Ready for dessert?

By Randall MellOctober 25, 2011, 8:26 pm

With the PGA Tour season unofficially over, the calendar turns to silly season and lucrative international events.

While there are some hit-and-giggle events scheduled over the final 10 weeks of the year, there’s more than funny money to be won.

Tiger Woods will be looking to win back some confidence. He’s scheduled to tee it up three more times. Despite a hectic late summer and fall, world No. 1 Luke Donald might make four more appearances before New Year’s Eve arrives. The world’s No. 1-2-3 players are all scheduled to play the Dubai World Championship. And with the Presidents Cup being staged in Australia, the Australian Open is reaping a large reward with its field. And, of course, there’s the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, the biggest event of all for hopefuls looking to make it to the game’s grandest stages.

Here’s a look at the best of the rest of the 2011 season:

Shanghai Masters, Oct. 27-30

The largest winner’s check in golf is up for grabs in this inaugural event.

There will be no world ranking points in this unsanctioned exhibition, but there’s a $2 million first-place check at stake. That’s enough to attract Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Keegan Bradley, Padraig Harrington, Retief Goosen, K.J. Choi and Colin Montgomerie to Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai.

WGC-HSBC Champions, Nov. 3-6

Don’t put it past an aggravated Luke Donald to show up and put an exclamation point on his bid to win PGA Tour Player of the Year.

Frustrated after hearing the PGA Tour won’t be sending out ballots for POY voting as scheduled this week, Donald isn’t ruling out playing the HSBC Champions. Donald says if his wife, Diane, gives birth to their second child this week, he might make the trip and play in Shanghai.

The PGA Tour was originally scheduled to mail out Player of the Year ballots on Tuesday, but Tour officials, realizing late that the HSBC Champions counts as an official victory, decided to hold off on mailing the ballots until after the Shanghai event concludes. Ballots are due Dec. 9.

“I feel like if I even went to HSBC and won, they’d find another event to add,” a frustrated Donald said.

All four major championship winners (Charl Schwartzel, Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Keegan Bradley) are announced as playing. Though commitments aren’t solidified until Friday, Martin Kaymer, Webb Simpson, Nick Watney and Adam Scott are among players tournament officials have listed as playing. It’s the only World Golf Championship event played outside the United States. While winnings don’t count as official, whoever wins will get credit for an official PGA Tour victory. The odd arrangement makes it feel like an unofficially official event.

Emirates Australian Open, Nov. 10-13

With the Presidents Cup being played Down Under the week after the Australian Open, Woods is among the American contingent using the event at the Lakes Golf Club in Sydney to sharpen their games. It will be Woods’ first appearance since tying for 30th at the Open three weeks ago. Presidents Cup Internationals captain Greg Norman and American captain Fred Couples are also in the field along with Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Bill Haas, Adam Scott and defending champ Geoff Ogilvy.

Barclays Singapore Open, Nov. 10-13

Instead of heading Down Under early to play the Australian Open, Phil Mickelson is bound for the European Tour event at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore to warm up for the Presidents Cup. Graeme McDowell, Harrington, Y.E. Yang and Anthony Kim are also scheduled to play with a $6 million purse up for grabs.

The Presidents Cup, Nov. 17-20

Woods will be center stage, as usual, with so much attention focused on whether he deserves to be on the American team headed to Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

This international team event has lacked the grudge-match feel of the Ryder Cup, but the intensity has been ratcheted up with controversy over Woods as a captain’s pick.

After Couples announced early he was picking Woods, criticism rained. Even Norman, the Internationals captain, weighed in, saying he wouldn’t have selected Woods. Ogilvy also questioned the pick. A key factor in how this plays out is whether Steve Stricker, whom Woods has teamed so successfully with, will be sufficiently recovered from a herniated disk in his neck to compete.

Australian PGA Championship, Nov. 24-27

Australian stars Ogilvy, Scott and Day will get some international competition with Americans Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler in the field. Norman’s also planning to play what could be a love fest if his Internationals are coming off a Presidents Cup triumph.

Omega Mission Hills World Cup, Nov. 24-27

The two-man team competition will feature some stellar duos in the foursomes and four-ball format in what’s been changed to a biennial event.

The Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy/Graeme McDowell and South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel/Louis Oosthuizen lead the way as major championship winning combos. The United States’ Matt Kuchar/Gary Woodland, Germany’s Martin Kaymer/Alex Cjeka and England’s Ian Poulter/Justin Rose also are scheduled to play. Italy’s Molinari brothers, Edoardo and Francesco, will be back as defending champs.

Chevron World Challenge, Dec. 1-4

World No. 1 Donald won’t be playing Tiger’s event. Neither will the defending champ, McDowell.

Woods needed a sponsor’s exemption to make it into his own event for his final appearance of the year.

With the Nedbank Challenge going on the same week, Donald and McDowell will be among the lucky dozen competing for riches in South Africa. But you can count Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Nick Watney, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley and Bill Haas among the headliners in the 18-player field at Sherwood Country Club.

Nedbank Challenge, Dec. 1-4

Twelve players compete for $5 million in prize money at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City.

Donald, Lee Westwood, Kaymer, Schwartzel and McDowell are among the lucky dozen that will be going for the $1.25 million first-place prize. Last place will take home at least $250,000.

PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, Nov. 30-Dec. 5

Six days of hell.

That pretty much sums up the angst more than 150 players will be feeling in the final stage of Q-School at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. The top 25 and ties earn fully exempt status with the next 55 and ties earning Nationwide Tour status and the rest earning conditional Nationwide Tour status.

Dubai World Championship, Dec. 8-11

World No. 1 Donald, No. 2 Westwood and No. 3 McIlroy make this a stellar finish to the European Tour’s Race to Dubai competition at Jumeirah Golf Estates in the United Arab Emirates. With No. 6 Kaymer in the field, four of the top six players in the world will compete for $7.5 million in bonus money in the season-long competition, as well as a $7.5 million tournament purse. Donald holds a commanding lead in the season-long money race, making him a virtual lock to win the Harry Vardon Trophy and the $1.5 million bonus jackpot that goes with it.

Franklin Templeton Shootout, Dec. 9-11

Defending champs Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter won’t be back, but Stricker, Bradley, Simpson, Fowler and Norman will be featured in the two-man team event at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples.

JBWere Masters, Dec. 15-18

The tireless world No. 1 is scheduled to make his final appearance in a breakthrough year at Victoria Golf Course in Melbourne. Donald is scheduled to play for a third consecutive week following the Nedbank Challenge and Dubai World Championship.

Thailand Golf Championship, Dec. 15-18

The season-ending Asian Tour event boasts an impressive field with McIlroy, Westwood, Ryo Ishikawa and Darren Clarke. There’s a $1 million purse but obviously some appearance fees making this worth the trip to Chonburi.

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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.