Spieth, Walker tied at rainy Pebble Beach

By Doug FergusonFebruary 8, 2014, 1:07 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The wind and the rain arrived Friday, perhaps a prelude to a nasty weekend. Leave it to a pair of Texans – Jimmy Walker and Jordan Spieth – to thrive in Crosby Clambake conditions at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Walker made some tough par saves and wound up bogey-free at Spyglass Hill with a 3-under 69. Spieth was down the coast at Monterey Peninsula, where he called the birdie on his final hole the best of his life. He's only 20, but it was a proud moment.

They were tied for the lead going into the third round, one shot to par ahead of Hunter Mahan.


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The slight advantage would go to Walker, who was at 9-under 135. Already a two-time winner this season, Walker next goes over to Monterey Peninsula, the easiest of the three courses in the rotation. Spieth was at 9-under 134 and headed to Pebble Beach, which can be brutal in nasty weather.

And the forecast for Saturday was not particularly pleasant.

Along with a three-club wind on the exposed sections of all three courses, steady rain began coming down sideways toward the end of the second round. There was about a 75 percent chance for more rain Saturday.

More than looking ahead, Spieth was looking behind. He was happy to at least get Spyglass out of the way already, having opened with a 67 on Thursday. That didn't make the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula a picnic.

''Today was very difficult,'' Spieth said. ''We started out in the rain and wind, and we finished in rainier and windier,'' he said.

Spieth caught Walker for a share of the lead on the 187-yard ninth hole, which typically requires a 6-iron. He watched Kevin Chappell hit first with a 3-iron, and the ball rolled back down off the front of the green. Spieth doesn't carry a 3-iron.

''I went to a hybrid,'' he said. ''And I just kind of hit a little stinger cut about 20 feet away. And then it was normally a straight putt and Michael (Greller) and I, my caddie, are looking at each other saying, 'Well, we've got to play this about a foot out to the right with the wind.' And so I hit it a foot out. With about 3 feet to go, the wind just blew it right, just broke perfectly right into the hole.''

Walker's best holes were his pars, particularly the par-5 14th. His 8-iron came back down into a bunker, leaving him such an awkward lie that he had to plant his feet outside the sand. With a shallow swing, he did well to blast out 12 feet away, and he made the par putt.

''That was pretty big to keep it feeling like things were still in my favor,'' Walker said.

He made two long birdie putts, and then hit a drive of nearly 390 yards on the seventh hole – with the aid of a cart path. It left him only an 8-iron to the green, and he had an easy up-and-down for his final birdie.

Mahan had a 68 at Spyglass Hill, with half of his six birdies on the par 5s. He was at 8-under 136.

''Coming up these last few holes are tough,'' Mahan said. ''They're uphill, they got the wind, it's getting cold, raining. You just don't want to throw away shots. Because this can be a long week, and it could be mentally more grinding than anything.''

Andrew Loupe, who has missed every cut in his rookie season so far, followed his 63 at Monterey Peninsula with a 73 at Pebble Beach. That wasn't too bad, for Pebble Beach was playing to an average of 74.1, about 2 1/2 strokes more difficult than Thursday. He was at 7-under 136 and plays Spyglass on Saturday.

Phil Mickelson finished off his 66 at Monterey on Friday morning, and then got an early indication at Pebble Beach that this might be a long day. He three-putted from 5 feet above the hole on the par-5 second for a double bogey. Mickelson holed some good birdies, but missed plenty of short ones. He switched from a conventional grip to the claw during his round, searching for answers. A three-putt bogey on the 18th at Pebble gave him a 73. He was at 4-under 139, still very much in the game.

''Tee to green, I'm playing very well, but I haven't putted this poorly in a year,'' he said. ''For the way I'm hitting it, it's a little disappointing because I should have a really good opportunity. And I'll have to turn it around. It's not too late, but I've got to get it turned around here.''

This is his last tournament until the Florida swing.

David Duval showed some promise in his first PGA Tour event of the year with a 68 at Spyglass, a course that traditionally gives him fits. He was at 4-under 140.

''What's the forecast tomorrow? More of this? Cool,'' Mickelson said with a deadpan delivery. ''We've had a great run of weather ... so we certainly can't complain. It's sometimes a fun challenge to play out here as the reigning Scottish and British Open champion. I don't really mind the elements, but I do have to get this putter worked out.''

It already was a challenge for so many others. John Daly shot 79 at Monterey Peninsula. Four players failed to break 80. Two-time champion Dustin Johnson fell back with a 73 at Monterey. Jason Day of Australia shot 77 at Pebble Beach with one birdie.

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.