My 2015 moment: Tiger at Quicken Loans, Wyndham

By Ryan Reiterman December 26, 2015, 4:45 pm

There wasn't a lot of good news for Tiger Woods in 2015 … and 2016 isn’t looking too rosy, either.

But there were a few moments this year when Woods looked like his old self, fist-pumping his way up the leaderboard and raising the decibel level in the massive galleries that still turn out to see him.

I witnessed two of those charges at the Quicken Loans National and in his season finale at the Wyndham Championship.

Yes, both times Woods stumbled on the weekend and hit plenty of shockingly bad shots. But there is still nothing like watching Woods charge up a leaderboard.

Just listen to the crowd after Woods holed a flop shot at the first hole in his opening round at the Wyndham.

I've heard a roar louder than that only one other time, and it was in the final round at the 2012 Memorial when Woods did this:

At the Quicken Loans, you could hear how desperate people are to see Woods return to the top. He began the season with a missed cut and WD at Torrey Pines. Woods then took a leave of absence after it was obvious he had the chipping yips. He returned at the Masters and finished a respectable T-17, but in between Augusta and Quicken, Woods shot his worst round as a pro (85 at the Memorial) and missed the cut at the U.S. Open and the Open Championship at St. Andrews.

Many began to wonder if Woods would ever win again. (Unfortunately for his fans, that's still an unanswered question.) He even had to deflect questions about retiring. So when he opened with rounds of 68 and 66 at Quicken, it wasn't just people cheering loudly for a popular player. It was Woods giving his fans something they had been wanting all year – hope. Hope that he wasn't down for the count. Hope that he was turning his game around. Hope that his miraculous comeback was starting now, this week, right in front of them.

A Saturday 74 ended any chances of his first win since 2013 being at the Quicken Loans, but at the Wyndham, Woods gave his fans more hope. He not only opened with that thrilling flop shot, but Woods was able to build on that momentum with rounds of 64, 65 and 68.

More fist pumps. More deafening roars.

Woods was playing the Wyndham for the first time in a last-ditch effort to make the FedEx Cup Playoffs, so a lot of the fans in Greensboro had never seen the 14-time major champion in person. And they also knew – because of the Wyndham's spot on the schedule – that there was a good chance they may never see him again.

That's why even after a triple on No. 11 knocked him out of contention, Woods' gallery never cleared out. Not even to see North Carolina Tar Heel Davis Love III shoot a magical 64 and win his 21st PGA Tour title at age 51.

Woods' fans kept cheering as he birdied four of the last six holes, giving them, and himself, hope that better days were ahead.

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.