Expert Picks: Waste Management Phoenix Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 29, 2014, 3:42 pm

This week marks the 11th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season as players head to raucuous TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. It's also another two-event week for fantasy, as experts' picks for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic can be seen here. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players, based on Golf Channel's fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributor John Hawkins; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; staff writer Ryan Lavner and defending fantasy champion Charlie Rymer.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Keegan Bradley: Bradley hasn't finished outside the top 20 in the 2013-14 season. Not bad for a guy who is in the middle of a swing change.

Group 2: Nick Watney: Swing coach Butch Harmon calls him one of the most talented players he's ever worked with, and in eight starts at TPC Scottsdale he's missed just one cut.

Group 3: Matt Every: He's off to a solid start this season, having finished T-13 (Humana) and T-8 (Sony) in his last two starts. He also has a bit of history in Scottsdale, with top-10 finishes in his last two starts there.

Group 4: James Hahn: Became a viral sensation last year when he celebrated "Gangnam Style" on the 16th hole. Could be poised to make an even bigger impression following his tie for 16th last year at TPC Scottsdale.

Will Gray

Group 1: Webb Simpson: Simpson's T-23 in Palm Springs was his first foray outside the top 10 since September. He's the early-season leader in a number of categories and should bag more than his fair share of birdies in Scottsdale.

Group 2: Graham DeLaet: A player that I expect to pick a bunch this season, DeLaet is more than overdue for his first Tour win. After another close call at Torrey Pines, expect the bearded Canadian to contend once again this week.

Group 3: Matt Jones: The upstart Aussie played well down the stretch in 2013 and has carried that momentum into the new year, tying for 13th two weeks ago amid low scores at Humana. He's a name to watch all season long.

Group 4: Retief Goosen: Putting his game back together after a back injury sidelined him for much of 2013, and notched a T-8 finish earlier this month at Sony. Hasn't played this event since 2004, but his lone two prior starts both resulted in top-10s.

John Antonini

Group 1: Webb Simpson: He hits plenty of greens and always makes his share of birdies (in fact he leads the Tour in both categories), and both are prerequisites for success at TPC Scottsdale. He finished in the top 10 here in 2011 and 2012.

Gorup 2: Ryan Moore: I like both Ryan's this week, but I'll go with Moore over Palmer even though he hasn't played since the Hyundai. His record at Scottsdale is strong, with a solo fourth last year and T-6 in 2009.

Group 3: Matt Every: Another player who makes plenty of birdies, plus he has finished in the top 10 in his two previous Waste Management starts.

Group 4: Kevin Na: Aside from the T-8 at Sony, he hasn't done much this calendar year, but look at his history at Scottsdale.

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Keegan Bradley: I was all set to pick Bill Haas until a confident Bradley told me, "You better take me in your Twitter blogs or whatever."'s whatever.

Group 2: Ryan Moore: Comfortable environment for him with family nearby and a solid track record on this course.

Group 3: Brian Stuard: Only a matter of time before one of the hottest golfers in the game starts getting the attention and recognition he deserves.

Group 4: Brendan Steele: Best of the bunch in Group 4, who has experienced caddie Bobby Brown, late of Dustin Johnson's bag, toting for him this week.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Keegan Bradley: Like the way he's driving the ball, and the way he's putting. Always a good combo in Phoenix.

Group 2: Graham DeLaet: Been riding confidence and momentum hard since the Presidents Cup, and appears poised to ride it into the winner's circle.

Group 3: Matt Every: He's played this event twice and has two top 10s. Plus, he's off to a strong start in '14 with a T-8 finish at Sony and T-13 at Humana.

Group 4: Brendan Steele: This guy likes TPC Scottsdale. T-6 and T-5 over the last two years there.

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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 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.