Steady Thomas climbs back into contention

By Will GrayAugust 13, 2017, 1:19 am

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After a bogey on the sixth hole during the third round of the PGA Championship, Justin Thomas stood six shots off the lead and seemed out of contention to win the season’s final major.

But while Thomas steadied the ship, he watched the rest of the leaders kick it in reverse, and now he suddenly has a very realistic shot at the trophy heading into the final round.

Thomas played his final 12 holes in 3 under, navigating his way around a treacherous stretch at Quail Hollow Club without dropping a single shot. On a day when co-leaders Kevin Kisner and Hideki Matsuyama combined to shoot 3 over, Thomas made up significant ground with a 2-under 69 and now sits in a tie for fourth, two shots behind Kisner.

“I don’t like to think that I stole one. I like to think that I’m more mature now, and I can manage an under par round when I don’t have my best stuff,” Thomas said. “I think that’s why I feel like I’m ready to win a major championship now versus last year, I probably didn’t have that.”

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Thomas had three wins this season before the calendar flipped to February, and he set a U.S. Open scoring record with a third-round 63 in June. But he wasn’t able to build upon that momentum during the finale at Erin Hills, a close call he hopes to have learned from.

“You really, really have to be patient,” Thomas said. “Just being patient and accepting what the course gives you more. I had a really bad break on Sunday on 4 and I think it flustered me a little bit. I just didn’t handle it very well. Hopefully it doesn’t happen tomorrow. If something like that happens, I think I can handle it a little better.”

Thomas estimated that he had his “B or C game” at his disposal during the third round at Quail Hollow, an afternoon during which he moved up the standings despite making only two putts over 6 feet. Given a little help with some late bogeys by the leaders, Thomas now has a surprisingly strong chance to capture a watershed title.

“What I did today was definitely a confidence boost,” Thomas said. “It’s not the same as playing great. I’m definitely more tired than if I would have played great, but I will definitely take 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 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.