Kerr beats Pettersen in LPGA Kingsmill playoff

By Associated PressMay 6, 2013, 12:04 am

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Cristie Kerr watched her short winning par putt fall on the second hole of a playoff against Suzann Pettersen, hugged her caddie, a few players who stayed around to watch and had one more hug she had waited a long time to give.

''Where's my dad?'' Kerr said during the celebration Sunday on the 18th hole at Kingsmill's River Course.

Her dad, Michael Kerr, was on his way – as fast as his motorized cart would take him.

''I rarely get nervous when she plays,'' he said. 'I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. This was the most nervous I have been. It wasn't just the playoff. It was the last three holes. Honestly, I was in the bar drinking, which I don't normally do.''

Kerr's victory in the Kingsmill Championship, the 16th of her career and third in the event, was the first one with her dad present. A Vietnam veteran and career school teacher who has had both knees replaced, he stayed with her throughout her round, then took the cart to the bar, figuring he couldn't maneuver well enough to keep up in the big crowd.

''For the last 17 years, I've been dreaming of watching her win a professional tournament,'' he said. ''It was a dream come true. If I never see anything else in my life, this was it and this was the best thing that's ever happened to me.''

His daughter made it so with a refusal to lose, even when she failed to cash in on her best shot of the day, an approach on the first extra hole that left her with a 6-foot putt to win. It never even touched the cup, sliding by on the right.

''I wasn't going to lose, not today, not with my dad here,'' Kerr said.


Kerr talks Pettersen intimidation factor

Highlights: Kerr beats Pettersen in Kingsmill playoff


She almost let the prospect of having the moment take it away.

''I thought about it a little bit more like before I hit that first putt in the playoff,''' Kerr said of her desire to win with her father watching. ''I thought about it a little more and I got a little emotional. Maybe that's why I pushed it and didn't make it.

''The second time, I was going to make sure, 'OK, I can think about that after. Let's take care of what we've got to take care of right now,''' Kerr said she told herself. ''Emotions are good, though. We need emotions to play good.''

Kerr closed with a 2-under 69, and Pettersen had a 67 to finish at 12-under 272 on the River Course.

The final pairing had a Solheim Cup feel to it, but Kerr was pleased with the way she stayed within herself.

''I was really just proud of the way I tried to tend and take care of my own game today, especially with Suzann,'' she said. ''She likes to try and intimidate people out there, but I'm not really easily intimidated so I just took care of my own game.''

Pettersen, whose first career victory came in a playoff at Kingsmill in 2007, had won at Hawaii in a playoff a few weeks ago, and lost for only the third time in eight career playoff appearances. She didn't stick around for the celebration.

''I had a chance to win outright on 18 in regulation and I hit a good putt,'' Pettersen told LPGA officials when reached by telephone. ''Obviously, it's disappointing to lose in the playoff, but there was a lot of good to take from it.''

It was the second year in the row the tournament ended in a playoff.

Last year, Paula Creamer and Jiyai Shin played the longest two-player playoff in LPGA history – nine holes – before Shin won. The victory came Monday morning, after the two played the 18th hole eight times in a row Sunday night.

The playoff format was changed for this year, with the plan to play No. 18 three times, then move to the par-4 16th, where Shin finally won last year, but Kerr made sure the huge gallery that lined the closing fairway got to see it end.

The finish turned into a two-player battle after looking like it might get wild.

Ariya Jutanugarn, the Thai 17-year-old who led after the first two rounds, made five birdies on the back nine in a 66 to surge into a tie for third with Ilhee Lee, who closed with a career-best 67.

Angela Stanford also had a share of third until the final hole, when she lipped out a short par putt for her first bogey in a closing 69. She shared fifth place with Stacy Lewis, who closed with a 70.

At one point, Pettersen led by a shot, with Kerr, Jutanugarn, Lee and Stanford all one back.

Kerr led most of the day, but when she missed the 14th green to the right, Pettersen hit her approach close. Kerr's sidehill chip left her a long two-putt, and Pettersen's birdie created a two-shot swing and put her in front at 11 under.

Just as they walked off the green, Lee's third consecutive birdie moved her to 10 under, and Jutanugarn's fifth birdie in six holes also got her to minus 10. Moments later, Stanford rolled in an eagle putt on the par-5 15th to also get to minus 10.

The former champions wasted no time separating themselves again.

Kerr had a chance to regain a share of the lead at No. 15, but her makeable eagle putt slid just by on the left, and she and Pettersen both had short birdie putts, giving the leaders some breathing room.

Kerr, who made several tester putts to save par during her round, pulled even on the par-4 16th, rolling in another from inside 10 feet for birdie after Pettersen's longer birdie attempt missed.

Both parred in, with Pettersen's long birdie try at No. 18 missing right by half an inch, and Kerr having to make yet another tester, this one from about 6 feet, to force the sudden death playoff.

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Watch: Tiger's Saturday birdies at Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 24, 2018, 8:07 pm

Tiger Woods looks in complete control of his iron play at PGA National.

