Kisner leads Matsuyama, Stroud by one at PGA

By Nick MentaAugust 12, 2017, 11:35 pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After a round of 1-over 72, Kevin Kisner takes a one-shot lead over Hideki Matsuyama and Chris Stroud into the final round of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at the year's final major: 

Leaderboard: Kevin Kisner (-7), Chris Stroud (-6), Hideki Matsuyama (-6), Justin Thomas (-5), Louis Oostuizen (-5), Grayson Murray (-3)

What it means: Kisner is 18 holes from his third PGA Tour victory and his first major title. The 25th-ranked player in the world made a name for himself on Tour in 2015 when he lost three different playoffs, including one to Rickie Fowler at The Players, before cashing in for first his victory later that year at the RSM Classic. He followed with his second win earlier this year at Colonial and is now trying solidify himself as a major champion. Kisner reached 10 under par before dumping his ball in the water on 16 and nearly doing it again on 18, where a well-placed bridge saved his outright lead. One back, world No. 2 Matsuyama (73) carries the weight of a nation on his shoulders as he seeks to become the first Japanese player to win a major. Stroud, on the other hand, started the week a far more unlikely contender. He was the last man to make the field after winning last week’s PGA Tour opposite-field event, the Barracuda Championship, for his first victory in 290 career starts.

PGA Championship: Scores | Live blog: Day 3 | Full coverage

Biggest disappointment: Two back to start the day, Day fell as many as six behind before rallying back with three straight birdies at Nos. 13, 14, and 15. Then he collapsed. He bogeyed the par-3 17th as a prelude to a quadruple bogey-8 at the home hole via an adventure in the right trees. The quad capped off a round of 6-over 77. He'll start Sunday seven back. Worth a separate note, Stroud was 8 under with two holes to play before a bogey-bogey finish.

Round of the day: J.B. Holmes and Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira both moved up 50 spots into a tie for 20th at 1 over par thanks to matching rounds of 67.

Best of the rest: Graham DeLaet played a four-hole stretch, from Nos. 13-16, in 6 under par with back-to-back eagles on the middle holes. His Saturday 68 jumped him into a tie for 10th at 2 under par.

Shot of the day: DeLaet very nearly made the second hole-in-one on a par-4 in PGA Tour history when his tee shot from approximately 301 yards lipped out.

Quote of the day: “The PGA Championship, I think, is going to be the toughest for me. If we look historically back on my career, I think I will play this tournament worse than the other three majors just in the way that it’s set up. I feel like my game truly suits the other three majors maybe more than the PGA Championship. But I believe we can play anywhere and we can win anywhere. It's just a matter of having everything in sync at the right time.” – Jordan Spieth, who after an even-par 71 in 3 over for the championship

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.

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.