Power Rankings: BMW PGA Championship

By Will GrayMay 21, 2013, 9:47 pm

While the PGA Tour remains in the Lone Star State for the Crowne Plaza Invitational, the European Tour hosts many of the game's best at Wentworth for its flagship event of the season. With four players in the top 10 of the world rankings, the BMW PGA Championship boasts the strongest field in worldwide golf this week.

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Luke Donald returns to defend the title that he won for the second year in a row last year, claiming the trophy over Justin Rose. Here are 10 players to watch in England:

1. Luke Donald: A clear-cut favorite this week as the Englishman goes for his third straight title at Wentworth to go along with a runner-up finish in 2010. Donald also finished inside the top 10 in both 2007 and 2008.

2. Graeme McDowell: Coming off a match-play win in Bulgaria last week in addition to his win at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head last month. McDowell is very clearly rounding into form as the U.S. Open approaches and will look to bounce back from a pair of missed cuts the last two years at Wentworth.

3. Justin Rose: A runner-up to Donald last year, Rose also tied for 10th here in 2010. His missed cut at The Players Championship broke a lenghty streak of worldwide top-25 finishes, one that he hopes to restart this week in his native land.

4. Sergio Garcia: The Spaniard makes his first start since his much-publicized weekend at TPC Sawgrass. A meltdown across the final two holes aside, Garcia played remarkably well at the Players, a trend that has emerged across most of his worldwide starts in 2013.

6. Ian Poulter: After a surprising exit from the Volvo World Match Play in Bulgaria, Poulter vowed to 'fly to England and win at Wentworth.' While that might be setting the bar high, a strong finish is certainly within reach for the Englishman, who tied for 18th at Wentworth in 2011 and tied for 10th a year ago.

7. Rory McIlroy: The highest-ranked player in this week's field, McIlroy enters off a strong showing at TPC Sawgrass, where he tied for eighth. The Ulsterman now has four straight top-25 finishes, dating back to his runner-up showing in San Antonio, and appears to be shaking off the rust he showed in switching to new equipment and playing sparingly to start the year.

8. David Lynn: The Englishman doesn't have a strong record at Wentworth; in fact, he's missed the cut six of the last seven years. What Lynn does have, though, is momentum, coming off a playoff loss at the Wells Fargo Championship that he backed up with a tie for 26th at the Stadium Course.

9. Martin Kaymer: The German had a successful week of ball-striking at TPC Sawgrass that he turned into a successful week overall in Dallas, tying for fifth at TPC Four Seasons. Kaymer has made the cut in five of six appearances at Wentworth, finishing no worse than T-31 each time that he's played the weekend.

10. Kiradech Aphibarnrat: Don't let the name fool you. Aphibarnrat has been inside the top 12 in each of four stroke-play starts on the European Tour this year, including a win at the rain-shortened Maybank Malaysia Open. The Thai is currently third in Europe in stroke average, 12th in driving distance and 13th in putts per GIR.

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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.