Which is the best of the four WGC events

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 11, 2011, 12:21 am

The second of four World Golf Championships is taking place this week at Doral. Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell weigh in on which of the WGC event is the best of the quartet: Match Play (Dove Mountain); Cadillac (Doral); Bridgestone (Firestone); or HSBC Champions (Shanghai).


DORAL, Fla. – The World Golf Championships have become more than an off-the-shelf tournament but less than a major, which isn’t a bad niche for a sport with a 12-month cycle. Yet based on pure excitement, if not potential, the Accenture Match Play is the best in show.

Television producers likely hate the format’s volatility and players would not be keen to a steady diet of match-play events, but for a schedule awash with stroke-play outings, the Accenture is an oasis of strategy and survival.

As Jonathan Byrd once mused, it’s like 64 Sundays in one on Wednesday, a reality that magnifies the traditional adage “you can’t win a tournament on Thursday but you can lose one.”

Stroke-play events, by comparison, are double elimination endeavors. The three other WGCs are no-cut events, at the Match Play there is a cut every day – reality TV in real-time.

Although the best Wednesday on Tour often gives way to an anticlimactic weekend, the potential for pyrotechnics at the Match Play is greater, by design, than the other world meet-and-greets.

The Match Play may not have the best venue of the four, that honor belongs to the Bridgestone Invitational, but in a world of round pegs the Accenture fills a square-hole void.


DORAL, Fla. – Give me the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

I confess, though, I’m biased.

I relish the Match Play Championship, but as a newspaperman who once worked for 24 years in South Florida, Doral still feels like a hometown event. I’ve watched a lot of drama unfold at Doral.

The vivid images of history witnessed there make it my favorite. Greg Norman used to buzz the driving range in his helicopter when he arrived for the event, as if to let players know the Shark had arrived.

While it’s hard to forget the final-round 62 in ’90 in the first of Norman’s three victories here, it’s also hard to forget the dramatic way he lost in ’95. That’s when he infamously hooked a 6-iron so wildly at the 18th that he nearly hit the floating scoreboard losing to nemesis Nick Faldo.

There was the epic Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson duel in 2005, Raymond Floyd’s win at 49 after his South Florida home burned down in ‘92, Craig Parry’s long-range hole-out to win at the famed 18th in a playoff in ‘04, Ben Crenshaw making the only 72nd-hole birdie to win in tournament history in ’88.

Space limits me, but you get the idea . . .

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.