Spieth looking forward to Masters being over

By Doug FergusonMarch 21, 2017, 2:02 am

AUSTIN, Texas – Two weeks before the Masters begins, Jordan Spieth is looking forward to it being over.

Spieth was on the verge of becoming only the fourth player to win back-to-back at Augusta National when he took a five-shot lead to the back nine. He dropped six shots over the next three holes, including two balls in Rae's Creek on the 12th hole for a quadruple bogey, and wound up three shots behind Danny Willet.

As the Masters looms, Spieth has been fielding more questions about that collapse on the back nine.

''No matter what happens at this year's Masters, whether I can grab the jacket or I miss the cut or I finish 30th, it will be nice having the Masters go by,'' Spieth said Monday night during the draw for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

''The Masters lives on for a year. It brings a non-golf audience into golf. And it will be nice once this year's finished from my point of view, to be brutally honest with you.''

Spieth has never finished worse than second in the Masters in his three appearances. He was runner-up to Bubba Watsonin 2014 after having a two-shot lead with 11 holes to play in 2014, and then he won the green jacket in 2015 by tying the 72-hole scoring record held by Tiger Woods.

He had said after last year's Masters, ''This one will hurt.''

Spieth won the Colonial a month after the Masters, and he already has won this year with a dominating performance at Pebble Beach. The Las Vegas Westgate SuperBook lists him as the 6-1 favorite, slightly ahead of world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

''It would be best if I could reclaim the jacket,'' Spieth said. ''But I believe that I'll be back up there sooner or later, just the way that we play the golf course, the success we've had and the comfort level I have there. Whether it happens this year or not, but it will just be nice because that tournament, it's a 365-day thing. There's no other Masters.''

Spieth said the Masters did not affect him while he was on the golf course, and that he answered those questions with victories at Colonial, the Australian Open and Pebble Beach.

''But as far as just having all the questions done, I'm pretty sure they will be,'' he said.

Rory McIlroy isn't so sure. McIlroy had a four-shot lead going into the final round in 2011 at the Masters and shot 80. McIlroy bounced back to win the U.S. Open two months later, and he since has added three more majors.

''It's not as if it's going to be the last year he gets questions about it,'' McIlroy said. ''That might be the way he's approaching it. But if he doesn't banish those demons or win this year, the questions will always still be there.

''I still get questioned about the back nine at Augusta in 2011. It's just something you have to deal with. It's something that happened. It's not going to go away. It's there and it always will be.''

McIlroy said there is one big difference between him and Spieth at the Masters - Spieth has a green jacket.

''He can console himself by opening up his wardrobe and seeing one hanging there,'' McIlroy said.

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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.