Erin Go Open

By Rex HoggardJune 17, 2010, 12:05 am

2010 U.S. OpenPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Not a bad day for “to do” lists hard on the shores of Stillwater Cove.

In the span of two paragraphs the U.S. Golf Association kept Pebble Beach in the national championship fold and plugged a Midwest hole in the U.S. Open resume with a venue officials say will be a Grand Slam game changer.

The USGA announced on Wednesday at Pebble Beach that the U.S. Open will return to Pebble Beach in 2019, ahead of its unofficial once-a-decade stop, and the 2017 edition will go to Erin Hills, a four-year-old golf course 30 minutes northwest of Milwaukee.

On this the blue blazers got it right. Pebble Beach is a gem, regardless of this week’s outcome; and by all accounts Erin Hills has been groomed since before the first swale was dug for a national championship.

Yet while the 2018 site remains a work in progress, withTorrey Pines in San Diego and New York’s Bethpage Black among the early options, one place that seems certain not to get the ’18 nod is Chicago.

The second city has become, at least in USGA circles, something of a second thought.

Cog Hill, the public-access facility that regularly hosts the PGA Tour’s Chicago stop and underwent an extreme Rees Jones makeover to woo the U.S. Open, was reportedly Erin Hills’ primary competition for the ’17 championship and, according to USGA president Jim Hyler it is still part of the Open conversation.

“We’ll continue to consider courses in Chicago, but are very excited about Erin Hills,” said Hyler, noting that the 2017 Open was courted by seven Midwest venues.

Perhaps, but the hole in the Open rota seems to inexplicably expand with every Windy City whiff.

Hyler points out that the Open was recently in Chicago in 2003. Lost in that logic is the fact that four of the last eight have been played in the New York City area. Three of five, starting at Torrey Pines in 2008 and running through the Olympic Club in ’12, will be played in California.

“We like the West Coast,” Hyler smiled. “You don’t hear any rain (outside the press tent) do you?”

Good point, but still. By comparison the card on Chicago is clear. The U.S. Open has been played just twice in the Chicago area since 1975, and with nothing on paper at least through 2017 that’s an unacceptable and astonishing gap.

Wisconsin may deserve its first U.S. Open, but Chicago certainly rates better than a championship cameo every 20 years or so.

The PGA of America seems to have struck a balance on this. This year’s PGA will be played at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin and is scheduled to return in 2015. In the meantime the Ryder Cup will be played at Medinah in Chicago in 2012.

Some familiar with the Open’s lack of recent history in Chicago suggest the USGA soured on the area following the 2003 championship due, in large part, to its dealings with Cook County officials.

There is also the issue of a suitable venue. Chicago enjoys an embarrassment of golf riches, but few that have the infrastructure to host an Open. Cog Hill has the room but is something of a reach architecturally if you ask players. While Butler National, a one-time home of the Western Open, is a classic course with plenty of room but has membership restrictions that would preclude it from being considered.

If one were to gaze into the tea leaves Wednesday’s announcements would suggest Chicago, a town that knows a thing or two about droughts, should get used to more heartbreak. But if the Blackhawks can hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup surely the USGA can round up a serviceable friendly confine for the nation’s championship.

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.