Miller: Spieth can overcome, but Masters collapse will 'haunt him'

By Randall MellMay 5, 2016, 6:26 pm

NBC’s Johnny Miller is curious to see how Jordan Spieth will handle memories of his Masters collapse when he makes his return to the PGA Tour next week at The Players Championship.

Miller said there could be challenges for Spieth in keeping those bad memories from popping back into his head the next time he gets in contention.

“That is going to haunt him for a long time,” Miller said Thursday in an NBC teleconference previewing The Players Championship. “He’s going to be thinking with the lead on the back nine, `I hope I don’t fall apart like I did at Augusta’ . . . It’s significant, not that he can’t overcome that, but he’s going to have to go through that thought.”

Miller said back in 1972 he was in contention battling Jack Nicklaus on Sunday of the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach and shanked a shot at the 16th. Miller lost the battle and went on to win 24 times after that shank, but . . .

Miller: Woods needs to temper comeback expectations

“I still had that haunting me on the back nine of every tournament I ever won,” Miller said.

Miller said he addressed the shank by changing irons, going to some old Tommy Armour irons with the sweet spot farther from the hosel. He also changed the hosel configuration of the new irons.

“I did have to address that, and Spieth will have to address, `Am I totally going to lay the sod over it on the back nine of a big championship like I did at Augusta?’” Miller said.

Miller was speaking about Spieth’s chunk into the water after taking a drop at the 12th hole that Sunday a month ago at Augusta National. That shot was preceded by Spieth’s tee shot, which also found the water. Miller said Spieth’s tee shot was mishit, but Spieth also appeared to be taking too aggressive a line at the flagstick with a three-shot lead. Miller believes Spieth should also address his “chicken wing” follow through and how that may be causing him to miss too many shots right.

“He has a tendency with that bent left elbow to come down with the face open,” Miller said. “He has been doing it quite a bit this year. He really did it there. That was an amazing miss in the water and an amazing fat shot in the water.

“I’m looking forward to seeing if he and his teacher address that bent left arm. It seems like it’s more bent at impact and after impact than last year. It will be interesting to see if we see a little swing change to eliminate that shot to the right.”

Of course, Miller said Spieth may be on top of all of that.

“It could be he will have it all straightened out and his putting will be better,” Miller said. “He is off, most of the year. After the great win at Kapalua, I don’t know what happened, but he hasn’t done too well since then.”

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.

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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.