He Said/She Said: Best three-hole stretch in golf?

By Bailey MosierMarch 2, 2012, 1:00 pm

With no disrespect to the this week's famed Bear Trap (the par-3 15th, the par-4 16th and the par-3 17th) at PGA National, the Golf Guy (and Birdie Bailey) got to thinking about the best three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour. There are, of course, plenty to choose from – and it doesn’t necessarily already have to have a cute nickname (see Amen Corner at Augusta or the Green Mile at Quail Hollow). No, this is the Golf Guy’s (Birdie Bailey's) favorite three-hole stretch  - drum roll please…


With no disrespect to this week's Bear Trap (the par-3 15th, the par-4 16th and the par-3 17th) at PGA National, the Golf Guy has another set of holes that comprise the best three-hole stretch on the PGA Tour. There are plenty to choose from – and they don't have to have a cute nickname (see Amen Corner at Augusta or the Green Mile at Quail Hollow). This is the Golf Guy’s favorite three-hole stretch - drum roll please …

Augusta National’s 14th, 15th and 16th

The history, the drama, the building anticipation … this stretch simply delivers like no other – yes, cue Jim Nantz: “A traditional three-hole stretch unlike any other.” Let’s get the basics on the table quickly: It’s a major championship – the highest stakes in the game. And it’s the Masters – again, the highest stakes in the entire game. Also, it comes late in the round – when pressure, gagging and life-changing moments are at hand. As an added bonus, most of us now know the names of each hole – sadly, I know the names better than most of my good friends kids' names. That said, let’s go to the tale of the tape:

Par-4, 14th - Chinese Fir: The first in my favorite three-hole stretch comes on the heels of the world’s most famous three-hole stretch – Amen Corner. Thanks Herbert Warren Wind, but I’m naming my stretch, “Operation Destiny.” The 14th may seem a bit tame. But au contraire mon frère – the false front guarding the front of the green is daunting. Watching approach shots trickle back down toward the fairway makes my stomach turn.

Par-5, 15th – Firethorn: Time to make hay – if you have the onions that is. A reachable par-5 that begs a player to go for it. The rewards are great, the risk possibly devastating. Quick history lesson: this is the hole that Gene Sarazen hit his 'shot heard 'round the world.' More recently, this is where Phil Mickelson went  all ‘pine straw’ en route to his third green jacket. An all-time hole by itself.

Par-3, 16th – Redbud: Are you kidding? This hole makes me goes nuts every year. The Sunday pin placement is one of the greatest strokes of genius in sports history. It goes beyond drama to the point that it becomes near comical – fans watching at home and the fans at the course go crazy as the ball starts moving its way down the slope toward the hole. Again, one of the greatest crescendos in all of sport. Oh, and Tiger made one of the greatest shots in history at this hole to win the 2005 Masters.

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.

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.