I.K. Kim hikes Portland lead to 3

By Associated PressAugust 30, 2014, 2:50 am

PORTLAND, Ore. - I.K. Kim increased her lead to three strokes Friday in the LPGA's Portland Classic, shooting a 5-under 67 to reach 12 under.

The South Korean player had seven birdies and two bogeys in her morning round in cloudy, calm conditions at Columbia Edgewater. She won the last of her three LPGA titles in 2010, and had a victory this summer in a Ladies European Tour event in England.

''I'm really pleased how I played the last two days,'' Kim said. ''There is a lot of scores out there, so I think it will be a good week for all of us.''

Kim's best LPGA finish this year is a tie for 13th in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in April in California.

''I'm glad that I've been kind of going through all these things, and you know, it's nice to win one,'' Kim said.

Spain's Carlota Ciganda and South Korea's Mi Jung Hur shot 65 to join Laura Diaz at 9 under. Diaz had a 68.

Ciganda's long-time coach, Rogelio Echeverria, died three weeks after a brief bout with stomach cancer.

''Like a month ago I was practicing with him. I can't speak. He's the one who taught me everything. I'm here because of him. He means everything to me,'' Ciganda said. ''I'm just going to play for him, and I would love to win just for him.''

South Korea's So Yeon Ryu, the Canadian Women's Open winner Sunday in Ontario, was 8 under along with Mina Harigae, China's Xi Yu Lin and South Africa's Paula Reto. The fifth-ranked Ryu had a 66, Lin carded a 68, and Harigae and Reto shot 69.

Defending champion Suzann Pettersen was 6 under after a 67. She played her fnal nine holes in 5-under 41.

''I haven't played my best the last two days. Really happy to be able to shoot 5 under on the back nine,'' Pettersen said. ''I don't know if it's just the fourth (consecutive) week that I'm tired, but grinding it out. I'm finding solutions out there.''

The fourth-ranked Norwegian player, also the 2011 winner, is trying to tie Nancy Lopez's event record of three victories.

Juli Inkster and Sweden's Anna Nordqvist also were in the group at 6 under. The 54-year-old Inkster, making her 28th appearance in the event, followed her opening 68 with a 70. Nordqvist, a two-time winner this year, also shot 70.

South Korea's Jeong Jang was 3 under after a 71. The 34-year-old Jang, the 2005 Women's British Open champion, announced her retirement this week and said the event will be her last.

Hee-Won Han, also playing her final event, had a 71 to make the cut on the number at 1 over. The 34-year-old South Korean player won the 2004 event and has six LPGA victories.

Han and Jang are considered to be pioneers of the South Korean LPGA movement.

''My kids are growing up, and I thought it was perfect timing for retire. Be a mom,'' Han said.

Gigi Stoll, a senior at Beaverton High School who won the Portland Classic Amateur Open last week to earn a spot in the field, had a 74 to make the cut at 1 over.

Charley Hull, the 18-year-old English player who got into the event on a sponsor exemption, missed the cut by a stroke with rounds of 70 and 76.

Top-ranked Stacy Lewis, No. 2 Inbee Park and No. 3 Lydia Ko are skipping the tournament, giving them a two-week break before the Evian Championship in France.

National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

“I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


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Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

“He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


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Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''

Bubba (64) fires his lowest round of 2017

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:12 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Bubba Watson’s plan when he left the Dell Technologies Championship in September was to take a few months off and come back fresh in 2018

Those plans changed after a few weeks.

“What we figured out was the mental side, preparing for kindergarten - not for me, for my son - preparing for [wife] Angie's knee surgery. It's been a tough go,” Watson said.

“Being home and being with the family and everything, I realized how much I missed the game of golf, and that's why I wanted to come and play in these tournaments.”


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Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


The plan has paid off this week at the RSM Classic, where Watson is tied for 12th place after a second-round 64 on the Seaside course moved him to 7 under par.

Watson, who tied for 51st two weeks ago in Las Vegas, got off to a quick start on Day 2, playing the opening nine in 29. Despite a miscue at the 14th hole, when his tee shot wedged into a tree, he was solid coming in for his best individual round this year.

The left-hander was particularly sharp with his ball-striking after what has been a difficult year.

“I want to play golf now and right now I'm swinging at it pretty nicely,” he said.