Am Tour Nationals: The better half

By Brandon TuckerSeptember 5, 2012, 1:41 am

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Among the 500 competitors at this week's Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championships, some came with buddies or met other players here, while others brought their wives or girlfriends along.

For those participants worried that their gal may be bored while they do battle this week, they need not worry, especially on Tuesday morning.

That's because all the wives and girlfriends on hand were treated to a welcome brunch by the tour. Of the 150 who turned up in the Sawgrass Marriott atrium, they enjoyed mimosas, bloody marys, omelets, fresh fruit and more. Masseuses were even on hand to offer a brief neck massage.

'It's really nice that they take the spouses into consideration,' said Betsy Dayne, here from New York with her husband Doug. 'It's nice not to be relegated to waiting for them. The time goes by faster. 'Before you know it, they'll be back [from the course], happy or sad. And this place (Sawgrass) is magnificent.'

Between the time their husbands spend warming up before the round, competing over 18 holes (maybe having a 19th hole pint or two) and getting back to the hotel, that makes up the majority of the day. That's why the Am Tour makes a point to make the women feel welcome on Day 1.

Some lucky 'WAGs' of the 150 in attendance won a little swag: spa treatments (won by Cindy Gossett, pictured), shopping and dinner certificates were raffled off. The women were of all ages and from all over the country, but seemed to mingle instantly. After all, they all had a common interest: their golf-obsessed men and all the hole-by-hole, nightly recaps and midnight studying of yardage books in bed the night before competition.

The PLAYERS Stadium course is the big reason why many of the 1100 competitors in the national tournament signed up, but the Sawgrass Marriott's amenities is a big sell for the gals, who may be on their own during the day. But after asking what their plans were for the week, it'll probably fly by: spa treatments, shopping and trips to the beach are all on the agenda. They even said they'd try to get out onto the course to support their husbands.

'They're like kids in Disney World,' laughed Liz Bernard, along with Karen Acebedo and Dayne, who met each  at the brunch. 'There are some courses they just HAVE to play.'

Some Am Tour major hosts seem to curry favor with the wives more than others. Acebedo, here with her husband Lee, says they always look out for the Las Vegas events. On opening night, when many of next season's major championships were announced, the big buzz amongst the women was the revealing of the Hawaii Championship, which will be staged at Kapalua (and most gals probably know there is a Ritz-Carlton Resort onsite) this December.

'They haven't even put the registration up yet,' said Acebedo. 'But we made the reservation for the hotel and the flight. We're going.' 

I asked these gals if there was one destination in particular they would love to go to if they had their say, and each agreed: St. Andrews.

Gentlemen, you chose wisely.

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.