Little Takes One-Shot Lead in Zambia Open
Given that he has the same name as the popular white mouse that hit movie screens a couple of years ago and is also in the process of trying to resurrect his career as a fulltime touring pro, the question would be an appropriate one and hopefully he would be able to give the former answer before heading out to try to hold onto the lead after firing a bogey-free 5-under-par 68 on Saturday.
Little, who had started with rounds of 69 and 71, began the third round four behind Van der Nest, who is bidding for his first Sunshine Tour victory in six years, but after making five birdies, including fours at four of the course's par-5s, he found himself at the head of affairs on an 11-under-par total of 208.
That was because Van der Nest experienced a topsy-turvy day, making four birdies and four bogeys, the last of them at the par-4 17th, en route to a level-par 73.
Englishman Mark Barry Foster shot his third successive 70 to be two off the pace, level with Wallie Coetsee, the only member of the final three-ball to dip under par on Saturday, although he only managed a 72.
Joint first round leader Mattias Nilsson matched Van der Nest's 73 to fall back into a group of seven players sharing fifth spot on 211. That group also includes Zimbabwean Mark Cayeux, Pollack Park's Tyrol Auret and Swede Martin Olander, who fired nine birdies in an 8-under-par 65. Ulrich van den Berg, who set the pace with Nilsson on the first day, is one of six players four off the pace, after a 72.
Little, 33, spent five years on the Sunshine Tour when he first joined the paid ranks, from 1987, before a three-year stint on the main European Tour. He played the European Challenge Tour, of which this event is also a part, in 1995 and early 1996, before going back to his home town of Nailsworth in the Cotswolds, where he combined teaching the game and playing in South-West England.
'Towards the end of 1999, something came along and it was too good an
opportunity to turn down,' he said of his decision to go back to touring. Of Saturday's round, he said: 'I'm not really playing 100% at the moment, so my attitude is really the main thing; not allowing mistakes to get on top of me.'
That helped him to hold it together when potential bogeys loomed.
'There were three or four times when I got up and down to save par (after missing the green),' he said. Asked if he had expected to be near the top of the leaderboard after starting four behind, he said: 'I'm trying not to think too much about the scores. I tend to concentrate on putting together as good a score as I can and then see how it goes.'
He managed that well enough on Saturday, coming from well off the pace, but on Sunday will have to try to do the same thing from a position of strength.
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
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.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
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
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.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
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.