Rain Still a Problem Cink Still Leads

By Sports NetworkAugust 20, 2004, 4:00 pm
AKRON, Ohio -- Stewart Cink remains on top of the leaderboard in the second round of the World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational, but weather problems were once again the story on Friday.
 
Play was suspended due to heavy rain and only 24 players completed the second round. Those who need to finish round two will return to Firestone Country Club at 8:00 a.m. ET Saturday.
 
On Thursday, the start was delayed until 2:45 p.m. and the golfers went out in threesomes off both the first and 10th tees. There was another suspension on Thursday, but the competitors played until darkness set.
 
'We're used to doing that,' said Cink. 'It's not totally disruptive. It's part of the game. We're used to it, it happened. You have to be ready for it on a day like today when you see the forecast.'
 
Cink, who was named one of Hal Sutton's U.S. Ryder Cup captain's picks on Monday, is 8 under through 10 holes. He shot a 7-under-par 63 in the first round.
 
David Toms, the 2001 PGA Champion, was one of the few who finished his second round on Friday. He shot a 4-under 66 and is through 36 holes at 5-under-par 135.
 
Rory Sabbatini, Rod Pampling and Chris DiMarco are 3 under in their second rounds while Sabbatini is through 13 holes and Pampling and DiMarco completed 12.
 
Tiger Woods, a three-time NEC Invitational champion, is fighting to keep his No. 1 ranking. This week, he broke Greg Norman's record for most weeks atop the rankings with 332, but there are several scenarios where PGA champion Vijay Singh or Ernie Els could overtake him.
 
But Woods has responded this week while the others are bringing up the rear of the leaderboard.
 
Woods is 1 under par through 12 holes in his second round and is 3 under par for the championship. Singh is 2 over on his round and 5 over for the tournament, while Els, who needs to finish third or better to have any chance of overtaking Woods, is 6 over in the second round and plus-8 for the championship.
 
'We've got a long way to go,' admitted Woods. 'This golf course is not going to get any easier. We've got to stay patient. The scores are not that low. Guys are having a hard time making birdies out here, so we'll just try to stay patient.'
 
Cink was playing patiently in Friday's second round. He parred the first six holes before a birdie at the seventh, but the wheels fell off soon after. Cink missed the fairway at eight and made bogey, but he chipped in for a birdie at the 10th.
 
Cink has a 25-foot, downhill birdie putt at the 11th when he returns Saturday morning. He could not even attempt to putt out because there was so much casual water on the green.
 
'This delay actually might be good for me because I had hit a few good shots less than perfect and not quite up to the standards I'm used to hitting them,' said Cink. 'So maybe tomorrow morning I'll get out and recapture the magic.'
 
Cink was one of Sutton's choices in part because of his play over the last month. He took fifth at the Buick Open, then tied for sixth the following week at The International. Cink tied for 17th last week at Whistling Straits, but the Heritage winner doesn't think being named to his second Ryder Cup team is why he is atop the leaderboard.
 
'I do feel a sense of relief that that's over because that is just a lot of stress,' said Cink. 'I don't think that being selected for the team has anything to do with me playing well because I've been playing pretty well since the first of July.'
 
Woods is tied with British Open champion Todd Hamilton (through 17 holes), Sergio Garcia (through 13 holes), Jim Furyk (through 12 holes) and Davis Love III (through 11 holes).
 
Defending champion Darren Clarke posted an even-par 70 and is in the clubhouse at 1-over-par 141.
 
Els and Singh are not the only players in the top 5 in the World Ranking who are struggling. World No. 4 and reigning Masters champion Phil Mickelson only managed a 75 in the second round and is plus-5 for the tournament.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - WGC-NEC Invitational
  • Full Coverage - WGC-NEC Invitational
  • 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.