What We Learned: Garcia's girlfriend comes with benefits

By Bailey Mosier, Jason Sobel, Ryan LavnerDecember 16, 2013, 12:45 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on "what we learned" from the world of golf. This week, our writers weigh in on Sergio Garcia's success with his girlfriend on the bag, an oversaturated golf schedule and a 'school' decision that's not very cool to make.

The Beatles sang it best when they crooned “All You Need is Love.” And perhaps Sergio Garcia had that record on repeat as of late, because with his new lady friend, Katharina Boehm, on the bag, the otherwise tempestuous Spaniard appeared in a Honeymoon phase all week in Thailand as he cruised to a four-shot win in a field containing two of the world’s top-5 players. I’m not sure how much credit we can award Boehm, but if she has anything at all to do with his success, he should consider keeping her on the bag … eight days a week.  Bailey Mosier

Golf’s personality index got a bump this weekend. Whether you love Sergio Garcia, or you don’t, the game’s a lot more interesting when he’s winning and full of confidence and bravado. Garcia’s victory in Thailand on Sunday had to be a great confidence boost in a year when he surely needed one. His wins are rarely ordinary. This one wasn’t, either, with Garcia claiming his first title this year with his girlfriend on his bag as caddie. In a year in which he made too much news over his rancorous relations with Tiger Woods, he leaves us with a gentler image, with that photo of the kiss he shared with his girlfriend after winning. Garcia kissed a tough 2013 goodbye in a way that makes us curious what he’s planning in 2014. – Randall Mell

Twitter might not be the world’s greatest tool for unfiltered thought, but it can often provide an insightful gauge into such reflection. Sunday was another good example, as professional golfers from Naples to Thailand walked off the final green and – like schoolchildren celebrating winter break – tweeted victoriously about their impending vacations. The fact that nobody had forced them to travel the world in search of a little extra holiday spending cash shouldn’t be overlooked, but neither should their joyous outbursts. The golf season is too long. I know it, you know it and, yes, even they know it. As anyone dipping into the eggnog this time of year has regrettably learned, sometimes less is indeed more.  Jason Sobel

Harris English may be the most underrated young player in the game. His seven-stroke victory on Sunday paired with Matt Kuchar at the Franklin Templeton Shootout aside  it is the “Challenge Season,” after all  English has two victories in his last 14 starts and has missed just five cuts in two years. And now, after his runaway victory teamed with Kooch, he has a potential Ryder Cup partner. – Rex Hoggard

More than halfway home at Q-School, it appears Michael Kim will have to make an intriguing decision. The Cal junior is the reigning NCAA Player of the Year. He’s an integral part of a team that should contend for the NCAA title. He tied for 17th at the 2013 U.S. Open and made the cut at another PGA Tour event (Greenbrier). But Q-School no longer has the same prize waiting at its conclusion. It awards a Web.com Tour card, not a pass to the big circuit, and that path has no guarantee. Is having decent status on a developmental tour worth leaving school early? That’s the decision Kim will soon have to make. – Ryan Lavner

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.

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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.