Late birdie spree gives Lee lead

By Associated PressMarch 16, 2013, 1:13 am

PHOENIX – Jee Young Lee birdied three of the last four holes to take a one-stroke lead over Ai Miyazato on another hot day at the LPGA Founders Cup.

Lee, the 27-year-old South Korean player who won the LPGA Tour's 2005 South Korean event before becoming a tour member, had a bogey-free 8-under 64 on Friday to reach 15-under 129. She broke the tournament 36-hole record of 12 under set by Angela Stanford in 2011 in the inaugural event.

''I've waited so long, like seven, eight years,'' Lee said. ''I really want to win this week. But two days more, two days left, so I'm going to try to keep being more confident and patient.''

She played in the morning wave before the temperature climbed into the low 90s on Desert Ridge's cactus-lined Wildfire layout.


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''My driver was good,'' Lee said. ''My tee shots keep in the fairway, and then my irons are pretty good, better than yesterday, and my putting works a little bit more.''

Miyazato bogeyed her final hole for a 67 a day after shooting a tournament-record 63. The Japanese star is playing her first event since sustaining a whiplash injury three weeks ago in a five-vehicle crash in Thailand.

''I'm very happy with my round,'' Miyazato said. ''I made eight birdies out there. I had three bogeys, but still a lot of birdies, so it just feels good. ... I kept hitting the fairways and I kept hitting to the green, and I had 29 putts, which is like my green regulation.''

Third-ranked Stacy Lewis, coming off a victory two weeks ago in Singapore, was four strokes back in third after a 65. She holed out from 109 yards for eagle on the par-4 16th – her seventh hole of the day – and played the her back nine in 4 under with five birdies and a bogey.

''I just really didn't have any birdie putts the first few holes and then just hit a shot on 16 that was perfect,'' Lewis said. ''From there, I made about an 8-footer for par on one and I think that really kept the momentum going and I hit some good shots on the back nine and made putts.''

Lewis has a chance to take the top spot in the world from Yani Tseng with a victory.

''If I ever get to No 1, I'm going to enjoy it because I never as a kid dreamed of being in that position,'' Lewis said. ''It's definitely on my mind.''

Tseng, the defending champion, was 2 under after a 72. She entered the week with a 22-event, 50-week winless streak, while Lewis has won five times in her last 22 tournaments.

''I think Yani's put a lot of pressure on herself,'' Lewis said. ''I think she's kind of taken the expectations up another level and I definitely think the state she's at right now with her game, I think if she did lose it, I think she would start to play better.''

Lewis and Tseng played alongside Paula Creamer in the first two rounds. Creamer, also shaken up in the car accident on the way to the Bangkok airport, was 5 under after a 70.

Second-ranked Na Yeon Choi, also with a chance to move up to No. 1 with a victory, was 3 under after a 72.

Michelle Wie missed the cut with rounds of 74 and 72. She also missed the cut in Australia, finished 45th in Thailand and tied for 45th in Singapore – both no-cut events. In 12 rounds this year, Wie – using an awkward hunched-over putting stance – has broken 70 only once, closing with a 69 in Singapore after a third-round 77.

Suzann Petterssen also missed the cut, shooting 73-71. The Norwegian player, ranked No. 7 in the world, was coming off a victory Sunday in China in a Ladies European Tour event.

DIVOTS: Kim Welch had a hole-in-one of the 163-yard 14th, using a 6-iron. She missed the cut by a stroke with rounds of 71 and 72. It was the third ace of the week. On Thursday, Jennifer Gleason also had one on the 14th, and Meena Lee holed out on the sixth. Jane Rah had a rare double-eagle 2 on No. 15 in the first round, holing a 3-wood shot from 226 yards. It was the 32nd albatross in tour history. ... Jaclyn Sweeney also missed the cut, shooting 71 and 72. She earned a spot in the field last month with a victory in the Symetra Tour's season-opening VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic.


Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.