Jiyai Shin wins PG Beauty NW Arkansas Championship playoff - COPIED

By Associated PressSeptember 14, 2009, 9:20 pm

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ROGERS, Ark. – Jiyai Shin arrived at the course around 5:30 a.m., then began her final round a couple hours later in one of the first groups to tee off.

A championship was the furthest thing from her mind.

“I wanted to just make under par,” Shin said.

Shin accomplished that modest goal and a whole lot more Sunday, rallying from a seven-stroke deficit to win the P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship. Shin shot a 7-under 64 and outlasted Angela Stanford and Sun Young Yoo in a sudden-death playoff at Pinnacle Country Club.

Shin, an LPGA rookie from South Korea, now has three wins on tour this year, the most of any player.

 

Jiyai Shin
Jiyai Shin reacts to her winning putt. (Getty Images)

“I’m lucky this year,” she said. “I’m just focused on the Rookie of the Year [award], but now I still have a chance for the Player of the Year [award].”

Nancy Lopez was the last player to win both, in 1978.

Shin is called the “Final-Round Queen” in South Korea. In March, she trailed by four strokes with nine holes to play before winning the HSBC Women’s Champions.

On No. 15, the second hole of Sunday’s playoff, she made a 12-foot birdie putt to win after Stanford had missed a longer putt along a similar line.

“Angela’s ball broke left to the right,” Shin said. “I trusted Angela’s putt.”

Shin posted her final-round score around 12:30 p.m. and had to wait about two hours for everyone else to finish. She finished at 9-under 204 for the 54-hole event on the 6,244-yard course.

About an hour after Shin finished her round, Shi Hyun Ahn reached the green in two shots on the par-5 18th. Ahn (66) three-putted to finish at 8 under.

Meanwhile, Stanford and second-round leader Song-Hee Kim were plodding along. For the third straight year, rain was a factor at this event, although it was fairly light Sunday and play wasn’t delayed.

“I thought for sure somebody would make it to 10 (under),” Stanford said.

Instead, Stanford (69) needed a couple of dramatic shots just to reach the playoff. She began the round two strokes behind Kim, and after a bogey on No. 1, she holed out a 138-yard 9-iron for an eagle on the second.

She entered the final hole knowing she needed an eagle to make it to a playoff with Shin and Yoo. After reaching the green on the 515-yard par 5 in two shots, she made a 25-foot putt.

“That was pretty cool,” Stanford said. “I told my caddie, walking 18, ‘They’re going to erupt if we eagle 18.”’

They did, and Kim (72) could have made it a four-way playoff, but she missed a birdie putt.

Shin, Stanford and Yoo (68) played No. 18 again to start the playoff, and they all made birdie putts from close to the hole. None of the three were able to reach the green in two. Yoo had to play a tricky shot from a bunker behind the green but was able to get up and down.

On the next hole, Yoo’s tee shot ended up on the fringe, and she was unable to chip in for birdie. Stanford and Shin were both on the same part of the green.

Stanford’s putt went a few feet past the hole. Shin then made hers for the win.

Although Shin is a rookie this year, she won the Women’s British Open in 2008.

Stanford’s mother, who is battling breast cancer, was on hand for the exciting finish. Although Stanford had to settle for her third consecutive top-10 finish, that eagle on No. 18 was quite a moment.

“I was nervous, and all day I had missed a lot of putts that I should have made,” Stanford said. “I thought, ‘You know, my mom’s here, forget being nervous. Be a player and get it in the hole.”

Earlier in the week, Shin had an English lesson at the media center, where she saw the tournament trophy. She said then she’d see it again Sunday, and she was right. She also moved to the top of this year’s money list.

“Just lucky,” she said.

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com 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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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.

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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.