Lewis leads Women's Open, amateur Anderson one back

By Associated PressJuly 8, 2011, 8:36 pm

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Stacy Lewis waited an entire day to hit her first shot at the U.S. Women’s Open. It didn’t take nearly as long for her to find the top of the leaderboard.

Seeking her second major championship of the season, Lewis made four birdies over the last nine holes of the first round Friday to take a one-shot lead into lunch.

Less than an hour later, she was back on the course for the second round – a 36-hole day on tap, as the players try to make up ground after being rained out Thursday.

The delays will turn the U.S. Open into a bigger endurance contest than it already is. But for starters, Lewis was in good form.

“It’s in the back of your mind when you’re walking up those hills at the end,” Lewis said of the long day of golf. “But everybody’s got to do it, so you’ve just got to go out and do it, too.”

Trailing Lewis by a shot were Ryann O’Toole and newly turned pro Lizette Salas, who also had afternoon tee times.

“It’s kind of nerve wracking, but it comes with the territory,” said Salas, a four-time All-American from Southern California.

Also in the three-way tie for second was amateur Amy Anderson, who came to the Broadmoor early Friday to finish her first round, but won’t start her second until Saturday morning, at the earliest.

“It’s exciting; hasn’t sunk in,” said Anderson, a second-team All-American at North Dakota State. “To me, it’s felt like another tournament, just on the tour.”

All the tour’s best are here, though Lewis, who won the Kraft Nabisco earlier this year, came in overshadowed – like everybody else – by Yani Tseng. Tseng is seeking to complete the career grand slam and is only two weeks removed from a 10-stroke victory at the LPGA Championship.

She went wire-to-wire in that one, but won’t repeat that at the 7,000-yard Broadmoor. She struggled keeping it straight – hitting only eight of 14 fairways – and finished the first round at 2-over 73.

“I kind of got used to the golf course,” Tseng said. “And then, I just kind of have to go back in the afternoon.”

Tseng was one shot behind defending champion Paula Creamer, who hit 14 greens in regulation but was often hitting her first putts from 20, 30 feet away.

“You can definitely shoot a good score,” Creamer said after her 72. “Maybe one green I missed all day, but I just had some three-putts.”

Karrie Webb was in a six-way tie for fifth at 1-under 70. Webb was among those who came to the course early to finish her round. She played three holes, made a birdie on the last one, then went home to sit through a long wait.

Cristie Kerr also had a quick day. Kerr shared the lead with Anderson overnight and faced a long bunker shot in front of the seventh green when she returned early Friday. She couldn’t save par there and also bogeyed No. 8. She finished her round at even-par 71, but walked off the course with a good outlook.

“I’m not going to stress over it,” she said. “I’m pleased I have a lot of time to work on my game with my coach. I’m going to get rested up, because it’s going to be a long weekend.”

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com 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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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.