Notes Final-Hole Anger Mallon Contending

By Associated PressJune 23, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Dina Ammaccapane's first drive, though low, nearly cleared the water down the left side of Cherry Hills' 18th hole. Her second one wasn't really close.
Finally, on the third try -- her fifth shot -- Ammaccapane cleared the water.
She still wasn't done.
Unable to reach the green from the thick rough right of the fairway, Ammaccapane chopped a wedge out to the bottom of the hill. Her seventh shot hit the green and bounced through, then she chipped on and made the putt -- for a quintuple bogey nine on the 459-yard par-4.
``It's too long,'' said Ammaccapane, who shot a 12-over 83. ``The green's too small for a long iron and the long woods you're hitting up there. Either push it back and make it a par 5 or move us up and make it a good par 4.''
Ammaccapane wasn't the only one frustrated with No. 18 in the first round of the Women's U.S. Open on Thursday.
The uphill brute played almost a stroke over par at 4.727 and there were no birdies among the 132 players who came through before play was suspended. Only 57 players walked away with par and 14 had double bogey or worse, including triples by Kimberly Williams, Marisa Baena, Esther Choe and Mollie Fankhauser.
``A par on that hole, I'll take every day,'' said Paula Creamer, who's par on 18 helped her to a 3-over 74. ``It's a really good hole. A birdie on that hole is like getting two shots on everyone.''
That's for sure.
Not only is it the longest par-4 in the Open's 60-year history, it plays uphill and has a green designed for a par-5, which the members at Cherry Hills play it as. The fairway also slants severely from right to left, pushing drives toward the water down the right side and leaving players with hanging lies.
Only 18 percent of the players with morning tee times hit the green in regulation.
``You have to hit it perfect,'' Ammaccapane said. ``You have to hit it perfect down that left side, then you have a hook lie and you're 180 uphill. Is the green going to be receptive to a 4-iron? I don't know. It's not going to be a birdie hole, obviously.''
Brittany Lang is going to turn pro later this summer. She already has a nice entry on her resume.
Lang, a 19-year-old amateur who just won a national championship at Duke, shot 2-under-par 69 to share the first-day lead at the U.S. Open with Angela Stanford.
Lang said she felt she was playing well after her practice round Wednesday, but wasn't sure how she'd handle her nerves when the galleries showed up and the shots really started counting.
``I just figured I'd try to go out and play golf like I'd been playing,'' she said. ``Sure, I'll still be nervous but it'll be a lot of fun.''
She opened with three birdies over her first seven holes to get to 3-under and was in the lead alone going into the 18th hole. But she hit her second shot off the grandstand and made bogey to finish tied.
``I was actually happy with a bogey there,'' she said of the hole that was playing nearly a stroke over par.
Meg Mallon waited 13 years before she won another U.S. Women's Open. That's enough to inspire Liselotte Neumann, who won her first Open in 1988.
Neumann, the pioneer of Swedes like Annika Sorenstam on the LPGA Tour, opened with a 1-under 70 to stand one stroke out of the lead.
``I think any time you see a player that won something a long time ago, or anybody that's getting up in age, it's always nice to see,'' Neumann said. ``It gives you the feeling that if you work hard and you stay in good shape, that you can win. Everybody feels that way.''
Mallon was 41 when she won the Open last year.
Neumann, 39, has won only once on tour in the last seven years.
Defending champion Meg Mallon opened with an even-par 71, putting her right in the thick of things after Thursday's first round.
Better yet, she seems to have worked out the season-long problems she's had with her driver.
Once of the straightest drivers on the LPGA tour, Mallon entered the U.S. Open ranked 79th in driving accuracy. After finding a driver she likes -- her 14th in 10 weeks -- on the range Wednesday, Mallon went out in the first round and hit 10 of 14 fairways, with two others finishing in the first cut of rough.
``It was just so nice and normal,'' Mallon said. ``I hit fairways and greens. I had birdie opportunities.''
U.S. Open media assistant Bill Crumley drowned Wednesday evening while boating on Gull Lake in Brainerd, Minn. Crumley, who was at the men's U.S. Open in Pinehurst last weekend, was 43 and is survived by his wife, Kimberly, and children, Ben and Ali. ... Leta Lindley didn't get the tournament off to a great start, hitting into the water on No. 1 and taking a triple-bogey. She rebounded nicely, though, getting a birdie on the par-3 sixth and 12 straight pars to finish 2-over. ... Ammaccapane's disaster at No. 18 wasn't her only trouble on the back nine. She had five other bogeys and made the turn at 10-over 46. ``It was a good nine,'' she said with a smirk. ... Peter Forsberg of the Colorado Avalanche was among those in the gallery following fellow Swede, Annika Sorenstam.
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  • Park collapses; leaderboard chaos at CME

    By Nick MentaNovember 18, 2017, 8:47 pm

    Sung-Hyun Park started the day with a three-shot lead and slowly gave it all back over the course of a 3-over 75, leaving the CME Group Tour Championship and a host of season-long prizes up for grabs in Naples. Here’s where things stand through 54 holes at the LPGA finale, where Michelle Wie, Ariya Jutanugarn, Suzann Pettersen and Kim Kaufman share the lead.

    Leaderboard: Kaufman (-10), Wie (-10), Jutanugarn (-10), Pettersen (-10), Stacy Lewis (-9), Karine Icher (-9), Austin Ernst (-9), Lexi Thompson (-9), Jessica Korda (-9), Pernilla Lindberg (-9)

    What it means: It wasn’t the Saturday she wanted, but Park, who already wrapped up the Rookie of the Year Award, is still in position for the sweep of all sweeps. With a victory Sunday, she would claim the CME Group Tour Championship, the Race to CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, and the money title, as she ascends to No. 1 in the Rolex world ranking. Meanwhile, Thompson, too, could take the $1 million and Player of the Year. As those two battle for season-long prizes, a host of other notable names – Wie, Jutanugarn, Pettersen, Korda, Lewis and Charley Hull (-8) – will fight for the Tour Championship.

    Round of the day: Kaufman made four birdies on each side in a bogey-free 8 under-par 64. A lesser-known name on a stacked leaderboard, she seeks her first LPGA victory.

    Best of the rest: Amy Yang will start the final round two behind after a 7-under 65. The three-time LPGA Tour winner could pick up her second title of the season after taking the Honda LPGA Thailand in February.

    Biggest disappointment: On a day that featured plenty of low scores from plenty of big names, Lydia Ko dropped 11 spots down the leaderboard into a tie for 23rd with a Saturday 72. The former world No. 1 needed two birdies in her last five holes to fight her way back to even par. Winless this season, she’ll start Sunday four back, at 6 under.

    Shot of the day: I.K. Kim aced the par-3 12th from 171 yards when her ball landed on the front of the green and tracked all the way to the hole.

    Kim, oddly enough, signed her name to a scorecard that featured a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. It was all part of a 1-under 71.

    Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

    While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

    Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

    The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    ''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''

    DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

    Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

    Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

    ''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

    The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

    Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

    ''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.