Fact Pack: Transitions Championship

By Will GrayMarch 13, 2012, 8:00 pm

This week the PGA Tour heads to Innisbrook for the Transitions Championship. Ranking 27th in difficulty out of 51 courses on Tour in 2011, the Copperhead Course will require strong performance off the tee as well as deft touch on and around its bermuda greens. Many of the world's best players are in the field this week as they continue to prepare their game for the season's first major, which is now only three 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:

John Senden continues to quietly compile a strong start to his 2012 season. His T-6 finish at Doral marked his third top-10 finish in his last four starts, and the Aussie currently leads the Tour in ball striking, a category that combines total driving and greens hit in regulation.

• Another player performing well this year but staying under the radar is Group 3 golfer D.A. Points. Points has four top-12 finishes in seven starts this season, including a T-12 at the Honda Classic in his last event when he finished T-8 in the field in driving accuracy and T-10 in greens in regulation. For the season, Points ranks in the top 30 on Tour in both categories.

Boo Weekley’s T-3 finish in Puerto Rico last week was surprising to say the least – it marked Weekley’s first top-20 finish on Tour in over a year. The key to his island success was largely his putter; Weekley finished the week T-12 in the field in putts per round, including only 26 putts en route to a final round 66.

Jimmy Walker will be in the field in Tampa looking to regain the form that yielded three top-10 finishes on the West Coast Swing. Walker was in position for a high finish at Honda before struggling on the weekend, including a final round 81. He, like Weekley, will look to his putter to provide a high finish this week, as he ranks 22nd on Tour in total putting in 2012.

• Last week’s WGC winner, Justin Rose, will return to friendly confines this week at Innisbrook. In six career starts at this event, Rose has finished no worse than T-30, including a T-5 finish last year in which he shot back-to-back 65s in the second and third rounds.

• Defending champion Gary Woodland will be making his second career trip to Innisbrook in hopes of jump-starting his season as this event did last year. So far in 2012, Woodland has yet to crack the top 20 in six starts, his best finish being 24th at the winners-only Hyundai TOC. While length off the tee is not a problem for Woodland, accuracy has been – he has hit barely more than 50% of the fairways so far this season.

Twice a winner in Tampa, Retief Goosen returns to Innisbrook hoping to play through back discomfort that has plagued him so far this year. As Rex Hoggard reported earlier this week, Goosen will soon head to Germany to visit the same back specialist that has succesfully treated Vijay Singh and Fred Couples. The two-time U.S. Open champion has struggled tee-to-green in 2012, currently ranking 187th on Tour in total driving and 188th in greens in regulation.

• Look for K.J. Choi to contend on Sunday…assuming he makes it to the weekend. Choi’s record at this event is as polarizing as you will find; in ten starts at Innisbrook, he has two wins (2002, 2006), finished runner-up in 2010 and placed T-6 in 2007. The other six starts? Four MCs, a WD following a first round 79 in 2005 and a T-40 finish in 2003. High risk, high reward this week if choosing the reigning Players champion.

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

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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.