Pavin selects Woods Johnson Cink Fowler for Ryder Cup

By Doug FergusonSeptember 7, 2010, 6:58 pm
Ryder Cup

NEW YORK – Tiger Woods was a no-brainer as a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup.

Rickie Fowler?

That required a little more than deep thought.

“It just came down to feelings,” captain Corey Pavin said. “I had a gut feeling about Rickie.”

Fowler, the 21-year-old mop top who only turned pro 11 months ago, made history Tuesday as the first PGA Tour rookie on the American team and the first captain’s pick to have never won on tour.

He was the only big mystery when Pavin announced his four picks at the New York Stock Exchange. Pavin also chose a pair of major champions, Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson, both of whom have played the Ryder Cup on the road.

The matches will be held Oct. 1-3 at Celtic Manor in Wales.

Fowler will be the youngest American to play in the Ryder Cup since Woods in 1997, but only the second-youngest player at Celtic Manor. Rory McIlroy, the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland, earned his way onto the European team.

“I can bring a little bit of color to the team, I can bring some youth to the team and hopefully, get the guys pumped up a little bit,” Fowler said. “But as I said, we’re all going over there to win, so we’re all going to be getting each other pumped and focusing on our main goal, bringing home the cup.”

The Americans won two years ago in Kentucky, and will try to win for the first time overseas since 1993 at The Belfry.

This will be the sixth Ryder Cup team for Woods, but the first in which he needed to be picked. Woods had finished first in the standings every time, including in 2008 when he spent the second half of the year recovering from knee surgery.

“It’s great to be a part of this team,” Woods said. “I’m honored to be selected … and looking forward to going back and having a great time with the team and hopefully, bring the Cup back.”

The eight Americans who qualified after the PGA Championship were Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson and Jeff Overton.

European captain Colin Montgomerie said Pavin used his four picks “to good effect.”

“Like my European team, the American side has an excellent blend of youthful talent alongside some seasoned Ryder Cup campaigners, and I am delighted to see Tiger Woods amongst Corey’s selections,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is a better event with him in it.”

Cink made his fifth consecutive team – his third as a captain’s pick – while Johnson is playing for the second time.

The final selection – and Pavin’s most difficult – went to Fowler, the first PGA Tour rookie to make the U.S. team. While the former Oklahoma State star has three runner-up finishes a pro, he still hasn’t won, and has not had a top 10 for three months.

Fowler played in the Walker Cup twice and went 7-1, including a 4-0 record at Merion last year. Pavin was not the least bit concerned that Fowler will be making his debut before fans who will be pulling against him.

“I think he can handle it, and that’s why I picked up,” Pavin said. “I think he’s a very mature young man. He’s had experience in international play. He’s got a very steady head on his shoulders.”

No one else stood out over the last three weeks. In the final tournament before Pavin’s picks, none of the 14 players on the captain’s short list finished among the top 10.

According to people with knowledge of the decision, the final selection came down to Fowler and big-hitting J.B. Holmes, who tied for 11th at the TPC Boston. Holmes went 2-0-1 two years ago playing before a home crowd at Valhalla.

Among those left off were Anthony Kim, who missed three months this summer with thumb surgery and was bumped out of the top eight in the final qualifying tournament; former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover and Charley Hoffman, who closed with a 62 on Monday to win the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Hoffman was not on Pavin’s short list at the start of last week, but the captain called him Monday night to say he had been considered.

Fowler’s selection gives the Americans five Ryder Cup rookies – Watson, Overton, Fowler, Kuchar and Dustin Johnson – and two players without a single PGA Tour victory. Overton is winless in his five years on tour.

Woods, who retained the No. 1 world ranking for the 274th consecutive week Monday at the Deutsche Bank Championship, became an obvious selection once he said at the PGA Championship that he wanted to be part of the team. He has been accused of being indifferent toward the Ryder Cup, and his career record of 10-13-2 is the one flaw in an impeccable career inside the ropes.

He will be going to Wales on his own – his divorce was approved two weeks ago – and no longer cutting such an invincible figure.

Woods has failed to win since returning at the Masters, although he appears headed in the right direction. He posted three rounds in the 60s at the Deutsche Bank Championship for the first time all year.

“Whether I was a person who was picked or a person who earned their way on the squad, it doesn’t change the overall goal,” Woods said. “It’s still the same. And that’s to go over there and win.”

Europe’s team has six Ryder Cup rookies – Italian brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari, Peter Hanson, Rory McIlroy, Ross Fisher and PGA champion Martin Kaymer – along with Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald, Miguel Angel Jimenez and U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell.

Zach Johnson won the Colonial in May, and the former Masters champion had been coming on strong in recent weeks. He finished one shot out of the playoff at the PGA Championship, and kept himself in the mix at the tour’s playoff events. Cink, who won the British Open at Turnberry last year, has been making slow progress in recent months.

“What was important to me is who I thought could play well in that environment over in Wales,” Pavin said. “That was my first criteria. Obviously, I like guys that are playing well, and that’s important. I wanted to find guys that round off the team and make it a team of 12, not 12 individuals that are great players.”

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.

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.

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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.