What We Learned: CIMB Classic

By Damon HackOctober 28, 2012, 11:37 pm

Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the week. This week, our writers weigh in on the difficulty of watching late-night golf; the underrated talent of Bo Van Pelt; the unsatisfactory nature of exhibition golf; the continued improvement of Tiger Woods and the loneliness of being Stacy Lewis.


You really want to know what I learned this week? Fine. I'm old. That's what I learned. Overnight golf – well, at least overnight in my time zone – used to be an excuse to sit around with a big bag of pretzels and a few cold ones. (As opposed to most other nights, when I had no excuse.) This week, I was the viewing equivalent of Nick Watney before the final round. That's right – a sleeper. Either somebody spiked my pretzels or I don't have what it takes to stay up anymore. Which is a shame for a few reasons. One is that it promoted random dreams about random PGA Tour players. That's not a good thing. Another is that in between snores I was able to catch only a few glimpses of really good players playing really good golf half a world away. I don't think Watney will win a major next season because of his victory in Malaysia, but I do think those who were able to stay awake Saturday night received a look into why he'll win one. As aloof as he is off the course, Watney is calm, confident and in control when he’s in contention. I wasn’t one of those who was able to watch his entire final-round 61, but there is some good news: Coverage of the WGC-HSBC Champions begins at 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Pass the pretzels – and a wake-up call. – Jason Sobel


Bo Van Pelt may be the most underrated player in golf. For those who are less than impressed with Van Pelt’s win-place combo the last two weeks at the Perth International and CIMB Classic, consider that he finished inside the top 25 more times than not (16 times out of 24 starts) in 2012, has finished inside the top 30 in FedEx Cup points the last three seasons and is 49th on the career money list. Not bad for a one-win (official) afterthought. – Rex Hoggard


Like sweet potato soufflé on Thanksgiving, I’ve had my fill of exhibition golf. A pair of Rory McIlroy comments this week pinned my needle. First, McIlroy said of his Turkish boondoggle that it was a nice, relaxing week with his girlfriend and that he didn’t “take it too seriously.” He then said of his impending one-on-one against Tiger Woods in China, “it will be hard to get myself up” for the match. Meanwhile, he’s making millions of dollars off both events he’s deemed meaningless. This isn’t a mini-McIlroy rant. I don’t blame him for taking the cash and appreciate him not blowing smoke up our keisters. I just prefer competitive golf or no golf at all. – Mercer Baggs


Time was, a 63 by Tiger Woods on a Sunday meant curtains for everybody else. The other players would hear those Tiger roars and start hitting shots into trees and tributaries. That is no longer the case, as Tiger’s closing kick at the CIMB Classic (similar to his 62 on Sunday at the Honda Classic while chasing Rory McIlroy) left him short of victory. Nick Watney was the man in Malaysia. He shot 61 on Sunday.

Tiger is still one of the two best players in the game, an awesome force who remains a heavy favorite to break Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour wins and may find a way to catch Jack’s record of 18 majors, too. But his biggest haymakers don’t leave scars like they used to. His opponents have learned to parry them. Tiger, no doubt, will keep on punching. – Damon Hack


Any quest to return American women's golf to prominence is beginning to look like a lonely proposition for Stacy Lewis. Lewis still holds the lead in the Rolex Player of the Year standings in her bid to become the first American to win the honor since Beth Daniel in 1994, but her fellow Americans have quietly continued to slip way down in the world rankings.

Lewis leads the Player of the Year race with 184 points, though Inbee Park moved within striking distance of seizing the honor with her second-place finish Sunday at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship. Park is second to Lewis, trailing by 28 points with three events left in the season. A win is worth 30 points.

While Lewis leads the POY race, the next best American is Angela Stanford at 13th in points. Lewis is No. 2 in the Rolex world rankings, but no other American ranks among the top 10 anymore. One year ago, four Americans ranked among the top 10 in the world. The 2012 money list also has a similar look of diminishing returns for Americans. Lewis is second on the money list. You have to go all the way down to No. 14 to find the next American (Paula Creamer). Just last year, five Americans ranked among the top 10 on the final money list. – Randall Mell

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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.

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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.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.