Look Whos Leading at Pebble Beach

By Mercer BaggsFebruary 1, 2001, 5:00 pm
A professional beer-truck driver and guy who can't legally drive lead the way through the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

David Berganio, Jr., tied the Spyglass course record by firing a flawless eight-under-par 64 to grab the 18-hole lead, while Mark Johnson, a conditional player on the Buy.Com Tour, and Tommy Armour III share second place after shooting a pair of 65s at Poppy Hills.
Tiger Woods, who battled through a knee injury, is in a group at six-under. Woods, who shot 66 at Spyglass, is tied with Brad Elder (Spyglass), Edward Fryatt (Poppy Hills) and last year's runner-up, Vijay Singh (Pebble Beach).
Tiger talks about his knee and its effect on his first round.
Berganio's Pebble Beach adventures began Tuesday when he was informed at a rental-car agency that his driver's license had expired.
'I called my mom, she checks my mail. I said, `Did I get any notice,' and she said, `Yeah, I told you,'' Berganio said. 'Then I recalled that she'd told me two months ago, and it's a coincidence because last year I qualified for the U.S. Open and my caddy came up to rent a car and his driver's license was expired.'
Berganio, who turned 32 on January 14th, had to get a ride to the course from his caddie. He said he only played 27 holes before teeing it up on Thursday.
It didn't seem to affect him. On a glorious day on the Monterey Peninsula, the eight-year professional carded eight birdies and no bogeys to tie Dan Forsman (1993) and Steve Lowery ('95) for the Spyglass course record.
'Today was the day if you're going to shoot low at Spyglass. To me that's the toughest course,' Berganio said.
It's been a well-traveled road for the California native en route to leading this prestigious event. Berganio grew up on a par-62 public golf course in Sylmar, Calif. A two-time U.S. Public Links champion, he played alongside Jim Furyk at the University of Arizona.
In 1997, Berganio made his way to the PGA Tour, where he finished 155th on the money list to drop back down to the Buy.Com Tour, which he played in 1998-2000. Last year, he collected four top-10s, including a victory at the Omaha Classic, to regain his PGA Tour card.
'I've had a lot of success at every level and I think I can do well out here,' said Berganio, whose best PGA Tour finish came in a tie for ninth at the `97 Buick Challenge. 'One thing I did do that I'd never done in the past was I sought some help from a sports psychologist this year.'
Thanks to a long conversation with his teacher, Berganio went to see Allen Jaeger, who primarily works with baseball pitchers.
'Allen told me, `David, how can you go to fight with not the complete ammunition?' He was right. You work and work on your physical game, but not the mental side.'
Berganio, who admits to having a short attention span, said Jaeger worked with him to 'stay in the present.'
It seems to have worked. At least for one round.
While Berganio is enjoying the present, so too is Johnson, who is competing in his first PGA Tour event.
Johnson has a unique story. He's a 46-year-old beer-truck driver, who's worked for Anheuser-Busch in Barstow, Calif., for 20 years. He's also an accomplished golfer. In fact, Johnson won the California State Amateur championship in 1996 on this very venue.
The Monday qualifier showed his preference for the layout by sporting a nifty opening-round of 65. His 'awesome day' included seven birdies and no bogeys on the Poppy Hills course.
Of course, if Johnson's playing then he's not working. That means his fellow drivers are doubling up to cover his absence.
'The drivers always take the extra load and take the extra routes and stuff for me and made it possible for me to be here today,' said a grateful Johnson.
'The reason I'm doing all this, I'm trying to gear myself towards the seniors.'
For now, however, he'll have to fend off a host of players much younger than himself, as well as a couple of other Johnsons - Richard and Kevin - who each shot rounds of 67 at Spyglass to earn a tie for eighth after Round One.
News, Notes and Numbers
*David Berganio, Jr., a big-time Los Angeles Lakers fan, is paired with former Boston Celtics great Bill Russell in the Pro-Am. Said Berganio: 'We didn't talk much about the Lakers. He was awesome, a nice guy.'
*Last week, Brad Elder carded five straight birdies to grab a share of the first-round lead at the Phoenix Open. Thursday, he recorded six in a row at Spyglass to earn a share of fourth place.
*Spike McRoy also strung together six straight birdies at Pebble Beach. After starting the day with four bogeys and a triple bogey over his first seven holes, he finished the day at one-under-par.
*Three of the top seven players on the leaderboard are recent graduates of the Buy.Com Tour - Berganio (11th, 2000), Elder (11th, 1999) and Edward Fryatt (5th, 1999). Two other players, Richard and Kevin Johnson (no relation), are tied for eighth.
*David Duval used his old Titleist irons in shooting a three-over-par 75 at Spyglass. Duval played Nike irons for the first time at last week's Phoenix Open, where he missed the cut.
*89 players broke par in the first round. With all courses playing at a par of 72, Spyglass ranked as the hardest in Round One with an overall scoring average of 71.983. Pebble Beach came in second at 71.683, while Poppy Hills played the easiest at 71.300.
Full-Field scores here
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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.