Wednesday - News and Notes
Phil Mickelson turns 32 Sunday, and you can imagine what he wants for a present.
Its a very emotional time of the year and emotional tournament and something that seems to have a lot of memories all tied into one event, said the father of two girls. So it would be very special to breakthrough and win (my first major) on that Sunday that Ive been trying to win on for many years.
Lifes Not Fair, but What About the U.S. Open
Two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen said that he expects nothing to be fair at a U.S. Open. Davis Love III thinks thats a pretty fair statement.
The only way to keep us from shooting under par is to make it ridiculously hard, Love said. To keep (scores) from being red numbers, you have to do something like they did this week ' put us out there on an extremely long golf course with extremely deep rough, and hope that it doesnt rain.
So it has to get to the point of unfair, yeah, to keep us from shooting under par.
And how hard will this years Open be?
We have got length, accuracy, mega-thick rough. Youve got bunkers that are eight-feet deep and youve got super fast greens, and now (the wind) is blowing. Apart from that its dead easy, said Nick Faldo.
It did rain Wednesday afternoon, and showers are in the forecast Thursday and Friday.
Snap, Crackle, Pop
Tiger Woods ended his practice session Wednesday with a bad break. While hitting range balls, his 3-wood snapped just above the hosel. The broken club was taken to the equipment trailer to get a new shaft.
Woods played only nine holes Wednesday morning before heading to the practice range. He is expected to use his 3-wood extensively throughout the week, even though the par-70 Black Course measures a U.S. Open record 7,214 yards.
Woods said he might hit driver only four or five times per round. Instead, he will more often use a 3-wood or 2-iron off the tee to keep the ball in the fairway and out of the penal rough.
Tones of Home
Chris DiMarco was born on Long Island in Huntington, but moved when he was seven years old. He made a return trip to his roots Monday with his wife and kids.
We drove down the block where I used to live and all of those overwhelming memories came back: Remember riding my bike here; we drove up the block and went to the church; and I remember thats where I learned to ride my bike in that parking lot; and I used to climb that tree, he recalled.
My kids eyes were wide open and my wife was loving it because she was getting the nostalgia, the whole thing. It was pretty cool.
Of course, his return has brought old friends out of the woodworks.
Ive met a lot of people ' Hey, I used to baby-sit you. Yeah, okay, whatever you say ' 28 years ago, I dont remember, he joked.
I know theres a lot of people that probably, if I was not playing golf, would not remember me.
The United States Golf Association handed over the keys Wednesday to a new ambulance it bought with donations from members and volunteers to the Fire Department of New York.
It marked the third time the USGA has donated such an emergency vehicle. They did so to the town of St. Andrews in Scotland, and one for Pearl Harbor, both during World War II.
The USGA also held a ceremony Wednesday in which a firefighter donated a golf ball he found in the rubble at Ground Zero to the USGA museum.
Full coverage of the 102nd U.S. Open
Cabrera and son win PNC Father/Son Challenge
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
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
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.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
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.