Tiger wants to be greedy host at Congressional

By Doug FergusonJuly 1, 2009, 4:00 pm
AT&T NationalBETHESDA, Md. ' Its not often that a player is bold enough to challenge Tiger Woods on the golf course. Rarer still is when it happens during a pro-am round from one of his amateur partners.
 
That still puts me 1 up, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said to him Wednesday morning.
 
Does it, now? Woods replied, not sounding the least bit concerned.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods jokingly tips his cap after a poor shot during Wednesday's pro-am. (Getty Images)
The worlds No. 1 player then smoked a fairway metal down the 17th at Congressional Country Club. Romo, a scratch player who asked to play from the championship tees, followed with a 3-wood that traveled about a yard farther.
 
On the par-3 second, Romo appeared to have the edge when Woods bladed a bunker shot over the green and into the gallery. He didnt finish out the hole, and when Romo three-putted from the fringe, the quarterback said, You wouldnt have made 4 from there.
 
They didnt mention the stakes or how many shots Woods gave Romo ' if any ' although it had a familiar conclusion.
 
He contributed to my spending fund, which is nice, Woods said later on his Web site.
 
The bold move by Woods was playing with the Cowboys quarterback in Washington Redskins country, and while it attracted a large gallery for the 6:30 a.m. tee time, the cheers and jeers were relatively tame.
 
How about an autograph? one fan said to Romo. Ive got a Tony Romo jersey on and Ive already been in three fights.
 
Romo kept walking.
 
Jason Campbell signed it, the fan called to him.
 
Campbell, the Redskins quarterback, played in another pro-am group, while Woods and Romo were joined by House Minority Leader John Boehner, who spent most of his day picking up his ball before he reached the green.
 
There was plenty of star power at Congressional, even during the opening ceremony when Jessica Simpson sang the national anthem.
 
When the AT&T National gets under way Thursday, the biggest star will be the tournament host.
 
Woods missed his own tournament last year, which was played a week after he had season-ending knee surgery. He had to watch from his couch as Anthony Kim closed with a bogey-free 65 for a two-shot victory.
 
I thought he was here last year, Kim said. His name was all over the place.
 
It is everywhere but the trophy.
 
One obscure piece of trivia that could come out of this tournament is a chance for Woods to match Jack Nicklaus by winning his tournament on the second try. Nicklaus won the Memorial in 1977, the second year of the tournament.
 
The only Nicklaus record that matters to Woods is 18 professional majors, and thats on his mind, too.
 
Woods is playing for the first time since he failed to defend his title in the U.S. Open at Bethpage, largely due to his putting. Next up is the British Open in two weeks at Turnberry, a links course he has only seen on television.
 
For now, he is intent on being a greedy host.
 
He wants the 120-man field at Congressional to have a great week, as long as he goes home with the trophy.
 
I always put in as much as I possibly can to win an event, he said. It is fun winning your own event.
 
He has won the Chevron World Challenge, his charity tournament in California, four times. Woods also is going for a hat trick of sorts by trying to win three tournaments in one year hosted by PGA Tour players, having previously won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and the Memorial, which Nicklaus runs.
 
Strangely enough, both those tournaments were his final events before a major.
 
And the majors havent worked out for him so far this year.
 
In both majors he tied for sixth, four shots out of the lead. He hit the ball poorly at the Masters, but knew Augusta National well enough and made enough putts to at least give himself an outside chance Sunday. He hit the ball beautifully at Bethpage Black, only to fail miserably on the greens.
 
Just like all major championships, you have to have all the pieces going, Woods said. You have to hit the ball well, chip well, putt well, think well. And thats the whole idea of majors. Every single facet of your game is tested. And it just didnt work out.
 
Looking forward to the next two.
 
Preparations for Turnberry really wont start until he arrives, although he can start by making sure his game is sound on a Congressional course that will host the U.S. Open in 2011.
 
The field features U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover, Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh from the top 10 in the world ranking.
 
Its a place that I would always put on my schedule because I think the world of the golf course, Furyk said. Ive played very well here the last couple years, so Ive got some good memories.
 
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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.