Hurst Still Leads Big Names in Contention

By Associated PressJune 10, 2006, 4:00 pm
McDonaldHAVRE DE GRACE, Md. -- Pat Hurst kept it steady in the wind and soggy conditions Saturday morning, dropping one shot over eight holes to complete her second round at 1-under 71 and take a one-shot lead at the LPGA Championship.
 
A five-hour storm delay Friday kept 70 players from finishing the second round, including three-time defending champion Annika Sorenstam. They returned to a soggy course and the strongest wind of the week, with gusts of about 15 mph.
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie finished runner-up in this event a year ago.
When it ended, the final 36 holes had some tantalizing possibilities.
 
Michelle Wie, the 16-year-old from Hawaii who started her week trying to qualify for the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, was only two shots behind after a 68 that she completed before a series of thunderstorms rolled through Bulle Rock.
 
Sorenstam, trying to become the first woman to win the same major four straight times, Kraft Nabisco champion Karrie Webb, resurgent Se Ri Pak and 18-year-old Morgan Pressel were among those three shots behind.
 
Hurst was at 7-under 137, one shot ahead of Christina Kim (71) and Dorothy Delasin, who reached 10 under par on Friday before a double bogey and a bogey over her final four holes knocked her down to a 71.
 
Delasin played the first two days with Wie, and while there were only about 500 fans following along, that constituted the largest gallery at Bulle Rock and reminded Delasin of what it was like when she was winning her four LPGA Tour events.
 
'I never played with her before,' said Delasin, who was at 6-under 138. 'The crowd was fine. I love playing in crowds. When I was winning, leading tournaments, the crowds were the same, so it wasn't a big deal. I like having people watching, whether they're watching me or Michelle or anybody.'
 
Having Delasin around paid off for Wie, too.
 
She came to the conclusion that putts really do go in the hole every now and then, and Wie started making enough of her own to get back into the hunt for her first LPGA title.
 
'Her making a lot of putts was like, 'Oh, the ball can go in the hole,'' Wie said. 'It gave me confidence. She played great out there. It was fun playing with her.'
 
Wie was the runner-up last year to Sorenstam and must have liked her position when the second round finally ended. She was only two shots behind despite missing a dozen putts inside 12 feet -- some of those within 6 feet -- over the first 36 holes.
 
'If I can just get things going, I think I can shoot really low out here,' Wie said.
 
Pressel played with Sorenstam the first two days, and Saturday morning didn't start well as she made double bogey at No. 9. But the fiery teen poured it on after that, starting the back nine with three straight birdies, shooting 31 on the back for a 67 to get into contention on the weekend at her first LPGA Championship.
 
Sorenstam is right there, too, although she has been plodding along. She followed a birdie on the par-5 11th with a bogey, then after a birdie on the 372-yard 14th, she failed to make birdie on the 493-yard 15th, one of the easier par 5s. Sorenstam dropped another shot on the par-3 17th, but finished with a birdie to leave herself in good shape over the final 36 holes.
 
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  • 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.

    Getty Images

    Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

    The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

    The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

    Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

    A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

    Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.