Hurley leaning on Navy experience with 54-hole lead

By Jason SobelJuly 5, 2014, 11:26 pm

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – There were a few things that Billy Hurley III learned during his five years enlisted as a U.S. Navy lieutenant that have helped in his second career as a professional golfer.

One has been useful in getting him into his current position as Greenbrier Classic leader through 54 holes.

“I think that mental toughness and timing are two keys,” he explained. “They’re both very similar and very important in both jobs.”

The other should come in handy now that he’ll be sleeping on the lead for a second consecutive night.

“I slept fine last night. A benefit of the Navy is you learn to sleep anywhere. I think I'll sleep fine tonight, too.”

Following a lead by the PGA Tour’s only active military veteran on the Fourth of July, another lead one day later doesn’t quite fit the same patriotic narrative.

Of course, that doesn’t make it any less substantive.

A third-round 3-under 67 once again has Hurley atop the leaderboard, holding a two-stroke advantage over two-time major champion Angel Cabrera. That could sound like a daunting task for any player seeking his first career victory, but he doesn’t see it that way.

Video: Hurley eyeing major win at Greenbrier

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“Sometimes you kind of can look at a guy like that who has won a bunch and two majors, kind of like, ‘Oh, he does that pretty nice,’” he explained. “It will be a new experience, [but] I've played with a major winners a couple times before.”

It also helps that Hurley is looking at the situation as if he’s playing with house money.

“I feel like I have my card locked up for next year, which is kind of a big piece of playing the last couple weeks for me,” he said. “So at this point, a win is kind of a bonus. I'm going to give it my best and try to win tomorrow, and try to hit shots and just have fun doing it. I haven't really thought about it too much.”

Maybe it’s his background having been deployed in far outreaches around the globe; maybe it’s his elevated status as the 80th-ranked player on the FedEx Cup points list. Either way, Hurley doesn’t seem intimidated by the moment. He doesn’t seem like the situation will be too big for him, like the pressure of the stakes will engulf him.

He maintains that he’ll just try to emulate his first three rounds on Sunday afternoon.

“I'm going to try to keep doing what I'm doing,” he said. “I just want to put my mind in position so that I can play well.”

Scratch that.

He doesn’t want to keep doing what’s gotten him into the 54-hole lead. He wants to improve upon it.

“I figure if I shoot the lowest score tomorrow, I can't lose. So we're just going to go out there and play nicely. If I play well with a two‑shot lead, I'm going to have to play really, really well.”

If he does, it will be the culmination of one of the longer and undoubtedly the most circuitous route to the winner’s circle we’ve seen in a long time.

From Navy lieutenant to competing on mini-tours, from the developmental Nationwide circuit to the PGA Tour and back again, Hurley will focus on just being himself.

“I just tell myself to be Billy Hurley,” he said. “I just kind of tell myself and I've been telling myself the last couple of days, just be Billy Hurley. He's doing pretty well.”

Hey, it’s gotten him this far already. On Sunday, it just might get him a first career victory.

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 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.