Wi opens up three-shot lead; Tiger six back

By Doug FergusonFebruary 11, 2012, 1:08 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – On a day when sunshine gave way to a light rain, two things stayed the same Friday at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Charlie Wi was still atop the leaderboard, and Tiger Woods didn’t hole enough putts to make up ground.

Wi escaped most of the rain at Pebble Beach, where he holed a wedge from the 13th fairway for eagle and limited the damage to a bogey on his final hole for a 3-under 69 that allowed him to open a three-shot lead.

Dustin Johnson was caught off guard by the rain in the worst way. He stood in the fourth fairway at Spyglass with a short-sleeve shirt, hands thrust in his pocket, as his caddie sent a friend running up the hill to the parking lot to retrieve his rain gear. His short game let him down, and the two-time Pebble champion had to settle for a 72 that put him three shots back.

Padraig Harrington had a 66 at Pebble Beach and was among those tied for third. Harrington had five birdies in a six-hole stretch early in his round, the exception coming at the par-5 sixth.

Woods, meanwhile, again looked poised to make a move over at Monterey Peninsula. He missed a five-foot birdie putt on No. 9 and failed to make birdie on the par-5 10th when he pulled his second shot into the gallery. He had to settle for a 2-under 68, leaving him six behind.


Sobel: Tiger's wrist-y business


Along the way, he stung his wrist hitting out of a divot and said he had to pop it back into the joint.

“No big deal,” he said.

The bigger deal was putting. Woods took 33 putts on the Shore Course, which he attributed to leaving the ball in the wrong spot—mostly above the hole— and struggling with greens he felt were getting slightly more bumpy as a mist turned into a light rain.

“It’s very close,” said Woods, playing this event for the first time in 10 years. “I got my ball-striking to where I feel very comfortable hitting the shots. I just need to make a couple of putts to get on a roll.”

Phil Mickelson struggled in sunshine. In rain, he ran off five birdies for a 65 at Monterey Peninsula that put him five shots behind.

“I don’t know what happened, but I started to play a lot better and make some birdies,” said Mickelson, a three-time winner at Pebble. “In the perfect conditions, I struggled. But to play these golf courses in such great condition either way has been a lot of fun.”

Wi was at 12-under 130 and now heads to Spyglass Hill, which has played slightly tougher than the other two courses.

In these shifting conditions, Spyglass played about two shots harder than it did Thursday, while Pebble Beach and Monterey Peninsula were about one shot more difficult than the day before.

Only 56 players broke par, compared with 87 in the opening round.

That would explain what was going through Wi’s mind when he set off at Pebble Beach, knowing the course gave up a pair of 63s in the opening round. It sure didn’t feel that easy.

“I thought Pebble played really difficult today,” Wi said. “The greens were very firm, and the guys that shot 8 or 9 under out there, I was very surprised how well they played. Some of the pins were really tricky. I said, ‘Gosh, how did they shoot 9 under out there?’ And for me to shoot 3 under today, I was very pleased.”

Wi figured it out toward the end of the day, as the light rain swept over the peninsula. During the practice round, he hit a driver and a 9-iron on the ninth hole. It was his final hole Friday, and he hit a driver and a hybrid.

That didn’t work out so well. He pulled his approach into a crevice of thick rough, chopped out over the green, and only a good pitch to tap-in range helped him avoid something worse than a bogey.

Vijay Singh had a 68 at Spyglass Hill, and Brian Gay had a 65 at Monterey Peninsula to join Harrington among those at 8-under. Hunter Mahan, fresh off his one-week journey to the Middle East for the Qatar Masters, had a 70 at Pebble Beach and was in the group at 7-under, along with Mickelson.

Woods looked sharp at times, drilling a 5-iron to seven feet for birdie on the opening hole, narrowly missing an 8-foot eagle attempt at No. 6 and making a second straight birdie on the par-3 seventh from about 15 feet.

But he didn’t make up any ground, losing one shot to par compared with the leaders. Next up for Woods is Pebble Beach, where he usually plays his best. Woods still remembers the 63-64 weekend in 1997, when he finished one shot behind Mark O’Meara. Woods also had a 64 in the final round of 2000 to rally from five shots behind.

He has three rounds of 64 or better on the fabled course during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

The last time he played Pebble Beach was the U.S. Open in 2010, where he bogeyed five of his opening 10 holes to fall out of contention. His game was in disrepair at the time. It now is on an upward swing, and the putting is all that controls how quickly he gets back.

“I’m hitting good putts,” Woods said. “I’m not displeased with my putting at all. I just didn’t hit the ball in the right spots to give myself the right looks. If we were putting smooth greens, it would be a totally different deal.”

Johnson was tied for the lead with back-to-back birdies to close out the back nine at Spyglass. He bogeyed the par-3 third from about 12 feet away just behind the green, then three-putted for bogey at the par-3 fifth.

“I played really well yesterday. I played good today,” Johnson said. “I just (threw) away some shots. I hit some poor pitch shots, just really bad.

They weren’t even pitch shots. They were dink chips, ones that you’re trying to hole. And I just hit them terrible.”

Johnson will have a chance to make up ground Saturday at Monterey Peninsula, which has produced the lowest scores this week.

Woods, meanwhile, settles in at Pebble Beach with the celebrity rotation, the day that CBS Sports typically spends as much time on the antics of actors and comedians as the golfers.

That shouldn’t be a big distraction, though. Woods tees off early on the back nine, away from all the action.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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.