Fact Pack: RBC Heritage

By Will GrayApril 16, 2013, 9:26 pm

With the first major of the year in the books, the PGA Tour heads up the road to Hilton Head for the RBC Heritage. A field of 144 players will tackle Harbour Town Golf Links, where driving distance is essentially irrelevant and a strong emphasis is placed upon the ability to accurately shape approach shots. 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:

• Few players on the PGA Tour have an affinity for a single course the likes of which Boo Weekley holds for Harbour Town. Weekley possesses just two career PGA Tour victories, with both coming at Hilton Head - in consecutive years, no less - and he currently ranks third on the event's all-time money list, having amassed nearly $2.4 million. Weekley, who was a runner-up earlier this year in Tampa, also has three top-15 finishes here since 2009, including a tie for sixth last year.

• With Harbour Town offering some of the smallest greens players will face all year, it's not surprising that this tournament has provided some of the lowest putt-per-round totals in PGA Tour history. Kenny Knox set a Tour record when he took only 93 putts here in 1989, a mark that David Frost bettered by one in 2005 (though it should be noted that neither went on to win the event). In recent years, six of the last seven Heritage champions have taken less than 104 putts for the week (an average of 26 putts per round), with the lone exception coming when Weekley won in 2008 despite taking 107 putts.

• Along with small targets, Harbour Town is known for its narrow, tree-lined fairways, which puts a premium on finding the fairway off the tee. Three of the last four winners have finished the week in the top 10 in driving accuracy, with Carl Pettersson serving as an outlier last year (it helped that he led the field in GIR percentage despite hitting only 37 fairways). This bodes well for players like Ken Duke, Jeff Maggert and Tim Clark, all of whom rank among the top five on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy and have found the short grass off the tee more than 72 percent of the time in 2013.

• If the golfing gods believe in karma (though there is plenty of evidence to suggest they do not), Brian Davis may be in for a good result this week. The Englishman, who notably finished second to Jim Furyk in 2010 after calling a penalty on himself during the first hole of their playoff, has played well here in the two years since, tying for 21st in 2011 and 13th in 2012. Davis also played well earlier this month in Texas, tying for sixth at the Shell Houston Open and finishing T-29 in San Antonio the following week.

• Though he only has one top-three finish on the PGA Tour to his credit, there is reason to think Graham DeLaet could be poised for a breakthrough soon. The Canadian, who tied for ninth at both the Farmers Insurance Open and the Honda Classic, currently stands second overall on Tour in ball-striking. DeLaet is also fifth in GIR percentage, fifth in total driving and has made six consecutive cuts. Should his putter begin to heat up - he's currently only 104th on Tour in strokes gained putting - he may be able to improve substantially upon last year's T-44 result.

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.