Argentina New Zealand Maintain World Cup Lead
Playing foursomes (alternate shot), the home team carded one eagle and five birdies to offset a double-bogey at the first. For the second straight day, the Argentines matched the Kiwis score; Thursday it was a 57, this time both teams posted a 5-under-par 67.
At 20-under through two rounds at the Buenos Aires Golf Club, Argentina and New Zealand lead the American duo of Tiger Woods and David Duval by two shots.
Once again, Duval did the yeoman's work. As he did on Day 1, Duval carried Woods to a 7-under-par 65. With a putter hotter than the South American sun, the world's fourth-ranked player rolled in putt after putt on the back nine to keep the defending champions in contention for a repeat.
Thursday, the Argentines birdied their first six holes using the better-ball format. Friday, playing alternate shot, Romero and Cabrera were 1-over over that same stretch.
In front of an enthusiastic home crowd, the Argentines silenced their fans with a double-bogey 6 on the first hole. Following four consecutive pars, Romero and Cabrera picked up their first birdie of the day at the par-5 6th, and then added another birdie at the 7th.
The host country closed their front nine with a Romero chip-in for eagle at the par-5 9th. Cabrera then followed suit with a chip-in of his own at the par-4 12th. The unexpected birdie gave the Argentines their first solo-lead of the day at 19-under-par.
A birdie at the par-5 14th moved the Argentines to 20-under, where they finished after carding four straight pars to end the round.
While Romero and Cabrera weren't able to post a red number down the stretch, they did manage a spectacular par at the 17th. Hitting his second shot to the par-5 penultimate hole, Cabrera hooked his approach into the water left of the green. In danger of dropping at least one shot, Romero calmly pitched to within four feet of the cup, a distance from which Cabrera easily coaxed in the par save.
'We got off to a dreadful start,' Romero said, 'but we got better and better and we finished the day in good position. The eagle at the 9th was what got us going.'
New Zealand was in charge throughout most of the second round. Nobilo and Turner birdied the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 9th holes for a front-nine 32. A bogey at the par-4 10th was their lone blemish, as the Kiwis recorded six pars and a pair of birdies over their final eight holes.
Following a sluggish start, the Americans heated up once Duval's flatstick caught fire. Duval recorded a tremendous par save at the 11th, and then rolled in birdie putts at the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th holes.
'I just had to get the ball on the flat surface and he would make the putts,' Woods said. 'It was that easy.'
The format will revert back to four-ball for Saturday's play. Argentina and New Zealand will play in the final group, while the Americans will be paired with a disappointed Australian team of Lucas Parsons and Peter O'Malley.
The Aussies were tied with the Yanks at 18-under entering the home hole, where Parsons hit his tee shot into the drink. A double-bogey ensued, dropping the Australians, who shot 70, four off the mid-way lead at 16-under.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
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.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18