Snedeker back with goal to stay healthy in 2014

By Doug FergusonJanuary 1, 2014, 10:21 pm

KAPALUA, Hawaii – Brandt Snedeker starts a new year in golf with hopes of avoiding an old problem – staying healthy.

The Tournament of Champions, which starts Friday, is his first event since a freak accident in Shanghai two months ago. Snedeker was on a Segway scooter during a corporate outing at Sheshan International when he took a tumble and injured his left knee.

''I had been on one all day in this pro-am,'' Snedeker said Wednesday. ''I was going down the last hole, seeing how fast I could get it going. I hit a sprinkler head, lost control a little bit and jumped off. I landed on my knee and my knee popped.''

He feared he had torn his anterior cruciate ligament. Just his luck, he only suffered a small tear, along with a cracked tibia and a deep bone bruise. It was enough to keep him out of the Australian PGA, World Challenge in California and the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Florida. Harris English replaced him as Matt Kuchar's partner in the Shootout, and they went on to win.


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Snedeker said the knee feels good, though the real test starts Friday.

He spent last week playing at Hideaway in the California desert, walking 18 holes a day and carrying his own bag. The good news at Kapalua is that he has his caddie. Not so good is that the Plantation Course was built on the side of a mountain, featuring some of the steepest climbs he'll face all year.

''I've had a few aches and pains of playing again, but nothing that concerns me,'' Snedeker said. ''The only thing I'm worried about is walking 18 holes here. Palm Springs is dead flag. Walking this golf course is a little different.''

And the last time the six-time PGA Tour winner carried his own bag?

''It's funny, I got into this routine of doing it after injuries,'' Snedeker said.

Not so funny is that it has become a routine. In his seven years on Tour, Snedeker has had surgery on both hips to correct a degenerative problem. He missed the 2012 U.S. Open because of a rib injury. After one of the hottest stretches of last year – second to Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines, second to Phil Mickelson in Phoenix and then a victory at Pebble Beach - Snedeker had recurring problems with his ribs and missed the next month.

Snedeker said his rookie season was his only injury-free year.

''It's very concerning,'' he said. ''I don't consider myself that, but the evidence bears out that I am injury-prone. Over the course of your career, you're going to have injuries. I'm hoping all mine are in a five-year stretch.''

He's been taking medication and paying close attention to his diet to stay on top of his fitness, but just like most people, Snedeker will stray on occasion.

''You get healthy and you forget about it,'' he said. ''You get injured and you start worrying. I'm no different from anyone else.''

Now, he can hope that's all behind him. Snedeker believes the best part of his career is ahead of him, and he's excited about the major championship venues, with Pinehurst No. 2 among his favorite course in America. He was tied with Angel Cabrera going into the final round of the Masters last year, and he has come to love links golf at the British Open, with strong showings the last two years.

His biggest goal for 2014?

''I'm looking forward to playing an injury-free year,'' he said with a grin.

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.

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.