Sluman Slays Playoff Demons

By Mercer BaggsJuly 22, 2001, 4:00 pm
Jeff Sluman first earned his PGA Tour card in 1982, only to lose it the following season. In 84, he was quickly forgotten, invited to play in just one event ' the B.C. Open.
 
He still carries a money clip commemorating that tournament. It reminds him of where he once was, and who was there with him.
 
Thats what makes his victory this week in Endicott, N.Y. his most emotional; that, and the fact that he finally prevailed in a playoff.
 
Free Video - Registration Required Sluman comments on his first playoff win
 
Despite blowing a two-shot lead on the 72nd hole, Sluman defeated Paul Gow on the second extra hole to win the 31st B.C. Open.
 
Sluman pocketed $360,000 for his first win of the season. He lost in a six-way playoff earlier in the year at the Nissan Open.
 
I got off the schneid, joked Sluman, who entered the playoff stymied with an 0-6 career record. 'I've lost them in one-man, two-man, six-man playoffs, just about everything.'
 
For the second straight week, Sluman started the final round with at least a share of the lead. Last week, he failed to convert his advantage into victory at the Greater Milwaukee Open.
 
This week proved to be different.
 
Sluman, who was born three hours from the En-Joie Golf Club, shared the overall lead with Gow and Jonathan Kaye at 19-under on the back nine. Kaye, who held sole possession of the lead at one point on Sunday, played his final nine holes in even par to shoot 67 and finish in third place.
 
Playing in the final twosome, Gow and Sluman were tied at 22-under heading to the par-3 17th. Sluman made birdie, while Gow carded a bogey-4.
 
Leading by two with one to play, Sluman missed the green with his approach shot on the par-4 18th. Meanwhile, the 30-year-old Australian kept alive his chances by spinning his second shot to within two feet of the hole.
 
Sluman pitched to eight feet and could have ended the event in regulation, but failed to save par. Gow made his short birdie putt to force sudden death.
 
The two finished 72 holes at 22-under 266.
 
After both men parred the first playoff hole, Gow hit his tee shot on the par-4 18th into the tree-lined right rough; however, his ball ricocheted off a tree and dead left into a concrete, water-filled ditch.
 
With his ball nestled halfway in the running stream, Gow decided to play from the hazard. He successfully advanced his ball some 80 yards and then placed his third shot within 15 feet of the hole.
 
Sluman went the more traditional route, finding the fairway and the green in two shots. When Gow missed his par save, Sluman confidently sank his birdie effort from 15 feet to win his fifth career tour title.
 
'I learned lot of things, that I can play and compete against these guys. I matched with one of the best players of the world all day. It was great fun.'
 
News, Notes and Numbers
*Ty Tryon, the high school junior from Orlando, Fla., shot a final-round 2-under-par 70 to finish in a tie for 37th place at 9-under. The 17-year-old opened in 65 to earn a share of the first-round lead. He closed with rounds of 72-72-70. This was Tryons second PGA Tour start. He tied for 39th at the Honda Classic in March.
 
*After shooting 62 to claim a three-stroke lead through two rounds, Brett Quigley shot back-to-back 72s to finish tied for 8th at 15-under.
 
*Bobby Wadkins, playing in his final PGA Tour event before becoming eligible for the Senior Tour, finished at 7-under 288. Wadkins, who turns 50 on Thursday, has never won since joining the tour in 1975.
 
Full-filled scores from the B.C. Open
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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.