Reed (63) takes lead in birdie-fest at Humana

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 16, 2014, 11:32 pm

The annual birdie-fest formally known as the Humana Challenge got underway Thursday under ideal scoring conditions. Here’s the skinny on a predictably low Round 1 in the California desert:

The leaderboard: Patrick Reed (-9); Ryan Palmer, Justin Hicks, Charley Hoffman and Daniel Summerhays at -8; Zach Johnson, Bill Haas, Matt Every, Charlie Wi, Russell Knox and Hudson Swafford at -7

What it means: Reed positioned himself for his second career title (2013 Wyndham) with a flawless 63 in the lid-lifter on the Palmer Private, the easiest of the three courses. The 63 matched his career low on the PGA Tour. He’s going to need to keep pouring in birdies if he’s to stay ahead of the pack, however. Seventeen players shot 66 or better on Day 1. 

Round of the day: Starting on the back nine, Reed made five birdies in a row around the turn (Nos. 16, 17, 18, 1, 2) around the turn to soar up the leaderboard. He pulled ahead of the pack with birdies on Nos. 6 and 7. It’s his first-ever first-round lead. Since he won at the Wyndham, he hasn’t finished better than 16th in seven starts.

Highlights: Round 1 from the Humana Challenge

Humana Challenge: Articles, videos and photos

Best of the rest: Ryan Palmer came home in 7-under 29, including six straight birdies to close, to post 64. Johnson, meanwhile, stayed red-hot by posting a bogey-free 65 at La Quinta. He has three wins in his last seven starts. In the fall, Charlie Wi sat out seven weeks because of a torn ligament in his thumb. He shot 65 Thursday.

Biggest disappointment: Brandt Snedeker managed only two birdies during an even-par 72 Thursday at La Quinta and sits nine shots back after Round 1. Billy Horschel's week got off to a bad start with a quadruple bogey on the fifth hole. He is well back after Thursday's round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Who is going to go low? Every player at the Humana knows it’s going to take birdies – lots of them – to win. Last year, Brian Gay made 27 birdies and still found himself in a three-way playoff. Since 2008, the eventual winner has had at least one round of 64 or better on his way to victory. The three courses used at this tournament were the easiest on Tour in 2013.

Shot of the day: Webb Simpson hit his 5-iron tee shot on the 203-yard 12th hole (Palmer Private) to a foot, leading to a tap-in birdie. Even more impressive was his tee ball on the 16th – to 3 inches. Entering this week with five consecutive top-7 finishes, Simpson shot 69 in the opening round. 

Quote of the day: “Whenever I was on the green, it was one of those days where everything I read was the right line and I hit the line every time. I got hot with the putter, and when any guy out here gets hot with the putter they’re going to go shoot a low number.” – Reed 

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 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.