Tiger Triumphs Again at Augusta

By Mercer BaggsApril 14, 2002, 4:00 pm
Promise and potential didnt equate to reality Sunday in Augusta, Ga.
With six of the top seven-ranked players in the world in contention, Tiger Woods surprisingly eased into the green jacket for the third time.
Woods wasnt spectacular, but didnt need to be in shooting 1-under 71 to successfully defend his title in the 66th Masters Tournament. Woods, who recorded his first of now seven major championships here in 1997, finished the 2002 edition at 12-under-par 276.
'It was tough going out there,' said Woods, who accepted the 42-inch long jacket from Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson - a ceremony usually performed by the defending champion. 'I worked my butt off this week.'
Retief Goosen finished three back after a frustrating round of 2-over 74. Phil Mickelson (71) earned his sixth career top-3 in a major by finishing solo third at 8-under.
I dont think finishing third is anything to be disappointed about ' obviously, I would have like to have won my first major, said Mickelson.
Only one player broke 70 Sunday - Shigeki Maruyama (67) - at Augusta National, which was lengthened by 285 yards and toughened from a year ago.
The 26-year-old Woods is the seventh player to win this event at least three times, and joins Jack Nicklaus (1965, 66) and Nick Faldo (1989, 90) as the only repeat winners. In accomplishing these feats, he also collected $1,008,000.
Woods has now converted 54-hole leads into 72-hole victories 23 of 25 times in his career. He started the final round tied at 11-under with reigning U.S. Open champion Goosen. Vijay Singh (No. 7) was alone in third, two back. Mickelson (No. 2), Ernie Els (No. 3) and Sergio Garcia (No. 5) were all four back at minus-7.
The stage was set for one of the most intoxicating finishes in major championship history. And early Sunday, fact and fantasy fused.
Els and Mickelson each birdied their first two holes to cut their deficits in half. Roars reverberated through the tall Georgia pines, sending fans into a frenzy.
But before the needle could pin on the excitement meter, it dropped faster than an aging prizefighter.
Woods birdied the second and third holes to move to 12-under. Goosen, meanwhile, bogeyed the first and parred the next two to lose three strokes in three holes. He made it four for four with a three-putt bogey at the fourth.
Mickelson missed the green at Nos. 4 and 5 and bogeyed both. Singh played the front in level par; Garcia went out in 1-over 37 and never factored, posting a 75. And Els failed to capitalize on his fast start. The two-time U.S. Open champion played holes 3-12 in even, and found the water twice at the par-5 13th for a triple-bogey-8. He ended with a 73, tied for fifth at minus-6.
I tried ' just made a terrible swing on 13 and that cost me the tournament, said Els, who hit his tee shot into the left pines on the dogleg left. I got greedy ' tried to hit a 3-wood (off the tee), hook it around the corner. Its not the shot to play anymore. I knew that before I started the tournament.
Woods teased the field with a profanity-producing tee shot at the par-4 fifth. He hooked a driver, but it avoided disaster by hitting a tree and caroming into a clean patch of grass. He purposely hooked his next shot, around the pines and onto the front of the green. However, he three-jacked for his first bogey since the 14th hole Thursday.
Still, Woods led Singh by two shots at 12-under. He then crushed all competitors, hope of a meaningful back nine by chipping in for birdie at the par-3 sixth.
He parred Nos. 7-10, and bogeyed the par-4 11th, but still maintained a three-shot cushion entering Amen Corner, as Singh lost a shot at 11 as well.
The 2000 champion also bogeyed the par-4 14th, and, similar to Els, plunked two in the drink on the par-5 15th for a quadruple-bogey-9. He carded a gory 5-over 41 on the back nine to go from potential multiple Masters victor to an also-ran. He shot 76 to finish seventh, seven back.
Woods hit only one red-letter shot down the stretch ' an approach to a foot on No. 15. And even though he came home in 1-over 37, he never lost his nine-hole advantage of three.
'It's awfully special. For some reason, this one seemed a little harder (to win),' said Woods. 'It's been a long week, with the weather and the weather delays.'
Play was suspended Friday due to torrential downpours. Nearly half the field, including Woods, who had to play 26 holes, was forced to complete their second and third rounds Saturday.
Thunderstorms were in the forecast Sunday, but stayed away - and thankfully so. The play proved sloppy enough without the storm.
Full Coverage from the Masters Tournament
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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.