Lewis overtakes Miyazato for Founders title, gains top ranking

By Associated PressMarch 17, 2013, 10:43 pm

PHOENIX – The determined Texan who wore a back brace 18 hours a day for six years as a teen has fought her way to the top of women's golf.

Stacy Lewis jumped from third to first in the world rankings, ending Yani Tseng's 109-week run at No. 1 with a comeback victory Sunday in the LPGA Founders Cup.

Diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 11, Lewis had to have major back surgery when the brace failed to correct the curvature in her spine.

''I was going into surgery to put a rod and five screws in my back,'' Lewis said. ''That was just 10 years ago. That's not normal, that's not supposed to happen. I mean, I'm not, I'm really not supposed to be here. People with metal in their back, how do you play golf? I don't know. I don't know how. I don't know why I'm here. I know that there's a reason and I know that everything happens for a reason.''


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Coming off a victory two weeks ago in Singapore, the 28-year-old Lewis won her seventh LPGA title. She won the 2011 Kraft Nabisco and has six victories in her last 23 events.

''I'm having a blast on the golf course, and to be No. 1 in the world, it's what everybody out here on tour is working for and to be that person is, I mean, I really don't even know what to say,'' said Lewis, the tour player of the year last year after winning four times.

She's the second American to top the rankings that began in 2006. Cristie Kerr was No. 1 for five weeks over three stints in 2010.

''It's crazy,'' Lewis said. ''That was my goal kind of since the middle of last year and I really didn't think it would be possible this quick. ... I'm going to have fun, I know that. I watched Yani struggle with it for too long and I'm going to go have fun.''

Lewis beat Ai Miyazato by three strokes, closing with an 8-under 64 at Desert Ridge to finish with a tournament-record 23-under 265 total on the cactus-lined Wildfire layout. Miyazato, three strokes ahead with six holes to play, finished with a 71.

The tournament turned with a three-stroke swing on the 16th hole, a day after Lewis was penalized two strokes for her caddie's blunder on the short par 4.

On Sunday, Lewis took a two-stroke lead with a birdie after Miyazato made a double bogey following an errant approach shot that left her with an unplayable lie in a desert bush.

Miyazato took an unexpected four-stroke lead over Lewis and Jee Young Lee into the final round when Lewis was penalized after play Saturday when it was ruled that caddie Travis Wilson tested the sand before Lewis played out of a bunker on No. 16.

''I wasn't even mad at him because he didn't do anything on purpose,'' Lewis said. ''I just felt really bad for him just because all the stories were 'Stacy Lewis' caddie, Stacy Lewis' caddie.' The spotlight was on him and he never wants that. We were so motivated today.''

Miyazato was a stroke ahead on the 16th tee and was seemingly in perfect position after splitting the fairway on the 307-yard hole. But the straight-hitting Japanese star's pitching wedge sailed left, hit on the bank near the edge of the green and rolled into the desert bush.

''My shot was like totally in between clubs,'' Miyazato said. ''I hit the pitching wedge, but my instinct said that it was an easy 9, so it was a little bit indecisive and that's why I pulled my shot.''

Instead of playing again from the fairway, she elected to drop in sand in the desert, leaving her with an uphill shot with little green to work with. Her shot from the desert went to the far edge of the green and she two-putted for a double-bogey 6.

''I decided I would take a drop almost like in a bunker position and I thought we had that little backstop behind the pin, so I thought I could make it stop a little bit more,'' Miyazato said. ''It was kind of a little flat when I dropped, so it was hard.''

Lewis, a 12-time winner at the University of Arkansas, found the right fairway bunker off the tee, hit to 15 feet and holed the birdie putt.

''I was shocked that she hit the shot she did,'' Lewis said. ''That is not like Ai at all. She's green, green. I mean, it's boring to play with her because she hits so many greens.''

Lewis added an 18-footer on the par-3 17th for her third straight birdie.

''I was certainly surprised she finished the way she did, but to make those two putts I did on 16 and 17 was pretty unbelievable,'' Lewis said. ''I'm really speechless. I played great and I was super motivated from all that happened yesterday and just happy for Travis.

''Weird things happen when you play enough golf rounds and I told him that over and over and over again. He would have felt horrible if we lost by two, so that's why I just put the dagger in and made some more putts there coming in.''

Miyazato also tied for second last year at Desert Ridge, a stroke behind Tseng. The nine-time tour winner was playing for the first time since sustaining a whiplash injury in a five-vehicle crash last month in Bangkok after the LPGA Thailand.

''All in all, I had a good day,'' Miyazato said. ''I have a good feeling and my play was really solid, just the one bad shot on 16. I was a little disappointed.''

DIVOTS: Lewis earned $225,000 to push her tour-leading total to $526,364. She donated $50,000 to LPGA-USGA Girls Golf. ... Angela Stanford was third at 17 under after a 68. ... Tseng shot a 70 to tie for 59th at 4 under. ... Lee, the second-round leader after opening 65-64, closed 72-72 to tie for fourth at 16 under.


Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

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.