Swedish rookie leads Players; Woods 2 back

By Doug FergusonMay 12, 2013, 12:20 am

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tiger Woods was surrounded by four rows of fans who stood shoulder-to-shoulder, curious to see how he was going to escape from the trees on the second hole at The Players Championship. Cheers erupted when he pulled out a 5-wood, a risky shot off the pine straw through a 15-foot gap of pines.

Woods said he didn't hear Sergio Garcia hit his shot from the fairway. He didn't see Garcia stare in his direction.

But he heard Garcia on television during a storm delay.

The Spaniard said the burst of cheers disrupted his swing, and he suggested that Woods was the instigator by thinking only of himself.

''Not real surprising that he's complaining about something,'' Woods said.

''That's fine,'' Garcia said when told of Woods' comments. ''At least I'm true to myself. I know what I'm doing, and he can do whatever he wants.''


Video: Tiger-Sergio feud takes center stage

The Players: Articles, videos, photos | GC coverage | Social Lounge


A storm was brewing Saturday at Sawgrass even before the real storms rolled in and caused a two-hour delay, keeping eight players from finishing their round. And in the midst of the latest chapter in this Woods-Garcia rift, Swedish rookie David Lingmerth quietly went about his business and wound up atop the leaderboard.

Lingmerth finished a wild day with an 8-foot eagle putt on the par-5 16th and a 10-foot birdie on the island-green 17th to reach 12-under par when the third round was suspended because of darkness.

He was two shots ahead of three players who have won The Players Championship – Woods, Garcia and Henrik Stenson.

''I'm aware of where they're at,'' Lingmerth said. ''I try not to look at the leaderboard when I'm out there. I'm just trying to do my thing. But having those guys behind me, I know they're going to try to hunt me down, of course. But I'm just going to try to forget about all that and just try to do my thing.''

That starts just after sunrise. Eight players – including the top four – had to return Sunday morning to complete the third round. Woods and Garcia were on the 15th hole.

The best action Saturday was during the rain delay when Garcia was asked about the par-5 second hole.

''Well, obviously Tiger was on the left and it was my shot to hit,'' Garcia said. ''He moved all of the crowd that he needed to move. I waited for that. I wouldn't say that he didn't see that I was ready, but you do have a feel when the other guy is going to hit and right as I was in the top of the backswing, I think he must have pulled like a 5-wood or a 3-wood and obviously everybody started screaming. So that didn't help very much.''

Woods said Garcia didn't have his facts straight.

''The marshals, they told me he already hit, so I pulled a club and was getting ready to play my shot,'' Woods said.

Asked if they talked it over when play resumed, Woods replied, ''We didn't do a lot of talking.''

Garcia wound up making a bogey on the second hole to lose the one-shot lead he had at the start of the round. Woods pulled off his shot, and then blasted out of the bunker to about 10 feet and made birdie to take the lead.

When storm clouds moved in, Garcia already hit a tough shot onto the green at No. 7, and Woods had to mark his ball in the fairway when the siren sounded to stop play. When they resumed, Wood hit onto the seventh green, and Garcia putted before Woods got there.

They were on the 15th hole when play was stopped because of darkness. Woods gave a brief TV interview, and Garcia came over to shake his hand.

Garcia didn't back away from his TV interview.

''It happens to me when I'm in Spain,'' he said of the large crowds. ''Obviously, it happens to him everywhere he goes. He gets a lot of people following, and I think you have to be very careful because there's another guy playing. Sometimes you have to pay attention to what's going on because if the other guy's hitting and you do something when you're in the crowd, the crowd is going to respond and it's going to affect the other player.

''I think sometimes you have to be a bit more careful.''

Meanwhile, The Players Championship was shaping up to be quite a finish.

Lingmerth, who began his rookie season by losing in a playoff at the Humana Challenge, poured in par putts along the back nine to stay around the leaders, and then he raced by them with his eagle-birdie finish. He returns Sunday to play the 18th hole.

Stenson was the first to reach 12 under when he made a 20-foot birdie putt at the par-5 ninth, but what appeared to be a shoo-in birdie on the par-5 11th turned into a bogey when his second shot went just long and down a steep slope. It took him two chips to reach the green and he made bogey, and he made another bogey on the 15th.

Garcia made par from deep in the woods and bogey from the middle of the fairway. He came close to a hole-in-one on the 13th hole, and went bunker-to-bunker for bogey on the 14th hole. Woods was far steadier, though certainly not spectacular. That birdie he made on No. 2 was his only one of the day.

Jeff Maggert, who also had a share of the lead at one point early in the day, bogeyed the last hole for a 66 and was the clubhouse leader at 9-under 207. Casey Wittenberg and Ryan Palmer also were at 9-under and still had to finish their rounds.

Lee Westwood whiffed a shot on his opening hole then his club nicked a pine tree on his downswing and the club went nearly a foot past the ball, leading to double bogey. Westwood was 6-under with three holes to play.

Hunter Mahan's tee shot on the 15th hole got stuck high up in a tree, leading to double bogey, but then he rolled in an eagle putt from off the 16th green. He three-putted the 17th green for bogey and wound up with a 71, putting him at 8-under 208 with David Lynn of England, who had a 68. Lynn lost in a playoff last week at Quail Hollow.

Through all that, Woods and Garcia generated the biggest buzz.

The Woods-Garcia relationship already was frosty. In Tom Callahan's book on Woods, ''His Father's Son,'' he writes about the time Woods saw Garcia in the clubhouse watching a TV monitor and trying to cheer a player's putt out of the hole.

Woods was said to be put off when Garcia celebrated wildly after winning a Monday night ''Battle at Bighorn'' exhibition in 2000. During the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, which Woods won wire-to-wire, Garcia complained that play should have been stopped in the second round because of the rain.

''If Tiger Woods would have been out there, it would have been called,'' Garcia said that day.

Saturday was the sixth time Woods and Garcia have played together in the final group on the weekend. Woods went on to win the previous five tournaments.

There is plenty of work left at Sawgrass. And if there is no change on the leaderboard Sunday morning, Woods and Garcia get to play together again.

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.

Getty Images

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.