Kerr, Anderson lead suspended U.S. Women's Open

By Associated PressJuly 7, 2011, 8:15 pm

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Instead of teeing it up when she comes back to The Broadmoor, Cristie Kerr’s next shot at the U.S. Women’s Open will be a blast out of the bunker on the front, right side of the seventh green.

A difficult shot. It could be worse.

A quirky day of thunder and lightning – but only spits of rain – suspended play Thursday with 25 players making it through the first round. It was a bad break on the opening day of the toughest test in golf—balky weather that figures to turn one of the most difficult weeks on the schedule into an even bigger grind.

“That’s part of the gamble,” said Christina Kim, who will try to squeeze in 36 holes on Friday.

The rain halted a mini streak for Kerr, who had made two straight birdies to get into a tie for the lead at 2 under par with amateur Amy Anderson. After her second birdie, Kerr, who opened her round on the back, teed off into the right rough on No. 7, then hit her approach into the sand. That’s when the siren sounded and the players headed to the clubhouse.

“At least I’ll get to practice some long bunker shots before we go out, so maybe it’s a good thing for me,” she said.

After halting play, the U.S. Golf Association kept the players in the clubhouse for 2 1/2 hours, but with the thunder still rumbling and the radar blinking red, officials called play. There were 75 players on the course and 66 who hadn’t hit a shot. That means nearly half the field, including defending champion Paula Creamer and Yani Tseng, trying to complete her career grand slam, could face 72 holes in three days.

The Broadmoor is the first U.S. Women’s Open course to measure more than 7,000 yards – quite a haul, even at 6,700 feet in altitude.

“We were actually sitting here debating, what’s the better draw?” Kim said. “Is it the one we have and we try to get 36 in in one day, or the one where you have 19 hours between shots in the same round?”

Sarah-Jane Smith of Australia falls into the latter category, but only barely. After hearing her name announced on the first tee box, Smith striped her first shot down the middle of the fairway and started walking. Suddenly, the sirens blared and she made a U-turn back to the clubhouse.

“I’ve not teed off at all before,” she said. “But I’ve never hit one, then walked straight back in. I’m looking forward to it.”

Then, pointing to her husband and caddie, Duane, she said, “He should have the yardage figured out by tomorrow morning.”

For the record, Duane Smith says it will be a 150-yard shot when play resumes at 7:45 a.m. local time Friday.

And while Smith is sleeping on one good shot, Anderson will join Kerr in sleeping on the lead.

The second-team All-American from North Dakota State hit her approach on the par-5 ninth to tap-in range for her second birdie of the day. That put her at 2 under.

“The first-day leader,” she said. “That’s way more than I could have imagined.”

She needs to hold onto the lead for six more holes to make it official.

The only other players under par when play was suspended were Inbee Park (through 17), Ai Miyazato (15) and Silvia Cavalleri, who birdied her first hole before play was halted. Karrie Webb was in a group of nine still on the course at even. Michelle Wie was 7 over through 17 holes.

The best score posted among the 25 players who had finished belonged to Kristy McPherson, who shot 2-over 73. That was one shot ahead of Aree Song and seven-time major winner Juli Inkster. Before the clouds rolled in, Inkster stood for about five minutes on the fairway of the par-5, 17th hole, waiting for the green to clear before she tried a 250-yard approach shot on a hole that had been unreachable during the practice rounds.

The shot came up about 20 yards short and Inkster settled for par.

“It’s nice” to be done, Inkster said. “It’s been a while since I’ve been on the good side of the switch. It’s going to be a long day for them.”

Typical of the U.S. Open, rounds were averaging more than five hours. Some of the players were surprised the USGA didn’t wait a little longer before calling play, but the threat of rain and lightning never really abated. They’ll need perfect weather the rest of the week to close out this tournament on Sunday.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.