McLean recalls '77 arrest while back at Pinehurst

By Randall MellJune 18, 2014, 5:47 pm

PINEHURST, N.C. – It’s a crazy couple of weeks again in the Sandhills region of North Carolina for swing coach Jim McLean.

He is getting used to the drama that always seems to follow his visits to Pinehurst No. 2, if not the jail time.

Ah, yeah, the jail time.

McLean wasn’t planning to come to the U.S. Open last week, but he is close friends with Erik Compton, who uses his facilities at Trump Doral. After Compton got into the hunt to win last weekend, McLean jumped a last-minute flight out of Miami to Raleigh-Durham to follow him in the final round.

Though McLean was in a rush driving from the Raleigh-Durham airport to see Compton, there was no way he was going to speed. Not after what happened back in 1977, when McLean was playing the final stage of PGA Tour Q-School in Pinehurst. A heavy foot on the accelerator of his car landed him in a Southern Pines jail back then. He almost missed the second round of Q-School because of it.

“I was staying with a friend after the first round, and I drove out to buy some steaks to throw on the grill,” McLean said.

McLean said a police officer out of uniform pulled him over for speeding. The officer was in a T-shirt.

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“He said I was going 55 in a 30-mile per hour zone,” McLean said. “I was young, and I mouthed off to him. I said some things I shouldn’t have said. I don’t think it helped that I had a car with New York license plates back in those days, and he took me in. When we got there, I said something I shouldn’t have said to the sergeant on duty, or whatever he was. He didn’t like it, and he says, `You’re going to jail son.’ It was ridiculous, but I was stupid, and they threw me in jail.”

McLean’s friend couldn’t get him bailed out until 2 in the morning.

“I had to play the next day,” McLean said.

McLean didn’t make it through Q-School, but he made it to Pinehurst No. 2 last Sunday in time to see Compton tee it up at the fifth hole. The fun continues this week. McLean is swing coach to Lexi Thompson, winner of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the year’s first major. He's also friends with Cristie Kerr, who once worked in his office answering phones as a kid. And he also helps Lucy Li, the 11-year-old who is the youngest player to qualify for a U.S. Women’s Open. She attends McLean’s school in Miami every winter.

“Jim, he's a really funny guy,” Li said. “I remember the first lesson I had with him. He put balls everywhere, and he had me hit them standing in one place, lefty and righty and one-handed and stuff. So it was a lot of fun. He keeps the game really natural and fun for me.”

McLean will be doing his best to keep it fun again this week while also keeping it under the speed limit.

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.