MJ Hur looks to defend at Safeway Classic
Just a few days later, at the Canadian Women’s Open, fans were congratulating the South Korean golfer and asking for her autograph. It simply didn’t occur to Hur that she was famous.
“Some in the gallery have my picture and say ‘Can I get an autograph?’ Already! Like after only one or two days!” she said.
It was Hur’s first win on the LPGA Tour, and only since. She beat Suzann Pettersen with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff at the tournament west of Portland. Michele Redman was eliminated on the first extra hole.
She remembers watching Pettersen and Redmen birdie the No. 17 hole, knowing the trio was headed for the playoff.
“I feel very nervous but in a different way, like very confident: `I can hit this ball straight.’ Seemed like the same as practice,” she recalled.
This year’s Safeway Classic starts Friday at the 6,546-yard, par-72 Ghost Creek Course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, about a 20 minute drive from Portland. It is the tournament’s second-year on the rural course at the base of the Coastal Range after 19 years at Columbia Edgewater County Club.
Cristie Kerr won in 2008 at Columbia Edgewater, beating Helen Alfredsson and Sophie Gustafson with a 15-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole.
Kerr, who won the State Farm Classic and LPGA Championship in June, just became the top-ranked player in the world while taking time off after the Women’s British Open. She didn’t even know about it until some friends e-mailed her.
Kerr, who was also ranked No. 1 earlier this year, wants to hold on to her status this time.
“There’s a lot of people contending for No. 1 in the world this year. And to be able to stay there I’ve just got to play well and every week just be consistent,” she said. “That’s my goal for the rest of the year.”
Others in the Safeway Classic field include Yani Tseng, who won her third major championship trophy two weeks ago at Royal Birkdale, and Michelle Wie, looking for her second victory after taking last year’s the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Fan favorite Natalie Gulbis had to withdraw because of ongoing back trouble.
Hur earned followers in Portland for her graciousness in victory last year. Long after her tournament-winning birdie—after addressing reporters, posing for pictures and shaking hands with sponsors—she returned to the 18th green and signed autographs for the lingering spectators.
Her best finish this season was a tie for second at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey in June.
She says she’s more than ready to win again and has been practicing for the past couple of weeks in Florida. The issue lately is fading in the later rounds, she explained.
“My goal this year is one more win, because I think after I have one more win I can get more and more, like every year,” she said.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.
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
Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.
With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.
Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.
The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.
In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.