Hanna Hangs on for Second Straight Day
Like child's play, Hanna whittled down to a stroke the lead Annika Sorenstam had secured for herself earlier in the day - within fifteen minutes of her round.
Then Hanna lost her feel with the putter. 'I didn't figure out what I was doing with my putter until the last few holes when I made that long birdie putt (on 15),' said Hanna immediately after her round.
There were birdie opportunities out there, but for whatever reason Hanna could not make the putts fall. 'I putted well when I had to save my pars. I didn't make birdies like I did yesterday.'
On the par-4 10th she missed a birdie opportunity after rolling an 8-foot putt to the hole where it hung on the lip refusing to fall in the cup.
For the next eleven holes she made nothing but pars. It wasn't until the par-5 13th that Hanna finally got into her groove. Birdie on the par-5 13th, tied her with Sorenstam for the lead. Another on the par-3 15th gave her the outright lead and a closing birdie on the last left the winless, second year player in the lead by two strokes.
Hanna had carded a two-day total of 13-under-par 63-68 131 and set a new 36-hole record at Randolph North Golf Club in the process. 'I have to keep telling myself that this is where I want to be and why I am practicing so hard,' said a very confident Hanna. 'It's my time. I'm not going to scare myself away from this one.'
Hanna holds non-exempt status this year after an injury mid-season 2000. So far this year she has finished 78th at the YourLife Vitamins LPGA Classic and missed the cut at both the Takefuji Classic and the Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open.
Annika Sorenstam started off at a gallop's pace on Friday. She teed off on the back nine in second place and birdied the first hole of the day to move to 8-under-par. By the time she had made it to the 13th hole she had tied Jen Hanna's first round lead of 9-under-par. Sorenstam didn't stop there - she birdied two more times to finish the back nine at 11-under-par.
After making the turn at 11-under, Sorenstam dropped back one on the par-4 2nd. Her approach shot was short leaving her with a chip shot to the green. She chipped to within three feet and two putted making her first bogey of the event.
'My only mistake was silly on No. 2,' she said after her round. 'I was hitting sand wedge in to the green and just hit it bad. After that I lost some momentum. I told my caddy I must have lost some oxygen to my brain or something to hit that kind of shot.'
The tenacious Swede managed to get back to 11-under with a birdie on No. 3. Her two-day total of 65-68 133 left her atop the leaderboard early in the day, but ironically, in the end Hanna put her right back where she began - lagging by two.
Randolph North's course record of 10-under-par 62 was safe today. As expected, scores were slightly higher during the second round.
Still, there were a lot of good rounds posted. Dottie Pepper, Pat Hurst and Se Ri Pak all shot 4-under-par on the back nine this morning. Cinderella story Dorothy Delasin (67-68) is in the hunt after finishing tied with Hurst and Pak (both 68-67) at 9-under-par 135.
Lorie Kane shot 5-under-par 67 for the second day in a row leaving her in a position she knows well - three of Kane's four victories were from behind. Kane is tied with Dottie Pepper and Brandie Burton.
Amateur Lorina Ochoa's bogey on the first hole Friday foreshadowed the troubles she would have throughout the rest of her round. On Thursday she fired off a spectacular round of 6-under-par 66 to put herself in contention for the lead, but day two was not as kind to the University of Arizona freshman. She managed to shoot 74 on Friday and made the cut. 'I have nothing to lose,' said Ochoa Thursday night. 'I am honored to be here playing with all these great players, I think this is every college player's dream to play an LPGA tournament.'
75 players made the cut of 2-under-par 142. This is the lowest score for a 36-hole cut in the history of the event. The lucky 72 will find conditions much different Saturday. High winds and rain are expected but the current leader has no fear. 'Right now I'm hitting the ball pretty solidly. I will tell you I do like to play in the rain.'
Check out full-field scores from the Welch's/Circle K
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.