Cut Line Auld Grey Toon edition

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2010, 11:00 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Earlier in the week Phil Mickelson suggested they play the Open Championship on the Old Course every year, not that it would help pull Lefty from his links funk. But it would certainly give John Daly a reason to look forward to July.

St. Andrews never disappoints, but everything else is fair game at golf’s oldest, and quirkiest, championship.

Made Cut

John Daly. They call this hamlet in Fife the “Fairytale Town” and JD’s opening 66 on Thursday certainly qualified as a fairytale start.

For all the missteps the big man has taken in his life Thursday was a collective epiphany, both competitively and personally. The desire may have wavered from time to time, but not the talent. Not the way he blasted his way around the Old Course with abandon and aplomb on Day 1.

But even more impressive was the way Daly handled himself at the microphone when the inevitable questions of a sordid past cropped up.

“I've never ran from my mistakes. I've always kind of been the man that you're supposed to be when you screw up, and I've screwed up an awful lot, not just on Tour but in other aspects of life,” Daly said. “I think it's how you come back and deal with it.”

And after a rough second-round 76, not sure the self-dubbed “Mild Thing” has two more days of Old Course magic in him, but it’s good to see his best days are not behind him.

Europe. Somewhere Corey Pavin is pacing nervously. The Ryder Cup is still over two months away and individual achievements usually mean little at the biennial grudge match, but things are not looking good for the U.S. side.

Four of the last six PGA Tour winners have been leading European Ryder Cup candidates – Justin Rose at the Memorial and AT&T National, Lee Westwood at the St. Jude Classic and Graeme McDowell at Pebble Beach – and a quick glance of the Open Championship leaderboard shows the continent with eight of the top 10 spots.

On Tuesday Westwood fired a playful jab at PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem during a golf writer’s award dinner: “It was lovely to see an American (Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic) win on your Tour,” Westwood smiled.

And Paul Azinger thought he was playing into a four-club wind at Valhalla.

Tweet of the Week: @danjenkinsgd (Golf Digest writer Dan Jenkins) “Mark Calcavecchia stopped at St. Andrews on his way to the Senior British Open next week and he tripped over a 67.”


Made Cut-Did Not Finish

Royal & Ancient. For nearly 40 minutes Friday afternoon the wind whipped, the sun shone and a stunned populace waited for play to resume at the Open Championship. Or maybe they were just waiting for someone to announce the 150th anniversary of the game’s oldest member-member had just been punked.

They don’t stop play at the Open Championship, not for rain, and not very often for wind, but just as Tiger Woods was completing his first hole on Friday the delay horn sounded because of winds that were gusting to 41 mph and moving golf balls on the greens.

It was the first wind delay since the 1998 championship at Royal Birkdale and a decision that chaffed some of the day’s early starters, who shouldered through the worst of Thursday’s weather and didn’t have it much better on Friday morning. But mostly it just confused observers accustomed to the rub of the Scottish “summer.”

“Come on let’s play,” Dr. Bob Rotella smiled.

Phil Mickelson. Earlier this week Lefty heaped praise on the Old Course that bordered on the spiritual, leading some to believe that this was finally the year the world No. 2 solved the links enigma. All of which made his 73-71 start particularly disappointing, if not predictable.

The Hall of Fame resume is far from wanting, but Mickelson’s Open record is pedestrian at best. In 14 Open starts he has just a single top-10 finish and his best showing on the Old Course is a tie for 11th in 2000.

Some contend Mickelson’s aerial game on a links course is akin to bringing a spork to a knife fight, but the real reason may be much simpler. For the man who played one tournament with two drivers in his bag and another, at Torrey Pines no less, without any driver, links golf may ask too many quesitons.


Missed Cut

Tiger Woods. The world No. 1’s Q&A with an outwardly hostile United Kingdom press aside, he rates a one-stroke penalty for his subtle stab at the Old Course’s greens.

“These greens are just the slowest I've seen in a long time, if ever,” Woods said following his first-round 67.

This is the second consecutive major that has drawn Woods’ ire for a less-than-perfect roll, following last month’s take that Pebble Beach’s greens were “awful.”

Yet had the greens been a foot faster on the Stimpmeter play may never have resumed on Friday and it’s hard to imagine the Old Course’s putting surfaces rolling much faster in 2000 and 2005 when Woods lapped the field. Be it denial or deflection, on this one Woods was OB.

Restless in Reno. “Cut Line” has listened to one too many Tour types complain about diminishing playing opportunities to let this one slide.

This week’s opposite-field event in Reno was hit with a rash of last-minute withdrawals and an obscure qualification category that caught many players off guard. As a result, a field that was supposed to feature 132 participants played “short” with just 126.

We’ve never been a fan of contraction, not in golf or any business model, but when $3.5 million and a weekend in Reno isn’t enough to get you off the couch consider yourself spoiled, or worse entitled.

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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 GolfChannel.com 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.