Griggs' winning putt highlights Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals

By Rex HoggardApril 3, 2016, 6:40 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – It’s the putt everyone grows up wanting to make. Well, almost.

Hovering over a 15-foot putt, Ty Griggs knew it was his last and only chance to win the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals on Sunday at Augusta National.

There wasn’t a green jacket waiting on the other end at Augusta National’s 18th green, but for a 13-year-old who aspires to be a professional golfer, it was the next best thing.

Griggs’ putt, which needed to nestle to about a half foot to secure the Manteca, Calif., eighth grader the title in the 12-13 Boys division, dropped into the cup to complete what he called a dream come true.

“I was shaking, I was nervous, I was emotional,” said Griggs, who won the driving portion of the competition and finished runner-up in the chipping and putting portions to edge Skyler Fox by a point. “I thought I had to get [his final putt] to about a half foot, but that’s tough to do.”

Griggs was one of 80 participants who competed in Sunday’s Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, which featured four age groups for boys and girls, and while his might have been the most dramatic victory, it might rank second behind Stephen Robert Hernandez’s triumph in emotional output.

The 9-year-old from Houston rolled to a three-point victory in the 7-9 Boys division by winning the driving and chipping portion of the competition.

“It’s coming from mystical reasons. I don’t know what happened, this is a dream,” said Hernandez, who won his regional DC&P qualifier by eight points. “I play golf a lot, and I didn't know that I had a chance to go to the Masters [so] young.”

Alexa Pano of Lake Worth, Fla., also cruised to her title in the 10-11 Girls division, winning the long drive portion and finishing second and fourth in the chipping and putting competitions, respectively, for a seven-point victory.

Kayla Sam of Anaheim Hills, Calif., took the 12-13 Girls division, also winning the long drive competition, with 26 points; and Emerson Blair of West Point, Miss., edged Mary Miller by a half point in the 7-9 Girls division after winning the putting portion.

“Meeting all of these amazing golfers and celebrities, and winning the Drive, Chip & Putt, it was really shocking and unexpected,” Sam said.

Michael Thorbjornsen of Wellesley, Mass., edged Daniel Uranga by a point to claim the 14-15 Boys division; Alyssa Montgomery of Knoxville, Tenn., won the 14-15 Girls division; and Christian Kim of Vernon Hills, Ill., finished in the top 3 in each competition to win the 10-11 Boys division.

But even for those who didn’t win, the consolation prize was a day spent at a place that until Sunday seemed out of reach.

“I thought that I would never be [at Augusta National], because it's really one of those magical places that you've always seen on TV but you never end up, and here I am,” Griggs said.

Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals results

Boys 7-9: 1. Stephen Robert Hernandez (25 points); 2. Hugh Faulkner (22 points); 3. Colin Norton (19 points)

Boys 10-11: 1. Christian Kim (26 points); 2. Nolan Haynes (25 points); 3. NaShawn Tyson (21 points)

Boys 12-13: 1. Ty Griggs (28 points); 2. Skyler Fox (27 points); 3. Daniel Adkins (20)

Boys 14-15: 1. Michael Thorbjornsen (23 points); T-2. Daniel Uranga (22 points); T-2. Chase Venn (22 points); T-2. Marco Punzo (22 points)

Girls 7-9: 1. Emerson Blair (24 points); 2. Mary Miller (23.5 points); T-3. Kyla Layman (22 points); T-3. Avery Zweig (22 points)

Girls 10-11: 1. Alexa Pano (26 points); T-2. Mia Raines (19 points); T-2. Morgan Guepet (19 points)

Girls 12-13: 1. Kayla Sam (26 points); 2. Elle Fox (25 points); 3. Nicole Adam (20 points)

Girls 14-15: 1. Alyssa Montgomery (26.5 points); 2. Skylar Thompson (23 points); T-3. Kyra Cox (17.5 points); T-3. Anika Dy (17.5 points)

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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.