Mayday for Mayfair

By Mercer BaggsMay 11, 2001, 4:00 pm
Billy Mayfair has fond memories of Southern Hills Country Club; he won his most prestigious tournament there in 1995, the Tour Championship.
The Tulsa, Okla., venue will play host to this years U.S. Open.
Advantage Mayfair, right?
Well, not quite. Theres one small problem. Mayfair isnt exempt for the seasons second major.
However, alls not lost for the 1981 U.S. Amateur champion. He still has three weeks left to qualify for the National Championship.
If I dont make the U.S. Open Im going to be very disappointed. Its going to be hard to watch it on television, said Mayfair, who has played in nine prior Opens.
Basically, Mayfair has three options. No. 1, he can make his way into the top 50 in the World Golf Ranking by the conclusion of the Kemper Open. Hes currently ranked 71st entering this weeks Verizon Byron Nelson Classic.
Secondly, the 34-year-old Arizonan can creep into the top 10 on the 2001 tour money list ' also by the end of the Kemper. Thats probably his best chance, as he currently resides in 15th place in earnings, less than $300,000 removed from the 10th position.
The final way is the least desirable ' the old fashion way ' trying to earn a spot through Open qualifying. The final stage is contested after the Memorial Tournament, two weeks prior to the Open.
Mayfair would have been closer to attaining his goal had he prevailed in this years WorldCom Classic. Though he had his chances, Mayfair failed to garner his first tour title in three years. Instead, Jose Coceres, who was already exempt into the Open due to his finish on the 2000 European Tour money list, cashed the $630,000 first-place check.
The $252,000 difference between first and second place wouldnt have been enough to vault Mayfair into the top 10 on the money list, but it certainly would have made things a little easier as the weeks to qualify dwindle away.
I had a big chance at Hilton Head, but let it slip away, said Mayfair, who has three top-6 finishes in his last four starts.
Just as Mayfair has fond memories of Southern Hills, the same holds true for the course he played Friday, the TPC at Las Colinas.
Mayfair married his wife, Tammy, on the 18th green at Las Colinas prior to the 1994 Byron Nelson Classic
Were going to be spending the rest of our lives on golf courses. We though we might as well be married on one, Mayfair explained.
Thursday marked the couples seven-year anniversary. Mayfair wanted to make seven birdies for his wife, but settled for six and a round of 5-under 65 at Cottonwood Valley.
Fridays second round wasnt worthy of celebration, but it wasnt one to be lamented, either. Mayfair notched an even-par 70 at Las Colinas, the harder of the two courses in rotation over the first two rounds.
Im happy with where I am, said Mayfair, whose last of five tour victories came in the 1998 Buick Open.
My immediate goal is winning. I want to win. I havent won for three years and its time for me to win.
A win this week would be two-fold for Mayfair; hed attain both short- and long-term goals in one fell swoop.
A victory would also be an exceptional belated anniversary gift to his wife - $810,000 goes to the winner.
Full-field scores from the Verizon Byron Nelson Classic

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 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

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

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.