Padraig Harringtons Irish-themed dinner for the champions

By Doug FergusonAugust 11, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 PGA ChampionshipCHASKA, Minn. ' Padraig Harrington prepares for everything, even a dinner he is hosting.
 
In a tradition that doesnt get as much attention as that other Champions Dinner in April at Augusta National, the defending PGA champion is in charge of the menu and gifts for all PGA champions Tuesday night.
 
Typical of Harrington, he gave this considerable thought.
 
I enjoyed the process, especially because my wife (Caroline) was involved, Harrington said.
 
Being from Ireland, he figured it should be an Irish meal. He said the most popular meal would be bacon and cabbage, but there was only one problem with having that for dinner.
 
I dont like it, Harrington said. When it comes to Irish food, youre limited in what you can choose.
 
He figured the simple and tasteful answer would be Irish Stew, which at least sounds Irish. After great consideration, and taking into account that the champions should enjoy their meal, the Harringtons settled on the following menu.
 
The first course was a leek and potato soup, followed by the choice of smoked salmon on soda bread and'brace yourself'warm cabbage salad with bacon and Roquefort.
 
The main course offered another option: Irish Beef Stew braised in Guinness with Colcannon, and grilled salmon with Irish Champ and seasonal vegetables.
 
Dessert was easy'Irish whiskey cake, cheesecake with a Baileys caramel coulis or Irish pudding.
 
As for the gift? Harrington wouldnt say, but chances are it will be something the past champions have never received before.
 

 
TEMPER, TEMPER: Tiger Woods has been cursing and slamming clubs after a bad shot ever since he starting winning majors, if not much sooner. Lately, however, he has been criticized by national media outlets, including ESPN.com and The Times of London.
 
Woods offered no apologies when asked Tuesday if it could enhance his reputation if he cleaned up his act, or at least his language. He also said he was trying to get better.
 
It is what it is, he said. Unfortunately, I do make mistakes, and I hit bad shots and I say bad things at times, he said. I dont mean to, it just comes out. Its not something that I try and do. It just happens. Have I been trying to get better at that? Yeah, my entire life. But it happens from time to time, and Im not the only person that does it.
 
The latter was a reference to Woods being shown on TV more than any other player.
 

 
WELCOME TO THE MAJORS: Since recovering from injuries that slowed his career more than a decade ago, Scott Verplank has been a regular in the big events. He has played on two Ryder Cup teams, two Presidents Cup teams. And except for the 2000 Masters, he had played in every major this decade.
 
Until this year.
 
The PGA Championship will be the first major of the year for the 45-year-old Verplank.
 
Coping with nagging elbow injuries last year, he finished out of the top 50 (No. 77) on the money list for the first time since 1999. He wasnt eligible for the Masters, failed to qualify for the U.S. Open and missed out on the U.S. qualifier for the British Open. He routinely got into all the majors for being in the top 50 in the world. He currently is No. 94.
 
He got into the PGA Championship by finishing among the top 70 on a money list from the last calendar year.
 
It took a long time to work your way into these deals, Verplank said. It doesnt take long to fall out.
 
The year wasnt a total loss. He had a hard time at Augusta National with all its length, ditto for Bethpage Black.
 
The only one I really missed not being at was the British, he said. I hope I get back. Thats the best tournament in the world.
 
Verplank wasnt alone.
 
Two other players from the 2007 Presidents Cup team'Woody Austin and Nick OHern'failed to qualify for the majors this year.
 

 
PAR 5s: Much has been made of the fact that Tiger Woods has won 10 of his 14 majors on par-72 courses, including four at Augusta National and two each at St. Andrews and Medinah (1999, 2006 PGA).
 
It would lead one to believe that power players like Woods feast on the four par 5s, although St. Andrews only has two par 4s.
 
Hazeltine might be different.
 
True, there are four par 5s, but three are longer than 600 yards and might require everyone to lay up short of the green, depending on the wind, the turf and whether the PGA moves up the tees.
 
Youre not going to have a third of the field going at any of those par 5s, Jim Furyk said. Might be a little bit of an equalizer.
 
Rory McIlroy, a 20-year-old player and considered one of the big hitters, agreed.
 
Most of the guys make their score on the par 5s, but I dont think that will be the case this week, just because they are playing so long, McIlroy said. Even if you hit a good lay-up, youre still going in with a wedge, but its still pretty hard to make birdie from there.
 
DIVOTS: Ryo Ishikawa of Japan, 17, is the youngest player to compete in the PGA Championship. The oldest player in the field at Hazeltine is club pro Chris Starkjohann, who is 53. Four players at Hazeltine come from Virginia Country Club in Long Beach, Calif.'Paul Goydos, John Mallinger, John Merrick and teaching pro Mike Miles.
 
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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.