Who will be the LPGAs Player of the Year in 2011

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 11, 2011, 6:58 am

Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa dominated the Player of the Year award for the better part of 15 years. Now it's a wide-open race. Who will earn top honors in 2011? Jay Coffin and Randall Mell offer up their takes.

By JAY COFFIN

For as well as South Koreans have played on the LPGA over the past decade, no one from that country has been named Player of the Year. That’ll stop this year when Jiyai Shin steps up and claims those honors for the first time.

The race for the top spot was left wide open in 2010 when Lorena Ochoa retired.

It left Shin, Na Yeon Choi, Yani Tseng, Suzann Pettersen, Ai Miyazato and Cristie Kerr to duke it out, with Tseng ultimately ending the year as POY based mostly on the strength of her two major championship victories.

But 2011 is Shin’s time to shine. She’s only 22 years old and has eight career LPGA titles, including three in 2008 when she wasn’t even a member of the tour.

She ran away with Rookie of the Year honors in 2009 and nearly clipped Ochoa for Player of the Year, but Ochoa captured the trophy on the last hole of the last tournament of the season.

Shin won twice in 2010, was second in earnings, but was fifth in Player of the Year. She doesn’t hit the ball far by today’s standards but was No. 1 in fairways hit, No. 1 in top-10 finishes, and sixth in putting average.

That’ll lead to a dangerous mix in 2011, one that’ll end as the LPGA’s Player of the Year.

By RANDALL MELL

Na Yeon Choi will be the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year this season.

It will set off fireworks in South Korea, because it will make her the first player from that nation to win the award. It seems inevitable that a South Korean becomes Player of the Year with South Koreans becoming the most formidable nation in women’s golf over the last decade. They’ve been on the rise since Se Ri Pak won the LPGA Championship and U.S. Women’s Open in 1998.

Today’s Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings feature five South Koreans among the top 10. The United States is next best with two players.

It won’t be easy for Choi, though, because you can expect another tight competition with so many quality players poised to contend. Fellow country woman Jiyai Shin will make a run. So will Suzann Pettersen, Ai Miyazato, Cristie Kerr, Yani Tseng and Paula Creamer.

Choi, 23, ranks as the player to beat, based not only on the consistency she showed last season, but the upward trajectory she created over year’s end.

Choi won the LPGA’s Vare Trophy for low scoring average (69.87) and the money title ($1,814,558) in 2010. She won two LPGA titles (Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic and the Hana Bank Championship) and finished among the top five in nine of her last 13 starts.

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.