You Oughta Know: Day's closing streak

By Will GrayJuly 3, 2016, 12:46 am

AKRON, Ohio – The focus at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be on the day’s final pairing, where the world No. 1 will try to close out yet another win. Here’s what You Oughta Know heading into the final round at Firestone Country Club, where Jason Day and Scott Piercy share the lead:

• Day already has three wins this season, including a victory at the WGC-Dell Match Play. He will look to become the first player to win back-to-back WGC titles since Tiger Woods won at Doral and Firestone in 2013.

• Should Day win, he would join fellow Australian Geoff Ogilvy as the only two players with three career WGC titles. The all-time leader in that category is Woods, who has won 18 WGC events.

• This marks the 13th time that Day has held at least a share of the 54-hole lead in his PGA Tour career. He has converted six of those opportunities into wins, including each of the last five.

• While tough conditions at Firestone have resulted in only nine players being under par through 54 holes, Day and Piercy are the only two players who have broken par in each of the first three rounds.

• Piercy has three prior wins on Tour, most recently the 2015 Barbasol Championship, which was played opposite the Open Championship.

• Piercy earned his best career finish in a major in his most recent start, when he finished T-2 at the U.S. Open at Oakmont.

• This is Piercy’s fifth career instance of holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead. He has won each of the last two times, both at the 2015 Barbasol and the 2011 Barracuda Championship.

• David Lingmerth is alone in third place, one shot behind Day and Piercy. His lone win came last year in Ohio, when he defeated Justin Rose in a playoff at the Memorial Tournament.

• Brian Stuard is alone in fourth place, two shots off the lead. He gained entry into this event by earning his first career win in a playoff at the rain-shortened Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

• Reigning U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson is tied for fifth, three shots back. He is in position for his 10th top-10 finish of the season, which would break a tie with Patrick Reed for the most on Tour.

• Jordan Spieth enters the final round in a tie for 10th at even par. Should Johnson win and Spieth finish fifth or worse, Johnson would overtake Spieth for No. 2 in the world rankings.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

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.