Kim wins Ochoa playoff for first victory in 9 years

By Associated PressNovember 16, 2014, 11:30 pm

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Christina Kim won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour title in nine years, beating Shanshan Feng in a playoff after losing a five-stroke lead.

Kim won with a tap-in par on the par-4 18th on the second extra hole at Club de Golf Mexico.

''This is the greatest win in my life, without a doubt,'' Kim said.

The 30-year-old American celebrated with an exuberant dance and jumped up and down on the green. Kim hugged caddie T.J. Jones, boyfriend Duncan French and friend Michelle Wie, with Wie wiping away tears after embracing the winner. French is Wie's caddie.

''I can't put into words how I'm feeling right now. Kim said. ''I'm still riding so many emotions. It feels surreal. I can't explain. I'm so overwhelmed right now. I'm so proud and honored to be a champion for such an incredible tournament.''


Lorena Ochoa Invitational: Articles, videos and photos


Kim won for the first time since the Tournament of Champions in November 2005, ending a 221-tournament victory drought. She also won the 2004 Longs Drug Challenge.

''She jumped up and she was really happy,'' Feng said. ''I felt the same thing. I was really happy for her because she's a good player, good person.''

Feng, from China, drove left on the second playoff hole, with her ball settling too close to a tree truck for her to do anything but chip sideways into the fairway. With Kim already pin high 20 feet right of the hole, Feng hit her 9-iron approach to 25 feet - also to the right. Her par putt slid by the right edge, and Kim two-putted for the emotional victory.

Feng had a birdie putt to win on No. 18 on the first playoff hole, but left her 15-footer inches short and left. Kim then made a 5-foot par putt to extend the playoff.

Kim bogeyed the final hole of regulation - running a 3-footer past the left edge - for a 1-under 71 that left her tied with Feng at 15-under 273.

''My brain just didn't work right there,'' Kim said.

Feng shot 66.

''I thought other than Christina, the rest of us were competing for second place,'' Feng said. ''I never thought I could catch up. ... I had a really solid run.''

After bogeying Nos. 14 and 15 to fall into a tie, Kim rebounded with birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 to take a one-stroke lead.

''I was just thinking that there were still chances for me to make birdie,'' Kim said. ''All the last four days I was thinking, 'What would Lorena do?' She would gather herself. She would know that she has the ability to make more birdies and just play her best. And whatever happens, happens.''

Feng played the four par 5s in 5 under, making an eagle on No. 2 and birdies on Nos. 6, 11 and 17, and chipped in for birdie on the par-4 15th. She won the LPGA Malaysia last month.

''She shot 6 under. She played lights out,'' Kim said. ''It was a very easy round to watch her play. She just made it look so easy while I was bumbling around with the trees.''

Top-ranked Inbee Park was third at 11 under after a 68. Brittany Lincicome and So Yeon Ryu followed at 9 under. Lincicome had a 69, and Ryu shot 71.

Lexi Thompson, the winner last year at Guadalajara Country Club, holed out from 129 yards for a double eagle on No. 2. She finished with a 73, also making two double bogeys, five bogeys and five birdies, to tie for 15th in the 36-player field at 3 under.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.