Bunker Shots

By Randall MellAugust 4, 2009, 4:00 pm
With football season just around the corner, we set the weeks storylines with the help of some great gridiron coaches:
Down, set, hike me another trophy!
Its not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference. ' Bear Bryant
Tiger Woods has made a good living in the rubber capital of the world.
In the land of B.F. Goodrich, Goodyear and Firestone, nobody bounces the competition better.
Woods will be looking to win for the seventh time at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, when he tees it up at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Of course, it probably wouldnt matter where he played this week if it were a World Golf Championship event. You think his winning percentage in major championships is impressive? Check out his WGC record.
Woods has won 14 of the 49 major championships he has played as a professional.
Thats a nice little 28.6 winning percentage.
He has won 16 of the 30 WGC events he has played.
Thats a whopping 53 percent of the time.
Woods won eight of nine WGC events in one stretch, including five in a row.

Feels like a home-field advantage
Believe deep down in your hearts that youre destined to do great things. ' Joe Paterno
WGC events are almost always about Tiger almost all the time, so here we go with a listing of where Firestone ranks among PGA Tour stops where Woods has won the most as a pro:
  • Torrey Pines ' 7
  • Firestone Country Club ' 6
  • Bay Hill Club and Lodge ' 6
  • Augusta National ' 4
  • Cog Hill Golf & Country Club ' 4
  • Muirfield Village ' 4

    Second-half comeback
    Ive had smarter people around me all my life, but I havent run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they cant outwork you, then smarts arent going to do them much good. Thats just the way it is. And if you believe that and live by it, youd be surprised at how much fun you can have. ' Woody Hayes
    Vijay Singh says his knee is healed, and now his swings rounding back into form, which bodes well as he prepares to defend his title at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
    Singh, 46, hasnt won this season, which places him in a similar spot to a year ago. After making Bridgestone his first PGA Tour title last season, he went on to win the Barclays and the Deutsche Bank Championship in back-to-back starts and claim the FedEx Cup.
    Sing is looking to extend his streak of consecutive seasons with at least one PGA Tour title to eight.
    Guess who holds the longest ongoing streak? Of course, Sir Eldrick Woods, who has won in 14 consecutive seasons, every year since he turned pro in 96.

    Best player on the second unit
    Breaks balance out. The sun dont shine on the same ol dogs rear end every day. ' Darrell Royal
    Thirty-eight WGC events have been staged since they were initiated in 1999, including seven World Cups, which were dropped from the WGC umbrella after the 06 season.
    Whos the best player not named Tiger Woods in the WGCs short history?
    That would be Australias Geoff Ogilvy.
    Woods has his 16 WGC titles and Ogilvy has three (06 and 09 Accenture Match Plays and the '08 CA Championship).
    Northern Irelands Darren Clarke (00 Accenture Match Play and 03 Bridgestone) and South Africas Ernie Els (01 World Cup and 04 CA Championship) are the only other players to have won more than one.

    The women will scrimmage this week
    Any time you give a man something he doesnt earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect. ' Woody Hayes
    The LPGA has no event scheduled this week, but it feels like training camp is in session at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., with the American Solheim Cup team practicing for the Aug. 21-23 matches.
    After unveiling her team Sunday at the end of the Ricoh Womens British Open in England, American Captain Beth Daniel gets a chance to experiment with pairings for alternate-shot and best-ball competitions.
    There will be pressure on Michelle Wie, whose selection as a captains pick drew much scrutiny, even though her record stood out as superior to other captains pick possibilities. Who will Wie be paired with? How about pairing the oldest and youngest players on the team? How about Wie, 19, teaming up with Juli Inkster, 49? It might not be the best fit for alternate shot because Wies so much longer than Inkster, but it would be an intriguing best-ball combo.
    Inkster, with 31 LPGA titles, has a lot to offer the winless Wie. As far as alternate shot goes, Brittany Lincicomes a long bomber like Wie. Or theres Paula Creamer, who hits more greens than anyone on tour. The Creamer/Wie duo would be an intimidating team with Creamer leading the LPGA in GIR and Wie leading it in putting.
    Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
  • Full Coverage - Reno-Tahoe Open
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
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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.