Notes Norman Contending Despite Driving

By Mercer BaggsAugust 30, 2003, 4:00 pm
NORTON, Mass. -- Greg Norman shot 4-under 67 Saturday at the Deutsche Bank Championship with 13 clubs ' at least 13 good clubs. He had all 14 in his bag, but there was one club that kept his score from being a little lower.
 
I put a new driver in the bag this week and I am not finding the fairways too good, said Norman, who hit six of 14 fairways in Round 2. I will get the old driver back in the bag for tomorrow.
 
Its sitting in the locker, just waiting for me to go get it.
 
Chronic back pains have limited Norman to just six starts on the PGA Tour this season. This will be his third cut made; he has missed one cut and twice been forced to withdraw.
 
He still believes, however, that he is just four healthy days from claiming his first tour victory since the 1997 NEC World Series of Golf.
 
I am right on the edge of playing well. If my back holds up, I am okay, he said. Its not like my game has left me. I practice a lot at home. I know I still have it.
 
Norman has always been a fan favorite and received an enormous applause as he walked off the 18th green Saturday. He also got a few encouraging cheers in relation to his daughter, who attends Boston College.
 
I have heard a lot of Go Eagles since I have been here, he said. Since she is a junior, we have had a lot of ticket requests.
 
STAYING FOCUSED
 
Vijay Singh has won twice this season -- Phoenix and Byron Nelson -- and if he could go on a serious winning stretch over the remainder of the schedule he might find himself with an outside chance to garner Player of the Year honors.
 
But that's not his motivation.
 
'Player of the Year has never crossed my mind,' he said after shooting 68 to get to 10 under, within two of the 36-hole lead.
 
'I think my objective is to play each tournament and try to win it, and then assess my performance at the end of the year and see how I've done.
 
'If I've done enough to win Player of the Year, then it's, you know, well and fine. But I cannot be going out there and thinking about winning.'
 
FRESH FRAME OF MIND
 
Geoff Ogilvy has furthered showed this week that his game is back on track.
 
Ogilvy missed six straight cuts in a seven-week span in the middle of the season, but since has a pair of top-10 finishes and a tie for 27th at the PGA Championship.
 
I think I played too many tournaments, said the 26-year-old Australian. I felt like I should have had three weeks off, but I really didnt take off any time and I never really recovered.
 
After missing cut No. 6-in-a-row at the Western, Ogilvy went to his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., and took a four-week hiatus from the tour.
 
I just hung out, he said. I played golf everyday, but I didnt stand on the range and hit balls. I just went out and had a bit of fun, which is relaxing for most of us.
 
Ogilvy returned at the Buick Open, where he tied for second. He then finished eighth at The International, and cracked the top 30 at Oak Hill.
 
This is his third year on tour since making his way through Q-School in 2000. He has steadily improved, finishing 95th on the money list in 01 and 64th last season. He entered this week at 49th.
 
If you would have told me when I turned pro, I would play two years in Europe and keep my card and play three years here and keep my card, I would say, yeah, thats pretty good, he said.
 
But if you said I wouldnt have won on tour ' well, you could definitely always be worse, but it could be a little bit better. As long as youre staying afloat out here and paying the bills, its all pretty good.
 
AN ACE IN THE HOLE?
 
Garrett Willis aced his second hole in the second round, when his 4-iron from 208 yards found the bottom of the cup at the par-3 11th.
 
It was the 22nd hole-in-one on tour this season, and the first in tournament history.
 
He shot 1-over 72 to finish 36 holes at 4 under par. Its the 13th cut hes made this season in 24 starts.
 
Since winning the 2001 Tucson Open in his first PGA Tour start as a card-carrying member, Willis has made only 37 cuts in 85 events.
 
His two-year exemption will expire at the end of this season. He is currently 139th on the money list, with the top 125 by seasons end earning full exempt status.
 
Related Links:
  • Deutsche Bank Championship Leaderboard
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  • 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.

    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.