Woods posts worst round at East Lake in 14 years

By Jason SobelSeptember 21, 2012, 11:24 pm

ATLANTA – Tiger Woods trudged off the green, a conspicuous look of frustration plastered across his face. He flung his putter toward his golf bag, then walked to the next tee box muttering angrily under his breath.

This was on the 11th hole at East Lake Golf Club, the aftermath of a missed 7-foot par attempt, but it served as a microcosm of his entire day, as he carried that look of abject irritation with him throughout the second round of the Tour Championship.

From his failure to get up and down out of a bunker on the first hole … to a missed 12-foot putt on the second … to an uncharacteristically sloppy double bogey on the eighth … to a failed 3-foot effort on 12 … to airmailing the green on 17 … to coming up well short with his tee shot on 18.

If Woods had his A game during a round of 4-under 66 that gave him a share of the overnight lead on Thursday, Friday's 73 – his worst round at East Lake in 14 years – was clearly his C- game – or maybe D+ if you grade on a curve, considering only two players in the 30-man field posted worse scores.

“I didn't play very good today,” he said of a round that included five bogeys and a double. “Didn't hit it very good and definitely didn't putt well. So it was a struggle all day.”

If there’s anything Woods confirmed after a seven-stroke swing, it was that he – like every other golfer in the world – is indeed mortal. While his ebbs and flows are on a higher level than just about anyone else, they still occur on a regular basis.

Sometimes you’ve got it, sometimes you don’t.

Even if you’re a 14-time major champion.

Afterward, he was asked about the phenomenon of a day-to-day contrast in his performance.

Q: Is there any way you can explain how you go from playing really well one day to not as well the next day?

A: Yep.

Q: How?

A: Golf.

That may be an oversimplified answer, but it’s also the only reasonable one. A concert pianist doesn’t suffer so much discrepancy on a daily basis. Nor does, say, a surgeon. (At least, we hope.) But for professional golfers – even the best of the best – it’s the nature of the beast. Bouncing back from the lows becomes as important as maintaining the highs.

Nobody understands that better than Woods.

On 32 previous occasions this PGA Tour season, he has posted a score in the 70s. Eleven of those times, he followed with a score in the 60s in his very next round.

Woods may need a 12th such instance to get back into serious contention in the third round, but in the Year of the Comeback, he is hardly out of the running already.

Entering the weekend six strokes behind leader Jim Furyk may sound like a daunting task, but already this season five different players – Kyle Stanley at the Waste Management Phoenix Open; Rickie Fowler at the Wells Fargo Championship; Webb Simpson at the U.S. Open; Ernie Els at the Open Championship; and Keegan Bradley at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational – have come back from 36-hole deficits of six strokes or more to prevail on Sunday afternoon.

Woods knows it’s possible, but also understands it won’t be easy.

“I'm still right there,” he said. “This is a golf course that is playing tough. But some of the pins are pretty accessible. But you've got to get the ball on the fairway. This Bermuda rough is thin enough where every ball is sitting at the bottom. It just won't sit up. It's just really hard to judge how far it's going to be, and sometimes it doesn't even fly straight. It's imperative to get the ball on the fairway, and from there, you can attack.”

On Friday, Tiger did less attacking than playing defense. While defense may win championships in other sports, it won’t do the trick in a tournament which has 15 players currently within that six-stroke differential from the lead.

When he finished his round, Woods still owned that palpable look of frustration across his face. The trick now is whether he can erase it on Saturday afternoon.

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Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

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.

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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.