Cabrera Overtakes Rose at Volvo PGA

By Sports NetworkMay 29, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Volvo PGA ChampionshipSURREY, England -- Angel Cabrera posted a 4-under 68 on Saturday to grab the lead after round three of the Volvo PGA Championship. Cabrera's 54-hole total of 12-under-par 204 left him one shot clear of a group of four players at the Wentworth Club.
Overnight leader Justin Rose managed an even-par 72 to share second place with Joakim Haeggman, Darren Fichardt and Scott Drummond at 11-under-par 205. Darren Clarke was one shot further back at 10-under-par 206.
While scoring among the later groups was not as low as in previous rounds, Cabrera had an earlier start and was able to make a move despite playing the front nine at even par after a pair of birdies and a pair of bogeys.
Cabrera climbed into the lead early on the inward half and dropped his tee shot inside 12 feet for a birdie at the par-3 10th. The 34-year-old then ran home a 6-foot putt for a birdie at the par-4 11th to grab a piece of the lead at minus-10.
The hard-hitting Argentine broke free from the pack at the par-5 12th and left his approach within 25 feet of the cup. Cabrera drained the eagle putt to move into the outright lead at 12 under as he parred his way in to hold the top spot with one round to play.
'It was a very good round, this third round. I think I've got a very good chance for tomorrow,' said Cabrera, a two-time winner on the European Tour whose best finish at this event was second in 2001. 'I feel very comfortable on this golf course. I have always said that, and I like it very much.'
Drummond, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Saturday, is a former Challenge Tour player who is looking for a major breakthrough this week.
'It's all happening at the moment,' said Drummond. 'Obviously I was looking forward to this week. Possibly the biggest week of the year for me.'
The Scot stumbled out of the gate with a bogey at the first, but recovered with a birdie at the fourth.
He bogeyed the very next hole, but countered again with three consecutive birdies starting at the par-4 eighth. Drummond then hit a 9-iron to 12 feet for a birdie at the 13th and tallied a birdie at the last to complete a 68 of his own.
'I've been swinging it pretty good and striking the ball quite well,' said Drummond, whose best finish on the European Tour this year was a tie for 16th at the dunhill championship. 'Just a case of perseverance, really.'
Rose had an up-and-down round, but managed to remain near the top of the leaderboard throughout the day. After a short par putt lipped out at the par-3 14th, Rose responded with a birdie at the par-5 17th.
The young Englishman then pitched his third shot to 5 feet at the par-5 18th, but was unable to convert for birdie.
'I guess encouraging to be only one shot off the lead, is the way I feel,' said Rose. 'I actually hit the ball today better than I hit it the first two days, and just weird the way this game works. Didn't take my chances today, simple as that. Certainly didn't waste any today and hopefully they will drop tomorrow.'
Fichardt used a strong finish with birdies on each of his last three holes for his share of second.
'I've been close. I won a tournament in South Africa, which is good,' said Fichardt, a two-time European Tour winner. 'But I've just been close. You know how it goes. It either happens or it doesn't happen.'
Haeggman mixed four birdies and two bogeys for a round of 70.
Ernie Els, who held the opening-round lead, struggled again out of the gate with four bogeys on his front side, but was able to right the ship with an eagle and a birdie over his last two holes for a round of 72.
Els was joined by Nick Faldo and Thomas Bjorn in a tie for seventh at 9-under-par 207.
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.