Ryder Cup behind him Pavin back to golf

By Doug FergusonFebruary 17, 2011, 6:37 pm

Northern Trust Open

LOS ANGELES – The redness in Corey Pavin’s left eye was so evident that when a reporter asked him what happened, Pavin playfully covered it with his hand and replied, “What do you mean?”

It was just a case of pink eye, although Pavin would have reason to shed tears this week.

The former U.S. Open champion and Ryder Cup captain played his first PGA Tour event at Riviera in 1980, when he was a 19-year-old at UCLA. Pavin opened with an even-par 71 that day, although he wound up missing the cut.

He played as a rookie in 1984 and has missed only once at Riviera since then – 1993, when his son was born.

Pavin will tee it up at the Northern Trust Open on Thursday for the 29th time, and he understands this could be his last time. He was exempt this year because even though he turned 50 and spent most of 2010 with his Ryder Cup captain duties, he still managed to keep his card by finishing in the top 125 on the money list.

“I don’t know if this will be my last Northern Trust Open. It could be,” Pavin said Wednesday. “But it’s nice to be back here again.”

In an era where the premium wasn’t always on power, when a track like Riviera demanded players to maneuver shots, Pavin thrived. He won the tournament in 1994 and 1995, becoming the first player since Ben Hogan to win at Riviera in consecutive years.

The good memories far outweigh the bad, although Pavin tries to forget the latter.

The single greatest shot he has hit at the Riv? He had to think for a few minutes before coming up with a shot that meant something to Pavin because of the situation.

It was in 1994, his second shot in the par-4 18th, although he can’t recall whether it was a 2-iron or a 3-iron.

“I knew I needed to hit a good shot to cinch the tournament, and I hit a really good, long iron in the back right corner of the green,” he said. “I knew if I hit a poor shot there, that would have opened the door for Freddie (Couples) to have a chance. So that was probably the best clutch shot I hit here.”

The chances this year? Probably not very good.

Pavin hasn’t made the cut the last three times he has played in the Northern Trust Open. The course has gotten too long, and rain that has made the course soft in recent years hasn’t helped.

Besides, he is ready to move on to compete against guys his own age.

Pavin said Riviera is among only four PGA Tour events he will play this year. The others are The Players Championship, Colonial and the Travelers Championship in Hartford, Conn., where a year ago he lost in a playoff.

There’s no point in looking back on memories of Riviera, or anything else, the Ryder Cup included. One reporter had not seen Pavin since he left for Wales and asked his thoughts on the week and what happened.

“We finished second at the Ryder Cup,” Pavin said, showing his dry humor that was never fully appreciated during his captaincy.

He didn’t do much the rest of the year, and is ready to get back to golf on the Champions Tour, where he had two close calls in his rookie season before losing to Couples, and old nemesis, and to Bernhard Langer in the U.S. Senior Open.

A few Ryder Cup memories abound.

Eleven players from his American team are at Riviera this week, the lone exception Tiger Woods. That includes Steve Stricker, the defending champion who eased his way to a two-shot victory last year.

The lineup is shaping up as the strongest field so far this year. Even without the top three in the world ranking – Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Woods—the field boasts five of the top 10 in the world and 16 of the top 30.

From last year’s money list, only three of the top 20 are missing – Ernie Els, Tim Clark and Camilo Villegas, all of whom planned to be at the Northern Trust Open except for nagging injuries.

British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen makes his debut as a PGA Tour member, as does another “rookie” – 41-year-old Robert Karlsson of Sweden, who showed how serious he was about his U.S. membership by moving from Monaco to Charlotte, N.C.

Ryo Ishikawa, the 19-year-old sensation from Japan, also is in the field.

And then there’s Phil Mickelson, who feels he is close to getting his game on track and will try to win at Riviera for the third time.

“I’ve been playing well,” he said. “I’ve got just a slight hurdle to get over where I’ve got to get the scores down to how I feel I’m playing. Some of that will be course management, some of that will just be getting a couple putts to drop, but I feel like I’m right on the cusp of playing some really good golf.”

For Mickelson, the biggest concern is getting to the course.

As usual, he is staying home in San Diego this week and commuting by jet. A few years ago, he crowed when he walked into the door of his house and called his caddie, who was still stuck in traffic on his way to a local hotel.

Mickelson had a slightly tougher time Wednesday, with such low cloud cover that he was forced to land in Van Nuys, adding a half-hour to his flight. He’s not losing any sleep over that one.

“I’m a little concerned the next day or two getting in with some of the low minimums of the clouds,” Mickelson said. “It looks like it’s going to be OK.”

As for his game? Mickelson isn’t worried about that, either.

Getty Images

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.