Notes: Cabrera's defense; Q-School pressures; more
As title defenses go, little spotlight will be provided Angel Cabrera, but trying to win a second straight Argentina Open takes on personal meaning for the proud Argentine.
The tournament tees off Thursday and is the 14th and final tournament of this year’s LatinoAmerica Series. Mexico’s Jose De Jesus Rodriguez has a slight lead over American Ryan Blaum in the battle to be leading money winner. This week's field will include a couple of PGA Tour veterans who are used to making these trips to South America this time of year, Jeff Gove and Scott Dunlap.
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Q-SCHOOL STILL PACKS PRESSURE: There’s admittedly less attention being focused on the final stage of Q-School this year, and for good reason. Those who survive next week’s six-round test in the California desert will graduate onto the Web.com Tour, not the PGA Tour.
Still, when you consider that playing status is critical in today’s professional golf landscape, you can appreciate the pressure that will be in play for youngsters such as Max Homa, Justin Thomas and Michael Kim, or for veterans such as Todd Hamilton, Patrick Sheehan, Steven Allan, Jeff Klauk, Peter Lonard, Ted Purdy and Scott Hend.
If following bloodlines is your thing, there are some notable names who’ll be in the lineup – Olin Browne Jr., Jamie Sindelar, Manny Villegas, Tyler McCumber and Sam Saunders.
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CHOI'S CHARITABLE MOVE: You might say KJ Choi is in the holiday spirit, except that his charitable donation to the victims of the devastating typhoon in the Philippines is more in keeping with his nature. Through his KJ Choi Foundation, the PGA Tour veteran has donated the $100,000 he earned at the recent World Cup of Golf to the American Red Cross to help victims of last month’s disaster.
“I wanted to represent Korea in sharing the sentiment of my fellow countrymen to our friends in the Philippines,” Choi said in a statement released by his foundation.
His actions come as no surprise to those who know Choi. In the spring of 2011, Choi donated $100,000 to relief efforts in the wake of the earthquake in Japan.
Choi finished T-15 in the individual portion of the recent World Cup in Australia, and T-15 in the team competition with Sang-Moon Bae.
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STARS TO SHINE NEAR ORLANDO: While many of his colleagues will be teeing it up at Tiger’s tournament or in South Africa, Brian Gay will spend the weekend putting golf to a charitable cause in Celebration, Fla., near Walt Disney World.
The Brian Gay Invitational will donate proceeds to the Florida Hospital for Children. To help him celebrate the Friday-Saturday-Sunday event, PGA Tour members J.B. Holmes and Nick O’Hern will be on hand. Gay has also received commitments from a wide array of notable athletes, among them Reggie Jackson, Mark Rypien, John Smoltz, Johnny Damon, and Richard Dent.
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