Hot Seat: South Florida sizzle

By Randall MellFebruary 28, 2012, 2:15 pm

You might want to turn down your air conditioner. It can get steamy in this part of our website with our weekly look at who is taking a place on golf’s Hot Seat.

Here is our special heat index with the PGA Tour moving to the Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens:

South Florida spicy salsa – Luke Donald

Let’s see, Donald has now gone two PGA Tour events in a row without winning, so it must be time to panic over a sluggish start to 2012, right?

Of course not, even with that final-round 78 at the Northern Trust Open and that first-round rout at the hands of Ernie Els at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, but that doesn’t mean Donald won’t find himself squirming on his seat at home come Sunday if he’s watching the Honda Classic.

Donald isn’t playing this week, but his run at No. 1, which has reached 40 weeks, could end with Rory McIlroy in the field at PGA National. According to the newest Official World Golf Ranking projection. McIlroy ascends to No. 1 with a victory at Honda, but only a victory. Lee Westwood is also in the field but he can't get to No. 1 this week.

Palm Beach blacktop at high noon – Rory McIlroy

If McIlroy is going to reach No. 1 for the first time, it serves him to do so with a victory. If he ultimately goes on to displace Donald with a second at Doral after a second at Accenture, there will be some grumbling over whether he has yet developed enough killer instinct to prevail for any length of time at No. 1. If McIlroy takes the top ranking merely with a run of good finishes, there will be questions about whether McIlroy has won enough to be considered the game’s top player. McIlroy has four worldwide titles, two on the European Tour, two on the PGA Tour. At 22, that’s impressive, especially considering the way he won his two PGA Tour titles, in an eight-shot runaway at the U.S. Open and closing with a 62 to win the Quail Hollow Championship. He’s showing a gift for the spectacular when he peaks. A Honda Classic victory will put him second behind Tiger Woods for most PGA Tour titles before age 23. Woods won seven times before his 23rd birthday. Sergio Garcia won three PGA Tour titles before he was 23.

Desert sunburn – Lee Westwood

Westwood took so much confidence into his semifinal match at Accenture, but he blew a 3-up lead losing to McIlroy. A victory at PGA National can help wash away the sour taste of that defeat. A victory there creates terrific Masters’ momentum in Westwood’s bid to win his first major.

South Florida high humidity – Tiger Woods

Woods pretty much lives on the hot seat, it’s just a matter of how hot the seat gets. After missing that 5 1/2-foot birdie putt at the final hole to lose to Nick Watney in the second round at Accenture, Woods has more doubts to slay, more demons to extinguish. There is always excitement when Woods tees it up in an event, but it feels heightened, if that’s possible, seeing him at a new venue in his first Honda Classic as a professional. He played it once back in his amateur days.

Molten magma pit – Anyone teeing it up in the Bear Trap

If the March winds howl the way they usually do in South Florida, the Bear Trap could offer more thrills and spills than any trio of holes this side of Augusta National’s Amen Corner. The 15th, 16th and 17th holes at PGA National are notoriously punishing in the wind with so much water guarding those three holes. A potential disaster lurks there for the leaders come Sunday night.

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.

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.

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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.