Guess Whos Leading the Western

By Mercer BaggsJuly 5, 2001, 4:00 pm
In a field consisting of Woods, Mickelson, Love and Singh, Mark Wiebe is the surprise leader after the first round of the Advil Western Open in Lemont, Ill.
 
Wiebe fired a season-best 7-under-par 65 to take a one-shot lead over Davis Love III and Phil Mickelson.
 
Tiger Woods is eight off the pace following a double bogey at the par-4 18th.
 
The 1997 and 1999 Western Open champion didnt record his first birdie until the 14th hole. One-under through 17 holes, Tiger dumped his second shot into the pond left of the 18th green.
 
He had no comment after his round of 1-over-par 73.
 
Mickelson is fresh off his second win of the season at the Canon Greater Hartford Open. Seemingly always in contention ' he has nine top-3 finishes this season ' Mickelson once again moved near the top of the leaderboard by posting a bogey-free 66.
 
The goal is not to get way up the leaderboard in the first three rounds. The goal is to try and get into contention by Sunday, said Mickelson.
 
Wiebe hasnt been in contention in quite some time. He kick-started the season with a tie for fifth in the Touchstone Energy Tucson Open; however, in 13 starts since he has yet to record another top-10.
 
This could prove to be the biggest event of the season for the 43-year-old. The two-time Tour winner isnt exempt for this years British Open; though he could gain entrance to Royal Lytham should he finish among the top eight this week who arent already eligible for the Open Championship.
 
This is a big tournament for anyone, but this can get (me) into the British Open and Ive been looking forward to it for a couple of weeks, said Wiebe.
 
Winless since 1986, Wiebe carded seven birdies to no bogeys on Thursday.
 
I wanted a good start and, of course, I want a good ending; but a good ending is easier with a good start, he said.
 
Love got off to a horrendous start last week; going triple bogey, double bogey en route to an opening 77 at in Hartford.
 
Such was not the case this week.
 
Starting at the 10th on the Dubsdread Course, Love birdied three of his first four holes before dropping a shot at the par-3 14th.
 
He birdied the 15th and 16th holes to make the turn in 4-under-par 32, and then added birdies at the 1st, 5th and 7th holes to take a two-shot advantage over the field at 7-under.
 
However, Love closed his scoring with a bogey-5 at the 8th.
 
Love almost skipped this weeks event, but after his dismal performance in Connecticut he made a late commitment to the Western.
 
Thanks to a nagging back injury, Love is making just his third start since the WorldCom Classic in mid-April.
 
Hes now being advised to play, and play often.
 
I dont need to play six weeks in a row, but I need to play a lot of golf, said Love. I was told before Hartford to try and go play everyday, whether it was on Tour or at home, build my stamina back up, get back used to hitting golf balls everyday.
 
Full-field scores from the Advil Western Open
Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.