Front nine 28 vaults Wie to the top in Arkansas

By Associated PressSeptember 12, 2010, 12:25 am

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ROGERS, Ark. – Michelle Wie shot a 7-under 64 – playing her first nine holes in 7-under 28 – to take the second-round lead Saturday in the Northwest Arkansas Championship.

Wie, trying for her second straight victory, had the lowest nine-hole score on the LPGA xthis year. She finished at 10 under, three strokes ahead of Juli Inkster (66), Yani Tseng (68) and Na Yeon Choi (68).

Wie started her round on No. 10 and birdied five of her first seven holes. She then made an uphill putt of about 35 feet on No. 18 for an eagle on the 515-yard par 5.

She made a tap-in birdie on No. 2 to move to 8 under on the day through 11 holes, but she slowed down a bit after that and will have to contend with several players Sunday as she tries to follow up on her win late last month in the Canadian Women’s Open.

Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie reacts to making eagle on the par-5 18th Saturday. (Getty Images)
Wie said the heat was a factor as her round wore on.

“I chugged a Powerade and a Vitamin Water,” Wie said.

After beginning her career as a long-hitting phenom who tried to challenge the men, the 20-year-old Wie is beginning to realize her enormous potential. She’s made all but two cuts since the start of 2009, and she earned her first career victory in November at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

On Sunday, she’ll be part of a tantalizing matchup with Inkster, the 50-year-old Hall of Famer trying to become the oldest player to win on the tour. Inkster was in contention last month at the Safeway Classic before being disqualified with a round remaining. During a lengthy wait with a hole backed up, she affixed a weight to a club and took some practice swings to stay loose, and a viewer watching the broadcast brought the violation to the attention of tournament officials.

Inkster’s rookie year (1983) was six years before Wie was born.

“It’s going to be like Beauty and the Beast out there,” Inkster said. “I don’t have the pretty swing or whatever. I just try to get the ball in the hole.”

Wie’s approach on No. 18 popped in and out of a greenside bunker before landing on the green to set up her long eagle putt. It was that kind of day for Wie – at least at the beginning.

Tseng, playing alongside her, patiently plodded along and was able to stay within striking distance of Wie.

“She played awesome today,” Tseng said. “I told my caddie, ‘Aw, she took all my birdies.”’

Wie played the four par 5s in 5 under Saturday, a six-stroke improvement from the first round. Inkster nearly made a long eagle putt of her own on No. 18, but it slid off the edge of the hole.

Several LPGA players have shot 29 this year for nine holes, but Wie’s 28 was the first. Ji Young Oh shot 7 under on a par-37 nine at the Safeway Classic.

 

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PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

LPGA:

We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.