Fact Pack: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Will GrayMarch 20, 2012, 10:02 pm

This week the PGA Tour concludes its Florida Swing with the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. Staged in the King's backyard, this event will challenge players from tee to green as the best in the world continue their preparation for the year's first major, now only two weeks away. 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:

Defending champion Martin Laird has quietly put together a strong start to his season. The Scot currently ranks in the top 10 on Tour in greens in regulation percentage, par breakers, birdie average and ball striking.

• When considering those with the best track record at Bay Hill, Pat Perez may not be the first name that comes to mind. In nine starts here, though, Perez has three top-10 finishes and has placed no worse than T-44. He may be a solid Group 3 pick this week, having made every cut so far in 2012.

Ben Crane has cooled off a bit since his hot start to the season, but he's still cashing checks regularly. Crane leads the Tour in the 'bounce back' statistic and still sits inside the top 15 in both strokes gained putting and the all-around category. Like Perez, Crane has never missed a cut at Bay Hill.

Ernie Els will continue his pursuit of a Masters invitation this week at Bay Hill. His T-5 finish last week in Tampa was only his second top-5 on Tour since 2010 and marked the first time Els finished inside the top 10 in ball striking for a full-field event since the Memorial Tournament in 2009.

• A 'feast or famine' season continues for Robert Garrigus. Though he has made only 4 of 7 cuts in 2012, he now has a pair of runner-up finishes to his credit having lost out to Luke Donald in a playoff last week at Innisbrook. The long-hitting Garrigus, currently 2nd on Tour in driving distance, has improved his approach shots this year considerably. After finishing 86th and 72nd on Tour in greens in regulation in 2010 and 2011, respectively, he now ranks 7th in the category for 2012.

• Thus far in 2012, Webb Simpson has shown no signs of a sophomore slump. Simpson has yet to miss a cut in five stroke play events, finishing no worse than T-38 this year. He shot in the 60s all four rounds in Tampa last week en route to a T-10 finish and ranks near the top on Tour in both the birdie average and par breaker categories.

Nick Watney is still trying to get his 2012 season on track. While Watney finished the 2011 season 12th on Tour in strokes gained putting and 16th in driving distance, he currently ranks 106th and 104th, respectively, in each category through seven events this year. While he had nine top-10 finishes in stroke play events last year, Watney is still seeking his first such result in 2012.

Tiger Woods has won this event six times and has finished outside the top 25 only once since 2000. Not sure that there's much to add to that one.

**For more fantasy insight this week, don't forget to join GC Fantasy Expert Rob Bolton for a live chat 12p ET Wednesday at www.rotoworld.com**


You can watch complete coverage of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Thursday-Friday live on Golf Channel from 3PM-6PM ET.

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.