LPGA resumes with Canadian Pacific Women's Open

By Associated PressAugust 23, 2017, 10:15 pm

If there's a major feel to this week's Canadian Pacific Women's Open, it might be because this tournament used to be one of the LPGA's majors.

It helps, too, that the event has drawn a stellar field, as the Tour gets back into a full-fledged swing after a week off and last week's Solheim Cup.

The field of 156 competitors will vie for the $2.25 million purse as the championship returns to Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club in the nation's capital for the first time since 2008. The 2017 winner's prize is $337,500 and 500 Race to the CME Globe points.

It's the 23rd event of the LPGA season and second of the year to be held in Canada.

This year's Canadian Pacific Women's Open will feature 92 of the top 100 players on the LPGA's Official Money List, including 22 of the top 25.

Leading the roster of players this week is top-ranked So Yeon Ryu of South Korea and defending champion and world No. 3 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, who won in a playoff earlier this year at the Manulife LPGA Classic in Hamilton, Ontario.

Three-time Canadian Pacific Women's Open winner Lydia Ko of New Zealand looks to break through here for her first victory of the season.

Also in the field are former Canadian Pacific Women's Open champions Laura Davies of England (1996) and Australians Karrie Webb (1999) and Katherine Kirk, who won in 2008, the last time the tournament was contested at Ottawa Hunt.

Nineteen-year-old Brooke Henderson, who lives about 40 miles up the road in Smith Falls, Ontario, tees it up this week as the Canadian favorite and hometown hero. Henderson, who's ranked 10th in the world, won earlier this season at the Meijer LPGA Classic.

And while any victory is a good one, capturing the title here at her national championship would certainly be just that much sweeter.

"This championship isn't a major anymore, but for us Canadians, it really is," Henderson said of the event that was played as an LPGA major in 1979-2000 as the du Maurier Classic.

"This is a tournament that I would love to hoist that trophy, and especially here in Ottawa. Growing up, I dreamed of playing on the LPGA Tour. Now I'm fortunate enough to do that every single week and play against the best players. To now have them here, basically, in my backyard and to compete against them is pretty cool."

Henderson is one of 14 Canadian players trying to join Jocelyne Bourassa as the only native winner of this championship. Bourassa, who was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1996, won the inaugural event in 1973.

Lorie Kane, one of Canada's golf stalwarts and a member on the short list of this nation's most beloved athletes, will play in her 27th consecutive Canadian Pacific Women's Open this week. Kane has four wins and 99 top-10 finishes in her career, which began in 1996, while bankrolling almost $7 million in lifetime earnings.

"Holy smokes -- where has the time gone?" Kane said when reminded of a 27-year streak of playing in this championship. "What I'm looking forward to is teeing it up on Thursday and putting my best foot forward. I'm not getting to play a lot of tournament golf, but I do feel pretty good about things and ready to go."

Nineteen of the 24 competitors from last week's Solheim Cup are in the field in Canada's capital city, including nine golfers from the victorious U.S. squad. Included in that group is a trio of former Canadian Pacific Women's Open champions including Cristie Kerr (2006), Michelle Wie (2010), and Brittany Lincicome (2011). Stacy Lewis, Austin Ernst, Angel Yin, Brittany Lang, Paula Creamer, and Danielle Kang, a major champion this year, will join that threesome.

On the European side, 10 of the 12 competitors will head to Canada this week, including Suzann Pettersen of Norway, who had to withdraw last week because of injury.

She will be joined by Anna Nordqvist and Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden, Carlota Ciganda of Spain, Karine Icher of France, Caroline Masson of Germany, Emily Pedersen of Denmark and Mel Reid and Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England.

This week's Canadian Pacific Women's Open is the 22nd event in the season-long Race to the CME Globe (the Solheim Cup did not count for points).

World No. 2 Lexi Thompson currently leads the standings with 2,642 points, followed by Ryu (2,587) and Jutanugarn (2,204).

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

What it means: Jordan 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.

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. 

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."