Spieth pulls off another stunning shot

By Will GrayAugust 3, 2017, 7:24 pm

AKRON, Ohio – In his first start since winning The Open, Jordan Spieth managed to pull off a minor miracle by one-upping his iconic performance from Royal Birkdale. At least, for one shot.

Spieth appeared stymied behind a tree after missing the eighth fairway during the opening round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he eyed a small gap in the overhanging foliage. The plan was simple: hoist a pitching wedge through the tiny window about 60 yards in front of him and cut it back toward the putting surface.

OK, so maybe not simple. In fact, in the heat of the moment Spieth turned to caddie Michael Greller and admitted, “I’m going to try something stupid right here.”

The result turned into what Spieth called one of the best shots he’s ever played.

“I was shocked I pulled it off,” Spieth said.

Spieth explained that Greller thought about using one of his “vetoes” to talk his player off the shot, but decided that their first competitive round since a major win deserved a little leeway. As it turns out, Spieth’s memorable call to Greller of “go get that” after his eagle on No. 15 at Birkdale now has a distant relative.

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“I told him to put the bag over there and just watch,” Spieth said.

Just as he drew it up, Spieth carved his wedge through a seemingly invisible gap in the branches and grinned to Greller as the ball landed near the hole and rolled 20 feet past.

“I just smiled. He goes, ‘That was cool,’” Spieth said. “I thought as long as I got the height, I could pull off the shot.”

Thanks in part to his escape from the trees, Spieth opened with a 3-under 67 at Firestone Country Club. It left him two shots behind leader Thomas Pieters and included a pair of 50-foot birdie bombs on Nos. 5 and 6, proving that he didn’t leave all of his putting magic behind in England.

“The one on 6 was surprising. I thought I hit it too hard when I hit it. I was like, ‘Oh, boy. Sit down,’” Spieth said. “But on the hole before, it’s actually a pretty makeable putt there. You’re outside right a couple feet, you assume that if you start anywhere within a cup with decent speed, it’s going to get close or scare it.”

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.