Exorcizing The Demons

By Mercer BaggsSeptember 29, 2000, 4:00 pm
There are a lot of little demons creeping around Padraig Harrington's head. A win at this week's Linde German Masters would go a long way in exorcising them.
 
Harrington shot his second-successive 66 to share the halfway lead in Cologne, Germany with Michael Campbell. At 12-under-par, Harrington and Campbell are one shot clear of first-round co-leader Jose Coceres; and two lower than Thomas Bjorn and Bernhard Langer.
 
A year ago at this event, Harrington lost out in a sudden-death playoff to Sergio Garcia. It was one of five runner-up finishes for the Irishman in 1999.
 
Last week, Harrington led through 54 holes of the Belgacom Open, but faltered on Sunday to finish third.
 
But it was earlier this year that Harrington suffered his greatest disappointment. In search of his second victory of the season at the Benson & Hedges International, Harrington took a five-shot lead into the final round. Unfortunately, the 29-year-old was disqualified just minutes before he was set to tee off.
 
It was discovered Harrington had not signed his first-round scorecard.
 
He's been haunted by that episode ever since.
 
'It's put a lot of pressure on me because I played so well that week,' Harrington said of the May incident. 'I'm trying to forget, but it's taken me four months to realize I've been trying to live up to that week ever since, trying too hard because of it.
 
'I don't know what a win now would do for me. Perhaps it would be better to focus on winning for the sake of winning, instead of trying to get rid of a bad memory.'
 
Friday, Harrington recorded an eagle and four birdies to maintain a share of the overall lead at the Gut Larchenhof course. Ironically, Harrington will be paired with Campbell in the third round. The Kiwi was one of his markers on that disappointing day in England.
 
Campbell earned another chance to play alongside Harrington by shooting a one-eagle, six-birdie 64. In fact, Campbell had birdie putts on each of his final two holes to equal or beat the course record of 63.
 
'The last time we played together it was unfortunate and not good memories for Padraig, but that's long gone now. Water under the bridge,' said Campbell.
 
'Don't worry, I will probably triple check Padraig's card tomorrow!'
 
The German Masters' leaderboard is a veritable 'who's-who' in European golf. Bjorn and three-time German Masters champion Bernhard Langer are tied for fourth. 1998 German Masters champion Colin Montgomerie is just three shots off the lead; tied for sixth with first-round co-leader Angel Cabrera, Jean Van de Velde, who shot a second-round 64, and Adam Scott.
 
Order of Merit leader Lee Westwood is in a four-way tie for 10th at 8-under-par. Defending champion Garcia is at 7-under, five back entering the weekend after a Friday 65.
 

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.