U.S. lucky to trail only by 1 after first session

By Randall MellAugust 18, 2017, 6:34 pm

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Cristie Kerr thrust her right fist in the sky and walked in the final few feet of her clutch birdie at the last Friday at the Solheim Cup.

How many times have we seen that over the last two decades?

Kerr buried a 15-footer to complete a terrific comeback, teaming with Lexi Thompson to halve their foursome match after being 2 down with two holes to go against Europe’s Mel Reid and Charley Hull.

A roar rolled across central Iowa.

The real story, though, was the desperation in that putt.

The Americans needed it to keep the Euros from practically owning the morning foursomes session.

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Kerr and Thompson were the most formidable and proven American team sent out by U.S. captain Juli Inkster. They were her leadoff tandem in alternate shot. Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller were Inkster’s next best duo, sent out as the anchor team.

But those American power teams needed Kerr’s putt to keep from getting shut out. They combined to barely salvage a half point.

Lewis and Piller were 2 up stepping to the 13th tee, but Europe’s Catriona Matthew and Karine Icher charged back to win three of the next four holes and hold on for a 1-up victory.

The Euros won the morning foursomes, 2½ to 1½.

“Everybody has their head up,” Inkster said. “First day, can't get too hard on themselves. Playing a lot of golf.”

European captain Annika Sorenstam was pleased, but equally guarded about what one session means.

“It’s the beginning of a marathon,” she said.

Danielle Kang and Lizette Salas claimed the only outright victory for the Americans, defeating Carlota Ciganda and Caroline Masson, 1 up. And Kang had to hole an 8-foot putt for par at the last to secure that point.

“It was so special,” said Kang, playing in her first Solheim Cup. “If I could use some cuss words to explain to you how much it means to me, I would explain it better. It was absolutely amazing.”

Anna Nordqvist, Europe’s best player, teamed with Solheim Cup rookie Georgia Hall to defeat Paula Creamer and Austin Ernst, 3 and 1.

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.