PGA running diary: Rory's win, his 'Deep V' on Day 4

By Jason CrookAugust 11, 2014, 12:10 pm

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Well, this is it. It’s what we’ve been building toward all week. Through the early wake-ups, the rain, the mud, the heat, the crowds, the Hot Browns, the bourbon tastings and the occasional run-in with Amanda Dufner – it’s finally PGA Championship Sunday.

I know I’ve ragged on golf – specifically watching golf in person – a lot this week. Don’t expect me to take any of it back, but at least we’ve arrived at the final round of a major with some very intriguing storylines. Rory could win his second consecutive major. Rickie could finally break through. Phil could show up for the first time this year. Bernd Wiesberger could make tonight’s SportsCenter Top 10, but not No. 1, because there’s no way a relative unknown winning a major championship is bigger than a diving catch in regular season Major League Baseball game.

Anyway, you get my point, I think. Today could be exciting. With that said, lets fast-forward straight to the action.

Sunday

12:00 p.m. ET – Get to Valhalla. Notice there’s a light sprinkle falling from the sky. Way to literally rain on my parade. Today was going pretty good until, you know, I actually got to the golf course.

12:22 – Head to the media dining room. If there’s ever a problem in life not solved by free food, that problem might be unsolvable.

12:47That heavy stuff Carl Spackler was talking about. It’s coming down now.

12:53 – Play is suspended. It’s tough to hear the announcement over this fried chicken, though.

12:55 – Cable goes out. What’s that? We’re stuck in a building with no cable and limited Internet, but unlimited free food. What to do … what to do …

1:13 – Rain starts to let up, I make a run slow crawl toward the media center. I'm moving like that giant blueberry girl from “Willy Wonka,” except imagine if she blew up into something unhealthy, like a fudge brownie.

3:20 – Enough time has passed for me to move again and I've run out of things to do on the Internet. Decide I haven't spent enough money in merchandise tent. Make the trek over there bringing only my credit card.

3:42 – Pull out my credit card to pay for my last-day-of-the-tournament-we-need-to-get-rid-of-this-crap, 20-percent-off Valhalla coffee mug. My credit card looks suspiciously like my hotel key. Epic fail.

4:17 – Head out to course. So. Much. Orange. I'm not sure who the fan-favorite is, but it looks like the Syracuse University mascot threw-up all over the course. And not just on the kids; on their parents, too.

4:46 – Only took me 29 minutes and two missed holes of action to catch up to the marquee group of Mickelson and Fowler. Turns out, a couple other people were watching them, too.

4:47 – David Feherty is wearing some sweet jeans. He could use a chain wallet. Some fans serenade him with his TV show theme song. He seems to enjoy it.

5:15 – Standing behind the green on No. 5. Fans around me (one of whom looks suspiciously like Shia LaBeouf, which is definitely possible since he is not famous anymore) are arguing over scores and positions on the leaderboard. No one seems to care that Francis Ouimet is here.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"752511","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"340","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"600"}}]]

5:16 – I hear, “Rickie’s in the orange,” as they come down the fairway. Now we know.

5:18 – Phil misses right of the fifth green. Nails someone. What does he carry more of in his bag … wedges or gloves? Things to ponder at night.

5:22 – Rickie chips in for his third consecutive birdie. Crowd goes nuts. Hard to not give a little fist pump, I wouldn’t have cared who it was, it was awesome. Oh, maybe this is why people like coming to these things?

5:23 – Weigh my options of trying to fight through the crowd to catch another big shot or actually watching the rest of the tournament. It’s not really a close call. Back to the media center I go.

5:50 – Make it back to the media center. Place is buzzing.

6:03 – Phil misses an eagle putt on No. 7 by centimeters. People are giddy.

7:20 – Notice Rory is going anti-Bubba. No, not the fact that he hit driver on 10 or that he’s trying to finish closer to first than last. I’m talking about this “Deep V” thing that he’s got going on. Check it out below. Any deeper and he might have to start modeling with Ben Stiller and Andy Samberg.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"752476","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"340","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"600"}}]]

8:03 - Even Gwen Stefani thinks this tournament is bananas. The media center is freaking out. Mostly about the possibility if them not finishing and having to rearrange their travel plans, but still.

8:43 - Final putt drops, Rory is your champ. I win $60 from our office pool and all is right in the world. Everyone gets to go home and no one has to come back to the course tomorrow. 

This whole week has been a wild experience. The Grill Room went from a generally unknown commodity to an established veteran journalistic presence among its peers in the golf industry. At least that's what I'm hearing ... from the Grill Room. Hopefully, Golf Channel will send us out to cover another event again soon. If this didn't convince them, I don't know what will. Don't tune in tomorrow because this is the last of our exclusive PGA Championship coverage. But check out yesterday's running diary here, and continue coming to the Grill Room for more of the lighter side of golf.

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.

Getty Images

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.