McDowell Vaults into Lead

By Sports NetworkSeptember 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
COLOGNE, Germany -- Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell fired an 8-under 64 on Friday to surge ahead at the Linde German Masters. McDowell finished 36 holes at 11-under-par 133 for a three-shot lead heading into the weekend.
Raphael Jacquelin of France joined Australian's Nick O'Hern and Richard Green in a tie for second at 8-under-par 136. Germany's Alex Cejka was one shot further back at 7-under-par 137.
McDowell, who won this year's Italian Open, was hardly in contention for a spot in the Ryder Cup this year, but the 25-year-old finished within reach of one of the last entries on the European points list.
'I began to realize how realistic the Ryder Cup really is for me,' said McDowell. 'I obviously played great for the first six, seven months this year and put myself right in the position where Ryder Cup was obviously realistic and I missed out this time, but 2006, Ireland is certainly going to be right on my horizon.'
He birdied the first two holes at Gut Lrchenhof on Friday and knocked his third in a greenside bunker at the par-5 third. McDowell then hit his sand shot within a few inches of the hole and tapped in to make it three in a row.
McDowell added a birdie at the par-5 seventh and joined the leaders at 8 under par with a birdie at the par-3 11th. He fell one off the pace with a bogey at the par-5 13th, but recovered in style at the very next hole.
'Kind of had a bit of nightmare on 13,' said McDowell. 'Some times the golf course takes things away and gives them straight back.'
McDowell holed out from the fairway with a wedge for a birdie at the par-4 14th and followed that up with a birdie at the 15th. He added to his lead with a birdie at the par-4 17th to hold the top spot through 36 holes for the first time in his European Tour career.
'The course is yielding a lot of birdies,' said McDowell. 'The front nine was playing difficult and right about our 10th or 11th hole today the wind actually started to subside a little bit and I guess we had it a little easier coming in.'
Jacquelin played the back side first and collected three bogeys and two birdies over his first nine holes. He began to turn things around with a birdie at the second and hit his third shot within a foot of the hole for a birdie at the par-5 third.
The 30-year-old drained a 14-foot putt for a birdie at the fourth and played his second shot to 8 feet for a birdie at the fifth. Jacquelin then birdied the seventh for his second straight round of 68.
O'Hern tallied five birdies and a bogey for a 68 of his own, while Green did the same for his 68.
Thomas Levet carded a 68 to take sixth place alone at 6-under-par 138 as the top-ranked European Ryder Cup member through the second round. Greg Owen and Robert-Jan Derksen tied for seventh place at 5-under-par 139.
Ryder Cup member Paul Casey shared ninth place with Peter O'Malley at 4-under-par 140.
Another pair of Ryder Cuppers were one shot further back at 3-under-par 141, including first-round leader Padraig Harrington. Harrington struggled to a 75 on Friday to join teammate Darren Clarke, Alastair Forsyth and Raymond Russell in a tie for 11th.
Defending champion K.J. Choi finished at 2-over-par 146, one shot off the cut line, which fell at 3-over-par 147.
A total of 72 players survived to play the weekend. Among those who won't be around are Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer and team members Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter. Open champion Todd Hamilton also missed the cut.
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  • 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 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.