LPGA points race conjures memories of past playoffs

By Randall MellJanuary 8, 2014, 3:18 pm

Six years after the demise of the LPGA Playoffs at the ADT, the women’s best players are welcoming the return of another $1 million payday in a new season-long competition.

The new Race to the CME Globe unveiled Wednesday on Golf Channel excites players who remember the buzz the LPGA Playoffs once created for the season finale at Trump International in West Palm Beach, Fla. LPGA pros played off for a $1 million prize dramatically showcased with armored guards protecting a glass cube full of cash on display at the event. Those playoffs lasted just three years, with the event folding with the departure of ADT as a title sponsor after the ’08 event.

“I always liked the season-ender, when there was a reward for a great, consistent year with the possibility of a big payday, if you can save something special for the end of the year,” said Hall of Famer Karrie Webb, a member of the LPGA’s Board of Directors.

Julieta Granada won the first million-dollar payday in the history of women’s golf, winning the playoffs in ’06 at Trump International. Lorena Ochoa won it in ’07 and Jiyai Shin in ’08.

While the new Race to the CME Globe isn’t a playoff, it’s another season-long competition that will end with a big-bang finish in the season finale at the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla., Nov. 20-23.

“I really like the concept of a year-long points race that rewards consistent play rather than one good week,” Webb said. “I like the fact that the points will reset for the CME Group Tour Championship and allow for a larger group of players to have the opportunity to win the Race to the CME Globe. It should provide an exciting year with a very exciting finish.”

Count Morgan Pressel among those applauding the return of a season-long competition. Like Webb, she competed in the old LPGA Playoffs.

“I think it will be a lot of fun to see how it plays out in its first year,” Pressel said Wednesday in her appearance on “Morning Drive.” “Some of the other tours have had success, with the Race to Dubai and the FedEx Cup. It keeps people interested and gives us something to play for. I like playing for a million dollars. I like having that chance.”

The LPGA Playoffs at the ADT used points for first- and second-half qualifying for the playoffs, but the winner wasn't crowned based on points at the season finale. Instead, stroke play decided things, with the field dramatically cut from 32 players to 16 players after two rounds. Scores were then wiped clean with another cut to eight players after the third round. Sudden-death playoffs added more drama breaking any ties for the top eight. Scores were wiped clean once again before the final round, with the low final-round score taking home the jackpot.

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.