Snedeker, Cabrera co-lead Masters through 54 holes

By Doug FergusonApril 14, 2013, 12:36 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tiger Woods made two significant moves Saturday at the Masters – one to stay in the tournament, the other to stay in the hunt.

A day filled with high drama before a shot was struck at Augusta National, ended with Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera tied for the lead, and Woods only four shots back. For a few tense hours in the morning, it was not clear if Woods was going to get a chance to play.

Masters officials discovered late Friday evening that Woods had taken a bad drop in the second round and should have added two shots to his score.

Under normal circumstances, he would have been disqualified for signing an incorrect card. Officials took the blame for not alerting Woods to a potential problem – they found nothing wrong at first glance before he signed – and kept him in the tournament with two shots added to his score. Woods was covered under a two-year-old rule that prevents DQs when a violation is reported by television viewers.

''It certainly was a distraction early,'' Woods said after three birdies on his last seven holes for a 70. ''It happens and you move on. I was ready to play come game time.''

So was Snedeker.

He's been building toward a moment like this for the last year, and he seized his chance on a glorious afternoon with a bogey-free round of 3-under 69. After opening with 12 pars, he birdied both the par 5s and stuffed his tee shot to 4 feet for birdie on the par-3 16th to take the lead. Cabrera joined him at 7-under 209 with a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole, capping off a round in which he twice made bogey on the par 5s.


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They were two players going in opposite directions this year. Snedeker was seen as the hottest player in golf when in three straight weeks he was runner-up to Woods, runner-up to Phil Mickelson and then won at Pebble Beach. His momentum was slowed by sore ribs that kept him out of golf for a month, though he appears to be hitting his stride.

''I've spent 32 years of my life getting ready for tomorrow,'' Snedeker said. ''I'm going to be disappointed if I don't win. Period. I'm not here to get a good finish. ... I'm here to win.''

Cabrera, whose two major titles include a Masters win in 2009, has plunged to No. 269 in the world.

''I've been working very hard for this moment,'' Cabrera said through an interpreter. ''And I've got to take the opportunity.''

For Adam Scott, it's a chance at redemption.

He was runner-up at the Masters two years ago, though the fresher wounds are from last summer at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, where the Australian bogeyed his last four holes and finished one shot behind in the British Open. Scott rammed home a 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole for a 69 and was one shot behind.

Two more Aussies, Marc Leishman (72) and Jason Day (73) were another shot behind, giving the blokes from Down Under as good a chance as ever to give their country some happy memories from Augusta National. It's the only major an Australian has never won, a point driven home with every mention of Greg Norman losing a six-shot lead on the last day in 1996.

''Obviously, to win the Masters would be incredible,'' Scott said. ''It would be great for Australia. We've never looked better odds-wise going into a Sunday, except that one year in 1996. It's going to be a hell of a round tomorrow.''

Day was in the lead for most of the day, going 18 straight holes without a bogey until he missed short par putts on the last two holes.

Matt Kuchar (69) was three shots back, and Woods was right behind.

Woods, the No. 1 player in the world who already has won three times this year, was the heavy favorite going into the Masters to capture a green jacket for the first time since 2005 and end his five-year drought in the majors.

His big move came after a bogey on the 11th hole, leaving him six shots behind as he made his way through a back nine that has not treated him kindly of late. But he ran off three birdies on the next four holes, and made clutch par saves on the 16th and 18th to stay in the game.

''I'm right there in the ballgame, ''Woods said. ''I'm four back with a great shot to win this championship.''

History is not on his side. Woods has never won a major from behind, every Masters champion has been no worse than a tie for fourth going into Sunday dating to Faldo's comeback in 1989. But at least he's still in the game.

That was never in doubt to the officials running the Masters. Fred Ridley, chairman of the competition committees, said he looked at video as Woods was playing the 18th hole Friday and saw no need to ask him about the drop because he didn't detect a violation. It was only after Woods' post-round interview when he implicated himself by saying he went back a few yards by design that it became an issue.

Because he saw no problem at first with the drop and let Woods sign his card without talking to him, Ridley said it would have been ''grossly unfair to Tiger to have disqualified him.'' He said the notion of a DQ was ''not even on the table.''

Woods couldn't have been too shaken up by the morning activities. He birdied the first hole. The key for everyone was simply to stay somewhere around contention, and that wasn't easy. Rory McIlroy was only three shots out of the lead when he took a bogey on the seventh hole. Little did Boy Wonder realize that it would start a nasty cycle. With a pair of 7s on his card on the back nine – wind shifts led to a triple bogey on the 11th and a double bogey on the 15th – he shot 42 on the back for a 79.

''I play 7 through 11 in 5 over par and basically my chances in the tournament are gone,'' McIlroy said. ''So it's very disappointing. I feel like I have been playing well coming in here and it's just a frustrating day here.''

Former PGA champion Keegan Bradley had an 82, while Mickelson shot 40 on the back nine for the second straight day and had a 77. Tianlang Guan, the 14-year-old from China, went his second straight round without a birdie and had a 77. He was still smiling, soaking in his weekend at Augusta as the youngest player to make a cut in a PGA Tour-sanctioned tournament.

Meanwhile, Snedeker takes an amazing streak into the final round. He has gone 27 consecutive holes without a bogey at Augusta National, and he has a clear plan of what he needs to do be fitted for a green jacket.

''If I drive the ball in the fairway and play the par 5s well tomorrow, I'm going to have a really good day.''

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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


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It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


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The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


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''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

He's making his first start in the event.

''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


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The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.