Choi leads by two as Creamer misses cut at Jamie Farr

By Associated PressJuly 3, 2010, 2:57 am

LPGA Tour _newSYLVANIA, Ohio – A confident Na Yeon Choi followed her opening 64 with a 4-under 67 to build a two-stroke lead through Friday’s second round of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.

Second on the LPGA in birdies, Choi had four of them without a bogey. The first-round leader by a stroke, she is motivated by missing a cut for the first time as a pro last week at the LPGA Championship.

Fellow South Korean Inbee Park shot a 66, Christina Kim had a 67 and Alena Sharp a 68 to share second place at 9-under 133.

Angry at herself after missing the cut last week, Choi discarded her putter and got a new one. As a result, she’s needed just 53 putts in 36 holes while getting to 11-under 131. She doubled her first-round lead.

“I had confidence out there with my friend Inbee Park,” she said. “We enjoyed it. No bogeys today, so I feel perfect.”

They’ll also play together for the third straight day in the final pairing on Saturday.

Park three-putted for a bogey at the 16th hole, then turned around and holed a 20-yard bunker shot for eagle at the 17th.

“I was a little disappointed (with the bogey) but that eagle just washed that away,” she said. “It gave me a lot of confidence going into the weekend that I’m that much closer to the leader.”

Sharp has never finished better than seventh in her 4 1/2 years on tour. As a result, she’s not used to seeing her name on the leaderboard.

“I was a little nervous today,” the Canadian said. “I just wanted to get out and get started. Then I got into the way I felt yesterday – just really relaxed. I’m happy with the way my game is going into the weekend. I like my position.”

Kristy McPherson holed a 60-degree wedge from 75 yards on the 18th hole for an eagle and a 68 to lead a pack of six players at 136.

“It’s always nice when you don’t have to putt on the last hole,” she said.

Joining her at 136 were Song-Hee Kim (66), In-Kyung Kim (66), Beatriz Recari (67), Stacy Prammanasudh (67) and Stacy Lewis (69). Lewis, who was born in Toledo, was supported by a large number of fans and relatives wearing “Lew Crew” T-shirts.

Defending champ Eunjung Yi had a 68 and was eight shots back.

For Creamer, winner of the Farr two years ago, missing the cut means a weekend away from the pain associated with playing with her surgically repaired left thumb.

“I’m very disappointed in how I played but it’s two more rounds under my belt,” she said. “I’m getting used to getting out there and there’s some things I need to work on. It’s just the hard part is being able to work on them.”

Still recovering after having the ligament damage repaired in her thumb, Creamer has played in the last three tournaments.

“Probably three in a row is too much coming out at first,” she said. “But I feel like I have an obligation. I love coming to this golf course and the fans … you don’t want to miss that.”

Creamer, who’s No. 1 backer is the tournament sponsor, was going to stay in Toledo to practice for the U.S. Women’s Open at Oakmont. She was trying to forget her injury.

“I’m trying not to dwell on my thumb as much,” she said. “I do have some thumb problems but you just have to work through them.”

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McCoy earns medalist honors at 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 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 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 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.