Ace and eagle highlight Michelle Wies week

By Associated PressJune 14, 2009, 4:00 pm
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McDonalds LPGAHAVRE DE GRACE, Md. ' Even though Michelle Wie never made a run at winning the McDonald's LPGA Championship, she certainly gave her sizable galleries reason to cheer this week.
 
Wie opened with a 2-under 70 on Thursday, hit a hole-in-one Saturday and started her final round Sunday with an eagle on the par-4, 358-yard hole.
 
Never mind the three double bogeys and eight bogeys, all of which contributed to a 2-under 287 and a 23rd-place tie. As far as Wie was concerned, there was absolutely nothing to complain about.
 
I felt like I played great. I really dont think the score reflected my game, she said, shortly after a bogey on No. 18 capped her final-round 70.
 
I feel like I did really well, I feel like I was swinging really well. Everything felt pretty positive, Wie said. I just couldnt get anything going, and some of the putts didnt drop. A couple of sprayed shots here and there (hurt).
 
There were also some incredibly accurate shots. Her first hole-in-one as a pro came with an 8-iron on the 152-yard 7th hole Saturday. On Sunday, she put the ball in the first hole off the fairway for an eagle.
 
I think its definitely a reflection of how good I was hitting my irons, Wie said. I thought I was going to hole a couple more today, but its fun to start off a round like that.
 

 
THANKS FOR THE MEMORY: Se Ri Pak dropped in a par putt on the 18th hole Sunday and received a smattering of applause from the small gallery as she walked off the Bulle Rock course for perhaps the final time.
 
It was a somber farewell for Pak, who won her third LPGA Championship here in 2006. This is the last time the tournament will be held at Bulle Rock because McDonalds is withdrawing a sponsor.
 
This is such a great golf course, a major golf course. I really like to play here, Pak said. I feel kind of sad that we wont be here anymore. Its unfortunate.
 
Pak completed her round more than an hour before the final twosome teed off. The South Korean shot a 74 for the day and finished far off the pace at 6 over. Over four days she made 12 birdies, 12 bogeys and a pair of double bogeys.
 
You know what? I really struck the ball solid and hit the fairways. Im putting well, she said. But I just couldnt get up and down.
 

 
WORKING OVERTIME: Eight golfers had to return to the course early Sunday to finish the third round, which was halted by darkness late Saturday.
 
Anna Nordqvist, who stood atop the leaderboard when play stopped, had four holes remaining. Lindsey Wright, who was in second, had three holes left.
 
Nordqvist made two birdies and Wright parred her three holes. Then both tried to grab some sleep before pairing up for the final round.
 
Ill go home and rest. Back to the hotel, Nordqvist said.
 
I feel good, considering I had 4 1/2 , five hours sleep, Wright said. I feel in a good place mentally, which is always good. Ill probably go back and take and relax for the next six hours.
 
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.