'Starved' Scott shares Doral lead

By Jay CoffinMarch 8, 2012, 11:51 pm

DORAL, Fla. – “If you starve a guy of playing a little bit, he’ll be desperate to compete.”

Those are not the words of Confucius. They did not come from one of the gaggle of mental coaches strolling the practice range week-to-week on the PGA Tour.

They came from Adam Scott, first-round co-leader (with Jason Dufner) of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, after shooting 6-under 66 at TPC Blue Monster.

If you did a double take when you looked at the leaderboard Thursday you weren’t alone. Scott’s name hasn’t appeared in such places in a while, because, well, he hasn’t played much.

The studly 66 was just Scott’s sixth competitive round this year.

Six rounds. That fact prompted many media types to jokingly say they have played much more free golf this year than Scott. Truth is, some have played more free golf this week.

In a day and age when players jet around the world for millions of dollars – much of it guaranteed just for showing up – it’s refreshing to see Scott take a much more subdued approach, one that comes from experiences good and bad.


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Scott’s first decade on Tour was spent playing anywhere and everywhere. Now, in his early 30s, he’s learned to play when he wants, not when others think he should.

“When you’re 21 it’s pretty easy to fly around the world nonstop and just go play and do everything you want to do but it’s different when you’re 31,” Scott said. “There’s this balance between playing and practice and being able to come out.”

Scott learned to competitively “starve” himself last year for the first time, which he believes helped his performance in the Masters (T-2) and the PGA Championship (seventh), which came a week after his victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

This season’s fasting of tournament golf began while he recovered from a tonsillectomy, which he underwent in mid-December.

After a month at home in Queensland, Australia, with a sore throat, Scott began hitting balls again in January to prepare for the Northern Trust Open, his first Tour start. That week at Riviera produced a 17th-place tie – which pleased him – then he produced his typical first-round exit at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, a loss on the 18th hole to England’s Robert Rock.

The opening round here at Doral produced an eagle, a bogey and five birdies. When he arrived here earlier this week he had no idea if he’d play again before the Masters. But, heeding his own advice, he feels so comfortable with this swing that he’ll likely play the Transitions Championship next week at Innisbrook.

“I’m just trying to keep myself fresh and have myself ready for the biggest events of the year,” said Scott, ranked No. 11 in the world. “That certainly starts here, I believe, until the end of September.”

Scott kept hammering home the word “fresh.” While other top players feel they need to mold their games into shape while battling tournament conditions, Scott couldn’t care less. That was the old approach, one that nearly burned him out and made him turn sour toward a game he was supposed to star in for a long time.

To assure there’s no rust, Scott has made peace with preparation. He knows that it’s easy to stray while on large breaks, but he’s learned to love the process, something that has sent many professional athletes into early retirement.

“When you play a slightly reduced schedule from other people, you have to be hard enough to be disciplined when you work at home,” Scott said. “That’s something I kind of adopted last year. I found just as much satisfaction in the process and the practice as I get out of any result.”

“So I do enjoy going home and spending hours on the range and the chipping green and the putting green. I feel that’s the balance that I need to perform the best.”

The next three days here in south Florida will be a barometer for where he stands and what he needs to work on heading toward that little tournament in Augusta, Ga., in three weeks.

How well he plays there will depend on how hungry he is.

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.