Kang ties course record, builds big lead at SHO

By Will GrayMarch 31, 2017, 7:43 pm

HUMBLE, Texas – At this rate, Sung Kang’s new putter may soon end up in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

Kang torched the Golf Club of Houston for the second straight day, tying the course record with a second-round 63 that broke the previous 36-hole scoring mark at the Shell Houston Open. At 16 under, Kang was six clear of his nearest competitor after the morning wave.

The 29-year-old was out early Friday, and playing on pristine greens he managed to roll in a whopping 196’8” worth of putts and has made exactly 300 feet of putts through 36 holes.

“I putted pretty good yesterday, putted really good today,” Kang said. “Plus I teed off the first off, and the greens are just pure, nobody really had them. The putter just kept making the putts.”

The only blip on Kang’s radar through two rounds came on No. 18 yesterday, when his 4-foot par putt caught a spike mark. He tapped in for an opening 65, then came back out a few hours later and carded seven birdies to go along with a 30-foot eagle on No. 8 that ballooned his advantage at the time to eight shots.

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Low scores have become a bit of a theme with Kang, who is in his third straight season on the PGA Tour after a brief stint on the Web.com circuit. He shot a 60 at Monterey Peninsula during last year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, then tied a course record with a 64 at Bethpage Black during The Barclays in August.

But this particular performance comes as a bit of a surprise, considering Kang entered the week ranked No. 158 on Tour in strokes gained putting and hasn’t cracked the top 10 since the 2016 Honda Classic.

This week’s turnaround has roots in an equipment switch, as Kang ditched his longtime Scotty Cameron for a new TaylorMade Spider model that one of his friends in the equipment truck suggested he tinker with. Thus far, the swap has paid off in a big way.

“I always hit it long and straight enough, but I always have trouble with iron play and also putting,” Kang said. “My putting was not bad last year. We’ve been working so hard on my iron play. It keeps getting better. I still was hitting irons so much better, but I didn’t putt well through last week.”

Kang remains in search of his first Tour win, and now is in position for what might be a life-changing collection of prizes: seven-figure check, two-year exemption and of course the final spot in the Masters next week.

“It’s not in my head. I’ll go play,” he said. “Whatever happens, happens.”

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.