From Dubai to Doral

By Rich LernerMarch 6, 2001, 5:00 pm
LONGSHOT JOE
 
Which is more of a longshot, the Bengals winning the Super Bowl or Joe Durant winning two tournaments in 2001 before Tiger Woods has won even one? Go figure.
 
BEWARE THE BALL
 
The new Titleist golf ball, the Pro-V1, is THE buzz on tour. Gentleman Joe's added 15 yards and suddenly become a Ryder Cup contender. Slight of build Jeff Sluman's poppin' it big distances, too. The Pro-V1 has grabbed eight of ten victories this year, putting Titleist back on top in its blood battle with Nike.
 
HE DID WHAT?
 
Tiger makes double on the 72nd hole in Dubai. Somewhere in his career Jordan must have missed a couple of late free throws, don't you think?
 
GETTING HIS SHOTS IN
 
Tiger jabbed the American golf scene with several comments, including, '...it's nice to putt on true greens', '...the crowds are respectful here...nobody's yellin' 'you da'man'', and finally on the subject of his winless streak - stressing that he'd won several international events during that span - he chided the American press and public for not having a 'better understanding' of world golf.
 
You know, there's plenty of oil money in Dubai. Maybe Tiger would like to play THERE every week for two million a throw?
 
HOLD THAT TALK
 
All talk of the gap being closed on Tiger should be reigned in until we see what happens at The Masters. If Tiger wins there, that would be four biggies in a row. And that would be a kind of dominance we've not seen since...since, let's see...since last year when he won three in a row.
 
By the way, Woods isn't that far from a return to glory. But his 'struggles' this year underscore just how special 2000 was. We may never, ever see that kind of one season run again.
 
And again, I still think Titleist has as much to do with the rebound of other players as the players themselves. 15 yards is A LOT!
 
AND BEWARE BJORN
 
Thomas Bjorn gets it. To slay the giant, you have to hit back, and hit hard.
 
WHERE'S THE LOVE?
 
Apparently, people still aren't convinced that Davis Love III can get it done when the heat's on. Granted, he's not Tiger. But who is? And I still think when all is said and done Davis will end up with 20 wins including three majors. Is that so bad?
 
GETTING OLD
 
Last week 17-year-old James Vargas shot 75-77 at Doral on a sponsor's exemption. In a matter of days Vargas is an old man AND old news. 16-year-old Ty Tryon, who plays on the same Orlando area high school team as the sons of John Cook and David Leadbetter, has Monday qualified for The Honda Classic.
 
My son Jack just turned three and hasn't broken 80 yet. What a disappointment.
 
PLAY IT AGAIN, JOE
 
Speaking of The Honda, no reason why Gentleman Joe Durant can't make it three in a row. The wind usually blows at tree-less Heron Bay, and Durant plays the wind like Wynton Marsallis plays jazz. His 65 Sunday at Doral was nothing short of brilliant. Durant hits it low. Durant hits it straight. And now Durant makes some putts. That usually works.
 
ETHELVILLE
 
Finally, I visited my grandmother while covering Doral. She lives in Ethelville. Everyone in her community is named Ethel. Ethel Siegel, Ethel Flank, Ethel Yarofsky, Ethel Ginsburg.

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.

Getty Images

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.

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.