Mickelsons Schedule Up in the Air

By Mercer BaggsNovember 14, 2002, 5:00 pm
Phil Mickelson has never had a problem putting his personal life above his professional one.
A year ago he skipped his title defense in The Tour Championship. In fact, he took off a full four months after the birth of his second daughter.
Next year hell again put family before finance and fame.
'We are expecting the birth of our third child in March. That rules out The Players Championship, said Mickelson, who added he was 99 percent sure such a scenario would take place.
But Mickelson fans can certainly get their fill of Phil prior to 2003. The lefthander plans on playing in three unofficial events, two of which will be contested against his biggest rival.
Mickelson and Tiger Woods are both in the Thanksgiving weekend Skins Game. Woods also invited Mickelson to compete in his own Target World Challenge for the first time. The two would have been teammates in the World Cup, but Woods pulled out, leaving Mickelson to play alongside Ryder Cup partner David Toms.
Given that Ive added tournaments here in the off-seasonthats going to delay my start on the tour next year until the Phoenix Open, Mickelson said at this years Tour Championship.
Phoenix is the third stop on tour next season, with the Bob Hope ' which Mickelson won this year ' the following week. Mickelson said he expects to play the Hope, but few things are certain right now.
Im not sure which tournaments I will play and how that will fit schedule-wise, he said. It will be more week-to-week than having a clear-cut schedule throughout the year.
Mickelson has played in at least 23 official events each of the last five years, and said he plans to reduce that number in 2003. One event he would add, however, would be the one contested at Doral, which like he is sponsored by Ford Motor Company.
I would expect the Ford Championship to be the final event for me until the birth and until a couple of weeks after, he said. I will play again most likely at either the BellSouth or the Masters, barring any unforeseen complications.
That would mean Mickelson would miss the Bay Hill Invitational, where he won in 1997 and has battled Tiger for the title each of the last two years.
This year, Lefty was again in contention until he bogeyed his final three holes. His demise started at the par-5 16th. Trailing by one, he pulled his tee shot into the right trees. With his ball on a deadpan lie and nestled against a twig, he tried to play a 4-iron under the limbs and over the water. The ball plummeted into the hazard, along with his chance of denying Woods a three-peat.
Mickelson was heavily criticized for his aggressive approach, but he made no excuses, saying then and now thats the only way to challenge Woods.
To beat him when he's in the lead is something very difficult to do, Mickelson said. He doesn't make mistakes when he's in contention on Sunday.
And because of that, Mickelson feels its necessary to be assertive and play full-throttle when competing against Woods. Its an approach that has yet to garner him any major titles, but one he will continue to implement.
Look at the way we've always thought the greatest player in the game attacked a major, which was Jack Nicklaus, Mickelson said. He always said he would wait and wait and let other people fall back, and he would be right there to get the trophy at the end.
That doesn't happen with Tiger any more. He doesn't make those mistakes. You have to go attack and make birdies and play some exceptional golf to win championships in which he's in the field.
It may not always be the most effective method, but its the one Mickelson loves to apply, and one he will always defend.
I would think that after 10 years, after 25 tournaments a year, four rounds a week ... you've seen me play roughly 1,000 competitive rounds, and every single one of them I play aggressive and attacking, Mickelson said. I would think we would just come to accept it, because I certainly have.
And if not for Woods, that style would be good enough to make him the games best.
Mickelson is ranked second in the Official World Golf Ranking ' behind Woods. Hes finished second on the PGA Tour money list each of the last three years ' each occasion behind Woods. Hes won eight times on tour over the last three seasons ' second only to Woods.
Much has been made of the relationship ' or lack thereof ' between the games top-two ranked players.
At this years Masters, Mark Calcavecchia, who is close friends with both players, was quoted in Golf Digest as saying: They put up with each other, but they aren't the best of friendsI think some of the things Phil says might rub Tiger a little the wrong way. Tiger might think [Mickelson] is a know-it-all and cocky.
Mickelson was incensed at the time, and reiterated at The Tour Championship ' where he and Woods played two rounds together ' that there is no bitterness between the two.
I keep saying it, but Tiger and I get along very well, Mickelson said. People just dont want to believe it.
Regardless of their level of friendship, Mickelson has proven to be Tigers most formidable foe.
The San Diego native has won 12 times over the past five years, six of which have come with Tiger in the field. Hes one of only four men (on 34 occasions) to knock off Woods when hes held the 54-hole lead in a tournament (2000 Tour Championship).
This year he won twice ' neither of which came at Woods expense - and made over $4 million for the third straight season. But there are improvements that need to be made in 2003.
I contended very much so at the Masters, U.S. Open, and had two wins at the Chrysler Bob Hope Classic and the Greater Hartford Open. So those two wins were nice, Mickelson said. I certainly would have liked to have won some more, so thats something Ill try to improve on.
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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.