Fleisher Wins US Senior Open

By Mercer BaggsJuly 1, 2001, 4:00 pm
A year ago, Hale Irwin won his second U.S. Senior Open title at the expense of Bruce Fleisher and summed up his victory in one word.
 
E-X-P-E-R-I-E-N-C-E.
 
This year, Fleisher got the last word.
 
R-E-D-E-M-P-T-I-O-N.
 
Fleisher carded an even-par 280 at the Salem Country Club and then sat aside and watched as one-by-one his rivals fell into the black.
 
Fleisher talks about winning on such a tough course
 
Fleisher parred his final 12 holes for a 2-under-par 68. Gil Morgan (70) and Isao Aoki (73) tied for second at 1-over-par 281.
 
Im glad its over, said Fleisher. To have just one guy hang on, it doesnt surprise me with how difficult this course was.
 
I knew that par would be a good score. I thought that someone else would finish even and it would be a playoff. Im glad it didnt happen; Ive got to be honest with you. I didnt want to go back out there.
 
Six players were at even par or one stroke back on Sunday before reaching the 15th hole, a 223-yard par-3.
 
It was on that hole that Jack Nicklaus, Larry Nelson and Irwin were effectually eliminated from the championship.
 
Nicklaus was tied for the lead at even par when he tried to hit a 1-iron onto the green at 15. He failed to do so and made bogey. Nicklaus added another bogey at the 16th to finish the tournament at 2-over and in a tie for fourth.
 
I kind of enjoyed being in the hunt, said Nicklaus, who was in search of his first victory since 1996. Standing on the 10th green, I turned around and I said, You know, Im a little nervous. I said, Thats good. Thats fun.
 
Nelson started the round at 1-under, but didnt record a birdie in the final round. He bogeyed Nos. 9, 11, 15, 16 and 18 for a round of 75. He tied for seventh at 4-over.
 
Irwin, who shot a final-round 65 to overtake Fleisher in the 2000 Senior Open, bogeyed the 15th, 16th and 17th holes to finish in a tie for 11th at 5-over.
 
Aoki, who led by one shot entering the final round at 2-under-par, dropped off the lead with a bogey at the 17th, while Morgan bogeyed the 18th when he missed the green with his approach shot.
 
Fleishers prime rival proved to be Colbert.
 
The 60-year-old holed his bunker shot at the 15th to take a one-shot lead at 1-under. However, with a wedge in hand, he came up woefully short of the green at the par-4 16th and made bogey.
 
Still tied with Fleisher at even par while playing the 72nd hole, Colbert hit his tee shot into the left rough. He got a break with a good lie, but then pulled his approach shot into the grandstands.
 
Colberts third shot once again scattered fans as he flew the green. He would mercifully card a double-bogey 6 to finish in fourth place with Nicklaus and Allen Doyle (69).
 
The win was Fleishers 14th on tour, but his first major. He earned $430,000 for the victory.
 
Fleisher joined Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer as the only men to win the U.S. Amateur and the Senior Open. Fleisher won the Amateur in 1968.
 
Its been a long time coming, said Fleisher.
 
Full-field scores from the 22nd U.S. Senior Open
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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.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

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

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.