Big Names Crowd Bay Hill Leaderboard

By Mercer BaggsMarch 14, 2002, 5:00 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. ' If youre an NBC employee, now might be the time to ask officials for a raise. The Peacock brass has to be euphoric after the first round of the Bay Hill Invitational.
The games two biggest personalities are two of the top names on the leaderboard, and some equally immense ' and telegenic ' talent is following them closely.
Two-time defending champion Tiger Woods and John Daly each opened in 5-under-par 67 to tie D.A. Weibring, John Huston, Steve Flesch and Argentine Angel Cabrera for the 18-hole lead. Cabrera led outright at 7-under with two holes to play, but finished bogey-bogey.
Sergio Garcia leads a group one shot back. Garcia, who played in the final group Sunday a year ago, is tied for seventh place with Stewart Cink, Kaname Yokoo and Rod Pampling.
Vijay Singh held a share of the lead through 12 holes, but bogeyed 13 and 14 in shooting 3-under 69. Hes tied with a plethora of players, including 1997 winner Phil Mickelson and Ryder Cup Captain Curtis Strange.
It just so happens that Daly and Woods rank Nos. 1 and 2 on the PGA Tour in driving distance. Cabrera led the European Tour in that category in 2001.
'Driving, of course, is always important,' said Garcia, who averages 287 yards off the tee. 'Getting the right distance (for your approach shots)is really important this week because you're playing with very little margin of error.
'It's tough, but it's a good challenge.'
Thursday, the leaders displayed a combination of overwhelming might and subdued control in attacking the renovated, 7,206-yard layout.
On a warm, yet docile Central Florida day, Woods played his first six holes in 4-under. However, he stalled like a nervous politician, parring Nos. 7-15. Tiger broke that streak with an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-5 16th, and narrowly missed a final red number at the last.
I didnt really get off to the greatest of starts, but my short game bailed me out, said Woods, who hit only nine of 18 greens in regulation but needed just 22 putts. I made a lot of putts today. Its nice to roll the ball on some good greens.
The greens have been a primary subject of conversation this week. The rebuilt exteriors are firm, and players are having to adjust in their shot-making.
You had to make sure to drive the ball in play; from there you could take your chances, if you wanted to, said Woods. These greens are hard and baked out ' its quite a challenge.
Playing in the threesome behind Tiger, Daly met the challenge, moving to 5-under through 12 holes, before carding back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14. But rather than folding down the stretch, he hit a driver and a 6-iron to 12 feet on the par-5 16th, and converted the eagle putt.
I played the par-5s in 5-under today; thats what I shot, noted Daly, who earned an invitation to the Masters by finishing last week inside the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Though Daly is playing some of the most consistent golf in his life over the past two years, he has never fared well at Bay Hill. Prior to this round, he had shot in the 80s as many times as he had in the 60s. His lore of self-destruction was cemented in 1998, when he hit six balls into the lake on the par-5 sixth en route to an 18.
But this year, the granitic greens are playing to his strengths.
I hit it high and the greens are very (hard), Daly said. Im hitting a lot of short clubs into the par-4s which should be an advantage.
Its a course that I havent had a lot of success on, so its very difficult to really judge it.
Ernie Els, the 1998 Bay Hill champion and winner of his last two events, shot 3-under-69. Meanwhile, tournament host Arnold Palmer shot 14-over 86.
Full-field scores from the Bay Hill Invitational
Getty Images

Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

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.