Four South Koreans share Farr lead

By Associated PressAugust 11, 2012, 11:24 pm

SYLVANIA, Ohio – For the lead groups, the final round of the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic will be just like a friendly round back home in South Korea.

Oh, and give the winner a check for $195,000.

South Koreans Jiyai Shin, In-Kyung Kim, So Yeon Ryu and Hee Kyung Seo dominated the leaderboard, sharing the top spot at 11-under 202 on Saturday through the third round.

Two more South Koreans, Inbee Park (69) and second-round leader Chella Choi (70), were a shot back along with Japan's Mika Miyazato (69).

Call them the Seoul sisters.

'It will be really exciting Sunday,' said Kim, who will be chasing her fourth career LPGA Tour victory. 'These are players that I grew up with. I know them personally and I know their family issues and all that. So, even though we're playing in the U.S., having them around I feel much more at home.'

South Koreans have not only flooded the LPGA (there are 43 of them on the roster this year), but also dominated the tour in recent years. Still, they have seldom taken over a tournament like the one at Highland Meadows. In addition to filling the top four spots and six of the top seven, South Korea was represented by players occupying seven of the top 11 positions and 11 of the top 25 through 54 holes.

Even though they are extremely competitive, don't expect any gamesmanship.

'There are a lot of Korean players on tour,' said Shin, who has won eight times in LPGA events since 2008, including victories in the 2010 U.S. Women's Open and the 2008 Women's British Open. 'We are very close because we came over to play in the U.S. We were homesick, missing our friends and family in Korea. And that has made us close to each other.'

Shin and Kim each shot 5-under 66 for the low rounds of the day, while Ryu had a 67 and Seo a 68.

The range in scores of the four leaders is a high of 69 to a low of 66. In other words, almost the perfect definition of consistency.

Ryu acknowledged that, then added, 'Sometimes someone is crazy and has a low score – like a 61 or 62.'

It's not really surprising that the South Korean contingent is elbowing everyone else out of the picture at the Jamie Farr. After all, the player who is the matriarch of her country's players on the LPGA Tour – Se Ri Pak – has won the Farr five times. And three other players from South Korea – Mi Hyun Kim, Eunjung Yi and Na Yeon Choi – also have finished first in suburban Toledo.

In fact, since Pak won her first Farr in 1998, South Koreans have walked off with the title eight of the 13 years.

Shin was perhaps the brightest star on the LPGA landscape but has not won in two years because of injuries.

'It's as if I'm on my way,' she said after her 66. 'I have a little bit of pressure on myself.'

Kim, who has three career LPGA Tour wins, lost to Choi in a four-person playoff at the Farr the last time it was played in 2010 (the tournament was on hiatus a year ago while the city hosted the men's U.S. Senior Open).

'I'm in a great place, not only on the golf course,' she said. 'I'm happy on and off the course. That's really important.'

Seo was the tour's rookie of the year in 2011. She took a stab at making a humorous remark at the awards ceremony.

'Everybody wants to be No. 1,' she said. 'I just mentioned that I'll be No. 1 very soon.'

Tied for eighth at 8-under 205 were Americans Jacqui Concolino (69) and Angela Stanford (69), along with first-round leader Pernilla Lindberg of Sweden (70) and yet another South Korean, Hee-Won Han (70).

Needless to say, all eyes will be on the intrasquad scrimmage atop the leaderboard between the longtime friends, neighbors and countrywomen.

'We pretty much help each other,' said Ryu, who defeated Seo in a three-hole playoff at the 2011 U.S. Women's Open to earn her first and only tour victory. 'If some Koreans have a winning chance, everybody will be waiting on the 18th green and everybody will congratulate the winner. Our relationship is pretty great.'

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Rose: 'Never' has Rory putted as well as Bay Hill

By Ryan LavnerMarch 19, 2018, 1:20 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Justin Rose didn’t need to ponder the question for very long.

The last time Rory McIlroy putted that well was, well …?

“Never,” Rose said with a chuckle. “Ryder Cup? He always makes it look easy when he’s playing well.”

And the Englishman did well just to try and keep pace.

