In Search of International Flavor

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 1, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 The INTERNATIONALThe International is played on a course elevated a mile high. It employs a scoring system unique to anything else on the PGA Tour. And it is contested the week before a major championship; this year, nearly 2,000 miles away from said major.
 
Yet this years International will have one of its best-ever fields ' even without the top 3 players in the world.
 
Retief Goosen
Retief Goosen finished runner-up in his last International appearance in 2003.
Retief Goosen, Phil Mickelson, David Toms, Davis Love III, Sergio Garcia, Chris DiMarco, Stewart Cink and Stuart Appleby are just a few of the notable names in attendance for this the 20th anniversary of the only tour event to use the modified Stableford scoring system.
 
The system awards 8 points for double eagle, 5 for eagle, 2 for birdie, zero for par, minus-1 for bogey and minus-3 for double bogey or worse.
 
This isnt the ideal tournament to fine tune ones game for next weeks PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., which means these men are in attendance at Castle Rock, Colo., because they share affection for both the tournament and its founder, Jack Vickers.
 
Mickelson is back to pay homage to Vickers and celebrate the events 20th birthday ' and to try and pick up a third career victory.
 
He skipped the event last year for the first time in his professional career in order to get in some extra practice time at Whistling Straits, site of last years PGA Championship.
 
The left-hander won this tournament in 1993 and 1997.
 
Goosen is also back after a brief absence. Goosen was committed to play the tournament a year ago but was forced to withdraw after bruising his hip during a jet-ski accident the week before while on vacation.
 
Similarly, Ernie Els was scheduled to compete this year but was forced to pull out after undergoing surgery on his left knee after injuring it while on a sailing vacation two weeks ago.
 
Unfortunately for Els, who won this event in 2000 with a record-tying 48 points, he will not be able to return to action as soon as Goosen did a year ago. Els is out indefinitely following the surgery, which means he will also be forced to skip the PGA Championship and the Presidents Cup.
 
A healthy Els would have been the favorite for the week. But in his absence ' as well as Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh, that honor goes to his countryman.
 
Five for the Title:
 
Retief Goosen
Goosen is over due for a win this season, having yet to record a first-place finish on either the PGA or European tour. He has put himself in position to do so, but has yet to close the deal. Goosen blew a three-stroke lead in the final round of the U.S. Open by shooting 81. He then shot 74 in the final round of the Open Championship, after starting the day just three off the lead. But he looked great in his most recent showing, when he carried partner Mickelson to victory over Tiger Woods and John Daly in the Battle at The Bridges. Goosen, who tied for second in his last appearance at this event in 2003, is looking to join Woods as the only two men with at least one PGA Tour win in each of the last five seasons.
 
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson is trying to become the first three-time winner of The International.
Phil Mickelson
Mickelson is one of only two players (Davis Love III) to have twice won this tournament. He initially set the 72-hole scoring record with 48 points in 1997, which was matched by Els three years later. He also has three wins on tour this season. Thats the good news. The bad news is: Mickelson has performed increasingly (or decreasingly) worse since his BellSouth victory prior to the Masters. His last five finishes have been worse than the one before. He was also terribly erratic in the made-for-TV Battle, which was contested on his home course at The Bridges. All things considered, hes still a birdie machine, and aggressive play is rewarded in this format. Mickelson ranks second on tour behind Woods in birdie average, with 4.61 birdies per round.

David Toms
Toms doesnt have the length of a Mickelson, but he still manages to make nearly as many birdies, ranking third on tour in birdies per round. He will be making his first start since disqualifying himself after the first round of the Open Championship. Surprisingly, in his 10 previous starts in this event he has only one top-10; however, that was a victory in 1999.
 
Chris DiMarco
DiMarco looked ready to runaway with this tournament a year ago, when he scored 31 points after the first two days and built a 9-point lead. But he lost 7 points over his final two rounds and settled for a tie for sixth. DiMarco is a streaky player. He started the season strongly, with four top-5s in his first nine starts; however, he has since cooled with no top-10s in his last seven events. He tied for 12th at last week's Buick Open, which means he's getting better, and he could be set for another run. This could be the place; he has three top-6 finishes in his last four starts at Castle Pines.
 
Davis Love III
Love missed the cut in his last start at the Open Championship, but prior to that he had three top-10s in four-tournament stretch. Love is trying to avoid his second consecutive winless season. He won this tournament in 1990 and again in 2003.
 
Playing Out the Font Nine
 
Four more to keep an eye on
 
*Sergio Garcia, who is returning after a one-year absence. Garcia was among the notables to skip this tournament a year ago. In five previous starts, his best finish is a tie for 11th in 2001.
 
*Greg Norman, who has played well recently on the elder circuit. He missed out by a stroke on a playoff in his Champions Tour debut at the Senior British Open. He then finished fourth at last weeks U.S. Senior Open. Norman won this tournament in 1989.
 
*Rod Pampling, who is the defending champion. Pampling, who has four top-10 finishes this season, will be trying to become the first repeat winner in the tournaments history.
 
*David Duval, who will be playing near his residential home in Denver. Duval finished runner-up to Toms in 1999. He will be trying to make his first cut in 13 starts this season.
 
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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    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 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.