Tiger Tracker: Day 1 running blog

By Rex HoggardAugust 4, 2011, 10:00 pm

Tiger Woods returned to competition Thursday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. GolfChannel.com senior writer Rex Hoggard tracked Tiger during Round 1 at Firestone:

5:18 p.m.: Woods closes his first round since going on the 'DL' in May with a par at the 18th hole. His line for the day: 11 greens hit in regulation, five fairways and an opening round of 68. Our line for the day: there was rust, but no limp. Progress.

5:05 p.m.: Woods hit iron off the 17th tee into the middle of the fairway and makes par. He must be trying to pad his driving statistics. That's five hit fairways for the day.

4:52 p.m.: The good, bad and ugly for Woods at the par-5 16th. His drive sails into the trees right of the fairway, his 3-wood second shot travels some 260 yards, his short approach lands 40 feet past the hole and he makes the putt. Textbook birdie.

4:36 p.m.: Woods makes par at the 15th hole. In other news, Adam Scott, the boss of Woods' former caddie, is tied for second place at 5 under. Not sure Woods has noticed, or cares.

4:28 p.m.: The magic runs out for Woods at the 14th after his approach sails long and into a bunker. His 13-footer misses the left edge for his first bogey of the day.

4:23 p.m.: Woods splits the fairway at the 14th hole. It's the first time since the fourth hole.

4:15 p.m.: Another missed fairway and green for Woods but he scrambles for par at No. 13. It's worth noting that Darren Clarke, dubbed the 'Dungannon Canon' after the small Northern Irish village where he grew up, has consistently been 20 to 30 yards behind Woods all day.

4:04 p.m.: Par at the 12th hole for Woods. As he comes off the green a small boys yells, 'It's good to have you back Tiger.' At 2 under, Woods was probably thinking the same thing.

3:54 p.m.: Woods birdies his second consecutive hole at the 11th and the Ohio galleries cheer loudly, which is odd considering that this area isn't too fond of the last star athlete to take his talents to South Beach (Fla.). Woods recently moved into his south Florida home.

3:41 p.m.: Woods' approach at the 10th hole rolls to 5 feet and he makes the putt for his first Tour birdie in four months. He's 1 under for the round.

3:28 p.m.: Woods turned in even-par 35 thanks to a 20-footer for par at No. 9 following a wayward drive and a roping approach. For the side, he hit just two fairways and five greens in regulation.

3:09 p.m.: Not a lot for the large galleries following Woods to cheer about but Darren Clarke did his part at the par-4 eighth hole. From the middle of the fairway the Ulsterman holed his second shot for an eagle. Woods scrambled for par. All square.

3:03 p.m.: Two-putt par on the seventh hole for Woods. In a related item, fill-in caddie Bryon Bell has not thrown a camera or dropped one club in a pond. Progress by any measure.

2:53 p.m.: It's becoming a familiar theme, drive in the (right) rough, approach wide, two-putt par at the sixth. Not a bad plan for Atlanta Athletic Club next week but not the best formula at a soft Firestone layout.

2:40 p.m.: Woods rifles his tee shot to 8 feet at No. 5 but misses the birdie putt. He's still looking for his first birdie since the 15th hole on Sunday at Augusta National.

2:30 p.m.: Woods hits the fairway at the fourth, his approach shot to 11 feet but misses the birdie putt. Still, he's seven strokes ahead of the pace he had on the front nine at May's Players Championship (42).

2:18 p.m.: Despite a nasty mud ball from the fairway, Woods scrambled for a par at the third with a 25-foot putt. Even par through three holes.

2:09 p.m.: Woods hits the fairway at the third with a 3-wood, his first hit fairway on Tour since May.

2:05 p.m.: Woods two-putts for pedestrian par at the par-5 second hole. In an unrelated topic the sun has come out and the temperature has soared. Good warm-up for next week in Atlanta at the PGA Championship.

1:53 p.m.: Woods is 2-for-2 for the day. Two tee shots, two fairway bunkers (right at No. 2).

1:51 p.m.: Woods completes a lenthy two-putt for par at the first. Darren Clarke makes bogey. Woods 1 up. 

1:47 p.m.: Funny moment early on Thursday. Interim caddie Bryon Bell finishes raking the fairway bunker at the first and a fan yells, 'Good job, new guy.'

1:40 p.m.: Opening tee shot sails into the right bunker. Doesn't mean much, his first tee shot last year went in the left rough (T-78) and his opening effort sailed right in 2009 (won by four strokes).

1:34 p.m.: Warm-up over. Interesting that Woods completed his practice with a 3-wood. Best guess: it's 3-wood off the first tee. 

1:25 p.m.: Interesting e-mail from the world golf ranking folks. Says Lee Westwood needs a win at Firestone to overtake Luke Donald atop the ranking. No word on what Woods needs to do to slip past No. 27 in the world.

1:20 p.m.: Whether it's the extended layoff or just the need for more 'reps,' Woods put in extra time on the practice tee early Thursday, starting his putting routine more than an hour before his 1:40 p.m. tee time.

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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.