Watch list: Walker tops Ryder points; where's Tiger?

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 13, 2014, 5:04 pm

This could be the most hotly contested Ryder Cup ever – and we’re talking about just making the team.

So, each Monday, GolfChannel.com will take a way-too-early look at the players who are vying for one of the 12 spots on the team. Nine players make the team via their respective points list, and both captain Tom Watson and Paul McGinley will have three wild-card picks.

AMERICANS

The current top 12:

  1. Jimmy Walker: 2,417.833
  2. Phil Mickelson: 2,353.900
  3. Jason Dufner: 2,261.279
  4. Dustin Johnson: 2,012.412
  5. Harris English: 1,896.360
  6. Zach Johnson: 1,865.677
  7. Chris Kirk: 1,793.658
  8. Ryan Moore: 1,778.501
  9. Webb Simpson: 1,758.498
  10. Matt Kuchar: 951.393
  11. Brian Stuard: 947.800
  12. Jim Furyk: 921.040

Notes:

• Jimmy Walker moved to the top of the list after his second victory in six starts. As a point of reference, the No. 9 player in 2012 needed 4,082 points, but that total likely will increase this year with the inclusion of the fall tournaments.

• Harris English, one of the best players in the game under 30, jumped from No. 7 to No. 5 on the list after another good week at the Sony.

• Just a guess: In nine months, Brian Stuard will not be No. 11 on this list.

• Tiger Woods is currently 20th in points, more than 1,700 points behind Walker.

• Other players outside the top 20: Keegan Bradley (25th), Hunter Mahan (28th), Steve Stricker (32nd), Rickie Fowler (34th), Bill Haas (36th) and Bubba Watson (47th).


EUROPEANS

European Points List (top 4 earn spots):

  1. Victor Dubuisson: 1,595,151.96
  2. Thomas Bjorn: 1,589,720.53
  3. Ian Poulter: 1,541,652.26
  4. Jamie Donaldson: 1,443,759.85
  5. Henrik Stenson: 1,440,939.97
  6. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano: 1,134,264.58
  7. Joost Luiten: 1,048,625.69
  8. Francesco Molinari: 786,403.62

World Points List (top 5):

  1. Henrik Stenson: 240.65
  2. Thomas Bjorn: 119.13
  3. Sergio Garcia: 111.26
  4. Ian Poulter: 108.43
  5. Victor Dubuisson: 94.37
  6. Jamie Donaldson: 82.12
  7. Justin Rose: 78.84
  8. Rory McIlroy: 70.84
  9. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano: 70.33
  10. Luke Donald: 69.15

Notes: 

• Newcomer Victor Dubuisson was nowhere near the top of this list just a few months ago. Here’s guessing he won’t be the last guy to come out of nowhere and challenge for a spot.

• Conventional wisdom says Ian Poulter will have a spot on the European side, somehow, unless he’s mysteriously abducted before the matches.

• European stalwarts (and usual partners) Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell have work to do to ensure that they’ll be around at Gleneagles. 

• Yes, he’s played well recently, with two worldwide victories since September to rise to No. 24 in the world. But it’ll be interesting to see whether Thomas Bjorn, who turns 43 next month, to extend this red-hot form and earn his way onto the team.

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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.