, down the slope and into the hazard. He chipped to 5 feet and missed the putt, taking double bogey, effectively wiping out the two birdies he had made.

He followed that with a bogey from the bunker on the par-3 16th.

“I got off to a good start, and it was tough to take,” Stanley said. “But you’ve just got to be patient out here.”

That he was. He had birdie putts on the last 11 holes he played and birdied all the par 5s. As a testament to his length, he hit his tee shot 346 yards on the par-5 ninth, and hit 2-iron from 270 yards.

“Not a very good one,” he said, though it left him an up-and-down from the bunker for one last birdie.

The South played three shots more difficult in the warm sunshine along the Pacific, but at least everyone knows where they stand going into the last two rounds.

Stanley likes his chances, for no other reason than the South is long, and he is hitting his drives where he’s aiming at the moment.

A native of the Seattle area who went to school at Clemson, Stanley was on the verge of joining the cast of rookie winners last year when he had a one-shot lead playing the last hole at the John Deere Classic. He made bogey from the bunker, and in the final group behind him, Steve Stricker made an improbable birdie for a one-shot win.

“I wasn’t very discouraged,” Stanley said. “I think I made more money that week than I had thus far, so it was good. It was nice to really get in contention with a few holes left. That’s kind of the goal for this year, to just keep working hard and keep trying to get myself back there.”

Snedeker knows the feeling. He played in the final group as a rookie at Torrey Pines, but couldn’t keep Woods from another win on this public course along the Pacific. Even so, third place was enough to send Snedeker to keeping his card, the immediate goal of most rookies.

Now, he’s looking for yet another win.

“I’m driving the ball as good as I’ve ever driven it in my career, which isn’t saying a lot, but it’s saying enough for me right now,” Snedeker said. “I’m still putting the ball really, really well. So I’m excited with where I am after the first two days. I feel like as good as I’ve played, I’ve left a few out there, which is a good feeling to know my game is where it needs to be.”

DIVOTS: Ryo Ishikawa ran off three birdies over his last five holes for a 69 on the North to finish at 6 under. The Japanese star was coming off a missed cut at the Sony Open … Chris Riley, playing on a sponsor’s exemption, was at 7 under. … Hunter Mahan heads to Qatar next week. His wife, Kandi, will be joining him, then will go to Uganda for mission work geared toward helping children in a tiny village with nutrition and education. … Vijay Singh holed out with a wedge for eagle on the par-5 18th on the South Course. A San Diego newspaper reporter wanted an interview on the shot, and Singh turned and said, “It was a wedge and it went in. What more do you need?”

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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

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.