Spieth: Tried to do too much

By Ryan Reiterman May 20, 2017, 12:37 am

IRVING, Texas – Jordan Spieth has plenty of great memories at the TPC Four Seasons, and he was hoping to make even more this week at the AT&T Byron Nelson before the tournament moves next year to Trinity Forest south of downtown Dallas.

Instead of his dream scenario – standing on the 18th green Sunday with a trophy at the event he’s attended since he was a little kid - Spieth missed the cut for the second straight week. He will have extra time this weekend to figure out his putting woes before defending next week at Colonial.

“I felt like I really needed to make a move today or would fall pretty far behind, and just tried to do it in the wrong ways,” he said after signing for a 5-over 75 to miss the cut by a stroke. “It just set me back a little bit.”

Spieth opened with a 2-under 68, and his second round started with plenty of promise. He dropped a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 1 to reach 3 under, but then he gave it right back with a bogey on 2. And thus began the theme of his day.

Spieth made four bogeys and three birdies on the front nine, and then his round came unraveled with a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 16th.

Sensing he was falling out of contention, Spieth tried to give his drive a little extra mustard so he could go for the par 5 in two. Instead he blocked his tee shot right into someone’s backyard.

“I've hit in those houses before, I think a couple times,” Spieth said after his round.

His second tee shot met the same fate.

“Are you kidding me?!” Spieth said after his third drive found the right rough.

“I made five bogeys in the round through my first 12 holes, which is just ridiculous out here,” Spieth said. “Then I still had a 9 on 16. So many over-par holes and not necessary. Trying to do too much. Trying to move up the leaderboard instead of just letting it come to me on this course.”

The Dallas native made his Tour debut at the 2010 Nelson when he was a junior in high school. As the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion, Spieth tied for 16th in his first PGA Tour start. Surprisingly, it will remain his best result in this event for at least another year. 

“Yeah, a bit shocking that's how it happened, and I still feel like the game is in a good place,” he said.

Spieth was quick to remind everyone what happened the last time he missed two cuts in a row. During his historic 2015 season it’s easy to forget he started the FedExCup Playoffs by missing the cut at The Barclays and the Deutsche Bank. He got back on track with a T-13 at the BMW and then captured the Tour Championship for his fifth win of the year.



During that run, Spieth seemed to drain every putt he looked at. But just as Michael Jordan didn’t hit every game-winning shot, Spieth’s putting has cooled off recently. For the third time in his career, Spieth switched putters, benching his Scotty Cameron 009 – the flatstick he’s used for all 12 professional wins - for a T5W mallet.

Despite logging plenty of hours on his short game with coach Cameron McCormick, the new wand didn’t rekindle his silky stroke at the Nelson.

“It's kind of a thing in my head,” he said. “I got to get a couple to go in … and didn't quite happen.”

But Spieth isn’t hitting the panic button as he heads into the heart of a busy stretch of events. His run of four straight tournaments continues next week at Colonial, followed by the Memorial at Jack’s house.

Spieth will then take a week off before heading to the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

“I'm not far off,” he said. “I really don't think so. Doesn't look like that on paper but feels very close.”

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.

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.