Ammaccapane 36-hole Leader at Corning

By Associated PressMay 23, 2008, 4:00 pm
2006 Corning ClassicCORNING, N.Y. -- On a seesaw day, Dina Ammaccapane liked what she saw when it was over.
Ammaccapane, who had six birdies and three bogeys, shot her second straight 69 on Friday to gain a one-stroke lead after the second-round of the LPGA Corning Classic. Ammaccapane, winless since joining the tour full-time two decades ago and non-exempt this year, was at 6-under 138. First-round leader Erica Blasberg (74), Janice Moodie (68), Wendy Ward (70) and Katie Futcher (69) were one shot back.
Lurking another shot behind were Johanna Head (69), Becky Morgan (70), Sandra Gal (72), Leta Lindley (67) and Jeong Jang (69), who struggled mightily with her driver, hitting just seven of 14 fairways because of an arthritic right wrist.
Na On Min and Karine Icher, who began the day tied for second, two shots behind Blasberg, each shot 74 and remained tied at 141 as 17 players were within three shots of the lead. Paula Creamer (74), third on the tour money list and a two-time winner this year, was at 144.
Two-time Corning winner Rosie Jones, who came out of retirement to help celebrate the tournaments 30th anniversary, followed her opening 74 with a 76 and missed the cut in her first appearance on tour since the 2006 U.S. Open.
Although 48 players broke par on the cold-and-rainy first round, there were more bogeys (493) than birdies (435) over the 6,223-yard Corning Country Club course. On Friday, the sun emerged and the temperature soared into the 60s' more than 20 degrees warmer than when the tournament began. But the wind picked up to nearly 20 mph and played havoc for most of the round.
Right from the start, it was evident it would be a difficult day. Blasberg parred her first four holes and then made bogey at the 510-yard, par-5 14th to lose the lead to Min. Blasberg, seeking her first career victory, followed with seven pars before rallying with birdie at the par-4 fourth to move back to 7 under.
I just wasnt relaxed out there for some reason the first few holes, Blasberg said.
Min made double-bogey at the first hole before rallying with four birdies to get to 7 under and a one-shot lead at the turn, but that advantage was short-lived. Moments after Blasberg tied it with her first birdie of the day, Min hit a poor chip at the par-4 13th that rolled off the far side of the green, and she three-putted for double-bogey.
Back on the front side at the par-5 fifth, Blasberg made birdie after hitting a scoreboard and taking a drop to get to 8 under, then quickly squandered the lead for good at the par-3 seventh. She hit a bad tee shot, chipped her second shot past the hole, and three-putted from 10 feet for double-bogey.
Blasberg closed with bogey at No. 9 when her 30-foot birdie putt lipped out 4 feet past the pin and she missed coming back.
I was a little confused on the fairway, what club to hit just because the wind was up, the wind was down, Blasberg said with a painful smile. But theres a lot of positives. I really didnt hit the ball that well today, but I still was able to kind of keep it respectable for the most part. I dont usually pull off shots, and I backed off maybe four shots today. Its just tough, especially when you are trying to protect a little bit.
That left Patricia Meunier-Lebouc with sole possession of the lead after three straight birdies on the front nine dropped her to 7 under. She, too, was unable to hold it, making three bogeys and a double-bogey on the back side to leave Ammaccapane alone at the top.
I have got to be patient, said the 39-year-old Ammaccapane, who hit sand wedge to 8 feet and made birdie at 18, her final hole, to gain the lead. The last two days were a test.
Creamer, admittedly rusty after taking a week off, had four bogeys and two birdies before finishing with seven straight pars to avoid missing her first cut of the year.
Its just been so up and down out here, Creamer said. Normally, I hit a lot of fairways, and I havent hit that many. I think its taken me out of rhythm. The first nine, I was chunking it, hitting it kind of all over the place, and whenever I had opportunity to make birdie, I didnt close the deal. Im not in the best of positions, but its not over yet. I wish I could be out there right now and start all over.
It was a bittersweet day for Jones, who missed a short par putt at No. 9, her final hole, but was still smiling.
Darn it, I bogeyed it. The last time I played here, it was a birdie and I finished top-10, said Jones, who received shouts of thanks from many fans for coming back one last time. You could definitely tell my game was rusty, but it was fun. I had a blast coming back here. I did OK.
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.