What to expect Sunday at Bethpage

By Jay CoffinJune 21, 2009, 3:34 am

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – The 109th U.S. Open will end one of these days. At least we’ve finally found a way to make the cut, leaving only 60 players with a chance to win. The forecast is terrible for Sunday, but there is a slim chance that a champion will be crowned by the end of the day. Still here is a list of things to watch during Sunday’s race:

Sweet little Mother Nature

She’s been a big pain in the rump all week so why would Sunday be any different? Bethpage Black has drained incredibly well for as much rain as it has received, but there is much more to come. According to one forecast, from 10 p.m. ET Saturday until 5 p.m. Sunday, the likelihood of heavy rainfall never falls below 70 percent. This course can’t hold that much more water. Frankly, it’s a minor miracle that this championship is as far along as it is right now.

Where will Tiger Woods finish?

There isn’t going to be a victory party, but smart money is still on a top 10. A bad side of the draw will keep Woods from major championship No. 15 but, hey, he’s been on the good side more often than not. Woods was tied for 41st after two rounds and is the ultimate grinder who will find a way to use the remaining holes to his benefit. The guy never quits, is more mentally tough than anyone else and will find a way to leapfrog 35 players before we’re done.

Duval feeling groovy

David Duval is the unanimous feel-good story of the week as he’s tied for fourth after two rounds. He came into the week saying that his scores aren’t a result of how well he’s swinging the club, but his numbers show that he’d only made four cuts all year on the PGA Tour and hadn’t finished better than 55th. The former British Open champion and world No. 1 has spent time getting to know the New York police and firefighters this week and has signed tons of autographs. It seems to be paying off in spades.

“I hope I appreciate it more but I also have a very good idea what great golf is about and what bad golf is about,” Duval said.

Merchandise pavilion

If it rains as much as predicted Sunday, the 43,000-square foot merchandise tent will be the most hopping place on the grounds. Mary Lopuszynski, director of licensing and U.S. Open merchandising, said that 1,200 umbrellas were gone by mid-morning Thursday during a weather delay and that another shipment of 1,000 arrived here Saturday. Combine that with the remaining ponchos and Lopuszynski will have her hands full. And shelves empty.

Amateur hour

Three amateurs made the cut and none shone brighter than the University of Washington’s Nick Taylor, who shot a second-round 65 to end the round tied for seventh. Taylor’s round equaled the U.S. Open record for low score by an amateur, matching the 65s shot by James McHale (1947) and James Simons (1971).

“It’s a good feeling to be able to make the cut,” Taylor said. “I really have no expectations. So just go out and play as well as I can and not have any pressure for the most part.”

Drew Weaver and Kyle Stanley were the other two amateurs to make the cut. Stanley made the cut on the number and Weaver was safely in with 69-72. It’s still a toss up to see who will take home low amateur honors.

European contingent

It’s been widely documented that a European hasn’t won the U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970 at Hazeltine. Sweden’s Peter Hanson (T-4), and English duo Lee Westwood and Ross Fisher (both T-7) are the best bets. If poor weather continues, the conditions may make the Europeans think they’re playing their Open, not the U.S. Open.

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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.