Power Rankings: 2014 Scottish Open

By Will GrayJuly 7, 2014, 5:31 pm

This week marks another two-event week for fantasy participants. While the PGA Tour tees it up at the John Deere Classic (our Power Rankings can be seen here), the European Tour heads to Royal Aberdeen for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

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Phil Mickelson returns to defend the title he won at Castle Stuart a year ago in a playoff over Branden Grace. Here are 10 names to watch this week in Scotland:

1. Rory McIlroy: The Ulsterman missed the cut at the Irish Open, but that was his first finish outside the top 25 anywhere in 2014. With his breakup from Caroline Wozniacki now a thing of the past, McIlroy can focus on creating some momentum in advance of his trip to Royal Liverpool and enters this week ranked sixth on the PGA Tour in scoring average and 12th on the European Tour in the same category.

2. Justin Rose: Rose is teeing it up for the first time since winning a playoff at Congressional, which in turn was his first win since his breakthrough major victory last year at Merion. The Englishman has been one of the most consistent players in the world this year, with eight top-25 finishes in his last 10 starts overall, including a tie for 12th in defense of his U.S. Open title at Pinehurst.

3. Luke Donald: Donald hasn't played since missing the cut at Pinehurst, but this is typically an event in which he thrives, regardless of Venue. The Englishman has never finished outside the top 20 in five prior appearances in this event, including a win in 2011 at Castle Stuart and a runner-up showing in 2006 at Loch Lomond. Donald's short game remains among the best around, and he nearly won on the PGA Tour at Harbour Town in April.

4. Jamie Donaldson: The Welshman was a surprise runner-up at Doral earlier this season, but he has kept up the momentum and notched back-to-back T-5 finishes on the European Tour over the last two weeks. Donaldson also tied for 14th at the Masters and had a solid showing at Wentworth, both results that furthered his goal of making his first Ryder Cup squad. A strong stretch of play over the next two weeks could punch his ticket for Gleneagles.

5. Joost Luiten: Luiten has four top-20 finishes in his last five starts overall, including top-five showings at both the Lyoness Open and the Open de Espana. The Dutchman doesn't have much of a track record in this event, but his play in 2014 across all corners of the globe has shown that he can compete with the best. He'll prove that again at Royal Aberdeen.

6. Lee Westwood: Like Donald, Westwood has experienced success in this event at both Castle Stuart and Loch Lomond, with four straight top-20 finishes dating back to 2007. While he missed the cut in each of his last two starts overall, Westwood did win earlier this year in Malaysia and recorded top-10 finishes against strong fields at both the Masters (seventh) and The Players Championship (T-6).

7. Phil Mickelson: The defending champ has yet to record a top-10 finish this year, but as he enters the two-week stretch that transformed his 2013 campaign he has reason to feel confident. Mickelson quieted the naysayers last year in pulling off an unprecedented double across two links courses, and while the venue this week has shifted to Royal Aberdeen, he still should have many opportunities to put his world-class short game on display.

8. Jimmy Walker: Walker missed a rare cut at Greenbrier, and now heads across the Pond to prep for just his second Open Championship next week. Walker has cracked the top 10 at each of the first two majors in 2014, and with three wins under his belt this season he remains a strong contender, especially if he finds a way to translate his game to fit a links-style course.

9. Francesco Molinari: The Italian was a runner-up in this event in 2012 at Castle Stuart and tied for fourth in 2010 at Loch Lomond. His tie for 26th last week in France was just his second finish outside the top 25 in his last seven starts, a stretch that included a tie for seventh at Wentworth and a T-23 result at Pinehurst. He also tied for sixth at TPC Sawgrass and has shown the ability to contend on a variety of course types.

10. Rickie Fowler: The only player with top-five finishes at both majors in 2014, Fowler is teeing it up for the first time since his runner-up at Pinehurst No. 2. While he is making his first start in this event, Fowler has shown that he can hang on links courses, specifically a T-5 finish at the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St. George's and a tie for 31st the following year at Royal Lytham.

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.

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.