Tiger Woods Mark Wilson tied at BMW Championship

By Doug FergusonSeptember 12, 2009, 2:29 am

BMW Championship 2007 LogoLEMONT, Ill. – Tiger Woods and Mark Wilson were in a tie for the lead Friday at the BMW Championship, two players who have every reason to feel right at home at Cog Hill.

One practices here all the time. The other seems to win here all the time.

Woods made two solid par saves from deep bunkers early in his round, ran off three straight birdies at the turn and cashed in on enough good shots for a 4-under 67 to put him atop the leaderboard for the first time since the PGA Championship.

Woods is a four-time winner at Cog Hill, including his most recent appearance two years ago in the BMW Championship

Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson is seeking his third career PGA Tour title. (Getty Images)
Wilson, who birdied his final hole for a 5-under 66, moved to Chicago about five years ago and was looking for a place to practice when Frank Jemsek gave him carte blanche at Cog Hill. Wilson now spends most of his time on this public golf course in the Chicago suburbs.

“This summer when I’ve been home, I’ve been primarily coming out here because I thought it made sense to get ready to see the new golf course,” said Wilson, alluding to the Rees Jones renovation.

They were at 7-under 135, and will play as a twosome for the first time since their championship match in the 1992 U.S. Junior Amateur in Massachusetts, where a 16-year-old Woods rallied from 2 down to win on the 18th hole.

“We go back a long way,” Woods said.

This won’t be anywhere near that situation, not in stroke play, and certainly not halfway through a tournament in which two dozen players were separated by five shots.

Padraig Harrington, a familiar name atop the leaderboard over the last two months, was poised to join them until his tee shot on the 18th hole sailed wide ride and into a tree, sending the Irishman back to the tee. He did well to escape with bogey after making a 20-foot putt that gave him a 68.

Harrington was one shot behind, along with Rory Sabbatini (70), Bo Van Pelt (69) and Marc Leishman of Australia, who overcame a rugged start with four straight birdies and ended up with a 69.

Woods got off to a bad start when he hooked his 3-wood into the face of a deep bunker, forcing him to blast out to the fairway and setting up a bogey when his 9-iron went 40 feet too long. With firm greens and a few difficult hole locations, he never had a reasonable birdie putt over this first six holes, and twice had to hit good bunker shots to avoid bogey.

The turnaround began with a 12-foot birdie putt from the fringe on No. 7, and a risky decision that paid off on the next hole. With only 133 yards to an uphill green with the hole location to the back right, Woods decided to take one extra club to fly it long and hope to have it spin back. The gallery groaned when it hopped onto the fringe, then cheered when it spun back to 4 feet for birdie.

“I was in between clubs and I said, ‘You know what? I’m not going to take the little one here’ because I just didn’t feel it was going to skip up there,” he said. “I thought I had to carry it back to the hole. I knew I could never hit the ball past the flag in the air with that club, so I went ahead and took the chance of throwing the ball up in the air.”

He added another bunker save on the 12th, and final birdie on the 17th with an approach to 4 feet.

Wilson was one of only three players in the 68-man field to make birdie on the par-3 second hole, where the green was so firm that some balls even landing in the front would roll off the green and into a bunker.

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“It must have carried just over in the rough and got a nice hop up there about 6 feet, which I think is probably the only way you can keep it short on that hole,” Wilson said. “So that was a nice break.”

Woods and Harrington are among the top six players assured a trip to East Lake in two weeks for the FedEx Cup finale at the Tour Championship and a chance to win the $10 million bonus.

Not so for Wilson, who is at No. 41 in the standings. Only the top 30 advance after this week, and Wilson doesn’t even know how high he needs to finish, only that a victory would take care of everything.

“Something tells me a win gets me way up there, and I’d rather do that,” Wilson said. “And I’ll be going for that. If I fall a little short, then the consolation prize would be Atlanta. And that would be good.”

DIVOTS: Phil Mickelson had a 69 and was among those five shots behind. … Davis Love III had a 77 and was tied for last, effectively ending his FedEx Cup season. He is 44th in points and likely would have needed to finish among the top five. … Steve Stricker, who overtook Woods for No. 1 in the standings with his win last week, missed four birdie putts inside 10 feet during a five-hole stretch before making one from 35 feet. He shot a 73 and was 10 shots behind. Stricker would only lose his FedEx Cup lead if Woods were to win this week.

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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.