Another green jacket awaits Cabrera at Oakmont

By Doug FergusonApril 21, 2009, 4:00 pm
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If great golf courses are defined by its major champions, then its easy to understand why the membership at Oakmont Country Club was so thrilled to see Angel Cabrera in a green jacket.
 
No other championship course in America can boast such a long and distinguished list of major champions.
 
Gene Sarazen. Sam Snead. Ben Hogan. Jack Nicklaus. Johnny Miller. Ernie Els.
 
Not many people knew much about Cabrera when he won the U.S. Open at Oakmont two years ago by one shot over Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk. He was big, burly and his hardscrabble life was as much Pittsburgh as it was Argentina.
 
Oakmont has hosted 11 mens professional majors, and only two of its champions ' local pro Sam Parks Jr. at the 1935 U.S. Open and John Mahaffey at the 1978 PGA Championship ' never won another Grand Slam event.
 
Thanks to Cabreras victory at the Masters, the one-hit wonders will stay at two.
 
I think its very important, said Bob Ford, the longtime head pro at Oakmont. It validates this as a course that produces great champions. Great names win here. We were hoping for Woods to win, and when Angel won, it was like, Who is this guy?
 
Now, hes a Masters champion.
 
Oakmont has some competition as the greatest roll call of major champions.
 
Augusta National doesnt count for obvious reasons ' its the only course that holds a major every year.
 
Ditto for St. Andrews, the home of golf, where the British Open has been played 27 times. That might be the greatest place to win any major, for even Nicklaus, a six-time Masters champion, once said, I was always told that to be a good golfer is one thing, but to be a great golfer is to win at St. Andrews. The British Open has used only 14 links courses for its 137 championships.
 
As for American courses used for the U.S. Open and PGA Championship?
 
Pebble Beach can surely state its case with Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tom Kite and Woods winning the U.S. Open, and Lanny Wadkins winning the PGA Championship. All of them are, or will be, in the Hall of Fame.
 
Oakland Hills has hosted nine majors, and while its list includes two players with the career Grand Slam (Hogan, Gary Player) and four other multiple major champions (Padraig Harrington, Ralph Guldahl, David Graham and Andy North), it also features Steve Jones and Cyril Walker. The nine winners at The Monster have combined to capture 30 majors.
 
Baltusrol can claim two U.S. Open titles by Nicklaus and a PGA Championship victory by Phil Mickelson. But its list also includes one-time major winners Ed Furgol, Jerome Travers and Tony Manero.
 
And while the media complains too much about the heat, Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla., ranks among the best. Its seven major champions include the dominant players of the last two decades ' Woods and Nick Price ' along with Hall of Famers Raymond Floyd, Hubert Green and Tommy Bolt. The others were multiple major winners Retief Goosen and Dave Stockton.
 
Goosen, like Cabrera, was somewhat of an unknown until he won another U.S. Open three years later at Shinnecock Hills.
 
Validation, like Bob said, is exactly correct, Southern Hills head pro Dave Bryan said Tuesday. Goosen validated his championship here, especially winning at Shinnecock.
 
Winged Foot serves up Bobby Jones, Billy Casper, Hale Irwin and Fuzzy Zoeller among multiple major champions, along with one-time winners (for now) Davis Love III and Geoff Ogilvy.
 
Oak Hill has hosted only five majors and had a Hall of Fame list going ' Cary Middlecoff, Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Curtis Strange ' until it crowned Shaun Micheel at the 2003 PGA Championship. It remains the only victory in Micheels career.
 
Does it matter who wins a major?
 
Id hate to say that, Bryan said, pausing for a moment. But I think it does. Its important.
 
That would be bad news for The Olympic Club in San Francisco, known as a graveyard for champions. Its U.S. Open champions were Jack Fleck, Casper, Scott Simpson and Janzen. The runner-ups those years were Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Watson and Payne Stewart.
 
Oakmont, however, has an incomparable record of major champions. Its 11 winners have combined to win 56 majors, and seven of them are in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
 
But it didnt need Cabrera to win the Masters to embrace him.
 
Ford tells the story of two Oakmont members headed to Argentina in March. He e-mailed Manuel Tagle, the agent for Cabrera, looking for suggestions. Tagle set them up at Olivos Golf Club, then contacted Buenos Aires Golf Club. But when Buenos Aires planned to charge triple the rate, Cabrera took over.
 
He said, Why dont you call them and tell them to come to Cordoba instead, and I will play them, Tagle said. So they did. We had a great time with them.
 
A month later, Cabrera paid them back in his own way. He gave Oakmont another multiple major champion.
 
Cabrera plans to return this summer to Oakmont to take part in a recent tradition of awarding national champions an honorary membership to the club. Ford said Cabrera will be presented a jacket worn only by members.
 
Most appropriately, Oakmonts jacket is green.
 
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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."