After Further Review: Day separates himself

By Randall MellMay 16, 2016, 12:09 am

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

Jason Day’s victory Sunday at The Players Championship is the most impressive of his 10 PGA Tour titles. He seemed to win on two different courses, with changing conditions making  the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course such an extremely different  test on the weekend. His ability to navigate the diverse tests is a testament to the growing versatility of his game. He is honing more tools than Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. He has a power game Spieth can’t match, and he’s continuing to refine a dependable short game that McIlroy can’t yet consistently match. 

Some players’ games are more suited to certain kinds of courses. Day seemed as if he wasn’t suited for the entire state of Florida when he arrived for the Arnold Palmer Invitational two months ago. In 24 PGA Tour events in the Sunshine State, he had recorded one top-10 finish. Maybe it was the Bermuda grasses, maybe his high ball flight, but something wasn’t working. We can’t say that anymore. He won at Bay Hill, and now he has won at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course. He won this past week showing off both his power and his short-game skills, finishing first in driving distance and first in scrambling. His  game appears to be evolving  in ways Spieth and McIlroy can’t ignore.

On Day winning without his A-game ...

He didn’t look like a man on a mission. There was no swagger, no abundance of confidence that he was playing a different game, although there rarely is with Jason Day, just a cautious optimism born from the fact he’s been here before.

He’s been here a lot, in fact, the last year. For the seventh time since last July he’s found the winner’s circle, this time with something less than his best stuff. It’s the mark of a truly dominant player and perhaps the most impressive part of his week at The Players, where he won by four, that he scorched the field with a game that was a beat off. - Rex Hoggard 

On Russell Knox's resilience ...

Russell Knox is a decorated player with a WGC title already under his belt. But the affable Scot will probably garner more fan support for the way in which he handled Saturday’s meltdown on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass than any of his previous on-course performances.

Knox’s sextuple-bogey 9, including depositing a sleeve of balls into the water surrounding the island green, marred an otherwise stellar week of golf. But he was able to laugh off his struggle, both in the moment and after the round with reporters and later on Twitter. Then he stepped to the same tee Sunday and put the ball safely on the green in what he described as a “career-defining moment.”

“I’ve never been so nervous over a shot in my whole life,” he said. “Even though I three-putted, I beat my score by five yesterday. So pretty solid.” 

Knox isn’t the first player to succumb to the 17th, and he certainly won’t be the last. But his final-round 68 is a testament to his resilience after a high-profile struggle, and he’ll likely have a few more fans in his corner the next time he steps to the Stadium Course. Will Gray




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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.