The Mighty Casey Returns

By Mercer BaggsMay 29, 2002, 4:00 pm
Its been nearly 16 months since Casey Martin teed up in a PGA Tour event. In between last years AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and this weeks Kemper Open, Martin has played poorly on lesser tours, all the while battling to save his withering right leg - and as his professional career.
The 29-year-old Martin has competed sparingly in 2002, missing four cuts in four starts on the Buy.Com Tour. This is his first event on the primary circuit, and just his third since losing his PGA Tour card in 2000.
Im very grateful to be here, said Martin, while prepping his game at the TPC at Avenel in Potomac, Md. This is the only sponsors exemption Ive been offered this year, and I dont know if Ill get another, so this is a very big week for me.
Martin would love nothing more than to make the cut this week ' it would be a positive step in reviving his career, as well as a sign of confirmation to tournament organizers who allowed him into the field.
But whether he carts around for two days or four, Martins well aware that he is fortunate to just be playing.
Frustrated by a continual professional decline, Martin agreed to try a new series of treatments on his debilitated leg in January. The aggressive approach was supposed to help combat the effects of his Klippel-Trenaunay-Webber Syndrome. Instead, he developed an infection that nearly killed him.
Martin said he had five surgeries, spent nearly month in the hospital and was bed-ridden for six weeks. And once he was able to move around, he had to spend his time rehabbing rather than practicing.
For the time being, hes back on a golf course. And hes enjoying the moment.
'Certainly because of how I've done and what I've been through this past winter...I've realized the chances of my leg getting better probably aren't going to happen. So, I'm going to play it while I can.'
Its never been easy for Martin. All hes ever wanted to do was play golf. Unfortunately, his birth defect has made it difficult ' though not impossible ' to pursue his dream.
Martin played on the collegiate level alongside Tiger Woods and Notah Begay at Stanford. He then floated around mini tours before finding his way to the Buy.Com Tour.
Five years ago, he successfully sued the PGA Tour for the right to use a cart during tour-sanctioned events. His court battles created national headlines. And one start into his Buy.Com career, he was a winner. Martin captured the season-opening Lakeland Classic in 1998, though he failed to capitalize on the victory. It wasnt until the following year that he finally earned his way onto the PGA Tour, finishing 1999 14th on the Buy.Com money list.
The year 2000 was a remarkable season, and one that Martin would soon love to duplicate ' kind of. It was the Oregonians first full go-around golfs biggest stage. He competed in 29 tournaments, making 14 cuts. He ended the year 179th in earnings.
Martin tried to continue his PGA Tour career via the Qualifying Tournament, but missed regaining his card by a single shot. He again played the developmental tour last year, only to make nine cuts in 24 starts.
Martin says this is a big week for him. In fact, this year is immense in determining his future. He turns 30 Sunday. And if he again fails to make it through Q-School, Martin may have choose another professional direction.
'I've thought about some other things, but I don't get very far,' Martin said in terms of his future. 'I've lived with the understanding that my golf game could end anytime soon. I'm just trying to play golf as long as I can.'
More on Casey and others in this week's Kemper Open field
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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 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.