Masters champion Angel Cabrera gives back to caddies

By Doug FergusonSeptember 8, 2009, 4:00 pm
BMW Championship 2007 Logo  LEMONT, Ill. – At most PGA Tour events, caddies can find a good meal in the “Caddywagon,” a trailer that essentially serves as a diner on wheels. Whether it’s eggs and bacon at breakfast or a burger and fries at lunch, the cost is usually under $5.

The exception was last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

It was free.

Masters champion Angel Cabrera walked into the Caddywagon at the TPC Boston and put an entire week of caddie meals on his tab. It was a particularly busy week because the wagon was parked conveniently next to the driving range, accessible to caddies and equipment agents. Cabrera settled up Sunday night, declining to say how much it cost.

“It’s not important,” he said.

The caddie whose player won the previous week typically will pick up the tab for one meal (breakfast or lunch), a tradition that has been around almost as long as the Caddywagon. But a player paying for an entire week?

“That’s unheard of,” said Chuck Mohr, the looper for Bob Estes.

Cabrera simply said the gesture was overdue. After winning the Masters, he said he “wanted to give the guys a present,” but his playing schedule on the PGA and European tours didn’t allow him an opportunity sooner.

“It is customary in Argentina that when you win a tournament, you invite the caddies to dinner,” said Cabrera, who started out as a caddie himself. “I was just waiting for the right time.”

Dale McElyea, president of the Professional Caddies Association, runs the trailer and was surprised by the gesture. He said players often pick up the tab for a day (Stewart Cink), and Robert Garrigus once paid for three days.

“No one has ever done this for a week,” McElyea said. “And this has been a busy week.”

A couple of caddies estimated the bill at close to $5,000, which can be considered a drop in the bucket for a guy who will end up making about $3 million in tournament earnings this year. Like Cabrera, they said it wasn’t about money.

“It was an incredibly nice gesture,” said Jim Mackay, who works for Phil Mickelson.

PEBBLE IN EUROPE: Brett Quigley missed by one spot advancing in the FedEx Cup playoffs. His next stop is Europe, although not because he has nowhere else to play. He was looking forward to this even before the playoffs began.

Quigley and Brad Faxon will head to Scotland the first week of October for the Dunhill Links Championship, the European Tour’s version of Pebble Beach. It’s a pro-am held at St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarn. It helps that they were allowed to choose their partner, so Quigley is taking Tom Haggerty, while Faxon is taking Paul Salem.

The courses are among the best in the world. The weather? Not so much.

“We went in 2001, and the 10 days we were there, we had the rain gear out for nine days,” Quigley said. “But it’s a fun week. It’s a neat golf experience. And for Fax and I to play with two good friends, it makes it that much more fun.”

GRADUATION DAY: The LPGA picked up 10 new members for 2010 now that the Futures Tour season is over. The top 10 players from its money list earned their cards for next year, with 19-year-old Mina Harigae of Monterey, Calif., leading the list.

The 10 graduates include Jean Reynolds, who was in contention most of the week at the U.S. Women’s Open, and Alison Walshe, who went to three colleges (Boston College, Tulane and Arizona) and was 5-0 in the Curtis Cup in St. Andrews.

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” Reynolds said. “It will probably around Christmas, when I haven’t had to go to qualifying school. I’m looking forward to next year. It’s going to be a fun journey.”

KIWI CHALLENGE: Hunter Mahan is returning to New Zealand in November for the second edition of the Kiwi Challenge, which features four players in their 20s playing a 36-hole event with a $2 million purse at Cape Kidnappers Golf Resort.

Mahan will be joined by Anthony Kim (runner-up last year), Camilo Villegas and Sean O’Hair.

“I played some of my best golf ever on the final holes to win last year’s event, so I’d sure call it one of my favorite places for a few reasons,” Mahan said. “The course is fantastic and the views are incredible, like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

TOUGHEST WIN: Rick George, the PGA Tour’s chief of operations, said the FedEx Cup was the toughest thing in golf to win because it required eight months of good play, which required a peak performance over three straight weeks, then the best four days at the Tour Championship to claim the $10 million prize.

Jim Furyk could think of one other trophy that’s even harder to win.

“The PGA Grand Slam is harder to win,” he said with a smile. “Because you have to win a major to qualify for it. And then you’ve got to beat three other guys.”

He soon waffled, however, considering he won last year in Bermuda as an alternate.

“I guess you can get someone who sneaks in like me,” he said. “So it must not be that tough.”

