Gustafson Opens Up Big Gap at Ginn

By Associated PressMay 31, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ginn Tribute Hosted by AnnikaCHARLESTON, S.C. -- Sophie Gustafson shot a 67 Saturday to push past a faltering Karrie Webb and take a six-stroke lead into the final round of the Ginn Tribute.
Tournament host Annika Sorenstam, meanwhile, continued to struggle at her namesake event with a 75.
No one could keep up with Gustafson in the third round.
Tied with Webb when the round began, Gustafson started quickly with an eagle and two birdies her first six holes to go four up on the Australian Hall of Famer.
Gustafson continued to grow her lead, bouncing back from a double bogey on the 12th'her first bogey in 33 holes'with two birdies down the stretch. Na-Yeon Choi shot a 68 to tie Webb (73) for second.
Webb was unflappable for two days, with only two bogeys the first 36 holes. She came apart, though, on the back nine of a sweltering round at RiverTowne Country Club.
The disintegration began when she put a ball into a hazard on the par-5 11th, loudly expressing her displease for TV cameras, for one bogey. Things for worse for Webb with three straight bogeys on Nos. 13-15.
On the 15th, Webb stood awkwardly on a patch of gnarly rough amid a bunker and could do nothing else but move her ball a few yards forward into the sand.
When Webb tapped in for that bogey, she was six shots behind Gustafson.
Sorenstam needed a late rally'six birdies in 10 holes'on Friday simply to keep playing on the weekend.
Sorenstam, whos won three times this year, talked of a strong weekend that might get her into contention. Instead, she went backward and was tied for 34th.
The LPGA Hall of Famer has only bettered 70 one time in seven career rounds here.
At 15 strokes behind, Sorenstam might need one of those all-birdie rounds of 54 shes envisioned to reach the top in her last appearance as a full-time competitor at the Ginn Tribute.
I was hoping for a little better, Sorenstam said. Of course, Im bummed out about that. Nothing I can do, but disappointing.
Sorenstam announced her retirement about two weeks ago.
Perhaps Sorenstams countrywoman, Gustafson, can earn the trophy that bears Annikas name for Sweden.
With husband and former LPGA Tour commissioner Ty Votaw trailing, Gustafson took the lead with a birdie on the second hole, then chipped in from behind the green on the par-3 third for an eagle.
A 12-foot birdie on the sixth hole gave Gustafson a four-shot lead. That was still the margin when Gustafson had her lone error by sending her approach on the par-4 12th into a thick, bushy marsh.
Gustafson took a drop, chipped short to about 25 feet and left with her lead cut in half. She got back on track soon enough with consecutive birdies on the 15th and 16th holes.
The way Gustafsons going, she might not want to stop. But Gustafson, who finished second to world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa two weeks ago at the Sybase Classic, wont have to wait long for her chance at a fifth career LPGA win'and first since 2003.
The LPGA Tour moved up tee times several hours Sunday to get the final round in before advancing storms reach the Charleston area.
Ochoa withdrew before play started this week and returned to Mexico because of her uncles death.
Choi, a 20-year-old rookie, moved into contention with her third straight sub-70 round. It was also the second straight day the South Korean made an eagle 2. She accomplished it on the fourth hole Friday and did it on the fifth hole this time.
I had two eagles, but I really had a lot more chances to do it more than twice, Choi said. Thats how great Ive been feeling about my shots lately.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
    Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.