Forecasting the 2018 Ryder Cup teams

By Jason SobelMay 17, 2011, 6:56 pm

Bonjour! Je m’appelle Jason!

Four years of high school French classes and that’s about all I’ve got. Might be time to start brushing up, though, as it was announced on Tuesday that the 2018 Ryder Cup has been awarded to Paris.

Who will be captaining the teams? Who will be playing?

Want to read my take? Just say, “Oui, oui!” (And yes, my fellow Americans. That’s pronounced “wee-wee.”)

United States

Captain: Jim Furyk
After Davis Love III finishes his reign next year, all bets are off, but candidates for the next two include David Toms and Steve Stricker. That would leave Furyk as a viable option in France, when he would be 48 years old.

Rickie Fowler
Easiest pick on the team. He may play in the next 8-10 of these things.

Dustin Johnson
At 34, DJ will be entering his prime at this point – which could be scary.

Zach Johnson
An elder statesman on this team, Johnson’s game should hold up as his career progresses.

Anthony Kim
Struggling right now, but too much talent not to find his game again.

Jamie Lovemark
Hampered by injuries in his rookie season, he still owns a ton of talent.

Hunter Mahan
Yet another guy who should be a lock on this team for the next decade.

Tiger Woods
He may not play enough events to garner points like he used to, but tough to believe his buddy Furyk wouldn’t at least make him a wild-card pick.

Webb Simpson
Starting to prove himself as an up-and-comer; will only get better with experience.

Brandt Snedeker
He will always play the majors well, which means RC points in odd-numbered years and double points in even-numbered years.

Peter Uihlein
The recent recipient of the Ben Hogan Award will be a multiple PGA Tour winner by this point.

Nick Watney
May never be a steely-eyed closer, but always a consistent performer.

Gary Woodland
The guy has “it” – could be America’s next superstar golfer.


Europe

Captain: Thomas Bjorn
There’s a logjam for this role over the next decade. I’ve got Paul McGinley in 2014, then Darren Clarke in ’16, followed by Bjorn – always a popular man on the Euro circuit -- as Miguel Angel Jimenez gets Larry Nelson’d out of the role before Padraig Harrington and Lee Westwood take over.

Rhys Davies
Made a nice run at the team in his native Wales last year as a rookie.

Luke Donald
Short games often carry over with age and Donald has the best short game around right now.

Sergio Garcia
Yes, he’ll be back. When we review Sergio’s career someday, the 2010 edition of the event may be the only one missing.

David Horsey
Already proving himself on the European Tour; perhaps the next great English player.

Martin Kaymer
Will be a long time before he fails to make one of these teams.

Matteo Manassero
Never know what the future holds, but he seems like a lock right now.

Graeme McDowell
Closing in on 40, he’ll still be a very talented player.

Rory McIlroy
Yet another lock. Would be shocking if he’s not there.

Thorbjorn Olesen
Remember the name. Ultra-talented Euro rookie right now.

Alvaro Quiros
His long game is built for Ryder Cup intimidation.

Justin Rose
Another player whose accurate game should translate to success as he gets older.

Chris Wood
A very good Open Championship performer, don’t be surprised if he wins a claret jug before then.

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.

Getty Images

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.