Korda breaks out of pack to win in Mobile

By Associated PressMay 25, 2014, 10:28 pm

MOBILE, Ala. - Jessica Korda won the Airbus LPGA Classic on Sunday for her second victory of the year, birdieing four of the last five holes to break out of a tight pack.

Korda made a breaking 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th for a 7-under 65 and a one-stroke victory over Anna Nordqvist.

Also the winner in the season-opening event in the Bahamas, Korda played the back nine in 6-under 30 to finish at 20-under 268 on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Magnolia Grove complex.

''It just sets up great for my game,'' said Korda, who shot 20 under last year and tied for second. ''I can be aggressive. I can read the greens. My confidence just was rising every single day. I just love it here. I love Alabama, I love this golf course, and hopefully we'll have this tournament for a very, very long time.''

Nordqvist also birdied the 18th and finished with a 69.

Michelle Wie, 18-year-old Charley Hull and 44-year-old Catriona Matthew tied for third at 18 under. Wie and Hull shot 67, and Matthew had a 69.


Full-field scores from the Airbus LPGA Classic


Wie played alongside Korda and Hull.

''I love playing with Korda,'' Wie said. ''It's also really great playing with Charley as well, too. You feel old but it was a lot of fun.''

Wie, the winner last month in Hawaii, has seven top-10 finishes in 10 starts this year.

''I knew I needed a low score,'' Wie said. ''I got hot starting on and just didn't quite get it together on the back nine, but still I shot 5 under today and there's really nothing I can do. I'm just really happy for Korda. I had a lot of fun playing with her and I knew I needed a low number and I just didn't hit it low enough.''

Korda, whose father, Petr, won the 1998 Australian Open tennis tournament and mother, Regina Raichrtova, also played pro tennis, started the day three strokes behind 54-hole leader Nordqvist and managed only one birdie on the front nine.

''Yesterday was a little frustrating because I was always around the hole and same thing actually on the front nine, watching Michelle make putt after putt after putt and mine were just kind of missing,'' Korda said. ''I was like, OK, it's time to drop now. Then they started dropping on the back nine. It was a really relaxed day, so I really enjoyed the walk.''

She birdied Nos. 10 and 12 to join a six-way tie for the lead, with three more players one shot off the pace in the birdie-fest.

''Charley was making birdies, Michelle was making birdies and everybody behind us was making birdies, so I knew I had to keep making birdies,'' Korda said.

Korda broke out of that logjam with a curling downhill birdie putt at the 14th hole, then took the lead for good with a 25-foot birdie on No. 15.

She protected that small lead with a birdie at the par-5 16th and her closing birdie on the 18th.

''That last putt broke really hard,'' Korda said. ''I probably played it about a yard out and I was just trying to get it down there close and it went in. I have not played well since I won in the Bahamas but I've been working hard and it finally paid off here.''

Second-ranked Stacy Lewis had a 71 to tie for 10th at 15 under. She needed a solo third or higher to take the top spot in the world from Inbee Park.

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

"He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

"I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

"From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

"And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

"There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

Ko told GolfChannel.com Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

“It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

"It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."