Hurst grabs second-round lead at Mission Hills
Annika Sorenstam, the winner of the last two LPGA Tour events, put herself in better position to make a run at her third straight title with a two-under 70. She is tied for third place at two-under 142 with Akiko Fukushima, Se Ri Pak and two-time Nabisco winner Dottie Pepper.
Defending champion Karrie Webb posted two birdies and two bogeys at Mission Hills Country Club on Friday for an even-par 72. She currently stands seven shots off the pace at one-over par.
The second of Hurst's three career victories came in this major championship three years ago. When asked if she is using her prior success in the tournament to boost her confidence level this week, Hurst explained it's her familiarity with the course that makes her feel like a favorite to bring home the trophy.
'I think any course that you win at, you know, when you step up to the tee you feel comfortable,' Hurst said. 'I wouldn't say that I'm feeding off of 1998, but I do like coming here.'
Hurst was certainly a bit more comfortable when she first completed her second round. An early starter on Friday, Hurst had a four-shot lead when she made her way to the clubhouse at six-under par.
Hurst was able to two-putt for birdie at the par-five second and 11th, and in between she rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt at the sixth and a 20-footer at seven.
After a rare missed fairway at the par-four 15th, Hurst was forced to lay up with her second shot. She failed to get up and down from just short of the green, missing a five-foot putt to save par.
Although the bogey dropped her to three-under on the day, Hurst knocked a wedge stiff at 16 and drained the short birdie putt to recover the stroke. She had chance for a better finish, but missed an eight-foot birdie putt at the 17th and a 15-footer for birdie at 18.
Koch, still in search of her first win on the LPGA Tour, opened with a bogey when she missed a six-foot putt for par. She was mistake-free the rest of the way, birdieing the second, sixth, 11th and 12th to stay near the top of the leaderboard.
Koch has tallied six second-place finishes since qualifying for the LPGA Tour in 1995. Her most recent runner-up came behind Pak in the season-opening event in January.
'You know, maybe I've just saved all these years to have a really good tournament here instead,' she said.
Nanci Bowen was the last player to make the Nabisco Championship her first-ever victory when she won with a 72-hole total of three- under 285 in 1995.
Fukushima, a two-time LPGA winner and a former No. 1 player on the Japanese Tour, turned in a 68 comprised of an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys. Pak, who won four titles, including two majors, in her Rookie of the Year season of 1998, birdied two of her last four holes Friday for 69.
Sorenstam has amassed 25 victories since joining the LPGA Tour in 1994, but hasn't captured a major title since she won back-to-back U.S. Women's Opens in 1995-96.
A total of 74 players (71 professionals and three amateurs) survived the 36-hole cut, which came at seven-over-par 151.
Full Field Scores from the Nabisco Championship
Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia
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
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.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
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
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.