Cauley closes strong, leads by 2 at RBC Heritage

By Will GrayApril 13, 2017, 9:22 pm

Scoring conditions were ideal for the opening round of the RBC Heritage, and the 132-man field took full advantage. Here's how things look after the first day at Harbour Town Golf Links, where Bud Cauley is out to a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Bud Cauley (-8), Luke Donald (-6), Graham DeLaet (-6), Sam Saunders (-6), Russell Henley (-5), Ian Poulter (-5), Webb Simpson (-5), Shane Lowry (-5)

What it means: Donald's 6-under 65 was the best of the morning wave, but he was later caught by DeLaet and Saunders and then passed by Cauley, who remains in search of his first career PGA Tour win. Cauley missed only one green in regulation during his opening round and closed with four birdies over his final five holes to separate from a pack that includes a number of established players.

Round of the day: Cauley's lone top-25 finish this season came at the CareerBuilder Challenge, but there he finished T-3 and challenged over the weekend. He's in position to chase another title this week after a blemish-free 64 that included four birdies on each side. Cauley birdied three of his first five holes then ended in a flurry, with a 12-foot make on No. 18 capping a run of three straight birdies.

Best of the rest: DeLaet is one of the best players still without a win on Tour, and he gave himself a great opportunity to contend with a bogey-free 65. The Canadian started on the back nine and birdied four of his first nine holes, relying on the strength of his iron game to find 16 of 18 greens in regulation despite Harbour Town offering some of the smallest targets on Tour.

Biggest disappointment: Matthew Fitzpatrick sports a Harbour Town headcover and calls this his favorite event of the year, but that passion didn't translate into success during an opening-round 73. Fitzpatrick didn't make a birdie until his 12th hole of the day, then followed a bogey on No. 13 with a watery double on the next hole. He now sits 10 shots behind Cauley entering the second round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Cauley has a bit of a cushion, but don't lose sight of the two Englishman behind him. Donald has done everything but win this event, with six finishes of T-3 or better over the last eight years, while Poulter opened with a 66 with only one start remaining on his major medical extension. Expect one, if not both, to be near the top of the leaderboard this weekend on a course that accentuates their respective strengths.

Shot of the day: Donald had tugged his tee shot on the par-5 second hole into the trees, but he carved out an accurate approach that trundled up within 4 feet of the hole. The subsequent eagle took him to 5 under on the round and gave him a share of the early lead.

Quote of the day: "I love this place. It's different than anything else we play. It's a lot of fun to go out there and shape shots and kind of think your way around." - Cauley

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 GolfChannel.com 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.