Grand finish gives Stupples two-shot lead

By Associated PressOctober 25, 2008, 4:00 pm
Grand China Air LPGAHAIKOU, China ' Karen Stupples pumped her fist once, then again and followed it up by wagging her right index finger in the air ' a bit like shed just won a 100-meter race and was doing a celebratory lap around the track.
 
The Englishwoman, however, was merely celebrating a remarkable 35-foot chip-in on 18, which gave her a 5-under 67 Saturday and a two-shot lead over American Laura Diaz going into the final round of the 54-hole Grand China Air, the LPGA Tours first tournament in China.
 
Stupples and Diaz, who have become mothers in the last few years, will be looking for their first victories in a long time Sunday. Stupples last won in 2004 and Diaz in 2002. So therell be no holding back.
 
I knew coming into the tournament that whoever was going to win it would have to bring it every day, Stupples said. Its only a three-day tournament ' its more of a sprint. You have to make as many birdies and be as aggressive as you can all the time.
 
Diaz, who led after a first-round 63, stumbled to a 73 ' 8 under for the tournament ' with four bogeys on the last five holes.
 
Stupples chip-in came after bogeys on 15 and 17.
 
Louise Friberg of Sweden shot a 69 to move to 7 under, three off the lead. Three other players were four shots back: Shi Hyun Ahn of South Korea (68), American Christina Kim (68) and Candice Kung of Taiwan (69).
 
Rookie Yani Tseng of Taiwan, who won the LPGA Championship this season as a 19-year-old, carded a 67 and was in a group of eight players five strokes off the lead.
 
Shanshan Feng, the only Chinese playing on the LPGA, shot a 73 and was nine strokes behind.
 
Both players struggled after a 45-minute rain delay, which stopped play shortly after they made the turn at the West Coast Golf Club on Chinas southern island of Hainan.
 
Id been close to chipping in all day and finally got rewarded for a good chip, Stupples said. I was very happy with that ' excited.
 
As best as Stupples can remember, this is the first time since 2004 that she leads going into the final round. Four years ago she won the British Open and another LPGA event.
 
Stupples gave birth to a son, Logan in 2007, and Diaz had her son, Cooper, in 2005. Both have seen motherhood balance their life, but also change their priorities.
 
I cant really put my finger on it, Stupples said about failing to win recently. Maybe because I had such a successful year in 2004 my expectations were very high. I was really trying hard and pushing too much.
 
I think since having him (Logan) Ive managed to refocus and enjoy my golf a little bit more than as I was before, she said.
 
An early 15-minute rain delay did not affect play, but the 45-minute suspension a few hours later sent many of the scores soaring.
 
I felt that really took me out of my rhythm, Stupples said. It was a struggle to hit good quality golf shots from that point on.
 
Minutes after play resumed following the second deluge, Stupples made a 10-foot putt on No. 13 to go 11 under. Still leading, Diaz missed a chance to go 13 under on No. 13, missing a 6-foot putt for birdie.
 
That miss seemed to rattle Diaz.
 
She slipped to 11 under with a bogey at 14 and had bogeys on the next two holes. She saved par at the 17th, but bogeyed again on the final hole with a poor approach on her second shot.
 
Obviously, the weather played a little bit of a factor, Diaz said. I had it going, then we went in and out, and I struggled a bit.
 
Things have changed rapidly in this condensed golf tournament. Stupples trailed Diaz by four after Friday and now leads her by two.
 
That just goes to show how quickly in one round it can change, Stupples said. Im sure that Laura is going to come out and try to attack the course, as will everybody else. I dont think I can sit back and enjoy that two-shot lead.
 
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.