Pair Share Futures Lead

By Futures Tour MediaJuly 23, 2004, 4:00 pm
Futures TourSYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Call it good karma. On Thursday, rookie Melanie Wilhite was playing BINGO and performing creative movement therapy with elderly residents at the Loretto Health and Rehab skilled nursing center. In today's first round of the $60,000 M&T Bank Loretto Futures Golf Classic, she was firing a 4-under-par 67 to move into a share of the lead for the first time as a pro.
'I knew it was going to be a good day when I hit into the water and holed out with a 9-iron from 130 yards on my first hole,' said Wilhite of Clarksville, Tenn., who volunteered with a half dozen Futures Tour players Thursday at Loretto, the tournament's charity.
But Wilhite was in good company at The Links at Erie Village with Tour veteran Michelle Murphy, who also carded a first-round 67 on the par-71, 6,224-yard course. Murphy recorded five birdies and one bogey for her round that included 27 hard-earned putts.
'My putting speeds have been bad, so I've been practicing that for the last two days,' said Murphy, 37, who played on the LPGA Tour in 1998, 2000 and 2001. 'My putting stats have been in the 30s for the last few weeks, which makes me nauseous.'
But the native of Tacoma, Wash., who has more experience than most members of the Tour, admitted that she has watched 18-year-old Aram Cho, a two-time season winner, putt for success -- taking some cues from the rookie. 'Hey, if somebody putts well, you're a fool not to watch,' Murphy said.
Murphy watched birdie putts drop today from a range of 15 to 36 feet. Wilhite, the mechanical engineer from Baylor, didn't need math skills to add up her career-low round or her 25 putts on the day with nothing outside of 18 feet. The Tennessean hit her irons close and converted for six birdies and a double bogey hiccup on No. 11, which she called 'rookie stuff.'
'Today was definitely satisfying, considering that I've managed to shoot an 80 in at least one round for the last three tournaments,' said Wilhite, 24. 'You can't do that out here.'
But while Murphy and Wilhite were taming their scorecard and putting demons, four other players had the leaders in sight, posting rounds of 3-under-par 68. Cheryl Green of Robinson, Ill., Kris Tamulis of Naples, Fla., Katie Connelly of Beloit, Wis., and Elisa Kase of Albuquerque, N.M., moved into a tie, one shot behind the leaders. It was a familiar spot for Tamulis, who finished second last week in New Hampshire.
'The biggest thing for me right now is that I'm getting closer [to winning],' said Tamulis, 23, a rookie who carded three birdies and no bogeys in today's round. 'I got outplayed in the second round last week. Winning here would be nice, but as long as I keep finishing high, that's good.'
Five players, including 2004 tournament winners Hong Mei Yang of Si Chuan, China and Nicole Perrot of Vina del Mar, Chile, are tied at 2-under 69, while seven players are tied at 1-under-par 70. In all, 30 players completed the first round at par or better.
Saturdays second round of the 54-hole tournament will begin at 8 a.m., off the first and 10th tees. The leaders will tee off at 2:09 p.m.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - M&T Bank Loretto Futures Golf Classic
  • 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 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.