Maruyama Appleby share lead at Sony Open

By Doug FergusonJanuary 16, 2011, 8:48 am

2007 Sony OpenHONOLULU – For the second straight day, Stuart Appleby plodded along the soft fairways of Waialae until he closed strong with improbable shots for eagle or a string of birdies.

That recipe could really come in handy Sunday.

Appleby, who holed out with a 5-iron for eagle on the 16th hole in the opening round, chipped in from 90 feet across the green on the par-3 seventh Saturday. That was part of a birdie-birdie-birdie finish for a 4-under 66 and a share of the lead with Shigeki Maruyama.

But the tournament is only half over.

Because of rain that washed out play Thursday, the Sony Open will try to finish Sunday with a 36-hole finale.

“A bit of a crap shoot,” Appleby said. “There’s a lot of guys in this tournament, absolutely. So it’ll be a very interesting finish.”

If the trade wind ever arrives, just about everybody is still in the hunt.

Appleby and Maruyama, who had his second straight 65, were at 10-under 130. They were one shot clear of Roland Thatcher (65), Steve Marino (67) and Mark Wilson (67). Another shot back was a group that included Justin Rose (68) and Matt Kuchar (68), who has picked up from last year when he won the PGA Tour money title and Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average.

The cut was at 1-under 139, and 83 players will get paid.

But because of the 36-hole final, the playing cut was the number of players nearest to 60. With late birdies by Daniel Summerhays and Matt McQuillan, that cut was 56 player at 3-under 137.

That knocked out the likes of Vijay Singh and Zach Johnson.

The gap between top to bottom at the start of Sunday will be seven shots, which can easily be made up over 36 holes.

“Guys can win from seven and eight back on days like that,” said Davis Love III, who shot a 66 and was only four behind. “That makes it interesting. It’s whoever gets hot with the putter.”

The 41-year-old Maruyama, who hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since 2003, loves playing Waialae because the size of his Japanese gallery is larger than usual and there usually isn’t a premium on power along the palm tree-lined fairways.

He’s not sure about Sunday, however. He looked at his shoes and said with a laugh, “My feet. It’s a problem.”

“I’m getting older, and 36 holes is going to be a struggle,” Maruyama.

What should help is the flat property of Waialae, an old-styled course near the shores of Waikiki Beach.

Anthony Kim matched the low score of the day with a 64 to reach 5-under 135. He was tied with Ernie Els, who might have an advantage based on his experience – not only from winning at Waialae, but playing 36 holes on the last day.

Els faced a 36-hole final round just last month in winning the South African Open. And not many will forget that 36-hole final at Bay Hill in 1998 when he overwhelmed Tiger Woods and Love in the final group.

“That turned out good,” Els said, smiling. “I’m kind of looking forward to tomorrow. I’ve got a month off after tomorrow, and I’d like to let it all hang out.”

Just like his opening round, Appleby wasn’t doing much overly exciting. He was 1 under for his round with three holes to play when he chipped in for an improbable birdie on the seventh. Then came an approach to 2 feet on the next hole for a tap-in birdie, and he reached the green in two on the par-5 ninth for a two-putt birdie and a share of the lead.

“Tomorrow, we’ve got a bit of a sprint, even though it’s going to take us all day,” Appleby said.

It’s not unusual for the PGA Tour to cut to the nearest number of players to 60. The priority always is to finish on Sunday, and that’s the first option mentioned in its guidelines.

But it could lead to an awkward finish. Love recalls early in his career playing the Colonial, which Keith Clearwater won by three shots despite finishing on the ninth hole in the final round.

Els, for example, will be in the first group off Sunday morning on the first tee. There will be no time to change the groups based on third-round scores, so the South African will finish on the ninth hole.

“Anybody who’s made the cut has got a decent change to play for the championship tomorrow,” Thatcher said.

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.