Poulter Johnson lead Chevron World Challenge

By Doug FergusonDecember 4, 2009, 4:39 am
Chevron World ChallengeTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. –  Ian Poulter spent more than a month flying all over Asia, crossed the Pacific and was all set for an excellent opening round at Sherwood Country Club.

Then he clipped a branch on No. 18 and finished with a three-putt double bogey from 35 feet. Even so, he was tied with Zach Johnson for the lead at 4-under 68.

Johnson, at least, was happy.

“I feel like my game is in a position good enough to win,” said Johnson, who has won twice on the PGA Tour this year.

Not only did Poulter have that double bogey at the end, he twice three-putted on par 5s, and had a vicious lip-out on the seventh. He figures he wasted a round that could have been in the neighborhood of 64, although the Englishman has been around long enough to realize golf doesn’t work that way.

“It’s 4-under par and I’m disappointed,” Poulter said. “I’m leading, but I should be way clear.”

Johnson also dropped a couple of shots, although he made up ground on the par 5s. He remains famous for his Masters victory in 2007 when he chose to lay up on the par 5s at Augusta National.

Puffing out his chest with a sarcastic grin Thursday, Johnson told of making two birdies on the par 5s by reaching the green in two. He was pleased with his 68, for no other reason than because he had barely touched a club in the two weeks before he arrived.

Padraig Harrington, winless in official events since capturing his second straight major at the PGA Championship last year, was steady in his round of 69. No one else managed to break 70 on a crisp, sunny day in the Conejo Valley foothills.

The 18-man field is missing its host – Tiger Woods – who pulled out Monday citing unspecified injuries from his car crash last week that has dominated talk at Sherwood. In the days since he withdrew, there was a magazine report alleging an affair and an apology from Woods for his “personal failings.”

Players have spoken about the scandal in the days leading up to the tournament, all of them offering support to Woods. Once the tournament began, their attention shifted to golf. This is the first time the tournament is awarding official world ranking points.

“We haven’t talked about it,” Johnson said. “It hasn’t even been a thought.”

Jim Furyk and PGA champion Y.E. Yang were at 70. Graeme McDowell, who replaced Woods in the field, was among those at 71.

Poulter and Johnson could not be any more different, from their dress to their style of play to their approach this week.

Johnson already has an eye toward 2010, bringing along his trainer and spending more time in the gym than on the practice range. He is trying to win, as he does every tournament, although he referred to this as an offseason workout week.

“I’m not trying to treat it any different,” he said. “Once I get off the golf course, it’s a little difference. The workouts stink. I’m hurting right now.”

Poulter began his journey with a victory in the Singapore Open. From there he played the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, then the Hong Kong Open, followed by the Dubai World Championship and the World Cup in China.

Next week? The Shark Shootout in Florida.

He already has worked out that a strong finish this week could move him into the top 10 in the world. He is still competing the way he did at the start of the year.

“My calendar says ’09,” he said. “It doesn’t finish until I have my Christmas dinner.”

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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.