After Further Review: Was it worth it, Jordan?

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 1, 2016, 12:53 am

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

On Jordan Spieth's trip to Singapore ...

The question we’d love to ask Jordan Spieth right now: Was it worth it? 

The kid is incredible, and he turns in a strong performance seemingly every week, but his trip to Singapore – for an Asian Tour event with a $1 million purse – turned into a headache. The heat and humidity were brutal, multiple delays led to early mornings and long days, and he wasn’t able to finish Sunday, the horn sounding before he could brush in his 5-footer on the last hole. Sure, it was just one more day, but last week Spieth said he was fatigued and now this means less time that he can recover at home before his busy early-season stretch continues with trips to Monterey, L.A., Miami, Tampa, Austin and Houston.

If there is a silver lining in his runner-up showing, it is this: At least he doesn’t have to defend next year. – Ryan Lavner  

On Stacy Lewis' runner-up penchant ...

Stacy Lewis remains on one of the most extraordinary runs in golf today. Whether it’s extraordinarily maddening is something only she really knows, because she has played a lot of good golf for the last 18 months with no trophies to show for it.

With another near miss Sunday at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic, Lewis recorded her ninth second-place finish since her last victory in June 2014. If Lewis had never won before, there would be questions about her ability to close, but she has won 11 career titles, two of them majors.

Her effort closing out her victory in the Women’s British Open at St. Andrews was historically clutch, with her Sunday birdie at the Road Hole coming after one of the best shots under pressure you’ll ever see.

You can’t reasonably question Lewis’ heart with what she has already proven in the game. But you can wonder how she’s wrapping her head around all these second-place finishes, because it has to feel like purgatory to a proud champion wanting to hoist a trophy. - Randall Mell

On 'the best player without a major' ...

Rickie Fowler may be the consensus best player without a major, an argument bolstered by his victory last week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, but Branden Grace deserves a seat at that dubious table after another solid week.

Grace won the Qatar Masters on Sunday by two strokes for his seventh victory on the European Tour and his sixth consecutive top-10 finish.

The South African already established himself as a Grand Slam contender with his tie for fourth at last year’s U.S. Open and a third-place finish at the PGA Championship, but his play the last two months establishes him, alongside Fowler, as the best player without a major. - Rex Hoggard

On Dustin Johnson's tumble down the leaderboard ...

It may have gotten swept away in the winds and rain Sunday at Torrey Pines, but Dustin Johnson added to his recent stockpile of weekend scar tissue.

Johnson remains one of the most accomplished winners on Tour, but since he walked off the 72nd green at Chambers Bay, things have not quite been the same for him coming down the stretch. Much was written about his Open Championship collapse, when he faded from the lead with weekend rounds of 75-75 at St. Andrews. Less was written weeks later when he backpedaled with rounds of 75-76 at Firestone.

This time, DJ entered the weekend within a shot of the lead at the Farmers Insurance Open on a burly course that seems ideally suited for his game. But he dropped back with a third-round 74, then bogeyed nine of his first 12 holes Sunday amid terrible conditions.

This particular high score was somewhat understandable given the weather, but it underscores a troubling trend for Johnson as he continues to look for his first win since letting the U.S. Open sliip away. - Will Gray

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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.