What We Learned: WGC-Accenture Match Play

By Bailey MosierFebruary 24, 2013, 11:55 pm

Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the world of golf. This week, our writers weigh in on Matt Kuchar's win in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, whether the tournament should remain at Dove Mountain despite problems this week with snow, and Ariya Jutanugarn's heartbreaking loss in the Honda LPGA Thailand.

I’m not going to make any major proclamation about Matt Kuchar soon becoming a major champion. If there’s any bad news for this year’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship winner, it’s that only two of the previous 14 winners of this event followed it with a major title later in the year. (That would be Geoff Ogilvy in 2006 and Tiger Woods in ’08.) So even though Kuchar vaulted himself into The Masters conversation on Sunday, it would be too narrow-minded to declare him on the verge of earning major hardware. Instead, I’ll use this opportunity to celebrate one of the more fascinating careers of the current era. Kuchar was, of course, a highly ranked amateur, making the cut in three of five majors before turning pro. He won in his first full PGA Tour season, but the train to superstardom soon derailed, as Kuchar found himself back on the Nationwide Tour just seven years ago. At that point, it was hard to picture the once heralded phenom as an elite player, but that’s exactly what he’s become, winning a top-level tourney in each of the past three seasons. Kuchar is still searching for that elusive first major, but his journey toward becoming one of the best without one deserves to be celebrated. – Jason Sobel


I initially favored the anchored putter ban when the U.S. Golf Association proposed it last November, but after hearing PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem speak Sunday at Dove Mountain, I may be changing my tune.

'If there’s one thing that prevailed across a lot of players and a lot of our board members was that, (anchored putters have) been around for a generation, and the game of golf has done quite well … Most players are saying, 'Without a significant upside and no competitive advantage, let’s don’t do it,'' Finchem relayed.

In so many words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. However the ruling plays out, I give major kudos to Finchem and members of the PGA Tour for heavily weighing the pros and cons of the issue, and for taking a stand for what they believe. It made me change my stance, and who knows ... perhaps it will have a similar effect on the USGA. – Bailey Mosier


The Match Play needs a new home in 2015. This was painfully obvious before the freak snowstorm that hit the high desert last week. For years players have grumbled about the greens at Dove Mountain, which feature myriad humps and mounds. The isolated location isn’t ideal. The course is never jammed with spectators. The weather is too unpredictable, with snow, of all things, two of the past three years. If the PGA Tour doesn’t want to put the “world” back in the World Golf Championships – and move the Match Play to Brazil or South Africa, for instance – how about sending the 64-man event to Las Vegas? Or maybe Puerto Rico? You know, some place where it won’t snow in late February. – Ryan Lavner


There's yet another teen phenom ready to challenge the world's best women.

Despite Ariya Jutanugarn's heartbreaking stumble losing the Honda LPGA Thailand at the 72nd hole Sunday, the 17-year-old Thai joined 15-year-old Lydia Ko as the most compelling storylines in the LPGA's first two events of the 2013 season. Jutanugarn lost her bid to become the first Thai to win an LPGA event and the third youngest player to win on that tour, but she scripted a riveting tale doing so. It is remarkable how the women's game consistently delivers these precocious talents.

Two years ago, Lexi Thompson became the youngest winner of an LPGA event at 16. Last year, Ko topped her, winning the CN Canadian Women's Open at 15. Ko took a share of the final-round lead  into the LPGA season opener in Australia last week before fading.

It's all enough to make Michelle Wie feel old at 23. – Randall Mell

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.