What did I just see

By Brandel ChambleeJuly 19, 2010, 9:58 pm
Confined to a king-size bed recovering from kidney stone surgeries (that’s right the word after stone is plural), I watched more of the Open coverage than anyone in history who did not have a pint of anything stronger than ginger ale. On Old Tom Morris’s grave I swear this is true. Never mind, though, because if I was drunk I might have thought I saw a guy named Woosthazing running laps around Tiger Woods and proving that great golf can be played without wearing a red shirt and cussing a blue streak.

If I had been drunk, I might have thought that I was watching a guy play golf like Tiger, smile like Tom Watson and swing like Ben Hogan and do all that at the home of golf. Of course, that can’t happen anymore than Tiger could three-putt 10 times in 54 holes and Phil Mickelson could hit it out of bounds on the 16 the hole with an iron. Or for that matter, someone corrupting all those in charge of the scoreboards from putting up a single player from the United States on Sunday.

Sobering as the absence of red, white and blue was on the yellow leaderboard it came a distant second to the surprise of the winner. Not so much because of his stature in the game, after all Louis Oosthuzin was 54th in the world beginning the week in both the world rankings and the worlds hardest to pronounce names, but because of how he won. By Friday morning he had the lead and for his last 47 holes he looked like a bird dog convinced that the claret jug was a big fat quail. He made everyone else look like they were playing in 40 mph crosswinds and hitting blindly over gorse bushes and a hotel.

With this thunderclap accomplishment it sets the world of golf wondering; What will Louis do next? This victory, in some aspects, reminds me of Trevor Immelman’s victory at the Masters in 2008. Trevor also put on a driving clinic that week, swung like Hogan, won going away and is from South Africa. Two years later we are all waiting for Trevor to play that way again. In fairness to Trevor, injuries have slowed him down but maybe also have the huge expectations that come with winning a major.

The times they are a changing though, because Tiger has lost his game and it’s a lot easier to pronounce Oosthuizen than it is to find it. In Tiger’s absence, five of the last six major winners have been first-time winners and that trend, given all the world wide talent, is likely to continue. So, if it’s not Louis, it might be Luke, or Rory, or Ryo or the easiest name to pronounce in golf, Westwood.

My money is on the latter, and I’m betting it comes at Whisling Straits and I’m hoping that I will have given birth to the boulders that the doctors call stones that have taken up residence in my kidneys so that I can watch pain free and just maybe  have a pint of the good stuff up in Wisconsin.

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.

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.