After Further Review: Martin joins winner's circle

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on Ben Martin's big win, his future on Tour, and the necessity of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force.

How deep is the PGA Tour these days? A guy who went 78-79 in the season opener just won the second event of this nascent season.

That’s right, Martin missed the cut last week at 13 over par. He won the Shriners at 20 under – a remarkable 33-shot differential that ranks among the most unlikely turnarounds we’ve seen this calendar year.

Sang-Moon Bae was the 195th-ranked player in the world when he kept Hunter Mahan and Hideki Matsuyama, among others, at bay in California. Martin is 88th, after three missed cuts in his last four starts (and five in his last seven), but that didn’t matter this week as he outdueled Webb Simpson, Brooks Koepka and Jimmy Walker in Vegas.

The next winner this season is anyone’s guess. – Ryan Lavner

The list of first-time winners in Las Vegas reads like a combination of Who's Who and Who's That? It's a list that on one end of the spectrum includes Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk, and on the other, the likes of Andre Stolz and Wes Short, Jr.

In the wake of Ben Martin's initial PGA Tour title in Sin City, I feel safe claiming that he won't be the next Woods, but likewise don't believe he'll be the next Stolz or Short, either -- players who never again reached that pinnacle.

Martin admittedly didn't have his best stuff on Sunday but fought through it to play the final four holes in 4 under to earn the win.

Vegas is full of movers and shakers who enjoy taking a gamble and wide-eyed dreamers looking to hit the jackpot. The tournament's eclectic list of first-time winners mirrors that idea, too. Now we'll find out whether Martin has the stuff to keep adding to his stack of chips. I wouldn't bet against him. - Jason Sobel

Maybe the PGA of America’s Ryder Cup task force isn’t your cup of vodka. Maybe a blue-ribbon panel isn’t the answer to missed putts and horrid foursomes play. 

Perhaps the U.S. Ryder Cup woes can’t be solved from behind closed doors, but the alternative is to do noting.

The American team has lost eight of the last 10 matches and created a futility that could lead to an event that is worse than lopsided, one that's irrelevant.

Maybe the 11-member task force isn’t the answer to a slide that dates back two decades, but not looking for a fix is not an option. - Rex Hoggard

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.