ATT National Ready With or Without Tiger

By Sports NetworkJuly 2, 2008, 4:00 pm
AT&T NationalBETHESDA, Md. -- Too bad the PGA TOUR doesnt publish a disabled list.
 
Tiger Woods is out for the rest of the year after surgery on his left knee. Adam Scott is still trying to recover from a broken pinky on his right hand that limited him at Torrey Pines. Vijay Singh injured his ribs in Europe a month ago and has gone to Hawaii for some rest before the British Open. Former Masters champion Zach Johnson is nursing a sore elbow.
 
The result is what appears to be a mediocre field in the AT&T National.
 
PGA TOUR events that Woods typically doesnt play often get criticized for being meaningless, so its no small coincidence that it would happen at his own tournament.
 
Defending champion K.J. Choi and runner-up Steve Stricker are the only two players from the top 10 in the world ranking. There are only five of the top 20, adding Jim Furyk, Masters champion Trevor Immelman and Anthony Kim.
 
A good field, very deep, Woods said in a conference call earlier this week.
 
The second edition of the AT&T National begins Thursday on a Blue Course at Congressional that players have raved about this week, a change from complaints of bumpy putting surfaces a year ago.
 
But is it a good field? A deep one?
 
Using the FedExCup standings that only measures this years performance, there are 10 of the top 20 players, which adds tour winners such as Ryuji Imada, J.B. Holmes and D.J. Trahan.
 
None of this matters to Paul Goydos, who missed the tournament last year and claimed one similarity with Woods.
 
Hes played half of them, as many as I have, Goydos said.
 
Goydos blamed the media, and he was half-serious.
 
The media is trying to decide whats a good field and whats a bad field, and I dont think they are very good at deciding that, he said Wednesday. I think we have these arbitrary rankings, and those are very good at identifying the best couple of players, and maybe the next 10. But are they good at identifying the next 90? In my opinion, no.
 
TOUR (qualifying) school has got a great field. Its just we had never heard of Anthony Kim. The reality is there are not any bad fields. Its just a field that hasnt been known as strong yet.
 
There are still spots in the British Open up for grabs this week, still plenty of money from the $6 million purse. And for those who feel as if they have been at the U.S. Open a lot this year, Congressional might feel the same way.
 
The rough'moderate but still punishing'frames the fairways in classic U.S. Open style, and the greens are better than Stuart Appleby remembered from last year when he closed with a 76 and lost a two-shot lead.
 
Congressional hosted the U.S. Open in 1997, won by Ernie Els, and will get the U.S. Open in three years.
 
Poa annua and smooth is almost an oxymoron, Appleby said. Its tough. This week, they seem to be not too puffy. The ball is doing everything that any player would want it to do. For some reason here, they got it right.
 
Some have wondered if the bumpy conditions last year kept players away. Others point to the European tour season hitting its stride, especially with the British Open only two weeks away.
 
Sergio Garcia, who won at Congressional three years ago, and Justin Rose are among those playing the European Open in England this week. Els and Phil Mickelson will be playing the Scottish Open next week at Loch Lomond.
 
And some players had to go through 36-hole qualifying for the British Open on Monday.
 
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said it was too early for anyone to worry about the AT&T National drawing the best players, even when the top player is on the DL.
 
All of the pieces are here for it to be an especially good tournament, Finchem said. We have a lot of great players here this week, and one of things we are looking forward to between now and when Tiger comes back is watching to see who steps up. From that standpoint, Im not too concerned.
 
When you add some of the players that are hurt, Tiger being back next year, I really feel good about it.
 
Choi felt good just seeing the Blue Course again, recalling the situations he was in on every hole and the shots he pulled off, none more important than holing out from a bunker on the 17th that wrapped up his three-shot victory.
 
It definitely helps my confidence, and I think its going to help me a lot this week, Choi said. I think this course is in very good condition. This course fits my game very well because I hit a lot of high fades. I hope to repeat the same achievement I did last year.
 
If he does, there will be one big difference.
 
Woods, who is in a straight knee brace and on crutches, probably wont be around to hand him the trophy.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - AT&T National
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • 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.

    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.