A. Lee (67) leads by two at Kingsmill

By Associated PressMay 16, 2015, 12:33 am

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Alison Lee shot a 4-under 67 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead in the LPGA Tour's Kingsmill Championship.

The 20-year-old Lee, still a student at UCLA after turning pro in December, had a 9-under 133 total on Kingsmill Resort's River Course.

''Anything can happen. This tournament is only halfway over,'' Lee said. ''I'm going to try my best to stay focused and stay in the game.''

Lee tied for fourth in the Kia Classic in March in California and has three top-25 finishes.

''Coming into today, I felt really confident, especially after my round yesterday,'' Lee said. ''I was striking the ball well, was putting well and got it rolling on the front nine.''

She birdied the par-4 first to reach 4 under for the day, dropped a stroke on the par-4 sixth, rebounded with a birdie on the par-5 seventh and closed with two pars.

''Too bad on the back,'' Lee said. ''I started to kind of lose a lot of the focus and a lot of my concentration and I was kind of struggling with my approach shots. Thankfully, I was able to make a lot of good saves and par saves coming down the stretch.''

Australia's Minjee Lee and France's Perrine Delacour were tied for second. The 18-year-old Minjee Lee had a 67, and Delacour shot 68.

Minjee Lee turned pro in September after leading Australia to victory in Japan in the Women's World Amateur Team Championship. She eagled the par-5 third, hitting a 4-iron about 200 yards to 7 feet.

''This is my rookie year and kind of the first time I've been in this situation, so it's going to be a whole new experience,'' Minjee Lee said. ''My mindset? I just want to have fun with my caddie and play some really good golf. Nothing too serious.''

Delacour eagled No. 7, hitting a 3-wood to 10 feet

''I got a lucky bounce and hit the green in two,'' Delacour said.

So Yeon Ryu was 6 under after a 69.

''To be honest, my shot is not that really great,'' Ryu said. ''But really good thing is when I had a chance I made pretty much everything.''

Suzann Pettersen, Christina Kim, Jing Yan and Catriona Matthew were 5 under. Pettersen shot a 65 for the best round of the day, Kim had a 68, and Yan and Matthew shot 67.

''As far as I know this is a four-day tournament,'' Pettersen said. ''It's always nice to get a good start. Played OK yesterday, just didn't get anything out of my round. Scored well today. Course is in great shape. The greens are really, really good.''

Second-ranked Inbee Park was 3 under after a 67. She won the North Texas Shootout two weeks ago for her second victory of the year.

First-round leader Joanna Klatten followed her opening 65 with a 75 to drop into a tie for 22nd at 2 under.

Top-ranked Lydia Ko and Canadian teen Brooke Henderson also were in the group at 2 under. Ko, a two-time winner this season, and Henderson, playing on a sponsor exemption, each shot 69.

Third-ranked No. 3 Stacy Lewis had a 74 to drop to 1 over.

Defending champion Lizette Salas missed the cut with rounds of 74 and 73. Three-time Kingsmill winner Cristie Kerr also dropped out, shooting 73-76.

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McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days engaging pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGCC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

“I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.