The next step: Solheim hero Piller poised for first win

By Al TaysMay 1, 2016, 1:03 am

Eighteen holes is all that stands between Gerina Piller and her first LPGA victory.

Piller will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout in Irving, Texas. It might have been a three-shot lead, but she was unable to birdie the par-5 closing hole at Las Colinas Country Club, finishing with a 4-under 67.

That was one of the few things Piller, 31, was unable to do Saturday. She birdied the other three par-5s. For the second day in a row she hit all 18 greens in regulation. She has missed only two greens in three rounds - both on Thursday. She hasn't made a bogey since her 10th hole of the tournament - a stretch of 45 bogey-free holes.

At 14-under 199, Piller leads South Koreans Amy Yang (65) and Mi Jung Hur (66) by two shots. Jenny Shin (65) and Sei Young Kim (68) are two more shots back.

“I didn’t look at one leaderboard all day and I knew that if I played my game, I know I could make five or six birdies out there,” Piller said. “So I can’t control the outcome.  For example, last week, just because I didn’t win [she tied for third in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic], I still consider that a winning performance for me.  I felt like I played well, I just wasn’t good enough. 

“There’s always a coulda, shoulda, woulda, but that’s one of those things you’ve just got to go out and hit fairways and hit greens and get it close and make putts.”

Piller has gone winless in 123 career LPGA starts. She has finished second three times - in the 2015 CME Group Tour Championship and the Meijer LPGA Classic and the 2013 CME Group Titleholders.

If she feels pressure on Sunday, she can draw on perhaps the most pressure-packed moment of her career. It came in the 2015 Solheim Cup, where she went 3-0-1. With the Europeans needing only a half-point to retain the cup, Piller chipped out of thick rought to 8 feet, then buried the putt to defeat Caroline Masson, 1 up. If she had missed that putt, the cup would be in European hands today.

Piller will get to sleep on the 54-hole lead for the second time in her career in her own bed - she lives in nearby Plano. She'll have plenty of friends and family in her gallery.

“It would be awesome [to win in front of them], it would be ideal," she said. "But the cool thing about it is no matter how I play tomorrow, I know that they’re going to be proud of me and we’re going to go back and hang out and they’re not going to think anything different of me, so it’s pretty cool to have that support.”

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.