Woods in contention through 54 holes at Pebble

By Doug FergusonFebruary 12, 2012, 1:25 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. ' Charlie Wi played bogey-free at Spyglass Hill for a 3-under 69 to build a three-shot lead Saturday in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Now its time for him to face his demons of self-doubt'along with a familiar force in golf.

Tiger Woods took another step toward showing his game is nearly back. He ran off five birdies in a six-hole stretch early in his round at Pebble Beach and had a 5-under 67 that put him four shots behind going into the final round, the closest he has been to the 54-hole lead in a regular PGA Tour event since the 2010 Masters.

With a new swing, its starting to look like the old Tiger.

But the scenario doesnt change, Woods said. The ultimate goal is to win a golf tournament.

Thats something Wi has never done in 162 previous PGA Tour events. Wi, who was at 15-under 199, has a 54-hole lead for only the second time on tour. He had a one-shot lead at Colonial last year and was runner-up to David Toms.

This time, Wi will be in the last group with someone in a familiar spot. Ken Duke, who is winless in 142 starts on the PGA Tour, shot a 65 at Monterey Peninsula.

The last two weeks havent been too kind to 54-hole leaders. Kyle Stanley lost a five-shot lead at Torrey Pines, and Spencer Levin blew a six-shot lead the following week in the Phoenix Open. Both were going for their first PGA Tour wins.

Your turn, Charlie.

I havent really thought about that, Wi said, when asked if it were a blessing or a burden to be in front. But I enjoy being in the lead. Its a lot more fun than trying to come from behind. I know that tonight is going to be very exciting, and Im sure I wont sleep as well as if Im in 50th place. But thats what we play for, and Im really excited.

Along with Woods in the hunt, Phil Mickelson managed to stay in contention despite playing the par 5s at Pebble Beach in 1 over. He saved par on the 18th for a 70. That put him in a tie for fourth, six shots behind, and set up a date with Woods in the second-to-last pairing.

Padraig Harrington was chasing the lead until a sloppy finish at Spyglass Hill'a bogey on the par-5 seventh and a double bogey on the eighth. He had to settle for a 72 and dropped seven shots behind into a tie for ninth.

Even so, it served up quite the finale for Sunday.

Wi is No. 175 in the world, while Duke is at No. 258. They have combined for 304 starts without a win. Right behind them are Woods and Mickelson, who have combined for 18 majors and 110 PGA Tour wins.

Also in the group at 9-under 205 are two-time Pebble Beach winner Dustin Johnson, who had a 70 at Monterey Peninsula, and Hunter Mahan, who had a 70 at Spyglass Hill.

Its really fun, especially when the big guys are up there, Duke said. Thats when everyone is out there watching. If you do perform well and play well, they will be watching you, as well. Its going to be fun.

With a short burst of birdies, it looked as though Woods was having a blast.

Coming off his lone bogey at No. 12, Woods looked as though he were headed for another one. From the left fairway bunker on the 13th, he overcut his 9-iron so much that it was headed for deep rough right of the green. Instead, it bounced off a mound back toward the green, took the grain and settled a foot beneath the hole for a tap-in birdie.

Woods watched the ball take the hard hop, listened to the gallery around the green cheer wildly, and just smiled.

Looked like I was having a tough time making par, and I was making birdie, and off we go, Woods said. Sometimes, we need those type of momentum swings in a round, and from there, I made some putts.

He rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on the 14th, then had a 25-foot putt up the slope on the 15th. One of the amateurs in his group had a similar putt, so Woods was able to look at the break. He learned well, extending his left arm as he often does before the putt drops. And it did.

Woods made good birdie putts from 20 feet on the 17th and eight feet on the 18th, where he also got a small break. Not wanting to hit driver in the first place because he couldnt reach in two, he came out of the shot. It looked like it might go out-of-bounds until it hit a CBS spotter and settled behind the bunkers.

Woods made an easy birdie on the par-5 second, but that was it. He had to save par on the short par-4 fourth from a bunker and didnt give himself enough good looks the rest of the way.

No matter. He moved up the leaderboard, higher than he has been in some time on this tour.

Woods played in the final group two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi, tied for the lead with Robert Rock, and he had his poorest day striking the ball and finished in a tie for third. He played in the final group at his Chevron World Challenge at the end of last year and birdied the last two holes to beat Zach Johnson.

Woods doesnt distinguish between tours, or even official events. Winning is winning. Losing is losing. All he sees at the moment is progress, and its hard to deny it.

Wi is making his own brand of progress, getting more comfortable with his swing and being in contention. He talks often about the demons in his head, which is typical of most any golfer.

Im sure Ill be fighting my demons all day tomorrow, and its how I handle myself tomorrow, Wi said. Its not what other players are doing. How I handle myself tomorrow is going to be the outcome of the tournament.

DIVOTS: Joseph Bramlett, playing on a sponsors exemption, made an albatross on the 11th hole at Spyglass when he holed out from 187 yards with a 6-iron. He negated that with two double bogeys and shot 73. Among the amateurs to make the cut were Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who is playing Pebble Beach for the first time.

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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.