Rory Sabbatini grabs share of lead at BMW Championship

By Doug FergusonSeptember 11, 2009, 2:33 am

BMW Championship 2007 LogoLEMONT, Ill. –  Rory Sabbatini delivered a few surprises in the BMW Championship.

First, he posted a low round. Then, he took the high road.

Sabbatini has not done much on the PGA Tour since he closed with a 64 to win the Byron Nelson Championship in May. In his last eight starts, he has missed the cut four times and has not finished in the top 30.

The spunky South African has been trying to shorten his swing over the last four months and it’s just now coming together. Once he got a few putts to fall Thursday at Cog Hill, he had seven birdies for a 5-under 66 to share the lead with Steve Marino.

The low round came two days after Sabbatini was left off the Presidents Cup team when International captain Greg Norman instead chose Adam Scott, who hasn’t won in more than a year and is ranked lower than Sabbatini.

Sabbatini is willing to speak his mind on just about every subject, even if that means tweaking Tiger Woods.

This time, he kept relatively quiet.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods lines up a birdie during the first round at the BMW Championship at Cog Hill. (Getty Images)


“If I’d been playing well over the past couple weeks and didn’t get picked, I might have something to complain about,” Sabbatini said. “But you know what? The situation is such … I’m here this week. I’m going to focus on this.”

Sabbatini was in decent shape to earn a spot on the team until the final week, when Y.E. Yang pulled off a shocker by rallying to beat Woods at the PGA Championship, dropping Sabbatini to No. 11 in the Presidents Cup standings.

Scott has only two top 10s this year – one in January, one in July – and narrowly qualified for the FedEx Cup playoffs before he was eliminated after the first round.

Was the Australian, a protege of Norman’s, really deserving of a pick?

“I think anyone in this room will admit that on any given stage, Adam is definitely one of the top five players in the world,” Sabbatini said. “He does have a wealth of experience. He’s a fantastic player. The good news is he will be fresh and ready to go.”

His only beef was that Norman never kept in touch.

What disturbed Sabbatini was not hearing from Norman or anyone else during the three weeks after the PGA Championship when the captain makes his two selections.

“There was not a single conversation or a single phone call, period,” Sabbatini said. “You could say I was a little disappointed.”

As for Cog Hill? There was not much disappointment on the golf course in gorgeous sunshine Thursday.

Sabbatini opened with a bogey, put that behind him quickly and finished off his day with a shot into 6 feet for birdie on the 18th hole to set the pace on this public course in the Chicago suburbs.

Marino, who had a share of the 54-hole lead at The Barclays when the playoffs began, also birdied the final hole to join him.

They had a one-shot lead over Bo Van Pelt and Marc Leishman, who only qualified for the third playoff event by making an eagle on his final hole Monday at the TPC Boston.

Woods, a four-time winner at Cog Hill, was among those at 68. He at least kept himself in the mix this week, making a few good par saves and three birdie putts inside 5 feet.

“I think anything under par is a really good score,” Woods said. “Usually, it takes a little bit before the guys get accustomed to what the scoring is going to be. The whole idea is, I think more than anything, the guys are trying to get accustomed to where to miss the golf ball, because the misses are so different than what they used to be.”

Steve Stricker, whose victory last week in the Deutsche Bank Championship put him atop the FedEx Cup standings, had a three-putt from 10 feet at the turn and didn’t make another birdie until his final hole for a 72.

Heath Slocum, The Barclays winner who is No. 3 in the standings behind Woods, opened with a 1-under 70.

Only 70 players qualified for this third playoff event, and the top 30 advance to the Tour Championship in two weeks with a chance to win the $10 million bonus.

Sabbatini (No. 35) and Marino (No. 26) are simply trying to get there.

“It’s on my mind a little bit, but I’m trying not to think about it too much,” Marino said. “I’m just trying to treat this like any other tournament and just try to do the best I can.”

The surprise is Leishman, who would have finished outside the top 70 in the standings if not for his eagle putt on the last hole. He kept right on rolling at Cog Hill, running off four birdies in a five-hole stretch around the turn and keeping bogeys off his card.

“Three more 67s would be good,” Leishman said. “I mean, I’ve got nothing to lose. Probably top five I would have to do to get to the Tour Championship, so it’s either that or a couple weeks off. Go hard or go home, I guess. Hopefully, I can go hard.”

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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.