Honda halted again; headed toward Monday finish

By Randall MellFebruary 28, 2015, 10:45 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Winds gusting dangerously to 60 mph blew down the floating scoreboard on the lake alongside the 18th green Saturday at the Honda Classic during a storm that halted the third round for the day shortly after it began.

The PGA Tour announced at 2:51 p.m. that play was halted for the day. The third round is scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Heavy winds and almost 4 inches of rain also caused the collapse of some concession stands at PGA National, but no injuries or major structural damage were reported, according to Honda Classic executive director Ken Kennerly.

“Our team did a great job evacuating this course,” Kennerly said. “The PGA Tour was well ahead of this storm.

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“Obviously, it’s been a brutal afternoon. We are doing an evaluation of the golf course right now. We lost some concession areas and a few other things, but, for the most part, the major structures of the golf course are intact.”

Kennerly said he was unaware of any injuries. Spectators were cleared from the course and mostly gathered in the clubhouse and hotel with the storm arriving.

“We further evacuated people that refused to leave, until it got a little heavy, as people tend to do,” Kennerly said. “We got all children, and some elderly people out there, we got them in safe and sound.”

With it unlikely the third and final rounds can be completed Sunday, Kennerly said the aim is still to complete 72 holes, with a possible Monday finish.

“We’ve got a great leaderboard, and, of course, it’s frustrating,” Kennerly said. “But, we’re still looking forward to a great day tomorrow.”

After the rain-suspended second round was completed Saturday morning and the cut made, the third round began at noon. Just 51 minutes later, weather horns blew, suspending play with lightning and heavy rain and winds approaching. Players never got back on the course..

After the suspended third round is completed, the PGA Tour will not re-pair players  for the final round. Threesomes will be sent out in their same groupings to play the final round.

“Right now, we have a favorable forecast,” PGA Tour meteorologist Wade Stettner said of Sunday’s schedule.

Just 24 players were able to complete the first hole of the third round with nobody completing more than three holes.

Slugger White, PGA Tour vice president of rules and competition, said his staff was still evaluating damage to the course.

“We’ve got, pretty much, probably, a mess,” White said. “The bunkers, I’m sure, are an absolute mess.”

Padraig Harrington finished up a 4-under-par 66 Saturday morning after returning to complete the second round. At 7 under overall, he leads Patrick Reed (67) by one shot and Ian Poulter (64) and Brendan Steele (69) by two shots. None of the leaders got off before the third round was suspended.

“That was some of the craziest weather I think I've ever seen,” said Russell Knox, who is accustomed to challenging weather in his native Scotland. “For a good hour and a half, it was just torrential rain and blowing 50. Terrible.”

Friday’s second round was suspended twice by bad weather before darkness ultimately halted play. The second round resumed early Saturday morning and was completed at 11:39 a.m. with 71 players making the cut at 4-over 144.

“It’s a mental grind,” Stewart Cink said of the delays. “I’m sure it will be windy again tomorrow. This course can really work on you mentally, and that takes its toll over 36 holes in one day.”

The Honda Classic has a long history of dramatic weather. In 1986, at TPC-Eagle Trace in neighboring Broward County, Kenny Knox shot 80 with winds ripping to 45 mph in the third round, but still went on to win. In ’91, Greg Norman shot 77 in howling winds and blasted the Eagle Trace setup as “carnival golf,” leading to the tournament’s eventual move to nearby Weston Hills. In ’95 at Weston Hills, violent winds ripped apart corporate skyboxes the day before the tournament began.

There also is some history of drama surrounding the floating scoreboard at PGA National. Back in 1987, when the PGA Championship was played on the Champion Course, with searing August temperatures reaching 100 degrees, PGA officials were stunned by a volunteer scorekeeper’s unexpected wardrobe change. The scorekeeper, a model hired by the resort’s P.R. firm, disappeared behind the floating scoreboard in her volunteer outfit only to re-appear in a string bikini, infuriating PGA of America officials, who immediately sent a boat out to remove her.

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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 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.