Jason Sobel - March 9, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamMarch 9, 2012, 1:22 pm

Rory McIlroy shot a first round 73 at Doral and he was not surprised that Rory was feeling a bit flat after going to New York for a couple of days after becoming World #1. It is not exactly the end of the world for Rory and anticipates that this will be his highest round of the week.

Jason Dufner does not seem to give off any edge at all. He does not want to say that it looks like Dufner doesn’t care, but he does not seem very emotional out on the course. He just keeps on rolling and proved he can do that after losing the 2011 PGA Championship in a playoff to Keegan Bradley.

He was more surprised to see Tiger at 72 after the 1st round than Phil. Tiger has a great history at Doral and when you consider the final round 62 last week and the eagle on the 1st hole on Thursday, one would think that Tiger would have shot a better round than 72. But again, the course is playing hard and Tiger should have better scores this week.

Sergio Garcia put two in the water at 18 to end a horrible back nine and he actually enjoyed seeing the 18th hole play as difficult as it did. It will be very exciting to see a few players in contention on Sunday have to face the difficult 18th. He hopes that the wind keeps blowing this week.

Earning an invitation to The Masters is arguably the top prize in professional golf and considering that this is Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament, Sobel suggested that there be a way to select players using certain criteria including at-large picks to play in The Masters every year. It seems like a fun idea and if not The Masters, certainly you can do another event. Sobel has more on this idea in his upcoming Weekly 18 article on GolfChannel.com.
 
In his second visit to Friday’s edition of Morning Drive, Sobel began by saying that he has been all over the map with his predictions about Adam Scott because you never know which Adam is going to show up. We have seen him both struggle and succeed in Major Championships and other big events. He thinks that Adam seems to have found something with the belly putter and thinks that he could have a 2012 that is similar to 2011.

Juvic Pagunsun won the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2011 and is 172nd in the Official World Golf Ranking. He was the first player from the Philippines to win the Order of Merit on that tour and he lost the Barclays Singapore Open in a playoff in 2011. In doing a Google search, the first thing that you find out about him is his height and different sites say different things.

We should not be too bummed about Tiger Woods starting with a 72 and being 6 shots back. In 2012, we have seen larger comebacks over 18 holes so we can definitely see that kind of comeback over the last 54 holes. Tiger is a lot like a prize fighter and it seems like he starts a tournament by getting an idea of the course and the field and he strikes later in the tournament.

Jarrod Lyle’s illness really puts things into perspective. Just as he is about to welcome his first child into the world with his wife, he has found out that he has leukemia for the second time in his life. Social Media has been a way for a number of players to express their best wishes for Jarrod and he is as nice of a person as you will meet on the PGA TOUR. Lyle and his family are in everyone’s prayers right now and we all want to see Jarrod healthy again as soon as possible.

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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.