What We Learned: The power of potatoes

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2012, 4:00 am

Each week, the GolfChannel.com team offers up thoughts on 'what we learned' from the most recent PGA Tour event. This week, the team ponders the aftermath of Mark Wilson's victory at the Humana Challenge at La Quinta.


I learned that a professional golfer doesn't need the steely resolve of Jack Nicklaus to win a tournament. He doesn't need the confident machismo of Arnold Palmer, nor the dark intimidation of Gary Player.

Holding a one-stroke lead heading to the final hole of the Humana Challenge, Mark Wilson was the focus of Golf Channel cameras while standing on the teebox readying himself for the biggest shot of the tournament.

Was he visualizing the center of the fairway? Coolly standing away from his fellow competitors? No and no. Instead, Wilson was laughing and joking with his playing partners. He was so calm that a nearby microphone caught him saying something about mashed potatoes.

Seconds later, Wilson mashed his drive. It led to a two-putt birdie and his third win in the past 13 months. Sometimes nice guys don't finish last after all. – Jason Sobel


I learned that no matter how scripted a PGA Tour golf tournament is planned, Mother Nature ALWAYS trumps everything. Wind, rain, lightning, fog ... it is forever tough to break par when it comes to competing with Mother Nature. – Golf Guy


I learned that tweaking a tournament format (that was a disaster to begin with) and having a former President involved in your PGA Tour event is going to give you some pretty good mileage. Weather was terrible on Saturday, which kept President Clinton from completing his round, but his presence made a difference in an event that had one of the weakest fields on Tour in 2011. This year Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson added star-power but it was still Bubba – Clinton, not Watson – who stole the show. Good to see the Hope shine again, even if it isn't still called the Hope. – Jay Coffin


As much fun as it was to watch Robert Garrigus bust ridiculously long drives, his finish – T-2, two strokes back – was yet another reminder that you drive for show and putt for, not so much dough as trophies. The most important club in Garrigus’ arsenal was his new long putter, which replaced his old short flat stick, but did not prove to be a magic wand.

If nothing else, though, Garrigus should be far less prone to lower-back issues with the long stick. It’s a miracle his old kid-sized model didn’t leave him permanently stooped over. – Al Tays


I learned to bet my mortgage on Mark Wilson when weather gets in the way of a PGA Tour event. The Wisconsin native has won his last three PGA Tour events in tournaments plagued by weather. He won the Sony Open after droves of rain, in Phoenix after frosty conditions and the Humana after a desert hurricane. When the locusts come, I will wager on Wilson. - Ryan Ballengee


I learned that if Bill Clinton were ever able to campaign for the U.S. presidency again, I’d vote for him. This week’s event was always a beloved desert staple when Bob Hope was involved with it and if there were ever one man who could ignite similar interest and support for the La Quinta classic, that man is former President Bill Clinton. One can’t help but admire his stance on childhood obesity and his ‘walking the walk’ by losing 24 pounds, himself, and becoming vegan. – Bailey Mosier

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.