Lang Leads Strong Field At Futures Q-School
Don't think those facts haven't crossed the mind of at least one player in this week's field of the FUTURES Tour's annual qualifier, which runs Nov. 8-11. Brittany Lang, the former Duke University collegian who tied with amateur Morgan Pressel for runner-up honors in June at the U.S. Women's Open Championship, hopes to follow in the footsteps of Creamer and use the FUTURES Tour's 72-hole tournament as a tune-up for LPGA Q-School. The LPGA's qualifier begins on Nov. 30.
'I see it as a two-fold reason to come [to the FUTURES Tour qualifier],' said Lang, 20, of McKinney, Texas. 'I'm not guaranteed a spot on the LPGA Tour and I'll have to earn my way there, plus this tournament falls at the perfect date. I haven't played tournament golf in a while, so I'm looking forward to it.'
Lang's presence is a reflection of the new wave of young talent coursing through the various ranks of women's professional golf, said Cynthia Rihm, vice president of corporate operations for the FUTURES Golf Tour.
'Just as we had Paula Creamer in the field last year, it gives great credibility to this tournament that a player of Brittany Lang's caliber wants to assure herself an exempt spot on the FUTURES Golf Tour just in case she doesn't advance to the LPGA Tour,' said Rihm. 'This is an extremely strong field with great depth.'
But while Lang, who won the California LPGA sectional tournament in September, obviously is seeking four competitive rounds this week prior to the LPGA Final Qualifying event later in the month, she also knows what the entire field of 303 contestants know going into the FUTURES Tour's annual qualifying tournament. And that is, players must face Plan B (FUTURES Tour Qualifying) before they travel to Daytona for Plan A (LPGA Tour Qualifying).
'The scheduling of the two tournaments is difficult for players because they do have to consider Plan B before they've completed Plan A,' added Rihm. 'But if they want a career in women's professional golf, they have to make that decision and plan accordingly for the coming year.'
This week's qualifying event will be contested on three Lakeland courses -- Cleveland Heights Golf Course, Huntington Hills Golf & Country Club, and Shalimar Creek Golf & Country Club. The field will be cut after 54 holes to the low 100 players and ties. Contestants will play each course once, with the final round to be staged Friday at Cleveland Heights.
The tournament field will include Lang's former Duke teammate Liz Janangelo of West Hartford, Conn., who is a senior on the 2005 national champion Blue Devil team. In addition, the field will include: former LPGA rookie of the year Lisa (Hackney) Hall of Stoke-on-Trent, England; FUTURES Tour alumna Seol-An Jeon of Seoul, South Korea, who took Christie Kerr to a seven-hole, sudden-death playoff at the 2004 LPGA Takefuji Classic; two-time Japanese Olympic beach volleyball player Yukiko Ishizaka of Kanagawa, Japan; and The Golf Channel Big Break III challengers Pamela Crikelair of Highland Beach, Fla., Cindy Miller of Silver Creek, N.Y., and Liz Uthoff of St. Louis.
Annie (Thurman) Young of Highland, Utah, who won the LPGA Florida Sectional tournament last month, already has a pass to the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament but also will be in the field of the FUTURES qualifier. Young is an All-American from Oklahoma State University.
Two members of the 2005 Rolex Junior All-America First Team will head a group of 89 amateurs registered to compete this week in FUTURES Tour qualifying. In-Bee Park of Las Vegas, a five-time Rolex Junior All-American, was the 2002 Rolex Junior Player of the Year and winner of two American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) tournaments this year. Ranked No. 2 in the Golfweek junior rankings, she won the 2002 U.S. Girls' Junior Championship and was a finalist in the 2003 and 2005 U.S. Girls' Junior Championships. Angela Park, 17, of Torrance, Calif., is the nation's fourth-ranked amateur girl and was a semifinalist in the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship in August.
Lakeland-based Pamela Feggans of Ayr, Scotland, an NCAA Division II First-Team All-American from Florida Southern College, also is in the field alongside several other collegiate All-Americans including: Kelly Cramp of Pennington, N.J. (McDaniel College); Kelly Froelich of Athens, Ga. (University of Georgia); Ulrika Ljungman-Smith of Stockholm, Sweden (Rollins College); Audry Longo of Middletown, Conn. (Mt. Holyoke College; Lee-Anne Pace of Mosselbay, South Africa (University of Tulsa); and former NCAA Championship team member at Arizona State University, Thuhashini (Tui) Selvaratnam of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
In a breakdown of ages in this year's FUTURES Tour Qualifying Tournament, 23 players are in their teens, while 208 players are in their 20s. The remaining age breakdown includes 47 players in their 30s, and 25 players age 40 and over.
Players in this year's event also represent 31 nations, with 188 players registered from the United States and the second-largest national representation coming from South Korea with 32 players, followed by 20 players from Canada and 12 from Australia.
'The diversity is clearly here with 31 nations outside the United States represented,' said Rihm. 'More and more strong young players are coming up in the ranks from throughout the world and we'll see many of them here this week.'
Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge
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
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
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.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
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.