Bunker Shots

By Randall MellJuly 28, 2009, 4:00 pm
With the PGA Tour stopping an hour north of Detroit , we set the weeks storylines using Motown hits as themes:
 
Tiger Woods and the big bounce back
 
Signed, Sealed, Delivered ' Stevie Wonder
 
Tiger Woods will be the heavy favorite to win the Buick Open despite his missed cut at the British Open in his last start.
 
In fact, he might be a heavier favorite because hes coming off just the fifth missed cut in his PGA Tour career. He doesnt do failing very well.
 
The last time Woods missed a cut ' the 2006 U.S. Open ' he responded with a terrific surge. After tying for second at the Western Open, Woods won his next seven PGA Tour starts.
 
Woods record at Warwick Hills Country Club is impressive. He won the last time he played the Buick Open there in 06 and also won there in 02. In eight starts there, he has finished fourth or better six times and never finished worse than tied for 11th. His scoring average over his last 20 rounds there is 66.95. The first time Woods teed it up in a tournament round at Warwick Hills, he shot even-par 72. He never failed to break par there after that, shooting under par in his next 31 rounds.
 

 
Buick and the sign of the times
 
Come and Get These Memories ' Martha and the Vandellas
 
With news reports stating Buick officials will announce their title sponsorship of the Michigan event will end after this years event, speculation mounts over the future of other PGA Tour events, including the Buick Invitational in San Diego. Does the Tour have another title sponsor lined up to jump in at Warwick Hills? What other dominoes are poised to fall in the title sponsorship game? Milwaukees uncertain future was overshadowed by the British Open, but with Woods playing at Warwick Hills, title sponsorship issues will gain more attention this week.
 

 
The LPGA seeks a different focus
 
Youve Really Got a Hold on Me ' The Miracles
 
In this high definition world, the LPGA is lacking as its major championship season comes to a close at the Womens British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
 
Inside the ropes, this is a year still waiting for a player or theme to emerge and define it.
 
Asian dominance, however, appears to have the inside track. Asians have won seven of the last eight LPGA events and three of the last five majors.
 
Outside the ropes, of course, the ouster of Carolyn Bivens as commissioner defines a year thats been much about business woes. Its frustrating to players, who would like the focus back on them. Theyd like nothing better than a compelling storyline about competition to change the tours talking points.
 
Lorena Ochoa, Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer have all endured frustration for different reasons so far in the major championship season, but theres one good bet should any of the three contend at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Theyll probably have to beat an Asian down the stretch.
 
South Koreans will be looking to win their second consecutive major championship and their fourth in the last six played. South Koreas Eun-Hee Ji won the U.S. Womens Open last month and fellow countrywoman Jiyai Shin is the defending champion this week.
 

 
Solheim Cup teams to be finalized
 
Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye) ' Gladys Knight & The Pips
 
The U.S. and European Solheim Cup teams will be settled at the conclusion of this weeks Womens British Open.
 
The focus on the American side will be intense over Captain Beth Daniels two picks to join the 10 Americans who qualify on points.
 
The chief focus will be on whether she picks Michelle Wie.
 
Going into this week, Wie, Juli Inkster and Pat Hurst stand out among the possibilities.
 
If all three remain outside the top 10 in points, who will Daniel leave off?
 
Its a tough choice for the American captain. Inkster wants to make what could be her last Solheim Cup team. Hurst won this season, something neither Inkster nor Wie has done, but Wies the most consistent performer over the last four months.
 

 
Watson, Norman and major whirlwinds
 
Aint No Mountain High Enough ' Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
 
There would be something poetic about a Tom Watson vs. Greg Norman duel this week at the U.S. Senior Open at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind.
 
It would be all about cruel endings for one of them.
 
Theyre both teeing it in their third major championship in three weeks. Theyve both endured final-round disappointments over the last two weeks.
 
After losing the British Open in a playoff at Turnberry, Watson tied for eighth at the Senior British Open. Norman missed the cut at the British Open, then endured another final-round disappointment at the Senior British Open, failing to hold a 54-hole lead in a major for the seventh time in his career.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Buick Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Senior Open
  • Full Coverage - Women's British Open
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • 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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Getty Images

    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.