Fact Pack: U.S. Open

By Will GrayJune 12, 2012, 9:00 pm

This week the golf world sets its focus on the Bay Area, as an elite field gathers at the Olympic Club to contest the year's second major. The Lake Course has no water hazards and only one fairway bunker, but its difficulty lies in narrow, sloping fairways and relatively small greens. As is always the case at the U.S. Open, players' entire games will be put to the test this week before a winner is crowned. 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 can match the statistical credentials that Justin Rose brings with him into this week's event. Already a winner this year at Doral, Rose ranks in the top 10 on Tour in scrambling, scrambling from the rough, overall greens in regulation percentage as well as GIR percentage from 125-150 yards, 175-200 yards and 200+ yards. Rose also leads the Tour in par-4 performance and ranks 18th in par-3 performance, which should prove beneficial on a course whose first par-5 this week does not come until the 16th hole.

• As is often the case with the U.S. Open, ball-striking will be strongly emphasized this week as golfers play from narrow fairways into tiny greens. In 1998, Lee Janzen led the field in greens in regulation and was T-3 in fairways hit en route to victory. Three players currently rank in the top 10 in both total driving (distance + accuracy) and greens in regulation: Tiger Woods, Jason Dufner and John Senden.

Jonathan Byrd has leaned on a strong short game this year in recording several high finishes on difficult courses. Byrd currently ranks eighth in scrambling and ninth in scrambling from the rough, and has carded top-12 finishes this year at some of the Tour's more difficult venues: Riviera, Quail Hollow, TPC Sawgrass, Colonial and Muirfield Village.

• One of the more intriguing design characteristics of the Lake Course is its use of reverse camber fairways. On six different occasions, the hole shapes from right-to-left while the fairway slopes from left-to-right, or vice versa. This will require both accuracy and the ability to shape the ball both ways off the tee, and should favor a pair of former U.S. Open champions - Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk - who currently lead the Tour in driving accuracy.

Steve Stricker holds the distinction of having recorded the best finish (T-5) in the 1998 U.S. Open at Olympic of anyone also in this year's field. Already a winner this year in Kapalua, Stricker currently leads the Tour in proximity to the hole and ranks in the top 20 in par 4 performance, driving accuracy and greens in regulation percentage. In '98 Stricker led the field (along with Lee Westwood) in fairways hit with 41.

• World No. 1 Luke Donald will rely on his stellar short game in his attempt to capture his first career major. Donald currently leads the Tour in scrambling, scrambling from the rough and total putting. Should the Englishman remain in contention into the final round his chances may increase; his 69.13 final round scoring average is also tops on Tour so far this year.

• While many courses place their toughest tests at the end of the round, the Lake Course famously taxes players from the very beginning. While the first six holes are treacherous, the final five holes will allow players opportunities to gain ground, with short or mid-iron approach shots on each hole. One player who may capitalize on this stretch is Sergio Garcia, who ranks in the top 15 on Tour in proximity from 100-125 yards, 150-175 yards and 175-200 yards.

• One of the last players to make the field, Spencer Levin will look to rekindle the U.S. Open magic he had in 2004 at Shinnecock Hills, where he finished T-13 as an amateur. Levin last played in this event in 2005, but has already carded three top-10 finishes on Tour this year thanks in large part to a strong putter. He currently ranks 11th on Tour in total birdies and 22nd in strokes gained putting.

**Don't forget to join Fantasy Expert Rob Bolton for a live golf chat Wednesday at 12:00p ET at www.rotoworld.com** 


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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.