Miyazato leads by three at Safeway Classic
The Japanese star was 11 under on Pumpkin Ridge’s Ghost Creek Course.
Juli Inkster was tied for second at 8 under with Song-Hee Kim (64) and Na Yeon Choi (67) after an apparent 67, but the 50-year-old Hall of Famer was disqualified because she used a weighted training aid on her club to stay loose while waiting to make the turn at the 10th hole.
Miyazato has won four tournaments this season and is among five players in a tight battle for the No. 1 spot in the rankings. Cristie Kerr is currently No. 1, followed by Miyazato, Jiyai Shin, Suzann Pettersen and Yani Tseng.
About the only trouble Miyazato had was on the par-4 12th when she hit over the green from a bunker. She muffed her shot and was still in the rough – but she was able to hole it in from there to settle for a bogey.
“It went in, and it was really lucky, I think,” she said, marveling that it wasn’t worse.
Shin and Kerr were both in contention at 7 under. Kerr won the event in 2008 when it was played at Columbia Edgewater Golf Club near Portland International Airport. The tournament moved last year to Pumpkin Ridge, about a 20-minute drive from Portland in rural farmland near the base of the Cascade Range.
South Korea’s Ji Young Oh shot a second-round 64 to top a group of four players at 6 under. She would have had the best round of her career had she not bogeyed the par-4 No. 18, but overall she was pleased.
“I had a good shot and a good putter,” she said. “So everything was good.”
Kim also shot a second-round 64. In her last 22 tournaments, Kim has 17 top-10 finishes.
“The first thing, the weather was perfect,” she said. said. “And the course condition was pretty good, too.”
Inkster was stern-faced and left the course quickly after learning of her disqualification. Later, she issued a brief statement.
“I had a 30-minute wait and I needed to loosen up,” she said. “It had no effect on my game whatsoever, but it is what it is. I’m very disappointed.”
Inkster broke rule 14-3, which says that a player cannot make a stroke or practice swing using a club with a weighted doughnut or any other training device or swing aid.
LPGA Director of Tournament Competitions Sue Witters said a viewer watching the television broadcast brought the violation to the attention of tournament officials.
Witters said officials did not become aware there was a problem until Inkster was already on the 17th hole. She was surprised when told, Witters said.
“Totally surprised,” Witters said. “I mean, there was no malice there. Her sole reason for doing it was because she had been waiting 30 minutes and had to warm up.”
M.J. Hur, the defending champion, was at 4 over and did not make the projected cut. The Safeway Classic is her first and only title to date.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18