Tiger Leaves Field in a Fog

By Mercer BaggsJune 15, 2000, 4:00 pm
In symbolic fashion, Tiger Woods left many in the field at the 100th U.S. Open in a haze. The No. 1 player in the world posted an early 6-under-par 65 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead over Miguel Angel Jimenez before first round play was officially suspended at 6:28pm PT due to fog.
Woods was one of 81 players who finished their first rounds before officials called it a day. The 75 others will complete their opening rounds beginning at 6:45am PT. The second round is expected to begin at 8:00am.
So, while Woods doesn't officially have the opening-round lead, he is the man to catch after Day One. Woods' round began in picture-perfect postcard weather. However, by the time Woods made his way down the stretch in the early afternoon, a shroud began to cover the course.
Tiger seemed to pick-up where he left off at Pebble Beach. Four months ago, Woods played his final seven holes at five-under to capture the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. This time, he took care of business a little earlier.
Woods shot a six-birdie, no-bogey 65, capping off his round by blasting a sand shot to 18 inches on the par-5 18th for a gimme birdie. It marks the fourth time in his professional career Tiger's shot 65 or better on the Pebble Beach Golf Course.
'I played well today,' said Woods, who hit 11/14 fairways, 12/18 greens and took 24 putts on Thursday. 'I drove the ball beautifully, and I made a lot of putts.
'I think this is just typical Monterey Peninsula weather,' said Woods, who was born in Cypress, California and played collegially at Stanford. 'This time of the year, I've always called it 'June Gloom.''
Jimenez finished his round in the 'gloom' as well. The Spaniard, who lost to Woods in a playoff at the 1999 WGC-American Express Championship at Valderrama, carded five birdies on his first seven holes to kick-start his 5-under-par 66.
Jimenez is one shot clear of John Huston and Nick Faldo. Out early, Huston got off to his best start ever at an Open by shooting a 4-under-par 67.
'When I saw the tee times, I thought it was going to be a big advantage, and I wanted to go ahead and take advantage of it. Fortunately, I did,' said Huston, who teed-off at 6:40am PT. 'This morning was perfect. There was no wind, and the sun was out.'
That changed as the day went on. Fog rolled around leaving many with blind shots from fairway to green. One of those whose round was affected by the changing elements was Faldo. He was standing on the tee box at the par-5 14th when play was stopped.
Ironically, it was the 14th that brought Faldo his most notoriety at the '92 Open at Pebble Beach. It was there where the Brit climbed and shook a tree in search of his lost ball. 'Where the hell is Jane!' Faldo shouted. Unfortunately neither Jane, nor the ball could be found. He took a triple-bogey-8 on the hole.
Playing alongside Faldo is Corey Pavin. The 1995 Open champion is at 3-under-par through 13 holes, tied with of all people, Bobby Clampett. Clampett, a CBS broadcaster and Monterey native who qualified via sectionals, posted a four-birdie, one-bogey 68.
'I can't explain it,' said Clampett. 'Words just can't describe my feelings. I had to hold back the tears about a half-dozen times today, but I was really at peace all day on the course.'
There are four players at 2-under-par, including Hal Sutton. This year's PLAYERS champion holed an 8-iron from 136 yards for eagle on the very first hole. 'Only 71 more to go,' yelled one fan.
Sutton followed that with a birdie on the newly-changed 484-yard, par-4 2nd to go to 3-under-par through three holes. Through 13 holes, Sutton stood alone at the top at 6-under-par. Then the course struck back. A double bogey at the par-5 14th was the beginning of a five-hole stretch that Sutton played at 4-over-par. He closed his first round by bogeying the 18th to shoot a very respectful, if though disappointing, 2-under-par 69.
'What a weird day,' Sutton said. 'The weather was kind of good and kind of bad. My round was kind of good and kind of bad. What do you say?'
*Last year's runner-up, Phil Mickelson, was three-over through 12 holes, but birdied the 13th, 14th and 18th holes to finish the day at even-par 71.
*2000 Masters champion Vijay Singh is even par through seven holes.
*David Duval began the day birdie-bogey-bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie en route a front-9 even-par 35. His roller-coaster round continued on the back-9 with one birdie, three bogeys and one double-bogey for a 4-over-par 75.
*Sergio Garcia also shot 75 on Thursday. He did so wearing knickers in tribute to 1999 U.S. Open champion Payne Stewart.
*John Daly withdrew after shooting a 12-over-par 83. His first round ended with a 14 on the par-5 18th.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

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.