International Mix at NEC Invitational

By Mercer BaggsAugust 22, 2002, 4:00 pm
SAMMAMISH, Wash. ' Retief Goosen didnt let the ill-effects of a weekend wreck in last weeks PGA Championship linger Thursday at Sahalee.
 
The serene South African steered clear of the vertigo-inducing fir trees in shooting a bogey-free 6-under-par 65.
 
He shares the opening-round lead in the World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational with Japans Toshi Izawa. The 65 matched the course record aggregate score. However, it was a record in relation to par, as Greg Kraft and Nick Price shot 65s in the '98 PGA Championship when the course played to a par-70.
 
World No. 2 Phil Mickelson, who has finished inside the top-10 all three years of this event, is tied with Ryder Cup teammate Davis Love III and Cup opponent Darren Clarke at 5-under.
 
Clarke said he inspired by watching Rich Beem win last week's PGA.
 
'I had a good think after the PGA. I saw the way Rich Beem won his first major. I hit my driver nearly everywhere today. It's much more fun that way,' said Clarke, who added he has a throbbing left big toe after dropping a suitcase on his foot when packing to leave Minnesota.
 
'The strongest part of my game is driving, or has been in the past. I have tended to throttle, but now I have decided to go for it again.'
 
Three-time defending champion Tiger Woods was just two off the pace before finishing at 3-under-par 68. Woods double bogeyed the par-3 17th after plunking his tee shot in the water right of the green. But after missing the fairway and finding the greenside bunker on the par-5 18th, Tiger made a 12-footer for birdie to salvage the round.
 
It was nice to end up on a birdie like that; I felt like I played well all day and I just threw away three shots on the back nine ' three-putted (the 12th) and hit a ball in the water, Woods said.
 
Izawa was in the first group out Thursday at Sahalee Country Club, which last hosted the '98 PGA. The 34-year-old, ranked 36th in the world, made seven birdies and one bogey.
 
I havent played well this year in the States and in Japan, so the first day of the tournament, where I am, I am very satisfied and I am very happy to be here, said Izawa, who lost in a six-man playoff in the 2001 Nissan Open and tied for fourth in his Masters debut the same year, through a translator.
 
Opposite of Izawa, Goosen has had his share of fortune this season. He won the BellSouth Classic and finished runner-up at Augusta. But his major showings have been more thorns than roses.
 
The 2001 U.S. Open champion was tied with Woods going into the final round of the Masters, where he shot 74 and lost by three. He then missed the cut in his title defense at the U.S. Open. After a tie for eighth at Muirfield, he shot 79-75 over the final two rounds at the PGA Championship to fall from a share of the 36-hole lead into a tie for 23rd.
 
I think pretty much to win a tournament (you have to) putt the best, Goosen said. I have been playing well, but over the last few months, I dont really feel like Ive been putting as well. Ive worked quite hard on my putting the last couple of days.
 
The dedication paid Thursday on a sun-soaked day outside of Seattle.
 
Goosen made a 10-footer for birdie at the 10th ' his first hole of the day. He then made 20-foot birdies on each of the par-3s on the back, 13 and 17.
 
At the par-5 second, he hit a 4-iron to 10 feet and converted the eagle effort, and ended his day with a seven-footer for birdie at 7.
 
Love was also the beneficiary of a solid putting stroke in round one.
 
Love made a 20-footer at the third; a 40-footer at the seventh; a 30-footer at 10; and another one from 30 feet at 13.
 
I hit a lot of shots in the right place where I could putt at it, and I putted very, very well, Love said.
 
Mickelson had one of his steadiest rounds of the season, while Clarke posted a scorecard with which the lefthander is all too familiar.
 
Mickelson made four birdies, one eagle and a bogey Thursday; Clarke, attacking the narrow tree-lined fairways with his driver, birdied his first four holes, made three bogeys and two birdies in a six-hole stretch midway through the round, and closed with back-to-back birdies.
 
For Mickelson, Thursday was a continuation of a final-round 68 at Hazeltine.
 
'I have been striking it really well from Sunday in the PGA, and then practice rounds I started hitting the ball pretty well, and came out in the round continuing that,' he said.
 
As Mickelson did, Tiger eagled the second. He bombed a 3-iron from 235 yards to four feet. He birdied Nos. 7 and 10, but three-putted the aforementioned 12th for bogey.
 
Following another birdie at the par-4 14th, Tiger hit a 6-iron from 206 yards on the par-3 17th. The ball landed short and right of the green, rolled down the embankment and into the water hazard. He regrouped with the birdie at the last.
 
I wasnt exactly in the best frame of mind ' still am not ' but hit a good drive on the tee (at 18), just turned it a bit too much; hit a nice 3-iron out into the right bunker and hit a terrible bunker shot, but I recovered and hit a nice putt there, Woods described.
 
Full-field scores from the WGC-NEC Invitational
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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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

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.