The View From Here

By Rich LernerSeptember 25, 2002, 4:00 pm
Given the current climate in the world, what with the drumbeat of war emanating increasingly louder from the United States and a dozen of our best golfers about to play a match that was postponed because of a terrorist act, I wondered what exactly was the view of America in Birmingham, England, on the eve of a Ryder Cup that was last played amidst such enmity and bitterness.
 
Heres what I saw and heard, much of my research culled from an exercise known in these parts as the Monday night pub crawl:
 
I saw a billboard in center city asking how many more Iraqi children must die and for what reason. As I rode by that message, I found it somewhat reassuring to know that our staunchest ally allows its citizens, like ours, to ask dissenting questions of its government.
 
On the other hand, its futile to ask an Englishman for directions. They have a penchant for punctuating sentences by saying, right, and straightaway. So, in trying to get somewhere I heard the following, and it helps to imagine, say, someone with Montys verbal lilt (even though hes a Scot) doing the talking: Downtown, right. OK, what you do, right, is go down to the roundabout, right, and turn left, right. Straightaway. I, of course, shook my head and said, Right, then proceeded to go half a block with absolutely no clue. Do I go right, left or straightway?
 
We eventually made our way to a local sports bar and along the way youd have thought you were in Cincinnati or Seattle. I saw a bustling, vibrant collection of urban youth-Wall Street types in suits, shaven heads with tattoos, baggy jeans and dreadlocks, Middle and Far Easterners, blacks and whites.
 
Inside the establishment, John Cougar Mellencamp blared away. And then Michael Jackson. We heard a litany of American musical icons. A friend asked a lady above the din, What do you think of all this American music?
 
Its crap, she replied, and then stood up to dance to K.C. and the Sunshine Band.
 
There was a bit of a cultural disconnect, though. Sure they had Eric Lindros and Shaquille ONeal jerseys all over the walls. But there was also a schedule of upcoming sporting events which proved to be somewhat comical. It listed things like, Wiggans v. St. Helens in rugby on Sept. 15th, Manchester City v. Blackburn in soccer on the 20th and then on the 25th the Bulls v. the Vikings in the NFL. Immediately I thought that at 185 pounds Jalen Rose of the Bulls is a bit light to go up against the men in purple.
 
Anyway, the night played on and we continued our research. With Barry White serenading, one chap told us he thinks Americans are at times war-like. Another said were a bit rude, like the time we ran on the green at Brookline.
 
I was pensive as I took this in. I excused myself and went to the 'loo,' their word for bathroom. So Im in the loo standing their doing my business and I looked left. There was a sports page taped to the wall, just like you see in the sports bar bathrooms in America. Only this one read, 'Henman is Britains Hero.' And I thought, 'Henman? Whats he ever won? In the U.S., weve got Tiger. Yea for our side!'
 
I returned to the pub. They were dancing to ABBA, the evening beginning to deteriorate. It was '80s flashback night and it couldve been Birmingham, Ala., just as easily as Birmingham, England. On the TVs high above the bar, fast-paced soccer highlights played via Sky TV. ESPN or Sky, it doesnt matter. Everywhere you look, its football season.
 
Finally, another friendly Brit asked me if I thought we should launch war. I said that I was no lover of war, but that I wasnt sure what was right. I said the only thing that I knew is that this week its not about war. Its about golf. And golf is better than war. So, I explained, lets play golf this week, and not fight about it.
 
Right, right, he said. And Springsteen blasted away above it all.
 
Full Coverage of the 34th Ryder Cup Matches
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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.