Hyo Joo Kim wins Founders Cup by 3 over Lewis

By Associated PressMarch 23, 2015, 1:32 am

PHOENIX – Hyo Joo Kim overcame her fear of bees - and beat Stacy Lewis, too.

Forced to hit under a tree with a beehive above her head, the 19-year-old South Korean player birdied five of the next eight holes to outlast Lewis on Sunday in the JTBC Founders Cup.

''I was just scared of the bees and I didn't want to be stung,'' Kim said through a translator. ''So, I kept asking if I can get relief and I kept asking and they said, 'No, you can't.' So, I just swallowed my fears and tried to play the shot as best I could.''

Kim hit back to the fairway, wedged to 10 feet and two-putted for a bogey to drop into a tie for first with Ilhee Lee with eight holes left at Desert Ridge.

The long-hitting Kim birdied the next three holes - making putts of 5, 50 and 3 feet - and finished with a 5-under 67 to beat Lewis by three strokes for her second LPGA Tour title in 13 career starts.

''I think the situation on hole 10 helped,'' Kim said. ''After I went through there and I got a bogey, I just realized there's no time to feel pressure or feel afraid. I just had to go out there and play.''


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The third-ranked Lewis shot a 68. She matched Kim's birdies on Nos. 12, 13 and 15 and pulled within a stroke with a birdie on the par-4 16th.

''The way I played on the front, to think I could still be within a shot coming up those last few holes was pretty amazing,'' Lewis said. ''I'm proud of the way I hung in there. I was in three divots today in the fairway, so that didn't really help things.''

Kim made a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th to finish at 21-under 267. Lewis three-putted for bogey, missing her comebacker from 4 1/2 feet after the outcome was decided.

''In the morning I wasn't concentrating on winning because I was playing with Stacy Lewis and as a rookie, I just felt that by playing with her, I would learn a lot from her,'' Kim said. ''I was just trying to make a good impression as a rookie.''

She did.

''She's just really solid,'' Lewis said. ''Kind of had to battle back from some adversity there on 10. ... Even when I did make some putts, she made the putts to follow and she put a lot of pressure on.''

On 18, Kim hit her 140-yard approach pin-high to the right of the difficult pin placed over the large left-side bunker and in front of a rear falloff.

Lewis drove into a sand-filled divot in the fairway, making it nearly impossible to clear the bunker and stop the ball near the pin. She ended up 30 feet away at the back of the green.

''For the lie I had, I hit it a really good shot,'' Lewis said.

Lewis won the 2013 tournament and has 11 LPGA Tour victories. The 30-year-old Texan finished second for the second time this year and the 17th time in her career.

Projected to jump from eighth to fourth in the world, Kim won the Evian last year in France for first major title and has eight victories on the South Korean tour.

Kim is the fifth South Korean winner in the first six events this year - and the other champion, top-ranked Lydia Ko, was born in South Korea.

Lee shot a 66 to tie for third with Mi Hyang Lee (68) and Pornanong Phatlum (67) at 16 under.

Ko had her third straight 69 to tie for sixth at 15 under. The 17-year-old New Zealander has broken par in her last 24 LPGA Tour rounds and 27 worldwide, a streak that started in the first round of her victory last year in the season-ending event. She won the Women's Australian Open and the Ladies European Tour's New Zealand Women's Open in consecutive weeks this year.

Anna Nordqvist, Austin Ernst, Sei Young Kim and Na Yeon Choi matched Ko at 15 under. Nordqvist, the former Arizona State player from Sweden, had a 64 for the best round of the day.

Alison Lee, the 20-year-old former UCLA player who matched the course record with a 63 on Saturday, had a 74 to tie for 24th at 11 under.

Karrie Webb, the 2011 and 2014 winner, shot a 69 to tie for 34th at 9 under. Michelle Wie tied for 64th at 4 under after a 71.

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry