Mahan feeling 'empty' after failing in Ryder Cup bid

By Randall MellSeptember 4, 2012, 10:10 pm

CARMEL, Ind. – Hunter Mahan was staggered Tuesday with yet another Ryder Cup blow.

This time the punch in the gut came in a phone call.

Two years after breaking down in tears over his pivotal singles loss to Graeme McDowell, Mahan learned he won’t get the chance to redeem himself.

Not this year, anyway.

American Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III called Mahan Monday night to tell him he wasn’t among the four captain’s picks that will tee it up against Europe at Medinah in suburban Chicago Sept. 28-30.

“It is difficult not to be a part of it,” Mahan said Tuesday after a practice session at Crooked Stick in preparation for the FedEx Cup’s BMW Championship. “It hurts not to be a part of it, and it feels a little empty right now.”

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Love picks Stricker, Furyk, Johnson and Snedeker

Discussion: Should Love have picked Mahan?

At Wales, Mahan was comforted by teammates after breaking down in tears talking about his loss to McDowell during the post-Ryder Cup news conference. Mahan left Celtic Manor with the stinging memory of a flubbed chip aside the 17th green, a mistake that led to his concession in the pivotal match.

Mahan said he was highly motivated to return to the Ryder Cup stage.

“I felt like I wanted to redeem myself somewhat, because you feel somewhat responsible,” Mahan said. “It hurt at the moment. It’s probably the most emotional week you’ll have as a player.”

An automatic qualifier for the team with two weeks left in the points race, Mahan ultimately finished ninth, one spot from qualifying. Phil Mickelson finished eighth.  

Mahan said the disappointment of not making the team is challenging his focus for this week’s BMW Championship.

“It definitely feels empty,” Mahan said. “It feels more empty being at the course. It didn’t feel that bad when Davis told me.”

Mahan used motivation from that Ryder Cup failure to make the American Presidents Cup team last year and to win twice this year. He would like to bounce back from this disappointment with a strong FedEx Cup finish.

“It’s tough because I still have two events to play,” Mahan said. “They don’t feel quite as important as I want them to be right now. I have to work on that this week. That’s my goal.”

Mahan said Love told him he was going with the hot hands. Though Mahan has won twice this year, including the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, he has cooled off through the summer. In 14 starts since winning the Shell Houston Open in April, Mahan has one top-10 finish. He did not help himself missing the cut at the PGA Championship a month ago and missing the cut at The Barclays in the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs two weeks ago.

With his captain’s picks, Love chose experience in veterans Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk and hot hands in Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker.

“It was definitely a tough call for me,” Love said.

“It was tough to leave, really, anybody off, because we could have gone very, very deep this year down the points list. The eight players on the team gave me a lot of great input.  It was a tough decision, but I felt like in the end, we rounded out our 12 the best way we knew how.”

Mahan was undefeated (2-0-3), winning 3½ points in the American Ryder Cup victory at Valhalla in 2008. He was 1-2 in Wales in 2010. He was 4-1 in last year’s Presidents Cup.

“Brandt and Dustin just outplayed me at the end of the day,” Mahan said. “I just didn’t play good enough.”

Asked if he believed he was deserving of a captain’s pick, Mahan said: “It’s difficult . . . It seemed like Davis was going for the hot players at the time, and you can’t fault him for that because he picked two guys who are playing so well right now.”

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.