Surging Sergio Wins First US Tournament

By George WhiteMay 20, 2001, 4:00 pm
Call Sergio Garcia a whiner. Call him a bad boy for a temper tantrum in Australia earlier this year when he erupted at a European Tour referee. Call him a youngster for being just 21 years of age.
But call the young Spaniard a winner. He owns the red plaid jacket, symbolizing the MasterCard Colonial championship, after he fired a final-round 63 Sunday to give him a 13-under-par 267 and a victory over a crumbling Phil Mickelson.
Check out Sergio Garcia's Scorecard
Garcia began the day five shots behind Mickelson, but he had showed something in shooting 64-65 the final two rounds at the Verizon Byron Nelson Classic.
Mickelson lost for the second time in three tournaments after being in the lead or tied for the lead going into the final day.
This is something I was waiting for, said Garcia. Its even better than what I thought. Its great to be able to win on what is probably the toughest tour in the world. Hopefully, the next one will come at The Memorial (his next tournament.)
Sergio Garcia comments on his win
Mickelson birdied two of the first three holes Sunday and appeared unstoppable, especially after a fourth birdie on No. 7, but Garcia refused to be shaken. Mickelson led Garcia by three strokes as he played No. 8, but he put his tee shot on the par-3 hole in a front bunker and made bogey.
Mickelson then three-putted No. 9 from 15 feet, the last from inside three feet, and suddenly his once-unstoppable lead was down to one stroke. Garcia tied it with a birdie on the 13th with a 10-foot birdie.

This seems to be a recurring theme, said Mickelson. Im hitting the ball well, I made some good shots. Its not that I played that poorly. I just seem to have a mental block on Sundays on the back nine. Ive really struggled the last four or five times I had a shot at it.
Mickelsons slide was complete when he bogeyed the 14th, hitting his approach shot into deep rough greenside, then hitting a mediocre chip to five feet and missing the putt. Garcia took a one-shot lead that he would never lose.
The way the course was playing, it was really windy and the fairways were really firm and it was difficult to keep it in the fairway, said Garcia. It was just tough. Thats the reason I was able to come from so far back.
Mickelson finished with an even-par 70, bogeying the 17th with short-putt miss. He tied Brian Gay, who had a 65, for second place.
I was really expecting him to do well, Garcia said of Mickelson. I was really happy when I saw the course the way it was today. If it doesnt blow the way it did, it is a lot easier for everyone else to make birdies.
Coming from behind, you put a lot of pressure on your putts. You dont want to miss any putts. To be able to start the way I did, it was really nice, too.
Mickelson has now finished in the top three seven times this year. But final-round blues have kept him out of the winners circle on all but one occassion - the Buick Invitational.
Certainly, its frustrating and disappointing, said Mickelson. The only way I know to overcome it is to try to get back in contention next week at Kemper. Ive had a lot of mental hurdles to overcome this year. It seems like Im giving away my opportunities on Sundays instead of taking advantage of situations.
Full-field scores from the MasterCard Colonial
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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 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.