Notes Weekend Play Stormy Skies

By Associated PressJune 29, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. WomenSOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -- Kris Tamulis looks like she'll finally get to stick around for the weekend at the U.S. Women's Open.
The 26-year-old missed the cut in both of her previous appearances, but she closed out a first-round 72 to finish the first round Friday morning and followed with a steady 71 to stay close to the leaders.
At 1-over 143, she was one stroke behind In-Bee Park, the clubhouse leader after two rounds. Angela Park, who opened with a 3-under 68, didn't even hit a shot because bad weather forced an early end to Friday's play.
The top 60 players along with those within 10 strokes of the lead make the cut after 36 holes.
'I wasn't always going for the flag,' Tamulis said. 'So I wasn't really shooting to make birdie as much as I was just trying to make pars.'
She did plenty of that Friday. She finished the second round with 16 pars, hit 10 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation.
It was an improvement from her past performances at the Open. An all-Atlantic Coast Conference player at Florida State, Tamulis was 18 over par as an amateur in 2002 at Prairie Dunes, and 7 over in 2004 at The Orchards, both times missing the cut.
Now the biggest challenge is waiting patiently while other golfers wrap up their second round Saturday before she can tee off again. And with no place to really fulfill her love of shopping in the area, she joked that she's down to eating cookies to relax.
'I think U.S. Opens kind of set up good for me because I just hit it down the fairway, and then I hit it in the middle of the green and I make a putt every once in a while ... and try not to make too many big numbers,' Tamulis said.
'I'd take par for four days on this golf course and walk away very happy.'
This isn't the record the U.S. Women's Open had in mind.
Storms have suspended play at Pine Needles every day this week, including three practice rounds. Mike Davis, the USGA's senior director of rules and competition, said there had never been a suspension every day of a championship event. More storms were forecast for Saturday, making another delay possible.
'I don't know whether to root for it (bad weather) or not on Sunday for a record, but we may get to it,' Davis said.
There has been little if any rain during the two days of delays -- just plenty of dark clouds, thunder and lightning. Considering the spot on the calendar, that might not be a surprise.
The previous two Women's Opens at Pine Needles were played a month earlier. Davis said the USGA decided to wait a month this time so that the Bermuda grass could have additional time to grow in the summer heat.
'I think coming into it realistically we realized that the chances of bad weather were probably a little greater,' Davis said. 'But having said that, this area has gone for weeks on end without any kind of weather. And bring the USGA to town and it's amazing how we can change weather patterns.'
A year ago, fog wiped out the first round Thursday, leading to a 36-hole Sunday, followed by an 18-hole playoff Monday that Annika Sorenstam won over Pat Hurst.
The longest Women's Open came 20 years ago in New Jersey, when bad weather pushed the tournament into Tuesday before 72 holes were completed. Just the USGA's luck, there was a tie, so Laura Davies and Joanne Carner returned Wednesday for the playoff, which Davies won for her first major championship.
Silvia Cavalleri withdrew from the Open due to heat exhaustion after playing nine holes Friday.
Cavalleri shot a 78 in the first round, then opened with a 44 -- including two bogeys, two double bogeys and a triple bogey on No. 17. She was at 15-over for the championship, her fifth appearance in the Open.
Cavalleri's best showing in the Open was finishing tied for 27th in 2000. She missed the cut in 2004 and '05, then finished tied for 57th last year.
Hot weather helped the greens get slightly faster Friday.
They measured about 12.5 on the Stimpmeter, the device that measures green speed. The USGA said it was where the greens were for practice rounds and about 3 inches faster than Thursday's first round, which were slowed by rain Wednesday night.
By comparison, the greens at the men's Open at Oakmont two weeks ago measured a 13.5.
'The golf course is firm,' said Paula Creamer, who is at 4-over for the tournament and was trying to finish No. 18 when play was stopped Friday. 'The greens were a lot firmer (Friday) than they were (Thursday). They're kind of drying out.'
Related Links:
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.