Wie Back On Biggest Stage

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 5, 2005, 4:00 pm
Despite the absence of most of the top players from this week's John Deere Classic due to next week's British Open, tournament officials still have at least one thing to be happy about - Michelle Wie.
 
The 15-year-old Wie will tee it up for the third time on the PGA Tour and for the first time on the U.S. mainland. In both of her previous efforts, Wie has failed to make the cut - albeit by just one shot in the 2004 Sony Open and then by seven strokes in her Sony appearance this year.
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie will make her third PGA Tour appearance at the John Deere Classic.
Undaunted, the Hawaiian phenom still forges on in her effort to be the best she can be, despite the fact that the debate rages on about her presence in these events.
 
Whatever side you stand on, the fact that she is entered in the field makes the John Deere Classic a lot more noteworthy.
 
Without her in the field, the event is a tough sell as it can boast of just two players from the top-25 in the world rankings - David Toms and Stewart Cink.
 
With her in the field, the question at the John Deere Classic becomes a lightning rod for golf fans - will she make the cut or won't she.
 
It also makes for quite an interesting week for the players, each and every one of them hoping the young teen sensation is not listed above them at the conclusion of Friday's second round.
 
She beat 49 PGA Tour players at the Sony Open in 2004 and this year finished ahead of 14 players, including a pair of major champion runner-ups in Len Mattiace and Thomas Levet.
 
True, her best chance to make a cut was probably at the Sony in Hawaii due to her local knowledge of the course, but something says she is chomping at the bit to begin to prove more of her naysayers wrong.
 
And making the cut here would go a long way towards that goal.
 
Five for the Title
 
David Toms
Returning to the event for the first time since 2000, Toms brings with him quite a resume at the John Deere Classic. He won the title back in 1997 when it was known as the Quad City Classic. It was his first-ever PGA Tour title and then followed it up the next year with a fourth-place finish. He did, however, miss the cut in his last start when the event changed venues, going from the Oakwood Country Club to the TPC at Deere Run.
 
Stewart Cink
Stewart Cink currently holds the 30th spot on the PGA Tour money list.
Stewart Cink
Like Toms, Cink is the only other player in the field inside the top-25 in the world rankings. Having somewhat of a down year up to this point, Cink has seen his ranking drop from 10th in the world following his win at last year's Tour Championship, to 16th after his 15th place showing at the U.S. Open. After back-to-back top-5s in the season's opening two events, Cink has just one since, coming back in March at the Bay Hill Invitational.
 
Mark Hensby
Though not yet a household name, Hensby is starting to make some serious noise on the PGA Tour. His victory in this event last year was his first on tour and led the way to his finish at 15th on the 2004 money list. Though only two top-10s thus far in 2005, they both just happened to come in the biggest events of the year - a third at the U.S. Open and a fifth at the Masters.
 
Nick Price
The 48-year-old Price has obviously seen his game go into a decline since his hey days on the PGA Tour in the early to mid-90s, but he is still thought of as a great ball striker. If his putter can get hot, the guy still regarded as one of the nicest players on tour could possibly add to his PGA Tour win total of 18.
 
J.L. Lewis
Won his maiden PGA Tour title in this event in 1999, Lewis has good vibes at the John Deere Classic. In addition to his victory in '99, Lewis had a runner-up finish in 2003 and a tie for 8th in 2002. Last year closed out the weekend with a pair of 68s to place 27th. Had a strong showing at this year's Players Championship where he finished 8th.
 
Playing Out the Front Nine
 
Four more players to keep an eye on
 
* Esteban Toledo
Confidence high after winning on the Nationwide Tour last week in New York. The veteran PGA Tour player first played in the event back in 1986 when it was known as the Hardee's Golf Classic.
 
* Spencer Levin
The hot shot amateur turned professional at the U.S. Open but failed to make the cut and cash his first check as a pro. Has said he has learned to control his emotions and still has a world of confidence in his game. Finished 13th at the 2004 U.S. Open.
 
* Michelle Wie
Has the length to compete with the men, but short game and mental side of game is work in progress. Although a win is seemingly out of the question, Wie making the cut would be just as big for her confidence.
 
* David Duval
Almost as much as Wie, people would like to see the former No. 1 ranked player in the world make it to the weekend. Duval recently became a father for the first time and hopes to break through this week and make his first cut of the year.
 
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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.