Judge to make ruling on Barron case by early Saturday

By Rex HoggardNovember 14, 2009, 2:11 am

PGA TourLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Doug Barron’s legal and professional fate will likely have to wait at least one more day.

Lawyers for the 40-year-old journeyman, who became the first player to run afoul of the PGA Tour’s performance-enhancing drug policy Nov. 2, challenged the circuit’s suspension on Friday in a Memphis federal court, asking a federal magistrate to grant an injunction that would allow Barron to play the second stage of Q-School next week in Houston.

After nearly four hours of deliberations, U.S. Magistrate Judge Tu Pham retired to make his decision. According to Barron’s agent, Art Horne, Pham could make a decision on his client’s fate tonight or as late as Saturday morning.

Doug Barron
Doug Barron was the first player suspended by the Tour under the doping policy. (Getty Images)

At issue is Barron’s one-year Tour suspension for testing positive for beta blockers and testosterone, both banned by the Tour’s PED policy but medically prescribed by Barron’s doctor for low testosterone and a heart condition he has had since he was 18.

The lawsuit which was originally filed in Shelby (Tenn.) County Court on Thursday seeks unspecified monetary damages and injunctive relief for defamation of character and a policy that his lawyers say denied Barron’s judicial review.

“We felt that the clause that denied him his due process was unconscionable,” Horne said. “If I were a PGA Tour player I would be following this very closely because unlike other sports that have unions and protections there are no protections for Tour players.”

The Tour has declined to comment any further on the case beyond its press release that was issued Nov. 2 which simply stated Barron had violated the policy and would be suspended for one year.

The Tour was represented on Friday by Colorado-based Rich Young, an attorney who has worked on many high-profile doping cases including the Floyd Landis conviction and helped craft the Tour’s PED policy which began in July 2008.

Regardless of Pham’s decision, Horne said Barron would continue to legally challenge the suspension, essentially a two-year ban because of the normal timing of the first stage of Q-School, which ended this year on Oct. 30 and would be during Barron’s suspension.

“At the end of the day he has to be able to take care of his family,” Horne said.

Barron’s attorney, Jeffrey Rosenblum, said the Tour singled out Barron rather than better known players to make it look like it is cracking down on its policy, but he alleged that as many as 10 current pros have taken illegal drugs but were not suspended. He said he would seek details from the PGA Tour during the discovery process.

On Friday at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World Resort players continued to voice shock that Barron had become the first to violate the policy.

“We should probably let him play second stage,” said Tom Pernice Jr., a member of the Tour’s Player Advisory Council.

Horne said Barron was in Houston preparing for the second-stage of event, which begins on Wednesday.

“He’s in a good place mentally and has prayed a lot about it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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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.