Love Leads Entering Uncertain Final Round

By Mercer BaggsFebruary 24, 2001, 5:00 pm
On a cold, wet Southern California day, Davis Love III rode a hot putter en route to taking a three-shot lead entering the final round of the 75th Nissan Open.

Despite a plethora of errant tee and approach shots, Love rolled in a series of clutch par saves and unsuspecting birdie putts for a third-round 3-under-par 68.
At 10-under-par, Love is three clear of Corey Pavin (67), Dennis Paulson (68), Robert Allenby (69) and Craig Barlow (70). Pavin is a two-time winner of this event, doing so back-to-back in 1994-'95. He's the last man to accomplish that feat in the Nissan Open.
Like Love, Pavin also putted magnificently in the third round, taking just 22 swipes of the flatstick.
'My putter was really working well,' said Pavin, who one-putted his first eight holes, though only two of those were for birdie. 'It made up for a lot of things today.'
Pavin is in search of his 15th career PGA Tour victory, but his first since the 1996 MasterCard Colonial - 111 starts ago.
Pavin's putting wizardry didn't rub-off on his third-round playing companion, Tiger Woods. Woods birdied the par-5 first, but then recorded 15 straight pars. He finished the day with a pair of birdies to go along with 16 pars. Still, his 69 placed him in a tie for ninth at 5-under-par.
'I grinded myself into contention,' said Woods. 'Hopefully, I can do a little better tomorrow.'
Hopefully, he'll get the chance. Though temperatures never reached 50 degrees and rain steadied throughout the third round, the field was able to complete play. Such may not be the case on Sunday, as heavy downpours are expected to soak the Riviera course.
Love's march to a three-stroke lead was full of zigs and zags on Saturday. After nearly driving the 315-yard par-4 10th, Love's chip shot failed to reach the green. He then made the 20-foot birdie putt to take sole possession of the lead at 9-under.
At the par-5 11th, Love hooked his drive next to the practice range. He pitched out to the fairway and came up short of the green with a 3-wood. Yet again, Love made a 20-footer, this time to save par.
After three straight pars, Love appeared to have blown a birdie opportunity at the par-5 17th when he hit another tee shot offline. But once more his putter saved him, as he rolled in a 40-footer from off the green for birdie.
'It was in the front of my mind that I had to play as good a round as I could to get ahead in case something happens tomorrow,' said Love. 'In bad conditions, (the three-stroke lead) is bigger than on other courses.
In addition to the $612,000 first-place check up for grabs, Love is eyeing an unofficial $500,000 bonus for winning the West Coast Swing. Thanks to a win at Pebble Beach and a tie for second in the Buick Invitational, Love is currently tied for the top spot. This is the final event on the West Coast, before the PGA Tour heads to Florida.
News, Notes and Numbers
*Corey Pavin has reunited with his old swing coach, Bruce Hamilton. The two had been separated for six years.
*In the 'Because You Can't Mark Your Golf Ball With a $100 Bill' department, Tiger Woods had to borrow a coin from Pavin to use as a marker in the third round.
Click here for Full-Field scores from the Nissan Open!
Getty Images

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

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.