DIVOTS: The Byron Nelson Championship, one of the best on the PGA Tour at raising money for charity, announced this year’s donation for local children and families at $4.4 million. That’s down from $6.114 million a year ago. … Charlie Wi, who was born in South Korea and moved to California when he was 10, needed another South Korean to be ranked inside the top 100 to be his partner in the World Cup. Then Y.E. Yang won the PGA Championship. They will play at Mission Hills in China the week of Thanksgiving. … Tiger Woods tied for 11th at the Deutsche Bank Championship, the first time in five playoff events that he did not either win or finish second.

STAT OF THE WEEK: In his 425 starts on the PGA Tour, Paul Goydos has played only four 72-hole events that did not have a cut.

FINAL WORD: “It’s going to take the International team winning a few times to annoy the U.S. and get them geared up like they are in the Ryder Cup.” –Geoff Ogilvy on the Presidents Cup.

“We all know who the guy is out here,” he said.

That would be Tiger Woods, who averages more victories in a year than some players have in their lifetime. Even though Stricker replaced Woods atop the FedEx Cup standings with his birdie-birdie finish to win at the TPC Boston, he knows there are two playoff events remaining before someone kisses the trophy and takes home the $10 million prize. Or at least takes home the money.

Even so, the prospects of Stricker being voted player of the year suddenly has merit. And there’s a good chance that the FedEx Cup could go a long way at the polls.

“The players are voting,” British Open champion Stewart Cink said Tuesday. “And they think it’s important.”

Majors are the most important trophies. No one disputes that outside PGA Tour headquarters. Only three times since the PGA Tour player of the year award began in 1990 has the winner not captured a major that year—Wayne Levi (1990), Greg Norman (1995) and Woods (2003). There were no multiple major winners those years except in 1990, but Nick Faldo was not a PGA Tour member.

“Stricker and Tiger are ahead of everyone right now,” Cink said. “The four of us didn’t do a whole lot. Yang won another tournament, but I would think you’d have to do more than that over the course of the year.”

Woods said two weeks ago that “absolutely” the FedEx Cup could be decisive. Asked to handicap the race at the start of the playoffs, he mentioned the four major champions “and I think my name might be up there, as well.”

Woods has won five times this year and has a $2.3 million lead on the money list, which remains the easiest barometer to understand.

“Playing well at the end of the year in the big events … it can swing votes, because usually guys remember what you’ve done later in the year,” Woods said. “There have been guys that have won three or four tournaments, but they were all at the beginning of the year. Somebody does it all late in the year, then people remember those.”

That might be happening now. U.S. captain Fred Couples said as much Tuesday when talking about possible partners in the Presidents Cup next month in San Francisco.

“They all want to play with Tiger, and now they all want to play with Steve Stricker,” Couples said. “Every text I’m getting is, ‘I want to play with Steve.”’

All this does is make the end of the year even more compelling.

It already was heading in that direction. Consider the last two weeks. Five players came to the 18th tee at The Barclays with a chance to win the tournament, a group that included Woods, Stricker, Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els. A week later at the Deutsche Bank Championship, six players had a chance on the final hole, including Harrington and Masters champion Angel Cabrera.

Those who spend too much time poking fun at the FedEx Cup are missing a good show.

Now, there’s an additional element—Woods or Stricker?

First, the FedEx Cup must be decided.

“Whoever is going to win this, whether it be him or me or anybody else, you’re going to have to play some pretty good golf for two more events,” Stricker said. “And it’s going to lead to a lot of excitement.”

Heath Slocum, who won The Barclays and is No. 3 in the standings, said his wife Vicky brought up player of the year as they were driving back to their hotel Monday night.

“She said, ‘Does this put Stricker in the mix?’ And I say, ‘Yeah,”’ Slocum said. “The next two weeks will say a lot about my vote.”

Stricker probably would have to win at least one more tournament. If it’s the Tour Championship, that would give him four victories and the FedEx Cup, and that might be enough.

If neither wins the FedEx Cup, the vote probably goes to Woods, unless a major champion wins the FedEx Cup.

What can’t be ignored, however, is that Woods still has more PGA Tour victories than anyone. He will have won the Vardon Trophy by a bigger margin than Usain Bolt in the 200 meters. He likely will have won the money title, which he still holds dear.

Working against him is his own history. Woods already has won the award nine times. And while five victories this year would be great for anyone else, it has become standard for him.

Woods has had nine seasons of at least five victories. In the last 25 years, only two other players have won five times or more—Nick Price in 1994 and Vijay Singh in 2004.

“It’s not Tiger’s fault, but he’s set the bar so high,” Slocum said.

Slocum had another idea. What if Stricker were to win player of the year, and Woods won comeback player of the year? Remember, Woods missed eight months after reconstructive knee surgery.

“No,” Stricker said. “The guy won with one leg.”

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”