Captains Still Juggling Their Line-ups

By Mercer BaggsSeptember 25, 2002, 4:00 pm
SUTTON COLDFIELD, England -- After two days of full practice, both Ryder Cup captains are pleased with what theyre seeing. Theyre also fine-tuning their teams.
 
I have adjusted, yes, said U.S. Captain Curtis Strange when asked if he had made adjustments in his pairings after two days of observing.
 
But when asked to divulge, Strange responded, Dont even ask me the follow-up (question). Dont even waste your breath.
 
European Captain Sam Torrance wasnt about to leak any information either.
 
Yes, theres a couple of things already changed this week, and thats just the way it is ' it has to happen, he said. Some things arent right and you have to shuffle and rearrange and make things right. Thats the job of the captain.
 
Please dont ask me what they were.
 
On the second day of preparations for the 34th Ryder Cup Matches, both captains only slightly rearranged their line-ups from the first day.
 
Torrance had Dane Thomas Bjorn, Northern Irishman Darren Clarke, Swede Pierre Fulke and Welshman Phillip Price in his first group. Bjorn and Clarke paired together Tuesday, as did Fulke and Price, but in separate groups.
 
Sergio Garcia of Spain, Germanys Bernhard Langer, Scot Colin Montgomerie and Englishman Lee Westwood went out in Europes second group. Once again, Garcia and Langer played together the day before, as did Montgomerie and Westwood, but in different groups.
 
The same held true for Wednesday's final grouping of Swedes Jesper Parnevik and Niclas Fasth, and Irishmen Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley. Parnevik and McGinley have played together each of the first two day, as have Harrington and Fasth.
 
Strange had Phil Mickelson and David Toms together again. They played alongside Stewart Cink and Jim Furyk. Cink played with Paul Azinger Tuesday, while Furyk played with Scott Hoch.
 
Azinger was teamed with Tiger Woods Wednesday. They played with Hoch and Mark Calcavecchia. Woods and Calcavecchia were paired together the day before.
 
Azinger showed up late on the first tee, leaving Hoch to play with Woods on the first nine holes, they then switched partners on the back nine.
 
Davis Love III and David Duval, and Hal Sutton and Scott Verplank played together in another group; both teams were paired together Tuesday, but in different groups.
As opposed to the first day when teams practiced four-balls, they played alternate shot on Day 2.
 
Today was the only mandatory 18 holes they had to play, explained Strange. A serious alternate shot.
 
I wanted straight alternate shot, no practice putting, which they cannot do in the matches; no second balls ' play alternate shot. Try to get a feel for what youre going to have to do in the matches. And that is very important to me.
 
I adjusted with the team Sunday night because I was adamant that they were going to play two and a half days of golf, resting a lot on Thursday; adamant about who theyre going to be paired with; adamant that they play and practice hard, because remember, we have to get ready for Friday morning.
 
The opening ceremonies will take place Thursday afternoon. Strange said his team has the option of playing as much or as little as they want tomorrow.
 
Both captains reiterated that they have their line-ups in order for Fridays four-ball and foursome matches, but stated changes may be made.
 
Its based on chemistry, Strange said. Its not so much on play. Everybody is doing okay. I just have to adjust a little bit.
 
Said Torrance: My idea on it, Im looking for the best pairings I can find. Whether its foursomes, whether its camaraderie or high spirits, I put it together, and I try to come up with the four best pairings in the series.
 
Torrance and Strange also said they like the way their teams are enjoying themselves in the long week leading up the serious competition.
 
Theyre having a ball out there. Theyre laughing and theyre joking. Theyre gambling, said Torrance.
 
Theyre even having a little fun at the captains expense.
 
Im in the bathroom (Tuesday night) and the phone goes; its Pierre Fulke. He says, Sam, Ive got a huge problem, its the biggest problem of the week, I have to come see you. Okay. So I wrap a towel around myself and I go to the door and his face is ashen. And I thought, what has happened. And he says, Sam, I cant do my tie. I could have killed him, Torrance told.
 
But the camaraderie is fantastic. Weve got great team spirit ' brilliant.
 
No such shenanigans have been played on Strange, but he feels his team is loose and prepared.
 
I have to admit, the guys are great fun. Last night, the night before, and during the day. They are relaxed, theyre having a lot of fun, Strange said. So far, so good. Its been so far perfect, it really has.
 
Full coverage of the 34th Ryder Cup Matches

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

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.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

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

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

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.