Ireland Shares Top Spot in Spain

By Sports NetworkNovember 18, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 WGC-EMC World CupSEVILLE, Spain -- The team of Martin Wiegele and Markus Brier from Austria fired a 12-under-par 60 on Thursday to share the lead with Ireland's Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley after the first round of the World Golf Championships - World Cup.
The English duo of Paul Casey and Luke Donald, both of whom represented Europe at this year's Ryder Cup, posted an 11-under-par 61 in the opening round at Real Club de Golf Sevilla.
Thursday's opening round, which, thanks to a frost delay, prompted officials to send groups off both the first and 10th tees, was contested in a best-ball format. Play will also be in that format on Saturday, while Friday and Sunday's rounds will be alternate-shot.
Austria, playing in this event for the first time, recorded nine birdies in its first 13 holes, including seven by Wiegele and two from Brier. When Ireland started to pull away, the Austrian tandem matched them.
At the 14th, Brier played his second shot inside four feet to set up birdie and go to minus-10. Two holes later, Brier rolled in a 4-footer for birdie to get within one of Ireland's lead.
Wiegele found the fairway off the tee at the last, then hit his approach to 5 feet. He sank the putt to match Ireland atop the leaderboard, which was impressive on many levels.
First, Austria did not even qualify for the event, missing the mark by three strokes in a qualifying event last month in Mexico. When Thailand withdrew, the Austrian team got the call and they responded.
Also, the Irish team features Harrington, ranked eighth in the world, and McGinly, 67th. This pairing won this event in 1997 at Kiawah Island and teamed together in previous Ryder Cups. Brier is currently ranked 211th in the world, while Wiegele comes in at No. 533.
'We missed out by three shots then heard a few days later from The European Tour that we were in,' said Brier. 'It wasn't too expensive a trip as the Austrian Federation organized the air fares and the tournament covered the accommodation costs. We also had the additional benefit of getting experience at foursomes and fourballs, even though we missed out on a qualifying place.'
The Ireland team broke into red figures early when McGinley holed a bunker shot for birdie at the second hole. The team added five more birdies on the front side, but made their move up the leaderboard with some fine iron play by Harrington.
Harrington knocked his approach to 4 feet to set up birdie at the 11th. McGinley holed a 10-footer for birdie at the 12th, although Harrington had half that distance.
On the par-5 13th, McGinley hit his second into a greenside bunker and holed out again, this time for an eagle to take the team to 10 under par for the tournament.
Harrington sank a 7-foot birdie putt at the 14th and McGinley took over on the par-5 16th. His fairway-metal approach rolled to 10 fee, but McGinley missed the eagle putt. He tapped in for birdie, but the Irish team wasted opportunities at 18. Each player missed from 15 feet to allow Austria to catch them.
'We got going early on,' said Harrington. 'Everything was going nicely and the momentum was with us. When you're getting a few good breaks and you're playing well on top of that, you're going to shoot 12 under.'
Shigeki Maruyama and Hidemichi Tanaka from Japan are alone in fourth place at 10-under-par 62. Maruyama won this title two years ago with Toshi Izawa in Mexico.
Host country Spain, represented by Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez, overcame a sluggish start to go 6 under on the back nine. They finished the first round in fifth place at 9-under-par 63.
The United States team of Scott Verplank and Bob Tway posted an 8-under- par 64 and are tied for sixth place with Germany (Kariem Baraka & Marcel Siem), Australia (Stephen Leaney & Nick O'Hern), Sweden (Fredrik Jacobson & Joakim Haeggman), Denmark (Anders Hansen & Soren Kjeldsen) and Scotland (Alastair Forsyth & Scott Drummond).
Defending champions South Africa, represented by Rory Sabbatini and Trevor Immelman, posted a 6-under-par 66 and are alone in 15th place.
Related links:
  • TV Airtimes

  • Leaderboard - WGC - World Cup

  • Full Coverage - WGC - World Cup
  • 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 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.