Notes A new shot in Woods repertoire

By Doug FergusonJuly 2, 2009, 4:00 pm
AT&T NationalBETHESDA, Md. ' Tiger Woods first tried the shot in competition during the third round at the Memorial, choking up on the grip of his driver about 2 inches, and he pulled it off to perfection.
 
He used it again on the eighth hole Thursday in the first round of the AT&T National.
 
It soon might become a regular part of his repertoire, much like the stinger he made popular with a 2-iron and later a 3-wood.
 
Woods said he began working on the shot a few months ago, and the idea is to give him a range that is a little less than a full driver, and a little more than a full 3-wood.
 
The eighth hole played 341 yards on Thursday, a slightly elevated green that makes it nearly impossible to drive, but Woods wanted to take the bunkers out of play.
 
A full driver I felt would get me too far down there, and 3-wood couldnt take the bunkers out of play, he said. So its nice to have a little bit of a tweener. I drop down and hit just this little softy cut out there. Its a lot further than my 3-wood, but its nowhere near a full driver, and I can keep that in play.
 
It worked to perfection, at least off the tee. Woods came up short with his wedge, however, and had to scramble for par from the front of the green.
 
On the par-5 fifth hole at Muirfield Village last month, he felt enough breeze in his face that he figured 3-wood wasnt enough to get beyond the tree-lined portion of the fairway, yet driver was too much because of a stream. He choked up on that driver, landed the ball in an ideal spot and made an easy birdie.
 
BRITISH OPEN RACE: U.S. Open runner-up Ricky Barnes took a step toward making it to the British Open, as did Bryce Molder.
 
There are two ways for PGA Tour players to qualify for the British Open at the AT&T National ' as the top two players from a special money list that ends this week, or as the leading player from among the top five. In both cases, its only for those not already eligible.
 
Barnes is second on the special money list of six tournaments ' The Players Championship, Memorial, St. Jude Classic, U.S. Open, Travelers Championship and AT&T National. He opened with a 70.
 
Paul Goydos, the leader of that money list, opened with a 73 and was in danger of missing the cut. Also in the chase are John Mallinger (70), Matt Bettencourt (70) and Kevin Na (71).
 
Molder is $20,000 behind Barnes, and it helped that he opened with a 64.
 
The tour had the standings posted in the locker room at Congressional, although Molder didnt need to see it.
 
I did check late Sunday afternoon, he said with a smile. That would be a tremendous honor to play in the Open Championship, which I never have. I love the golf over there. It would be a great challenge and a great honor to play.
 
Molder played on the Walker Cup team that competed in Nairn in Scotland, and on a Palmer Cup team at St. Andrews. Despite being in a tie for second, he realized there was a long way to go until Sunday.
 
Im going to try to ignore that as much as I can and just play golf, he said. Its hard to.
 
SPECIAL VISIT: Jim Furyk found perspective Wednesday night going to a barbecue at the Walter Reed Hospital to visit wounded soldiers, some of whom have lost limbs.
 
Just like last year, he thought he could help cheer them up. And just like last year, Furyk came away inspired.
 
It was just good to meet a lot of wonderful people that have gone and risked their lives for our country, he said. Some of them have gone through some very tough experiences, and the hospital is all about getting them back on track. Its amazing, their outlooks and their positive attitudes.
 
Its an odd scenario where you think want to go there and try to cheer some people up, and you leave there in awe of their attitude and how tough they are. They end up inspiring you.
 
ON A ROLL: Bryce Molder, a four-time All-American at Georgia Tech, has been trying to find his way to the PGA Tour most of the decade. He finished 185th on the money list as a rookie in 2007, and after earning back his card, was headed in the same direction.
 
It started to turn around, however, at the Byron Nelson Championship, and it continued Thursday with a 64, his ninth consecutive round at par or better.
 
A key moment was being paired in Memphis with Brian Gay, who finished five shots ahead of Molder.
 
His golf game is not the same as a lot of guys out here, he said. Theres so many guys that bomb it and everything, but he putts so well and he keeps the ball in play. And I think the biggest part of playing with him, what meant so much, was just seeing that hes extremely comfortable with who he is as a player, as a person out there.
 
I think its more important how you see yourself than what type of player you really are, Molder said. And I think thats a big part of it is Ive been able to take whatever shots I can play with at that time, take it to the golf course and try to score. When Ive played my best golf, thats what Ive done.
 
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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.