Karine Icher takes two-shot lead at LPGA Corning

By Associated PressMay 22, 2009, 4:00 pm
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2006 Corning ClassicCORNING, N.Y. ' Karine Icher isnt used to this. She would be happy to make it a habit.
 
The 30-year-old native of Chateauroux, France shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to gain a two-shot lead over Hee-Won Han of South Korea after two rounds at the LPGA Corning Classic.
 
Karen Icher
Karine Icher has 13 birdies, one eagle and one bogey through two rounds. (Getty Images)
Icher, the first-round co-leader at 8 under with Hee Young Park of South Korea, was at 14-under 130. That broke the 36-hole record for the tournament by one shot and equaled the best back-to-back rounds in Corning history.
 
Seon Hwa Lee (67), Soo-Yun Kang (69) and Na Yeon Choi (68) of South Korea were tied for third at 10 under with Mikaela Parmlid of Sweden (67), Sandra Gal (69) of Germany, and Sarah Kemp (68) of Australia.
 
Park (73) was seven shots back and the cut fell at 3 under (the tournament record was 1 under in both 2003 and 2007) as the players again took advantage of the near-ideal scoring conditions.
 
You can go low 60s out here, said Parmlid, who has never finished higher than 10th in five-plus years on tour. If you have a good iron day ' Oh my gosh! ' you can light it up.
 
Icher certainly did. She eclipsed the 36-hole record of 131 held by Michelle Estill (2004) and Beth Bader (2007) and matched the lowest back-to-back rounds set by Juli Inkster on the final two rounds of her 2003 Corning triumph.
 
If the other players can make birdies, I can do it, too, said Icher, whose best career finish was a second in 2005 at the Corona Morelia Championship. I know you learn more from your mistakes. I did a lot in the past. I was short to win some tournaments in 05 and 06. I hope right now its going to help me go forward and I dont make the same mistakes.
 
Icher had only one slip-up Friday, at the par-4 first hole, statistically one of the most difficult on the 6,223-yard Corning Country Club course. She drove the right rough, then hit into a greenside bunker and two-putted for her lone bogey of the tournament.
 
Icher averaged nearly 260 yards off the tee and continued to excel with her short game on the narrow, tree-lined layout. Of her seven birdies, four came on putts inside 10 feet, and she also displayed a deft stroke from a tough lie. Her final birdie putt was uphill on the undulating green at the par-3 seventh hole, and she smiled broadly when the ball curled into the hole on its final rotation.
 
Over the two rounds, Icher hit 32 of 36 greens and 19 of 28 fairways, did not have a three-putt green, and needed just 56 putts.
 
My driving was not so good as yesterday, I missed some fairways, said Icher, who hit 8 of 14 on Friday. But I had good putts. Right now what is working is my driving and my putting. If you drive in the middle and you putt well, youre going to make some birdies. This is the key. But this course still demands a lot of thinking. You can be five feet from the hole and be dead.
 
Han (67), who won at Corning three years ago, continued to take advantage of the four generous par-5s. Over the first two rounds, she had six birdies and two pars on those holes and briefly tied Icher at 14 under with a birdie at the par-4 sixth hole before dropping back with a pair of bogeys on her final three holes.
 
It was pretty important, Han said of her scoring on the par-5s. But there are lots of good players out there. Someone tomorrow can come out and go 10 or 11 under.
 
This is the final Corning Classic, and Lee is accustomed to playing in this atmosphere. She won the final Shoprite LPGA Classic in 2006, the final HSBC Womens World Match Play Championship in 2007, and the final Ginn Tribute last year.
 
I didnt think about that, Lee said. If I win, its another.
 
The summerlike weather continued, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-80s, and attendance swelled. Parking lots adjacent to the course were full by 10 a.m. and another downtown at the Corning Museum of Glass also was full as fans were being encouraged to park at a nearby mall and take shuttle buses.
 
The Corning Classic, the smallest event on the LPGA and the only one thats had the same title sponsor and been staged at the same venue every year since its inception (1979), will not be staged next year. Tournament officials announced in April that they could not afford to renew their contract with the LPGA because of financial problems after title sponsor Corning Inc. pulled out.
 
Divots: Kristy McPherson aced the par-3 third hole with a 4-hybrid from 189 yards. It was her second career ace and 21st in the history of the Corning Classic. Sun Young Yoo, Hee-Won Han and Meena Lee each eagled the par-4 10th hole and Cristie Kerr eagled the par-4 13th hole with an 8-iron from 139 yards. Rookie Michelle Wie, who tied for third a week ago at the Sybase Classic, rebounded from her opening 73 with a 5-under 67 to make the cut.
 
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  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


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    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

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    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


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    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

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    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

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    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

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