Field Set for LPGA Sectional Q-School
The 72-hole sectional will be played at the same site as the Tour's first major of the 2004 season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, for the third consecutive year. The field will be cut to the low 70 players and ties after 36 holes. After four rounds, the top 30 players and ties will advance to the LPGA Tour's Final Qualifying Tournament at LPGA International's Legends Course in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Creamer and Hardin are two of the 22 amateurs who will attempt to qualify for the LPGA Tour this year (four additional amateurs are entered into the second sectional, Oct. 5-8, in Venice, Fla.). Nirapathpongporn of Thailand is one of 75 players from outside the United States in the California sectional (an additional seven international players are entered into the Venice field).
Creamer, who celebrated her 18th birthday on Aug. 5 and is the nation's third-ranked amateur, has competed in nine LPGA Tour events from 2003 04. She came within one stroke of a sudden-death playoff with Cristie Kerr at this year's ShopRite LPGA Classic, ultimately finishing tied for second and posting the best finish for an amateur in an LPGA event since Jenny Chuasiraporn was a runner-up at the 1998 U.S. Women's Open.
Creamer was a member of the victorious 2004 U.S. Curtis Cup Team and is a two-time member of the U.S. Junior Solheim Cup Team (2002-03). Creamer was a semifinalist at both the 2003 and 2004 Girls' Juniors and Women's Amateurs, and tied for low-amateur honors at the 2004 U.S. Women's Open, finishing tied for 13th. She has won 11 American Junior Golf Association events and was named the AJGA Player of the Year for 2003.
Hardin, a 22-year-old graduate of Duke University, has competed in seven LPGA tournaments in her career, with a best finish of 51st at the 2003 U.S. Women's Open. Currently ranked second on the Golfweek/Titleist Women's Amateur Rankings, Hardin was the 1998 USGA Girls' Junior champion, 2000 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship medalist and 2002 U.S. Curtis Cup Team member (she was an alternate in 2004). At Duke University, Hardin was a member of the 2002 NCAA Championship team and served as captain of the golf team in 2003-04.
Hardin is joined by fellow Blue Devil teammate Nirapathpongporn, who also graduated from Duke this spring, but has since turned professional and has been competing on the Futures Tour, where she has posted two top-10 finishes. Nirapathpongporn is a four-time NCAA First-Team All-American selection (2000-03) and the won the 2002 NCAA individual championship.
In 2003, she won the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship and was runner-up at the Women's Amateur Public Links Championship. Nirapathpongporn holds Duke University's scoring records for 18 holes (65), 54 holes (207) and 72 holes(279) and received the 2004 Nancy Lopez Award for her outstanding 2003 amateur performance. Nirapathpongporn has competed in seven LPGA events, with her best finishing coming at the 2003 Kraft Nabisco Championship, where she tied for 21st.
Consistent with the LPGA's history as being a true 'World Tour,' the 199-player field features players from 24 countries outside the United States, as well as a player from Puerto Rico. Canada is represented by the most players with 11, followed by Australia (9), England (7) and Korea (7). Four additional Korean players will join the field for the LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament in Venice, along with a player from France, Argentina and the Bahamas.
The Rancho Mirage qualifier is the first of the LPGA Tour's two sectional qualifying events in 2004. The second LPGA Tour Sectional Qualifying Tournament is Oct. 5-8 at Plantation Golf and Country Club's Bobcat and Panther courses in Venice, Fla. The top 30 finishers and ties from the California qualifier will join the top 30 players and ties from the Venice sectional qualifier, current LPGA Tour members attempting to improve their status and the 10 players from the 2004 Futures Tour money list at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.
Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge
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
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
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.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
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.