Quail Hollow member Simpson: 'Too tough for a PGA'

By Will GrayAugust 12, 2017, 10:10 pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With holes perched on slopes and firm greens repelling all but the most accurate approach shots, many have quipped that this year’s PGA Championship feels much more like a U.S. Open.

Put Quail Hollow Club member Webb Simpson among that group.

“This setup has been too tough for a PGA, to be honest,” Simpson said after the third round.

Simpson won the U.S. Open in 2012, and he makes his home a short cart ride from the first tee at Quail Hollow. He shot a 1-over 72 Saturday to drop to 5 over for the week, and shared his view that the PGA of America may have gone a bit too far in tinkering with a course he knows better than anyone in the field.

“I don’t know if the intent was to make it this difficult, but it’s really hard,” Simpson said. “We are dealing with a long golf course, tons of rough, and crazy fast greens. … Similar feelings to when I play a U.S. Open. You shoot even par, you have done really well. In past PGAs, even par is not that good. It’s definitely something to get used to.”

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Simpson is not the only player to speak out about course conditions this week, with the redesigned holes of Nos. 1-5 – and especially the par-3 fourth hole – receiving the brunt of the criticism. But his pointed criticism resonates given his deep relationship with both the area and club.

Simpson directed much of his concern to the difficult finishing hole, which measured 477 yards in the third round but included a pin tucked six yards onto the green and four yards from the left edge.

“The false front is eight yards, which means you are supposed to hit the ball right of the hole. Now we have to get it past the hole so the ball doesn’t come back off the green,” Simpson said. “Little things like that. Me and my caddie said if they just put the pin four yards farther back, then it’s still a really hard hole but it’s fair.”

Simpson noted that some players will still find a way to succeed on the menacing layout, and Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Kisner sharing the 36-hole lead at 8-under 134 showed that some birdies are out there. But this is certainly not the same course that players grew familiar with over the years at the Wells Fargo Championship, and it’s one that Simpson is a bit surprised to encounter in the season’s final major.

“I think we are seeing a trend in golf when courses are redone, they are 99 percent of the time harder,” Simpson said.

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.