Six inducted into Golf Hall of Fame

By Randall MellMay 8, 2012, 1:29 am

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – If laughs were birdies, the World Golf Hall of Fame’s 2012 class might have set some scoring records during Monday’s induction ceremony.

With Dan Jenkins and Peter Alliss delivering brilliant speeches that rivaled stand-up comic acts, the night ranked as one of the most entertaining in this Hall’s history.

Phil Mickelson was no slouch, showing off his clever storytelling abilities, and Sandy Lyle and Hollis Stacy delivered poignant moments.

Nights like this can sometimes drag, but not this one, not with Alliss making sure nobody will ever forget his appearance. He pulled off the trickiest of closing statements. He somehow managed to leave the audience roaring in approval as he thrust his middle finger to the heavens as an exclamation point to one last story.

Here are highlights of the five inductees’ speeches in the order they appeared:

Dan Jenkins and tombstones . . .

Jenkins, the author/writer, wowed the audience with statistics.

He reviewed all 141 names in the Hall of Fame and came up with these stats: “I have known 95 of these people when they were living. I've written stories about 73 of them. I've had cocktails and drinks with 47 of them, and I played golf with 24 of them. So I want somebody else to try and go up against that record.”

Jenkins set a lively tone with some terrific lines.

“I am particularly pleased to be taken in as a vertical human,” he said.

Jenkins joins Bernard Darwin and Herbert Warren Wind as the only writers in the Hall of Fame. Darwin and Wind were both inducted posthumously. Jenkins said he knows what his tombstone will say when he passes: “I knew this would happen.”

Jenkins has covered 211 major championships.

“As for all those majors I've covered, it's obviously a record that'll never be broken, because one day there's not going to be any more magazines and newspapers, and, for that matter, there's not going to be any more people. There's just going to be vampires and text messages and some voice saying, `turn left now.’

Sandy Lyle and dead Scots . . .

Lyle recalled the hard climb that came before he broke through to win the British Open in 1985, before he became the first international player to win The Players Championship in '87 and before he became the first British winner of the Masters in '88.

“I remember winning Tour school,” Lyle said. “It doubled my bank balance to about 300 pounds.”

Lyle is the 11th Scot to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, the first who wasn’t inducted posthumously.

“At least I’m alive,” Lyle said.

Hollis Stacy’s love story . . .

Her induction was a love story. She recounted her love of family and her love of the game.

“There were never enough hours in the day, enough days in the week, enough weeks in the year to play golf,” Stacy said.

One of 10 children growing up in Savannah, Ga., Stacy won 18 LPGA titles and four majors. She was delighted to have 30 family and friends in attendance, including six of her siblings and her 84-year-old mother, Tillie. She lost her father and a brother, but her sister, Martha Leach, presented her. Leach won the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, making them the second sisters to win U.S. Golf Association events.

“I had some great teachers, but the intangible that separated me was growing up in a large family,” Stacy said. “My nine brothers and sisters were my biggest fans, my fiercest competitors and my best friends. I learned to live in chaos and handle things that weren’t in my control . . . I dedicate everything I’ve done to my family.”

Peter Alliss and Mrs. Weymouth . . . 

Alliss rivaled Jenkins with his comic timing.

His closing won’t soon be forgotten, ending with a crude gesture to the heavens that brought the house down as an exclamation point to his final story.

Alliss, the Englishman who played in eight Ryder Cups before becoming a popular BBC commentator, told the story of the stern education he received from Mrs. Violet Weymouth, a chunky Welsh headmistress at Crosby House.

“You didn’t mess about with Mrs. Weymouth, I can tell you that,” Alliss said. “I remember the last report she sent back to my parents, and it went something like this:  `Peter does have a brain, but he's rather loathe to use it.  His only interests appear to be the game of golf and Violet Pretty,’ a girl I liked. 'I fear for his future' were the last words she wrote on my report.”

Alliss closed saying if there is a heaven, and his parents are looking down, he hopes they’re pleased.

“And Mrs. Weymouth, if you’re there . . .”

Alliss didn’t finish the sentence, instead, thrusting his middle finger skyward.

Phil Mickelson and  . . .

Mickelson poked fun at a few folks, including himself.

He told the story of how he developed his competitive skills and his girth while working as a range picker as a kid.

“I would have putting matches with the other coworkers, and we would putt for a soda and a candy bar,” Mickelson said. “Unfortunately I was somewhat successful.”

Mickelson shared loving stories about his wife, Amy, and his three children and how they’ve come to mark time with memories of their children at majors. He also gave special thanks to Steve Loy, his agent, and his long-time caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay.

“He's a great caddie,” Mickelson said. “He's a most loyal friend.  In the mid '90s we were playing a tournament in Las Vegas and there was an earthquake at 2 in the morning.  The chandelier was swaying from side to side hitting the ceiling.  His roommate told me the next day that Bones leaped out of bed, grabbed the clubs and ran outside.  He didn't want anything to fall on them and hurt them.”

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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 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.