Notes A great moment that hardly anyone saw

By Doug FergusonJuly 17, 2009, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship TURNBERRY, Scotland ' The attendance for the second round of the British Open was estimated at 28,000 on Friday. Apparently, most of them got lost on their way to the grandstands lining the 18th green.
 
There was about an hour of rain in the middle of the afternoon, yet the wind pushed away the clouds when Tom Watson and Tiger Woods finished up their rounds about an hour apart.
 
Watson, 59, made history when he holed a 45-foot birdie putt to become the oldest player atop a major championship leaderboard. Woods failed to chip in for birdie and missed the cut in a major for only the second time in his career.
 
The most stunning scene of all was the sight of grandstands that were about half-full on both sides.
 
The Royal & Ancient said ticket sales were slightly up ' there were 25,000 people at Turnberry in the second round in 1994 ' but cautioned that this links course simply doesnt hold as many spectators as St. Andrews or Royal Birkdale.
 
The economy played a role, too, not to mention that Turnberry is one of the few links where a train doesnt run through town.
 
Even longtime coaches and agents have commented on thin galleries.
 
The galleries were massive inside the ropes with our group, said Lee Westwood, joking about the photographers covering the threesome of Westwood, Woods and Ryo Ishikawa of Japan.
 
Still, the Englishman said it was worth coming to Turnberry every so often even if that meant a smaller crowd.
 
I think the current economic climate does Turnberry no favors, Westwood said. I think its a fantastic links golf course, and it would be a shame if it wasnt on the Open rota. Its great to see it back.
 

 
MY WIFE, MY CADDIE: Mark Calcavecchias wife, Brenda, is his caddie for the week. Thats nothing new. She has carried his bag occasionally since they first started dating in 2001, and she was his caddie the weekend before they got married in Italy.
 
Calcavecchia counts two victories with Brenda on the bag ' the Maekyung Open and the Shark Shootout.
 
She golfs, he said. She knows what shes doing out there. When it started raining on 16, she said, Dont worry about me, I dont care if I get soaked. So she knows that I dont worry about her. She knows shes got to keep the clubs dry. The bag weighed a ton today, and shes got to be exhausted. But shes doing great. Shes having fun.
 
It isnt always that way. Asked if he liked having her on the bag, Calcavecchia said, Almost every time.
 
He quickly clarified.
 
Its my fault. It has nothing to do with her, he said. When I get all (ticked) off, like at Hoylake, I ruin the whole week. When I went berserk on the back nine, I just ruined the whole week. I still feel bad about it. Its always my fault when something doesnt work out between us when shes caddying. Shes nothing but positive for me out there.
 

 
THE GAUNTLET: Daniel Gaunt made his British Open debut a memorable one.
 
The 30-year-old Australian, who has been chasing around the mini-tours in Europe, made it to Turnberry through local qualifying last week. He played a practice round with Tom Watson on Monday, then joined up with John Daly on Tuesday.
 
The best stuff came Friday, when Gaunt went through the toughest stretch at Turnberry in 2 under and wound up with a 67. It was the lowest score of the second round, and allowed him to make the cut at 3-over 143.
 
Gaunt hit 5-iron to the back of the eighth green and rolled in a 40-foot birdie putt, then chipped in for birdie from 30 yards short of the ninth green.
 
The highlight of the week might have been playing Turnberry with Watson, the 77 champion.
 
He gave me some great advice, told me to keep it low, Gaunt said. The way Tom played on Monday, I came home and said, Hes definitely got a chance of winning.
 
He just didnt realize hed still be in the game on the weekend, too.
 

 
FIT FOR LAUGHTER: Anthony Kim was studying his 35-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole when he had a brief exchange with caddie Eric Larson that caused him to laugh. Then, the 24-year-old American couldnt stop laughing.
 
He backed off the birdie putt, bowed his head and tried to stop. Once he finally settled down, Kim ran his putt up the slope to about 4 feet and the giggles continued. Kim again had to back away from his 4-footer for par as he nearly reached hysterics.
 
Rory McIlroy couldnt keep from smiling himself as he watched from the back of the green.
 
That was funny, McIlroy said. Im not sure what it was about. Anthony asked him what time it was. Maybe Eric was supposed to say it was birdie time. I dont know. But it was funny.
 
Kim never recovered from a quintuple-bogey 9 on his second hold. He shot 73 and missed the cut.
 
And then it was time to leave.
 

 
HEADED HOME: Ian Poulter brought the clothes, just not the game.
 
One day, the Union Jack was part of his vest and he shot 75. He went with a fuschia pants and shot 79. So its not the clothes. And it wasnt the course, either. Nor was it the clubs.
 
I hit my last good shot on the third (hole) ' yesterday, Poulter said Friday. Seriously, there were no decent golf shots out there. If youre going to play as bad as I played for two days, it doesnt matter what golf course youre playing. It could have been the easiest municipal down the road, and I would have missed the cut. It was horrible.
 
That it?
 
I could have had a set of spades in my bag this week and I still wouldnt have found the middle of the greens, he said.
 

 
LOCATION IS EVERYTHING: One clothing company has found a unique way to advertise at the British Open. Its logo is plastered on the sail of a large boat that has been cruising along the Firth of Clyde behind the ninth tee down to the 11th tee.
 
Its hard to miss it.
 
Thats a problem for photographers, however, because that stretch is among the most popular for pictures. Along with the cliffside beauty, they often capture the image of players with the Ailsa Craig and Turnberry Lighthouse ' sometimes both ' in the background.
 
Why would I want a photo of that? one photographer said, packing up his gear and looking for a better spot.
 

 
DIVOTS: John Daly had a 72 and was at even-par 140, making the cut in a major for the first time since Southern Hills two years at the PGA Championship. The last time Tom Watson had a share of the 36-hole lead was the 1998 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He slept on that lead for seven months, for rain forced it to be finished in August. Watson wound up in a tie for ninth.
 
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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 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.