ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Saturday, December 16, 2017 – Argentinian two-time Major Champion, Angela Cabrera, and son Angel Cabrera Jr. fired a sensational bogey-free first round 59 (-13) to lead the 2017 PNC Father/Son Challenge at the halfway stage.
Playing in their first PNC Father/Son Challenge, Team Cabrera birdied the first hole before adding further gains on Nos. 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9 to turn at 6-under-par before coming back in 29, including three closing birdies to break the magic 60 mark.
Talking about the day, Cabrera commented, ‘I’m very happy, indeed. It was a great round. Specifically, we combined very well. When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That’s the key. I’m very happy to play with him.’
Ahead of their debut this week, Cabrera Jr. admitted to ‘practicing hard for the last ten days’ and expressed his delight at his Father’s putting prowess, ‘I was very glad that my dad was able to make so many putts today, I was certainly nervous. I’m not used to playing with the cameras. I enjoyed it very much though.’
A shot off the pace, after a first round of 60 (-12), is Mark and Shaun O’Meara, who are playing in their 10th consecutive edition of the tournament and happy to be back in the field including no less than nine World Golf Hall of Famers.
Mark O’Meara said, ‘I love this event. It’s a special time when I get the call knowing that we’ll be able to play together again at the PNC Father/Son Challenge. Shaun lives here and he played well today, we got off to a good start. We’ll have to play even better.’
Team Cabrera and Team O’Meara will be in the last group tomorrow at 10:48.
Defending Champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, kept up their fine form at the event, bettering last year’s final round, by shooting a 61 (-11).
Hopeful of a repeat of 2016, Duval commented ‘I’d imagine we’ have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win but hey, stranger things have happened, I’ve even done it myself.’
Three-time PNC Father/Son Challenge winner, Bernhard Langer also fired a round of 61 (-11) with 17-year-old son, Jason with their round including two eagles in the last five holes at Nos. 14 and 18.
In the chasing pack at ten under par after opening rounds of 62 (-10) is Team Kite, Team Pate, Team Cink and Team Daly.
Paired together in the first group of the day, Team Kite and Team Pate took advantage of the perfect conditions, setting the early clubhouse pace.
Team Kite, who return to the event for the first time since 2008, wasted no time getting acquainted with the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club layout, making birdies at Nos. 1 and 2 before lighting up their round with birdies at Nos. 10,11 and 12 before David holed out from 60 yards for eagle on the 13th.
‘This has long been our favourite tournament,’ said former U.S Open Champion, Kite. ‘We’ve really enjoyed our comeback here after missing it for a couple of years.’
Joining them at 10 under with a closing birdie on the 18th, Jerry and Wesley Pate were thrilled with their score but admitted that the tournament meant much more than just the golf to them.
‘This is a family affair. My kids didn’t get a chance to see me play in the 70’s and 80’s. Some of them weren’t even born. It’s great for them to come out and see players like Nicklaus, Trevino, Faldo, Norman and so many wonderful players. It’s a thrill for the kids.’
Former PNC Father/Son Challenge champion, Stewart Cink, who claimed the title in 2013 with his eldest son Connor, is paired with his youngest son, Reagan this week.
Feeling no pressure to fill his brothers’ shoes, Reagan confessed ‘we’ve settled on the golf course and I’m a better golfer so the results will follow. I’m not nervous, I don’t feel any pressure, it’s for fun out here. I am trying to be competitive and do as well as I can.’
Eighteen-time Major winner, Jack Nicklaus, who’s playing with his grandson for the first time, Gary ‘GT’ Nicklaus, is paired with Lee and Connor Janzen tomorrow at 9.12AM after a first round of 68 (-4).
The 2017 Father/Son Challenge field includes more than 500 victories across the PGA TOUR, European Tour and PGA TOUR Champions, 57 major championships and 9 World Golf Hall of Fame members.
Over the 19 years of the tournament, 24 World Golf Hall of Fame Members have played in the championship, averaging 66 percent of the professional field each year. The winning team of the two-day, 36-hole scramble receives the Willie Park Trophy, in memory of the father and son British Open champions Willie Park Sr. and Willie Park Jr. This year’s purse is $1,085,000.
Tickets are priced at $15 per day or $45 for a full tournament pass (four days), and can be purchased at pncfathersonchallenge.com or by calling (920) 632-8464. Active military receive complimentary admission, as do children, age 15 years and younger, with an accompanying adult.
The PNC Father/Son Challenge is operated in partnership by IMG and NBC Sports.
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.
About NBC Sports Group
When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN, Golf Channel, NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital, which includes NBCSports.com,NBCOlympics.com, GolfChannel.com, the digital assets of the NBC Sports Regional Networks, Rotoworld, the NBC Sports Talk franchise, multiple apps, and two transactional sports businesses, GolfNow and SportsEngine. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, The R&A, PGA of America, Churchill Downs, Premier League, Tour de France, French Open, Formula One, IndyCar and many more.
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.
About Grande Lakes Orlando
Grande Lakes Orlando is a 500-acre resort with a luxury 582-room Ritz-Carlton and deluxe 1,000-room JW Marriott hotel situated at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. Orlando’s luxury leader provides an authentic, local experience from its farm-to-fork dining offerings to its Grande Lakes Sports experiences, which include kayaking, eco-tours on Shingle Creek, mountain bike trail and a fishing school. Grande Lakes presents the culinary mastery of award-winning Chefs Norman Van Aken and Melissa Kelly’s PRIMO. The resort’s renowned farm-to-fork culinary program showcases its on-site apiaries and 18,000-square-foot Whisper Creek Farm in Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen at JW Marriott Orlando and Highball & Harvest at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, as well as The Brewery, an on-property nano-brewery and Chef’s Table.
Guests at both hotels can enjoy all the facilities and services at Grande Lakes Orlando, including the 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Greg Norman, the 40,000-square-foot three-story Ritz-Carlton Spa with total-wellness treatments and a rooftop eco-space. The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott are connected by a robust conference center, with more than 170,000 square feet of meeting space, six ballrooms, 58 breakout rooms, and over 107,000 square feet of outdoor space. The estate is located 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, five minutes from the Orange County Convention Center and minutes from the major theme parks. Membership offerings are also available through The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes Members Club. For more information about Grande Lakes Orlando, visit www.grandelakes.com. Follow Grande Lakes Orlando on Twitter at @RC_Orlando and @JW_Orlando