Par save, eagle have Bae eyeing second Tour win

By Will GrayOctober 12, 2014, 1:41 am

NAPA, Calif. – Facing a putt from the fringe behind the 16th green, Sang-Moon Bae appeared to be seconds away from relinquishing a lead he had held for much of the afternoon at the Open.

Thirty minutes and seven shots later, he left the course with a four-stroke advantage.

The whirlwind finish to Bae’s third-round 65 turned what appeared would be a wide-open finale at Silverado Resort & Spa into one in which the South Korean has a decided advantage.

After beginning the day in second place, Bae quickly moved to the top of the standings with birdies on Nos. 2 and 3. He added three more circles on Nos. 4-6, all without making a putt longer than 12 feet.

“Five birdies in a row was really fun,” Bae said. “I read every break on the green. It was a really easy game.”

Bae now sits on the precipice of his second PGA Tour win. While his victory at the 2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship seemed like it could be a turning point, the 17 subsequent months haven’t gone according to plan for the 28-year-old.

Bae’s record since that maiden win in Dallas last May: 36 starts, 18 missed cuts, zero top-10 finishes.

“I couldn’t play well after the Byron,” said Bae, who now uses TPC Four Seasons as his American base after winning there last summer. “I don’t know, I felt like much improved … but just the results, the results weren’t good.”

For being in position to end the drought Sunday, Bae can thank his play down the stretch on Saturday. The final three holes at Silverado are designed for late-round fireworks, with a pair of par 5s sandwiched around a short par 4 that became drivable for many in the field when the tees were moved up for the third round. Open: Articles, videos and photos

No. 16 was the third-easiest hole during the third round, but Bae had to scramble after an errant approach found a hazard left of the green.

“I hit a little pull on the second (shot), so it was next to the green, but it was really way left than from what I thought,” he said.

After two poor chips, Bae was left with a 15-foot par putt from the fringe that, had he missed, would have dropped him back into a tie for the lead. Instead, he holed the putt – reacting with a fist pump, rare display of emotion – and promptly pulled out his driver on the short 17th.

His tee shot barely carried the bunker that guards the front of the green, then caught the edge of a swale and curled to within 6 feet of the hole. He converted the short eagle putt.

“I hit a little fade, so it looked good to me,” he said. “That pin position was really good for me. I hit a really solid drive and a pretty solid, high shot that was a little bit lucky, too.”

Bae then rolled in a 14-foot putt for birdie on the final hole to stretch his lead over Zac Blair from three shots to four, playing the final four holes in 4 under. Despite the torrid finish, he pointed to the single par in that stretch as the turning point in his round.

“I made a really important par putt. It was more than a birdie putt,” he said. “It really woke me up, so it’s a refreshment. It (was) a pretty big one.”

Bae carries a 54-hole lead into the final round for the first time. Proven winners Matt Kuchar and Martin Laird sit in a tie for third, along with Brooks Koepka, who nearly won this event a year ago.

The closest player to Bae, though, will also be the most unproven. Not that that’s a problem for him.

“I feel prepared,” said Blair, 24, who is playing in just his second PGA Tour event. “Just got to go out and do the same thing, hit some good shots and stay in the right frame of mind.”

Bae insists he’s not thinking about the end result.

“It’s a good score. Four-shot lead makes me feel a little comfortable for Sunday playing, but I don’t think about a win,” he said. “Just play my game.”

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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.