After Further Review: Credit DeLaet for honesty

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 14, 2016, 12:04 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On Graham DeLaet not backing up his prediction ...

Sunday, as it turned out, was not Graham DeLaet’s day. But credit to the Canadian for facing his winless drought head-on at the Valspar Championship.

DeLaet is now 0-for-137 on the PGA Tour, as a spot in the final pairing at Innisbrook turned into a T-5 finish following a frustrating, birdie-free 75. DeLaet struggled mightily on the slow greens on the Copperhead Course during the final round, and his performance only reiterates the fact that he remains one of the Tour’s best players still without a win.

Whether that win comes anytime soon – or ever – remains to be seen. But in an era when players are often coached up to say the right things, or remain perpetually aware of the perceived tone of any comment, DeLaet didn’t shy away from his plight.

“Tomorrow is going to be the day,” he said after the third round. “Every time I’m in this position I say the politically correct things. I’m going to go and win this golf tournament tomorrow.”

While his putter went cold, give the bearded wonder some credit for stepping up to the plate. His comments served as a refreshing dose of honesty, and it stands to reason that at some point down the line, his day will (hopefully) come. – Will Gray

On past Masters champs continuing to win ...

That’s four victories in a row for past Masters champions.

Anybody check Augusta National to see if the dogwoods and azaleas are blooming early?

Bubba Watson won the Northern Trust, Adam Scott the Honda Classic and WGC-Cadillac Championship and now Charl Schwartzel wins the Valspar Championship. These guys can’t get to Magnolia Lane fast enough.

It feels as if you already need to have a green jacket to have a chance to win this spring. The folks at Augusta National might have to crank down the air conditioner in the champions locker room. A lot of players will be running hot when they get there in three weeks.

So who’s up next at the Arnold Palmer Invitational? It might be a good week to put some money down on Scott and Zach Johnson. They join Angel Cabrera, Vijay Singh and Trevor Immelman as past Masters champs in the field at Bay Hill. – Randall Mell

On the Jordan Spieth 'hot takes' ...

He’s indomitable.

He’s done.

That’s how quickly your fortunes can change on social media. It’s the realities of a 140-character world. Most professionals avoid such simplistic peaks and valleys that accompany stardom. Earlier this year Jordan Spieth said his goal was to ignore the non-stop noise, but following a first-round 76 at the Valspar Championship he couldn’t keep himself from firing back at a troll.

What gets lost in these “hot takes” is that Spieth’s record through the first three months of 2016 doesn’t really matter. A player like Spieth is judged by his play in the majors, nothing else. So save your “hot takes” until August. – Rex Hoggard

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.