Hacking Away

By Rich LernerMay 13, 2002, 4:00 pm

Meanderings from the Byron Nelson Classic:
- Not that I was gawking or anything, but the plastic surgery business is a healthy one in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
- Shigeki smiles and people seem astonished. I mean imagine that, a golfer actually laughing and enjoying himself. Whats wrong with him?
- Too bad well never see the Raymond Floyd glare against the Shigeki smile in a Presidents Cup match.
- The Salesmanship Club, those folks in the red pants behind the Verizon Byron Nelson, raises more money for charity than any other tournament on the PGA Tour and enjoys an impeccable rep with the players, wholl tell you that if you need anything, just look for the red pants.
- Speaking of said slacks, good guy Carl Paulson, as a way of saying thanks for the efforts, wore a pair for his final round and then to the volunteer party, where he received a standing ovation.
- Several players told me that Phil Mickelson is alienating the rank and file because hes been vocal about losing events like Tucson opposite a WGC big-money affair, preferring that all the available dough be put into the higher-profile event.
- The lefty appeared a tad burned out following Sundays finale and would do well to say 'no' on occasion to a few of the hundreds of autograph hounds he routinely accommodates.
- Is there a ban on brunettes in Dallas?
- Chris DiMarco played with Shigeki the first two rounds and told me that hes the real deal, as a player and a funnyman, emphasizing that Marus short games really special.
- DiMarco cracked that Maru tried to teach him a few curse words in Japanese, because, you know, the tours coming down harder on profanity these days but this way the officials will never know.
- One player told me that the tours a rather dull place these days, harder than ever to find a guy wholl go have a beer after a round.
- On that subject, I once asked, Wheres Walter Hagen when you need him? Colleague Jeff Rude, who hits one-liners like Tiger hits four-footers, retorted, In his room with a glass of milk watching ESPN.
- Tommy Armour III, whose Monday party at his home off the TPC Las Colinas golf course was reportedly five-star in every way, mightve given Hagen a run for his money off the course.
- Are there any fat guys left on Tour?
- Of course, I did bump into fun-loving Tim Herron, aka Lumpy, at Wiener Circle, the legendary hot dog joint in Chicago, at 3 a.m. several years back as I was getting up for an early breakfast meeting.
- In the fabulous gym at The Four Seasons, Vijay looked around and noticed that there are more trainers on Tour these days than players.
- John Cook, intelligent and in touch with the tour scene, will be in a major network analysts chair within four years.
- Imagine what Byron Nelsons seen in his lifetime? In 1945, when he won 11 straight, we were enemies with Japan. Now 57 years later, he hands a trophy bearing his name to the best golfer from the land of the rising sun.
- Ben Crane flew to Oregon to prepare for his wedding without ever setting foot on an airplane.
- Suddenly the most important job in golf is interpreter.
- Anybody seen Davis or Hal lately?
- If Deutsche Bank does conflict with the Byron next year, Tiger has to know hell never win the PR battle by taking the two mil while saying no to a legend, dont you think?
- Did I mention that as Im writing this, its just after six a.m. in Dallas? Or is it Cincinnati? Maybe Atlanta?
- By the way, I kept my streak alive. Its now 89 consecutive trips without ever having had to actually purchase a USA Today.
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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.