Cabrera Cruising at Volvo Masters

By Golf Channel NewsroomNovember 7, 2002, 5:00 pm
Angel Cabrera breezed through the first round of the season-ending Volvo Masters, shooting an 8-under-par 63 and building a four-stroke lead over Philip Price.
Cabrera finished in fine fashion, going 4-under on his final four holes, after enjoying a day without a bogey.
After knocking it close for birdie on the par-3 15th, Cabrera rolled in a 15-footer at the 16th to get to minus-6. He had a chance for eagle at the par-5 17th, but his putt slid just left of the hole, for a tap-in birdie-4.
Cabrera, who won the Benson and Hedges earlier in the year, drained an eight-footer at the 18th to make it four consecutive birdies and a four-stroke lead.
'I started well and everything went perfectly after that,' said Cabrera. 'I didn't know that 62 was the course record. My only aim was to finish as well as I started and that's what happened with my four birdies at the end. I had a 61 last week in Italy but in view of the course, this must be one of my best rounds.'
Price, to be forever known as the man who took down Phil Mickelson at this years Ryder Cup, carded a 4-under 67 and is a shot clear of Simon Dyson, Brian Davis, Steen Tinning, Fredrik Jacobson and Bradley Drudge, all at minus-3.
Sergio Garcia is grouped in a tie for eighth with four other golfers, six shots off the pace, at 2-under. Garcia, ranked fifth in the world, started strong with birdies on three of his first four holes before a couple of bogeys at the seventh and ninth.
Garcia, who played alongside Colin Montgomerie, carded two more birdies and another bogey to end at minus-2.
Monty, looking to extend his streak of nine straight years with a victory, had an up-and-down day. Five birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey left him seven back of Cabrera.
The final event of the year on the European Tour brings together the tours top 66 players, with this year having Retief Goosen and Padraig Harrington coming down to the wire for the right to the Order of Merit (money list).
Some of the luster of that battle was wiped away on Day 1 as both Goosen and Harrington struggled with their games, Goosen posting a 2-over 73 and Harrington carding a 3-over 74.
Though the quest for the Order of Merit will continue through the weekend ' there is no cut at this event ' they likely have both shot their way out of a chance for winning the tournament.
At the first hole, Harrington incurred a two-stroke penalty when he repaired a pitch mark on the fringe while his ball was on the putting surface.
'These things happen,' said Harrington, the defending champion. 'I just walked up and fixed the pitch mark which looked like it was on the green because of the shade. As I was digging there seemed to be a little more grass than you would expect and a bell went off in my head. I knew the rule and obviously it was a two-shot penalty.'
Full-field scores from the Volvo Masters

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.

DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship

With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."