Storms suspend Rd. 3 at PGA; Monday finish looms

By Doug FergusonJuly 30, 2016, 10:16 pm

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – The PGA Championship was halted because of thunderstorms Saturday, raising the possibility of a second straight Monday finish in a major championship at Baltusrol.

Jimmy Walker and Robert Streb, tied for the lead at 9-under par, were 40 minutes from teeing off in the third round when clouds gathered, the sky rumbled and the horn sounded to suspend play. The course was pounded with rain and players eventually were sent home.

The third round was to resume at 7 a.m., weather permitting. More rain was in the forecast.

The PGA said players would stay in the same pairings and go off in the same order for the final round, starting as early as 8:40 a.m. That at least would allow the chance to finish Sunday evening, though it also meant the champion could finish hours before the last group finished.

Kevin Kisner had a 5-under 65 and was done with 54 holes at 5-under 205. Padraig Harrington also had a 65 and was at 4-under 206.

Only 37 of the 86 players who made the cut completed the third round, and 10 players had yet to tee off. Russell Knox lagged his 65-foot birdie attempt on the 18th hole to within a few inches, tapped in for par and a 67, and then the horn sounded right as Marc Leishman was getting ready for his 12-foot birdie putt.


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Knox jokingly apologized to Leishman on Twitter: ''Grub, showered and feet now up. Make that putt so we don't play 4 straight days together.''

Phil Mickelson won the 2005 PGA Championship when tournament organizers took a gamble on not moving up the Sunday tee times because of rain in the forecast, and it cost them. Mickelson had to return Monday morning to claim a one-shot victory.

The last Monday finish in a major was just last year at the British Open because of heavy rain that flooded St. Andrews.

Kisner and Harrington showed a glimpse of what figured to be low scoring Saturday because of the soft conditions from two spells of rain earlier in the week. Play had to be stopped Friday morning for nearly an hour because of moderate rain that left the two fairways on the far end of the course filled with too much water.

''You keep it in the fairway, you can attack,'' Kisner said. ''The course is receptive enough. You can make a lot of birdies.''

Mickelson made the cut with one shot to spare on Friday, rallying from an opening tee shot that went out-of-bounds and onto a side street. He shot a 68 on Saturday and was at 1-under 209.

''There is a low 60s round,'' Mickelson said when he finished. ''I think somebody is going to break that 63 record in these next two days. The greens are pristine. You can make a lot of putts. They are soft, so you can get the ball very close. I think that there's that 61 or 62 out there that I was probably trying to chase a little too hard.''

Two weeks ago, Mickelson had a putt for 62 that rimmed out of the cup at Royal Troon in the opening round. Henrik Stenson closed with a 63, needing his best golf to hold off Mickelson.

And then Friday, Streb became the 28th player to post a 63 when he made a 20-foot birdie on his final hole at Baltusrol.

The course was so susceptible that Harrington didn't feel as though he played all that well and still played bogey-free for a 65.

''Hit the right shots at the right time and any of the shots that I didn't hit well didn't do me any harm,'' he said. ''So it was one of those days. It's nice when you score better than you play. It was just an average day, as I said. Thursday was the day I played well. It was amazing, the best I played Thursday, is the worst score I shot. That's the nature of the game.''

The nature of the game Saturday was to wait.

Jordan Spieth played one hole and narrowly missed a birdie putt. Rickie Fowler had 45 feet for birdie on the first hole.

That was as far as they got.

Now they face a marathon Sunday, with a reasonable chance they will not finish until Monday.

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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.

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.