Notes Woman Trying Q-School

By Associated PressOctober 12, 2004, 4:00 pm
PGA TourIsabelle Beisiegel tried to Monday qualify at two PGA Tour events at the start of the year, wanting to test herself before the LPGA season began and to prepare for her ultimate goal - competing against the men.
 
After one mediocre season on the LPGA Tour, Beisiegel is ready to give it a shot.
 
She has paid her $4,500 entry fee for the PGA Tour qualifying tournament, which starts Oct. 19 on the Greg Norman Course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
 
Beisiegel is believed to be the first woman to enter Q-school.
 
'I'm going to keep trying to qualify until I do make it,' Beisiegel said from her home in Norman, Okla., where she played college golf for the Sooners. 'My chances are very good.'
 
Annika Sorenstam became the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA Tour at the '03 Colonial. Michelle Wie came within one shot of making the cut at the Sony Open in January. Laura Davies, Se Ri Pak and club pro Suzy Whaley are among women who have competed against the men in the last two years.
 
Beisiegel didn't come close to qualifying for the Buick Invitational or the Nissan Open in February. She also tried unsuccessfully last year to qualify for the Canadian Open and two Nationwide Tour events.
 
As an LPGA rookie, Beisiegel had only one top 10 in 24 tournaments, a tie for seventh at the Kellogg-Keebler Classic outside Chicago. She missed her last five cuts of the season, but still finished 79th on the money list with $120,586 to secure her LPGA card for next year.

She already has been to PGA West and says she can handle the 7,156-yard par 72.
 
'You can fit three of our LPGA fairways on one fairway. It's pretty open,' she said. 'I've played all these holes all year. We've had holes that were 485 yards; obviously, they were par 5s. But how many times was I in position to putt for an eagle?'
 
Beisiegel is eighth on the LPGA Tour in driving distance at 265.6 yards. Still, she has always believed golf is more about mental challenges than brute strength.
 
'I'll be ready to break that mental hurdle,' she said. 'There should be a lot more women trying this.'
 
Nick FaldoFALDO ON THE TUBE
Along with wanting to be Ryder Cup captain, Nick Faldo is interested in another job that will keep him in the spotlight - television analyst for ABC Sports.
 
Faldo worked for ABC at the American Express Championship in Ireland, and said he could see himself working television on the PGA Tour for a dozen or so tournaments.
 
'The timing is very good for me,' the 47-year-old Englishman said. 'It's good to keep in touch with golf. I want to slow down on playing. Obviously, television is a good way to guarantee your face is there on the screen. When you finish 60th every week, nobody knows you're there.'
 
Faldo also worked as a TV analyst during the British Open, where he was on air for eight hours in the final round with only a 20-minute break. He treats television the same way he did his golf swing, analyzing everything.
 
'The hardest part is you're constantly switched on,' he said. 'It's left-side dominant. Whether you're speaking or not, you've got to be thinking. The trick is you've got to say something really great in as little time as possible.'
 
What would he have said of Jean Van de Velde's follies on the 72nd hole at Carnoustie?
 
'It would be a question of what he was doing. It was a catalog of mistakes,' Faldo said. 'But he got such an unbelievable bounce, hitting the railing and going backward. The odds on that were a million to one. That's when you sit back and say, 'Looks like you're destined not to win this one, mate.''
 
O'MEARA SIDELINED
Mark O'Meara has been unable to play the last month because of a broken bone in the palm of his left hand. He has slipped out of the top 125 on the PGA Tour list, and likely will apply for a minor medical exemption to try to keep full-exempt status next year.
 
Peter Malik, his agent at IMG, said O'Meara injured his hand in the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. He withdrew the next week from the Canadian Open, and he tried to play in the 84 Lumber Classic but was unable to get through a practice round.
 
Two doctors prescribed rest, which could sideline O'Meara the final three weeks of the season.
 
O'Meara was exempt this year because he is in the top 25 in career money, and he can take another one-time exemption for being in the top 50. But O'Meara turns 48 in January, so he might want to hang onto that exemption.
 
If he gets a minor medical exemption, O'Meara would have as many as eight tournaments next year to make up the difference between his '04 earnings ($543,866) the equivalent of 125th on this year's money list, which likely will be no more than about $57,000.
 
FIJI HONOR
Vijay Singh has been awarded a Companion of the Order of Fiji, one of highest honors in the Pacific nation. The award was conferred by president Ratu Josefa Iloilo, although Singh did not receive it in person.
 
According to a citation published in Fiji's Government Gazette, Singh was honored for 'eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Fiji or to humanity at large.'
 
Singh has won eight times on the PGA Tour this year, broke the single-season earnings record at nearly $9.5 million and replaced Tiger Woods at No. 1 in the world ranking.
 
The 41-year-old Fijian lives in Florida and has rarely visited his homeland since joining the PGA Tour in 1993.
 
DIVOTS
Tiger Woods has until Friday to commit to the Funai Classic at Disney. It is the only regular PGA Tour event he has played every year since he turned pro in 1996. ... Olin Browne received one of four sponsor's exemptions to Disney, which will be his 29th tournament of the year. Browne was 130th on the money list last year, and had to rely on a combination of exemptions, top 10s, and tournaments that had space available. ... Vijay Singh is going home to Fiji next year to design a golf course that will be part of a golf academy. 'I'm going to take a lot of time, and I want to make it a good one,' Singh said.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Brad Faxon has not had a three-putt since the final hole of the PGA Championship, a streak of 324 holes.
 
FINAL WORD
'We're definitely residing in Florida and I don't see any reason why we should leave - especially with zero income tax.' - Tiger Woods.
 
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.