Woods' Honda magic doesn't carry over at Doral

By Rex HoggardMarch 9, 2012, 1:03 am

DORAL, Fla. – Before professional golf became so unpredictable and Europe claimed the top of the World Golf Ranking as its own, before Tiger Woods began a two-year-and-counting victory slide it was often impossible to distinguish between where one tournament ended and another began for Red Shirt.

One sliding 60-footer at Bay Hill begot a ball-striking masterpiece at Muirfield Village. Next thing you knew we were at East Lake going through the motions. The trophies differed but the blur of Woods’ brilliance left all but the most memorable of his 71 Tour tilts virtually indistinguishable from the next.

But those days seem like ancient history in the post-November 2009 world. What is past is no longer prologue, even in the wake of Sunday’s closing 62 at the Honda Classic for his best Tour finish (T-2) since 2009.

On Wednesday Woods was asked about riding his new-found momentum into south Florida, but even the former world No. 1 knew he was starting from scratch at Doral.

“It's a whole new golf course. It doesn't count. That tournament's over with, whether you missed the cut or win the tournament, it's over,” Woods said. “Now we are on to a new week, a new golf course, and I have to learn it and be ready.”

Watch Dustin Johnson's drive hit a camera tower

The only similarities between Woods’ closing act at PGA National and opening salvo at Doral were the fierce south Florida winds. He needed 10 more shots to round the Blue Monster on Thursday (72) and four more putts (30), hit four fewer fairways (seven) and three fewer greens in regulation (11) and is four strokes further off the lead.

It wasn't a different guy, just a different day. A rough, windswept day that left most competitors wanting for a standing “10 count” and sent Woods to the practice tee after his round.

It didn’t start out that way. There was a roping second shot at the par-5 first to 2 feet for eagle. At that point it could have been easy for Woods to slip into old habits when weeks ran together. Dating back to Sunday’s finale at the Honda Classic Woods had played his last three holes in 5 under and was, however briefly, tied for the lead.

At Doral, however, they like to go all 72 to decide a champion and momentum seems to go only so far these days. Woods bogeyed Nos. 4 and 5, needed a carving 3-wood through some palms and over a pond for birdie at the eighth and turned at even par after a three-putt, his second in five holes, at the ninth.

“I got off to a nice start today, hit a lot of good shots, just made a couple mistakes with iron shots and cost me two shots right in a row there at 4 and 5,” said Woods, who is tied for 25th and six shots behind front-runners Adam Scott and Jason Dufner. “After that, I played some really solid golf and just couldn't quite make enough birdies.”

He didn’t play poorly. He just didn’t play like he did on Sunday at the Honda Classic, the way we’ve come to expect him to play when things are going well.

He was fooled by shifting winds and subtle greens and precarious lies. He missed birdie putts of 25 feet (No. 10), 10 feet (No. 13), 25 feet (No. 14), 12 feet (No. 15), 16 feet (No. 16) and 15 feet (No. 17).

Complicating things, he hit a push-block-fade on the 18th hole that nestled down into the rough along the first fairway. He fared better than Sergio Garcia who was paired with Woods and hit a pull-hook-double cross into the water off the tee. El Nino signed for a triple-bogey 7 to complete a run that featured five consecutive bogeys starting at the 13th hole.

Woods avoided that kind of carnage and didn’t sound like a man in search of answers, just one who needed a few fortunate bounces.

“For some reason I kept hitting every drive in the first cut so it compounded the problem,” Woods said. “Is it going to fly, not going to fly; is it going to go through the wind or is it going to get killed by the wind? Just kept compounding the problem, and I had to consequently play very conservative on a lot of the shots.”

Conservative was probably not what the gallery that trailed Woods and braved intermittent showers expected out of their man following Sunday’s show at PGA National. But more of the same doesn’t seem to be an option anymore either.

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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.