After playing his first six holes in 4 over par, Rose battled not just to make the cut but to contend. He closed with consecutive rounds of 67, finishing in solo third, four shots back of McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Rose said this weekend was the best he’s struck the ball all year. He just didn’t do enough to overtake McIlroy, who finished the week ranked first in strokes gained-putting and closed with a bogey-free 64.

“Rory just played incredible golf, and it’s great to see world-class players do that,” Rose said. “It’s not great to see him make putts because he was making them against me, but when he is, he’s incredibly hard to beat. So it was fun to watch him play.”

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Rory almost channels Tiger with 72nd-hole celebration

By Ryan LavnerMarch 19, 2018, 1:11 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy’s final putt at the Arnold Palmer Invitational felt awfully familiar.

He rolled in the 25-footer for birdie and wildly pumped his fist, immediately calling to mind Woods’ heroics on Bay Hill’s 18th green.

Three times Woods holed a putt on the final green to win this event by a stroke.

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McIlroy was just happy to provide a little extra cushion as the final group played the finishing hole.

“I’ve seen Tiger do that enough times to know what it does,” McIlroy said. “So I just wanted to try and emulate that. I didn’t quite give it the hat toss – I was thinking about doing that. But to be able to create my own little bit of history on the 18th green here is pretty special.”

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McIlroy remembers Arnie dinner: He liked A-1 sauce on fish

By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 1:06 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Fresh off a stirring victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy offered a pair of culinary factoids about two of the game’s biggest names.

McIlroy regretted not being able to shake Palmer’s hand behind the 18th green after capping a three-shot win with a Sunday 64, but with the trophy in hand he reflected back on a meal he shared with Palmer at Bay Hill back in 2015, the year before Palmer passed away.

“I knew that he liked A-1 sauce on his fish, which was quite strange,” McIlroy said. “I remember him asking the server, ‘Can I get some A-1 sauce?’ And the server said, ‘For your fish, Mr. Palmer?’ He said, ‘No, for me.’”

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

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A few minutes later, McIlroy revealed that he is also a frequent diner at The Woods Jupiter, the South Florida restaurant launched by Tiger Woods. In fact, McIlroy explained that he goes to the restaurant every Wednesday with his parents – that is, when he’s not spanning the globe winning golf tournaments.

Having surveyed the menu a few times, he considers himself a fan.

“It’s good. He seems pretty hands-on with it,” McIlroy said. “Tuna wontons are good, the lamb lollipops are good. I recommend it.”

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DeChambeau comes up short: 'Hat’s off to Rory'

By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 12:48 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Amid a leaderboard chock full of big names and major winners, the person that came closest to catching Rory McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational turned out to by Bryson DeChambeau.

While Henrik Stenson faltered and Justin Rose stalled out, it was DeChambeau that gave chase to McIlroy coming down the stretch at Bay Hill. Birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 were followed by an eagle out of the rough on No. 16, which brought him to within one shot of the lead.

But as DeChambeau surveyed his birdie putt from the fringe on the penultimate hole, McIlroy put an effective end to the proceedings with a closing birdie of his own to polish off a round of 64. DeChambeau needed a hole-out eagle on No. 18 to force a playoff, and instead made bogey.

That bogey ultimately didn’t have an effect on the final standings, as DeChambeau finished alone in second place at 15 under, three shots behind McIlroy after shooting a 4-under 68.

“I thought 15 under for sure would win today,” DeChambeau said. “Rory obviously played some incredible golf. I don’t know what he did on the last nine, but it was deep. I know that.”

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

DeChambeau will collect $961,000 for his performance this week in Orlando, just $47,000 less than he got for winning the John Deere Classic in July. While he would have preferred to take McIlroy’s spot in the winner’s circle, DeChambeau was pleased with his effort in Sunday’s final pairing as he sets his sights on a return to the Masters.

“For him to shoot 64 in the final round, that’s just, hat’s off to him, literally. I can’t do anything about that,” DeChambeau said. “I played some great golf, had some great up-and-downs, made a couple key putts coming down the stretch, and there’s not really much more I can do about it. My hat’s off to Rory, and he played fantastic.”