Love Jimenez Lead in LA But Tiger Still in Hunt
Love carded a 4-under-par 67 to tie Miguel Angel Jimenez, who shot 66, for the 36-hole lead in the 75th Nissan Open. At 7-under for the tournament, the pair leads Brandel Chamblee (68), Shigeki Maruyama (69), Scott McCarron (68), Chris Perry (68) and Craig Barlow (68) by one shot.
Tiger Woods spent the better part of the day trying to extend his streak of 63 consecutive cuts made. Despite birdying the first, Woods was even par for the tournament upon making the turn.
Tiger finally found his flow early on the back nine with birdies on the 10th and 11th holes, but a bogey at the par-3 16th dropped him to 1-under-par, a stroke above the cutline.
Woods then put to rest any doubt whether or not he would be around for the weekend by eagling the par-5 17th. He finished the day at 3-under 139, just four off the lead.
'Hopefully, I can get it going,' said Woods, who hit only 10 of 18 greens in regulation. 'The greens I do hit, it's not close enough to make any putts.'
Thanks to a win at Pebble Beach, his first PGA Tour victory in 63 starts, and a tie for second in the Buick Invitational, Love is in position to capture the unofficial $500,000 bonus that is awarded to the winner of the West Coast Swing.
The Sea Island, Ga., resident is tied for the top spot with Brad Faxon and Ernie Els, both of whom are not in competing this week.
But after two rounds in Pacific Palisades, Calif., that's a mere afterthought.
'Winning at Riviera is the focal point,' said Love.
Playing in chilly, rainy conditions early Friday morning, Love started sluggish, making the turn in 1-under-par 34. But as the conditions warmed, so too did Love. The 14-time Tour winner birdied four of his first five holes on the back nine en route to his 11th straight under-par round.
'I was playing good golf, now I'm playing pretty good golf,' Love said. 'I'm not playing great golf. I'm not playing perfect, but I'm playing determined and confident.'
As is Jimenez. The 37-year-old Spaniard has evolved from journeyman to worldwide contender over the past four years. Jimenez recorded multiple win seasons on the European Tour in 1998 and '99. And, despite not winning in 2000, Jimenez posted a pair of top-5 finishes on U.S. soil, including a tie for second in the U.S. Open.
Friday, Jimenez made a strong bid for his first stateside victory by playing his first 13 holes in 7-under. His scoring began with an eagle at the par-5 first, and concluded with a birdie at the 13th.
Jimenez led the event by two shots at 9-under, but bogeyed the 14th and 16th holes to finish at minus-7.
'I have as good a chance as Davis Love,' Jimenez said.
Day Two was a rough one for the overnight leaders. Tom Scherrer posted an even-par 71 to remain at 5-under. Sergio Garcia dropped to 4-under after a 72. Brent Schwarzrock, the 13th alternate who was an 11th-hour addition to the field, fell to 1-under following a 75.
But none fared worse than Kirk Triplett. The defending champion, who opened his title defense with a 66, was 15 strokes higher on Friday. Triplett revived memories of Rod Pampling, who led after the first round of the 1999 British Open only to miss the cut. Triplett did the same thanks to a 10-over-par 81.
News, Notes and Numbers
*Despite finishing with three straight bogeys, German amateur Gary Birch shot 72 to make the cut at even par. Birch, a Monday qualifier, became the first amateur to make a cut on the PGA Tour since Jeffrey Wilson tied for 59th in the 2000 U.S. Open.
*80 players made the even-par cutline; Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples were not among them. Mickelson shot 73-74 to finish at 5-over. Couples shot 73-72 to finish at 3-over. Couples had made 11 straight cuts in this event. Mickelson, who trails Love by 10 points on the West Coast Swing, is now out of the running for first place.
Click here for Full-Field scores from the Nissan Open!
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
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.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
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
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.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
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.