Houston I Have a Problem

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 31, 2008, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: In Backspin, the GOLFCHANNEL.com editorial staff takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf -- with a spin.
 
THE RICHES: Isleworth Country Club defeated Lake Nona Golf and Country Club, 19 - 11 , to claim the Tavistock Cup. First-time participant J.B. Holmes was the big winner, leading the home team to victory and collecting the $500,000 awarded to the player with the lowest score on Day 2.
 
Backspin One cant possibly imagine what these players get compensated to compete in this event. Despite having the Doral event wrap up Monday morning, many of the players still traveled upstate from Miami to Orlando to play that afternoon and then again on Tuesday. Were pretty sure they didnt make this effort out of pride and loyalty to their enclave. The best story of the event may have come from Robert Allenby, who didnt want to take the charter flight to Orlando because he didnt want to leave his Bentley in Miami.
 

RED SHIRT, BLUE MOUTH: Tiger Woods caught heat this past week from media members for his profanity-laced tirade at a photographer in the final round of the WGC-CA Championship. A camera clicked as Woods was hitting on the par-3 ninth. Woods pushed his tee shot, nearly into the water, and eventually made bogey. Woods dropped a couple of F-bombs and threatened to break the neck of the next photographer to take a picture during his swing.
 
Backspin Tiger had his chance on an ESPN program to apologize for the incident and instead shrugged it off. Were certainly not going to apologize on his behalf, but we do understand there must be an incredible frustration level when youre trying to accomplish what Tiger is and someone interferes with that in an unprofessional manner. Of course, Tiger was also unprofessional in his reaction. One thing about Tiger: hes as apologetic about his behavior on the course as John Daly is off it.
 

WHAT'S DONE IS DONE: Argentine Andres Romero closed with a 4-under 68 to beat Aussie Peter Lonard by a stroke to win the Zurich Classic of News Orleans. In the process, he became the fourth straight player to collect his maiden PGA TOUR victory in New Orleans.
 
Backspin Most remember Romero for being the surprise leader late in last year's Open Championship at Carnoustie. Well, make that, most people remember Romero's train wreck on the 17th hole that ultimately left him one stroke out of the playoff with Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington. But what most people may not remember is that Romero was able to brush that crushing defeat aside by winning the very next week on the European Tour. And now, with his win in New Orleans, the Argentine will forever be remembered as a PGA TOUR winner. At least in the history books.
 

AT THE MOMENT...: Lorena Ochoa started slowly but picked up momentum throughout the week and then left the field in the Arizona desert dust, cruising to a seven-shot win at the Safeway International. It was her second win of the season in just three events and her second straight at Superstition Mountain.
 
Backspin Nobody's arguing that the 26-year-old Mexican is, at the moment, the game's best player. And for good reason. But the real test comes this week as the ladies of the LPGA Tour make their way to Rancho Mirage, Calif., for the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first of the LPGA Tours four majors. For all her wins she has racked up over the past several years, Ochoa has but just one major victory to her credit. And then there's a certain Swede that has notched 10 majors. We'll revisit the topic of Lorena next Monday.
 

NO LOVE Davis Love III shot 76-75 to miss the cut at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, thus putting serious pressure on himself to avoid missing the Masters Tournament for the first time since 1990. Love hasnt missed a major of any kind since the 1990 U.S. Open. He's entered into this week's Shell Houston Open, and will need to win the event in order to be invited to Augusta National.
 
Backspin Thirteen years ago, Love won in New Orleans to punch his Masters ticket. He then proceeded to finish runner-up, the closest he has ever come to winning a green jacket. Love said that he feels good physically (bad back and neck) and mentally, but at age 44 (come April 13), Love is in danger of never being able to add to his lone major triumph, the 1997 PGA Championship ' which could be the difference between a Hall of Fame career and an underachieving one.
 

IRWIN-ESQUE?: Bernhard Langer pulled away from the field at the Ginn Championship, surviving very windy conditions to post an eight-stroke win. He was one of only three players to card a score of under par in Sunday's final round.
 
Backspin Langer put an end to an exciting stretch of Champions Tour endings with his runaway victory at the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach. It was his second win of the season and prompted GOLF CHANNEL analyst Frank Nobilo to utter, although somewhat reluctantly, that Langer's play was 'Irwin-esque' in reference to Hale Irwin's one-time Champions Tour dominance. High praised indeed considering Irwin's staggering 45 wins on the senior circuit. The closest to Irwin's, probably unbreakable, record is Lee Trevino at 29. Langer's win total at this point? Three and counting.
 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Thomas Levet won the Andalucia Open in Spain on the first playoff hole Sunday, defeating 19-year-old Oliver Fisher; Australias Gavin Coles won the Louisiana Open for his fourth career Nationwide Tour title; Celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme was struck by a stray bullet while setting up his cooking tent at TPC Louisiana; Fred Couples named Jay Haas as an assistant captain in the 2009 Presidents Cup; A bearded Jose Maria Olazabal made his first start since the 2007 PGA Championship in his native Spain.
 
Backspin Levet can thank the teenage Fisher for, well, playing like a teenager. The young Englishman blew a three-stroke lead with six holes to play and bogeyed the final hole in regulation as well as the first hole in the playoff to hand the Frenchman the title; Coles, who has conditional status on the PGA TOUR, is now in the strange position of having to choose between which tour to play and when; Authorities believe the bullet was fired into the air within a 1 -mile radius and randomly fell on the Dom DeLuise lookalike. Conspiracy theorists, however, believe it was a mistaken attempt to keep Prudhomme out of the next Cannon Ball Run; Actually Jay Haas and Robin Williams are equally funny nowadays; Ollie was sidelined for seven months due to rheumatic pains in his shoulder and groin. The double Masters winner tied for 61st, just two weeks before the seasons first major.
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Zurich Classic of New Orleans
  • Full Coverage - Safeway International
  • Full Coverage - The Ginn Championship
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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.