Knoll Looking To Bounce Back After Rough Year
Overcoming obstacles is hardly confined to professional golfers, granted, but Knoll, a mainstay on the Canadian Tour since qualifying at the 2000 Fall Q-school, is now forced to keep things in perspective. As one of the top golfers in Canada through most of the decade, Knoll has built himself quite a resume. Two years ago, he won the inaugural Niagara Classic, had three top-ten finishes and wore the Canadian flag as a member of the World Cup team. Back in 1996, Knoll had his banner year on the links, winning the Payless Open, finishing second on the Order of Merit while being named the Canadian Tours Most Improved Player, capturing the SCORE Award as Canadas top male touring professional and winding up in a tie for 57th at the Bell Canadian Open.
As many highs as hes experienced in the past ten years, Knoll is now adjusting to the scenery from the other side of the fence.
I look at life a lot differently now, I find things dont bother me as easily, admits Knoll, who now resides in Kelowna, B.C. with wife Sandy and children Brett and Taylor. I have things to overcome, and Im going to do my best to do it.
On a lazy summer afternoon last August, Knoll, taking part in the McDonalds PEI Challenge Pro-Am at Mill River Golf Club, suffered an allergic reaction after being stung in the neck by a hornet as he made his way to the clubhouse after the event. The venom found its way into his right eye, causing microscopic tears and scarring on the retina and leaving Knoll with just 40% vision in the eye.
I didnt play well at all last year, so that (the injury) just compounded the disappointment, he adds. I have a lot of trouble with my depth perception right now...Im not sure if what I see is what Im actually seeing. Theres always going to be a lot of questions, and it is very tough to play this game when you question what it is you are doing. Im going to have to learn to score with what I have.
Adding to what a was a season to forget in 2000, Knoll travelled overseas to Asia to play early in the year, only to fall sick and lose substantial weight which he was unable to gain back over the course of the Canadian events. Then came the August setback. Still, Knoll refuses to give up the game, choosing instead to use the adversity as motivation. His paydays may not be what they once were and Knoll has turned to running golf academies and teaching at his affiliate course, Harvest Golf Club in Kelowna, to help make ends meet.
But while it may seem as though he is backed up against the ropes, it would be foolish to count Arden Knoll out.
Im not one to give up...I wont pack it in until I cant play anymore. Of course, what happened was an unfortunate circumstance, but I see it as a challenge. A challenge I have ever intention of overcoming.
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.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
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.