Fact Pack: Zurich Classic

By Will GrayApril 23, 2013, 9:50 pm

This week the PGA Tour heads to the 'Big Easy' for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. TPC Louisiana will play host to another full-field event, with low scores expected throughout the week on a course where traditionally the winning score can approach 20 under. With that in mind, here is a look inside the numbers to see which players may contend for the title and help your Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge team in the process:

Rickie Fowler has found a way to master 'Moving Day' thus far in 2013, but he has yet to translate that success into the final round. His 69.0 Round 3 stroke average is eighth on Tour, and Fowler has broken par in the third round six straight times to begin the year. His final round average is a full four shots higher, though, marked by Sunday 78s at both Doral and Augusta National. His Round 4 stroke average of 73.0 places him 159th on Tour, making his three top-6 finishes already this season all the more impressive.

Fantasy Challenge: Sobel, McMurry with Zurich Classic picks

• Those looking for a fantasy sleeper in the Big Easy may want to consider Jerry Kelly in Group 3. Though he's missed the cut here each of the last two years, Kelly won at TPC Louisiana in 2009, the most recent of his three career PGA Tour victories. Playing this season on a one-time exemption based on career earnings, Kelly is also coming off a fifth-place finish at Harbour Town, his best result since a tie for fourth at the 2011 Wyndham Championship.

• While Sunday's final round on Hilton Head was all about surviving high winds by making pars, this week's venue will require birdies by the dozen and few, if any bogeys. Since moving to TPC Louisiana in 2005, this event has seen only one player win while making more than six total bogeys during the week – Andres Romero, who won in 2008 despite eight bogeys. Last year, Jason Dufner made only four bogeys and went on to win a playoff over Ernie Els, who made just three bogeys across 72 holes.

• With his tie for ninth at Harbour Town, Richard H. Lee has officially gained 'intriguing sleeper pick' status. Lee, who finished fourth at Q-School last fall to regain his card, now has four top-15 finishes this year, including two in a row (T-13 at Valero Texas Open). After missing eight cuts in his first 10 starts last year, the University of Washington grad has greatly improved this time around, and his stat line shows it: Lee now ranks 18th on Tour in driving accuracy, 32nd in strokes gained putting and 35th in GIR percentage.

• After nearly every tournament to start the season saw a 54-hole leader go on to hoist the trophy, that trend has been reversed on the PGA Tour in recent weeks. Winners in 10 of the first 12 stroke-play events of 2013 did so after holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead, with the lone exceptions coming from Scott Stallings (Humana Challenge) and Bill Haas (Northern Trust Open). Since then, four straight events have been won by players coming from behind on Sunday: D.A. Points at the Shell Houston Open (trailed by 1 shot), Martin Laird at the Valero Texas Open (trailed by 5), Adam Scott at the Masters (trailed by 1), and Graeme McDowell at the RBC Heritage (trailed by 4).

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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.