Jutanugarn, 17, making case for LPGA waiver

By Randall MellMay 3, 2013, 3:19 pm

There’s more at stake than just a victory for 17-year-old phenom Ariya Jutanugarn at the Kingsmill Championship this week.

Also hanging in the balance is the possibility of LPGA membership and the reunion of her Thai family.

Jutanugarn jumped out to a hot start Thursday, seizing the first-round lead with a 7-under-par 64. If she wins, she will almost surely petition the LPGA again to seek a waiver of the tour’s rule requiring a member be at least 18. There’s a two-year LPGA membership she can claim with a victory, but only if she’s granted a waiver of the tour’s age restriction. Jutanugarn doesn’t turn 18 until Nov. 23. She petitioned the LPGA last summer for a waiver so that she could go to LPGA Q-School with her 18-year-old sister, Moriya. Ariya was still 16 when she petitioned and was denied.

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan is on record saying he wants to see a 16- or 17-year-old win before considering granting a waiver. Given what Jutanugarn is already proving, the commissioner would be hard pressed to deny a second petition for a waiver should Jutanugarn win this week.

With the waiver’s denial, the family was temporarily split this year. Moriya, co-winner of LPGA’s Q-School, travels the LPGA with her mother. Ariya, who won the Ladies European Tour Q-School last winterm, travels the LET with her father.

“It was a little bit sad, because normally we aren’t separate,” Moriya told Golfchannel.com

Moriya leads the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year point standings.

Ariya leads the LET’s Order of Merit, where she won earlier this year. She also leads that tour in scoring.

In just three LPGA starts this year on two sponsor invites and one Monday qualifying berth, Ariya has finished second, third and fourth. She has earned $328,643. If she were a tour member, she would be eighth on the LPGA money list.

If Ariya were an LPGA member, she would lead the LET and the LPGA in scoring. Through 13 rounds, Ariya’s LPGA scoring average is 68.61. Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis came into this week leading the LPGA in scoring with 69.5 scoring averages.

If Ariya doesn’t win, a good finish won't bolster her bid to avoid Q-School and win LPGA membership next year. According to LPGA rules, a non-member can earn membership for 2014 by earning the equivalent of top 40 money by the end of this season. However, a player must be 18 for the non-member winnings to count. Also, only money won in events without a cut counts. Because Ariya isn't 18, the money she wins this year doesn't count toward top-40 equivalency money. Ariya will be eligible for Q-School late this year.

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.