Four back to start the day, Woods parred his first seven holes before pouring in his first Saturday birdie with via this flagged iron from 139 at the par-4 eighth:

Woods' hit three more quality approaches at 9, 10 and 11 but couldn't get a putt to drop.

The lid finally came off the hole at No. 12 when he holed a key 17-footer for par to keep his scorecard clean.

One hole later, Woods would added a second circle to that card, converting this 14-footer for a birdie-3 that moved him back into red figures at 1 under par for the week.

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O. Fisher, Pepperell share lead at Qatar Masters

By Associated PressFebruary 24, 2018, 5:13 pm

DOHA, Qatar - Oliver Fisher birdied his last four holes in the Qatar Masters third round to share the lead at Doha Golf Club on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Englishman shot a 7-under 65 for an overall 16-under 200. Eddie Pepperell (66) picked up shots on the 16th and 18th to catch his compatriot and the pair enjoy a two-shot lead over American Sean Crocker (67) in third.

David Horsey (65) was the biggest mover of the day with the Englishman improving 31 places for a share of fourth place at 12 under with, among others, Frenchman Gregory Havret and Italian Andrea Pavan.

Fisher, winner of the 2011 Czech Open, made some stunning putts on his way in. After an eight-footer on the par-4 15th, he then drove the green on the short par-4 16th for an easy birdie, before making a 12-footer on the 17th and a 15-footer on the 18th.

Like Pepperell, Fisher also had just one bogey to show on his card, also on the 12th hole.


Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters


''I gave myself some chances coming in and thankfully I made them,'' said Fisher, who has dropped to 369th in the world rankings.

''You can quite easily make a few bogeys without doing that much wrong here, so it's important to be patient and keep giving yourself chances.''

Pepperell, ranked 154th in the world after a strong finish to his 2017 season, has been a picture of consistency in the tournament. He was once again rock-solid throughout the day, except one bad hole - the par-4 12th. His approach shot came up short and landed in the rocks, the third ricocheted back off the rocks, and he duffed his fourth shot to stay in the waste area.

But just when a double bogey or worse looked imminent, Pepperell holed his fifth shot for what was a remarkable bogey. And he celebrated that escape with a 40-feet birdie putt on the 13th.

''I maybe lost a little feeling through the turn, but I bounced back nicely and I didn't let it bother me,'' said the 27-year-old Pepperell, who hit his third shot to within four feet on the par-5 18th to join Fisher on top.

The long-hitting Crocker is playing on invites on the European Tour. He made a third eagle in three days - on the par-4 16th for the second successive round.

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 24, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


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Uihlein fires back at Jack in ongoing distance debate

By Randall MellFebruary 24, 2018, 4:32 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Wally Uihlein challenged Jack Nicklaus’ assault this week on the golf ball.

Uihlein, an industry force as president and CEO of Titleist and FootJoy parent company Acushnet for almost 20 years, retired at year’s start but remains an adviser.

In an interview with ScoreGolf on Friday, Uihlein reacted to Nicklaus’ assertions that the ball is responsible for contributing to a lot of the troubles the game faces today, from slow play and sagging participation to the soaring cost to play.

Uihlein also took the USGA and The R&A to task.

The ball became a topic when Nicklaus met with reporters Tuesday at the Honda Classic and was asked about slow play. Nicklaus said the ball was “the biggest culprit” of that.

“It appears from the press conference that Mr. Nicklaus was blaming slow play on technology and the golf ball in particular,” Uihlein said. “I don’t think anyone in the world believes that the golf ball has contributed to the game’s pace of play issues.”

Nicklaus told reporters that USGA executive director Mike Davis pledged over dinner with him to address the distance the golf ball is flying and the problems Nicklaus believes the distance explosion is creating in the game.

“Mike Davis has not told us that he is close, and he has not asked us for help if and when he gets there,” Uihlein said.

ScoreGolf pointed out that the Vancouver Protocol of 2011 was created after a closed-door meeting among the USGA, The R&A and equipment manufacturers, with the intent to make any proposed changes to equipment rules or testing procedures more transparent and to allow participation in the process.

“There are no golf courses being closed due to the advent of evolving technology,” Uihlein said. “There is no talk from the PGA Tour and its players about technology making their commercial product less attractive. Quite the opposite, the PGA Tour revenues are at record levels. The PGA of America is not asking for a roll back of technology. The game’s everyday player is not advocating a roll back of technology.”

ScoreGolf said Uihlein questioned why the USGA and The R&A choose courses that “supposedly” can no longer challenge the game’s best players as preferred venues for the U.S. Open, The Open and other high-profile events.

“It seems to me at some point in time that the media should be asking about the conflict of interest between the ruling bodies while at the same time conducting major championships on venues that maybe both the athletes and the technology have outgrown,” he said. “Because it is the potential obsolescence of some of these championship venues which is really at the core of this discussion.”