Watney leads after 36; Woods misses cut at Wells Fargo

By Doug FergusonMay 4, 2012, 6:52 pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Nick Watney answered what he referred to as a wake-up call at the Wells Fargo Championship by taking the lead.

Tiger Woods might need one after missing the cut.

Watney had gone nine straight rounds on the PGA Tour without breaking 70 and had failed to crack the top 10 in all nine of his stroke-play tournaments this year. He worked hard to change that, and it paid off Friday with an 8-under 64 that gave him a one-shot lead over Webb Simpson going into the weekend.

A two-time winner last year, Watney had failed to crack the top 30 in a full-field event this year, and missed the cut in New Orleans for his first weekend off at a tournament since July.

''I think last week was a wake-up call for me,'' Watney said. ''And I've worked really hard these five days leading into this event. I think it just shows I'm making progress. Who knows what's going to happen this weekend, but I'm really excited for it. More hard work, and hopefully I'll be in this position a lot more.''

Woods wound up in rare position.

He failed to make a birdie on any of the par 5s or any hole on his back nine, missing a 4-foot birdie putt on his 17th hole with the cut on the line. Woods wound up with a 73 – his eighth consecutive round in the 70s – for an even-par 144 to miss the cut by one shot.

It was only the eighth time in 267 events on the PGA Tour that Woods missed the cut, and the first time it happened at the same place twice – Quail Hollow, where in four trips before the downfall in his personal life Woods had won once and never finished worse than 11th.

''This is one of my favorite Tour stops, and unfortunately, I'm just not going to be around for the last two days,'' Woods said.

Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood narrowly avoided joining him.

Mickelson was right on the cut line and facing a scary finish on the par-3 17th over water and the par-4 18th, with a stream running down the left side and trees and trouble on the right. He played both holes perfectly for pars, though his 72 left him 11 shots out of the lead.

Lefty couldn't believe how much the course had changed from Thursday morning, especially with the swirling wind that made the course nearly tough enough to let Woods back into the tournament. Woods was tied for 85th when he finished. At one point, he was tied for 72nd.

Seventy-four players made the cut at 1-under 143, the first time in the 10-year history at Quail Hollow the cut was under par.

''I haven't seen as big a change since like Shinnecock '95 where it was a whole different course,'' Mickelson said, referring to the U.S. Open. ''So I played well today. I didn't get the ball in the hole as well as I would have liked, but I hit a lot of good putts that caught the lip, I hit a lot of putts that just didn't go in and I hit a lot of good shots that just didn't quite go my way today.''

Westwood was outside the cut line until he holed an 18-foot birdie on the 17th and made par on No. 18 for a 72. He will play with Mickelson on Saturday.

Watney was at 12-under 132 and will play in the final group with Simpson, who had a 68. Watney is staying with Simpson, who lives about a mile away. One side benefit from his 64 was that he has a bet with his host that high score takes out the garbage each day.

Stewart Cink, winless since he captured the British Open at Turnberry in 2009, had a 69 and joined Ben Crane (64), John Senden (68) and D.A. Points (68) two shots out of the lead. Ryan Moore had a penalty stroke for his ball moving on a tap-in and had to settle for a 70. He was at 9-under 135.

Senden looked as if he might catch Watney in the lead when he was in the middle of the fairway on the par-5 seventh hole. But his approach went well long and under a tree, and he wound up with a bogey.

Rory McIlroy celebrated his 23rd birthday Friday with a birdie on his final hole for a 68 that kept him in range, just six shots back. McIlroy nearly missed the cut two years ago until an eagle on his 16th hole of the second round allowed to make it on the number. He went on to win the tournament.

Woods won't have such a chance, though he did have some luck – a bizarre ruling on the par-5 fifth hole in which he never found his ball and didn't get penalized. His second shot went well left, over the gallery and into the trees. There was a mad scramble to surround the ball, but when Woods arrived, the ball was nowhere to be found.

Rules official Mark Russell spoke to spectators who said they saw it land, and considering the open terrain, determined a fan had taken the ball.

Woods was given a drop with no penalty instead of going back to the fairway for his fourth shot. He wound up with a par.

''There were about five or six people that ran over to the ball, and the next thing you know, we get down there and there's hundreds of people and no ball,'' Woods said. ''You saw an area there, there's nothing there. We looked around for a while, and then Mark came over there and analyzed the situation and what was going on.''

Now if he can figure out what's going on with his game.

Woods won at Bay Hill to end a 30-month drought on the PGA Tour, and then had his worst performance as a pro at the Masters when he tied for 40th. Next up is The Players Championship, the tournament where he has finished out of the top 10 more than any other.

''Well, it's frustration,'' he said. ''I finished, what, 12 back of the lead, and I'm not playing the weekend where I have a chance to compete for a title. I've missed my share of cuts in the past, and they don't feel good.''

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.