YE Yang the biggest major surprise of all this season

By Randall MellAugust 16, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 PGA ChampionshipCHASKA, Minn. ' Golfs been waiting for a different kind of player to look Tiger Woods in the eye and knock him out in the final round of a major championship.
Who could have foreseen a player this different?
Who could have foreseen Y.E. Yang doing what he did to Woods Sunday at the PGA Championship?
Who in their wildest dreams would have imagined that the first player to wrestle away a final-round lead from Woods would be a man who didnt pick up a golf club until he was 19 years old?
By that age, after all, Woods had already won five of his six U.S Juniors and U.S Amateurs.
Who would have thought the man to wreck Woods perfect record with a 54-hole lead in a major would be so removed from tournament golf on his 21st birthday that he was guarding naval ships while serving an 18-month stint in the South Korean Army?
Woods won the Masters when he was 21.
Yang introduced himself Sunday as the wildly, brilliantly and wondrously different man golfs been waiting for.
Hes a guy who didnt break par for the first time until he was 22 and yet will be forever remembered for breaking Woods in the majors.
Yang, 37, will forever be South Koreas version of Francis Ouimet, the former American caddie who took down legendary Brits Harry Vardon and Ted Ray at the 1913 U.S. Open in one of the greatest upsets in history. His victory with Woods in the field at the European Tours HSBC Champions Tournament in China in 2006 makes him golfs only Tiger Tamer.
This different kind of man won Sunday at Hazeltine with a different kind of gameplan.
Ranked 110th in the world, Yang figured he had nothing to lose, but he wasnt going to lose trying to do too much the way so many players have against Woods.
I dont consider myself as a great golfer, he said through a translator. Im still more of the lower-than-average PGA Tour player. So my goal today was to just hit at least even [par], not go over par. I think probably thats the different mindset.
Yang needed more than one of the greatest shots ever hit in a major to ruin Woods 14-0 record with final-round leads in majors.
He needed a pair of them.
With a chip-in from 60 feet at the 14th for eagle, Yang took his first lead.
With a magnificent 3-hybrid from 210 yards dead-arrow straight over a giant oak, he sealed his victory at the final hole. He stuck that scary shot straight over the flagstick tucked tight left on the 18th green. He did it with nerveless precision to set up a closing birdie and 2-under-par 70.
Ive been around golf a little while, and Ive been around some great players, but Ive never been around a more tough mental competitor, said A.J. Montecinos, Yangs caddie. Just the fact that nothing affects him, whether he makes double or triple [bogey], hes just like, `No problem.
It was a Sunday of staggering sights.
Who would have thought Woods could miss so many putts with a chance to win in the final round of a major? Who would have thought hed be the guy blowing it with the pressure ratcheting up? Woods bogeyed the final two holes and shot 75, two shots higher than any other round hes posted when leading after 54 holes.
Woods clumsily missed a 3-footer for par at the fourth hole and never found his famed clutch putting stroke. His 33 putts made him feel like he beat himself as much as Yang beat him.
Its both, Woods said. I was in control of the tournament most of the day. I was playing well, hitting the ball well. I made nothing.
Woods gave credit to Yang, too.
He did all the things he needed to do at the right time, Woods said.
That Yang emerged the winner is a poetic ending to this crazy major championship season.
In a year of spoilers, Yangs the ultimate spoiler.
Angel Cabrera spoiled Kenny Perrys happy ending at the Masters, Lucas Glover did the same to Phil Mickelson and David Duval at the U.S. Open, and Stewart Cink following suit at the British Open by beating Tom Watson.
Woods will be remembered as the final favorite to fall in the years Heartbreak Slam.
Yangs victory will go down as wonderful storybook stuff given his history.
He didnt pick up the game until a friend took him to a driving range in South Korea when he was 19. He fell in love with the sport and thought he could make a decent living as a club professional. He never saw a future where he would become good enough to beat Woods the way he did at the HSBC Champions Tournament in China three years ago, but that changed with his growing confidence. Paired with Retief Goosen in China, he didnt beat Woods head-to-head, but he started imagining himself doing that. The visions got stronger after he won The Honda Classic in March.
I sort of visualized this quite a few times, playing against the best player, if not one of the best players in the history of golf, playing with him in a final round in a major championship, Yang said. Always sort of dreamed about this.
Yang walked through that dream in one remarkable Sunday at Hazeltine.
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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.