Kerr seeks third major, first win of the year at Women's British

By Associated PressJuly 26, 2011, 4:41 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Two-time major winner Cristie Kerr is hoping her love of links golf will help her secure a first victory of the season at the Women’s British Open.

The American, whose best finish at the British Open was a share of second place at Royal Lytham in 2006, is second in the LPGA money list behind defending champion Yani Tseng of Taiwan – despite failing to win a tournament this year.

“It’s a bit frustrating but you’ve just got to keep plugging away,” Kerr said Tuesday. “Hopefully this will be my week.”

The British Open, which begins on Thursday, is being played at Carnoustie for the first time in its 35-year history.

“I always enjoy playing links golf,” said Kerr, winner of the LPGA Championship last year and the 2007 U.S. Open. “People think it’s kind of shocking that this is my favorite kind of golf, but I love it.

“I like golf where you don’t have to be perfect, where the bounces are going to be different and it’s interesting every day.”

Despite only having a chance to look at eight holes since arriving in Carnoustie, Kerr was looking forward to the challenge of playing the historic course – even if the weather turns bad.

“It’s just perfect weather right now but as we know it never plays the same in a tournament as it does in practice,” she said. “We’re supposed to get some rain or something by Thursday so it could be very different.”

The last American to win the British Open was three-time champion Sherri Steinhauer in 2006. Steinhauer is one of nine former champions in the field that includes Laura Davies, the Englishwoman who won at Royal Birkdale in 1986, and Karrie Webb of Australia, also a victor on three previous occasions.

Another member of that contingent is the 22-year-old Tseng, who took the title at Royal Birkdale last year. She became the youngest woman to win four majors when she claimed her second LPGA Championship title last month, having also won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2010.

One American on top form coming into Carnoustie is Stacy Lewis, winner of this year’s Kraft Nabisco and runner-up to Ai Miyazato of Japan at the Evian Masters in Paris last weekend.

Lewis has five top-10 career finishes in majors and will be hoping to add to that total this week.

“I was really happy with the way I handled things at the Evian,” she said. “Just the pressure of being in the last couple of groups the last two days. It’s just getting more comfortable out there, and it’s a good time for me.”

Lewis, like most if the field, was also having her first look at the course.

“I really enjoy links-style golf. You have to be creative and hit different types of shots,” she said. “I think the weather actually looks pretty good, so hopefully we won’t get too much rain. But it will be windy and you have to play some low shots.

“You’ve got to putt well at any major championship, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Coming into the British Open after her victory in Paris, sixth-ranked Miyazato was delighted with her form as she bids for her first major.

“I’m really so happy to be here. It’s an amazing golf course,” Miyazato said. “The greens are really slopey which will make it very interesting to play.

“You need to really commit with the tee shots, in fact with every single shot on every single hole and it will be different every day.”


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McCoy earns medalist honors at 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 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 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 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.