|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Cabrera rallies for victory

  • WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Angel Cabrera no longer has to fret about that streak of disappointments in non-major events on the PGA Tour.
    • email print
  • WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Angel Cabrera no longer has to fret about that streak of disappointments in non-major events on the PGA Tour.
    The 44-year-old Argentine won the Greenbrier Classic on Sunday for his first victory in a tournament other than a major, closing with his second straight 6-under 64 for a two-stroke victory over a heavy-hearted George McNeill.
    Cabrera, whose only other PGA Tour victories came in the 2007 U.S. Open and 2009 Masters, built a three-shot lead before making things interesting with a pair of late bogeys. He finished at 16-under 264 and now has another green jacket — that as Greenbrier Classic champion.
    Cabrera had no top 10-finishes this season entering the tournament but had everything working Sunday, hammering drives and approach shots with precision and coming up with clutch putts, especially on the back nine.
    "This was a great opportunity," Cabrera said through an interpreter. "I wanted it. I needed to win a tournament. I felt under control today out there, and I didn't want to let it get away from me."
    McNeill shot a season-best 61 for his fourth top-10 of the season and first since mid-March. But he'll put golf on hold for a few weeks. Golf Channel reported that his older sister, Michele McNeill, died of cancer Sunday morning and the player was informed after his round was over.
    "Golf doesn't really mean a whole lot," McNeill told reporters. So it's hard."
    Webb Simpson had a 63 to finish third at 10 under.
    Third-round leader Billy Hurley III bogeyed four of the first six holes to fall out of contention. He shot 73 and finished in a seven-way tie for fourth at 9 under.
    No third-round leader has hung on to win the Greenbrier Classic in its five-year existence.
    McNeill was the clubhouse leader at 14 under well ahead of Cabrera, who still had the back nine to play.
    Cabrera overtook McNeill with birdie putts of 17 and 7 feet on the 11th and 12th holes, then gave a fist pump after moving to 17 under by holing a 176-yard 8-iron up the hill for eagle on the par-4 13th, the hardest hole at Old White TPC.
    By then his lead was three strokes, but he bogeyed the 14th after his approach shot spun off the front of the green and bogeyed the par-3 15th after hitting into the rough on his tee shot.
    Cabrera smashed a 330-yard drive over the lake on the par-4 16th and made par, then drilled a 336-yard drive on the 616-yard 17th and two-putted for birdie. He closed out with par on the par-3 18th.
    "The big thing was the drive today," he said. "It was good all week long. It made the course play a little shorter for myself."
    Cabrera won $1.17 million and is projected to improve from 158th to 54th in the FedEx Cup standings. McNeill would move from 60th to 29th.
    Simpson had flown home on Friday and learned upon landing that he made the cut. So he rented a car and drove back to West Virginia.
    Simpson and Keagan Bradley both had strong finishes as they continue to try to impress U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson, who will make three at-large selections for the Sept. 26-28 event at Gleneagles in Scotland. The top nine in the Ryder Cup standings automatically qualify for the team. Simpson is 17th and Bradley is 18th.
    "I think Tom knows what's going on, and I'm hoping my good play will take care of it and not have to be a captain's pick," Simpson said. "But if I was a captain's pick, it would be great to be on that team."
    Joining Hurley at 9 under were Bud Cauley (64), Bradley (66), Brendon Todd (66), Chris Stroud (69), Cameron Tringale (69) and Will Wilcox (69).
    French Open
    At Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines, France, Graeme McDowell rallied to successfully defend his French Open title, overcoming an eight-stroke deficit in rainy conditions for a one-shot victory.
    McDowell, from Northern Ireland, closed with a 4-under 67 to finish at 5-under 279 total on Le Golf National's Albatross Course, the site of the 2018 Ryder Cup.
    American Kevin Stadler, the leader after each of the first three rounds, finished with a 76 to tie for second with Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee (72).
    Stadler had a chance to win on the last hole, but he missed a long birdie putt. He then failed to force a playoff when he missed a 3-foot par try.
    Ladies European Masters
    At Denham, England, South Korea's I.K. Kim won the Ladies European Masters, closing with a 3-under 68 for a five-stroke victory in the final event before the Women's British Open.
    Kim had an 18-under 270 total at Buckinghamshire for her first victory since the LPGA Tour's 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Australia's Nikki Campbell was second after a 67.
    Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow, the former University of Alabama star playing her second event as a professional, matched the course record with a 63 to tie for third at 11 under.
    The Women's British Open starts Thursday at Royal Birkdale.
    Nova Scotia Open
    At Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada's Roger Sloan won the Nova Scotia Open for first Web.com Tour title, holing a 5-foot par putt on the first hole of a playoff with Derek Fathauer.
    The 27-year-old Sloan, a former Texas-El Paso player from Calgary, Alberta, played 37 holes Sunday after high wind from Tropical Storm Arthur wiped out third-round play Saturday.
Reader Reaction

      calendar