U.S. Women's Open rookie Park leads; Ko 3 back

By Associated PressJuly 9, 2016, 6:04 am

SAN MARTIN, Calif. - When Sung Hyun Park entered her first U.S. Women's Open, her goals were modest. Halfway through the tournament, Park has put herself in prime position to contend.

Park capitalized on the favorable morning scoring conditions, shooting a 6-under 66 Friday to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the U.S. Women's Open at CordeValle.

''I didn't even think about winning because this is the first time for me,'' Park said through an interpreter. ''I would like more experience with the USGA, LPGA. But I'm trying to enjoy this tournament. That's why I am just more comfortable, don't even think about the winning, I just enjoy the play.''

Park, a 22-year-old from South Korea, made her LPGA debut last year when she finished second at the KEB-HanaBank Championship in South Korea. She has played three more LPGA tournaments this year, tying for sixth in her first major at the ANA Inspiration in the spring.

Park had four birdies in a six-hole span to move to 9 under before struggling on the final two holes. She hit her second shot into the greenside bunker at the par-4 17th and then missed a short par putt for her only bogey of the round. Park then drove into a hazard on the par-5 18th for a one-shot penalty before saving par with a 15-foot putt.

Amy Yang shot a 71 to get to 6 under, tied for second with first-round leader Mirim Lee. World No. 1 Lydia Ko bounced back from a 1-over-par first round to shoot 66 for a tie for fourth with Haru Nomura.

Lee, who tied a U.S. Open record by shooting 8 under Thursday, birdied three of the final four holes on her front nine in the afternoon to take a one-shot lead over Park.


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But things then quickly fell apart. She missed the fairway with her drive on the par-4 10th and her approach shot sailed past the green. Her chip attempt fell short of the green before she three-putted from the fringe for a double bogey.

Lee then drove into the front bunker on the par-3 12th hole before missing an 8-foot putt for par to fall two strokes off the lead.

''I kept trying to hit the fairway and the green, but I couldn't,'' she said. ''So score, it's not bad, but not good, too.''

Ko got off to a shaky start with a bogey on the first hole before stringing together four straight birdies starting at No. 3. She added two more birdies before capping her round with the seventh of the day at the par-5 18th.

''My birdie on 3 kind of turned the round around and making the string of birdies definitely helped,'' she said. ''Just to know that this is the first time I was under par for the tournament kind of put myself in a positive position.''

While contending in a major is a mostly new experience for Park, Ko is an old hat at it at the age of 19. She won the Evian Championship last September to become the youngest woman ever to win a major and followed that up with her second at the ANA Inspiration this year.

Ko then lost a playoff to Brooke Henderson in the KPMG Women's PGA Championship in Washington last month.

''I think the more I play, I think the more I get used to it, especially at these majors where the courses are tough,'' Ko said. ''You need to stay patient. I think that's the big key I've been learning, just keep my head high and just enjoy it out here.''

Henderson, ranked second in the world, and fourth-ranked Lexi Thompson could not match playing partner Ko and both finished the day at 3 over.

Among the players who missed the cut at 4 over were last year's winner In Gee Chun, 2014 U.S. Open champion Michelle Wie and 1998 winner Se Ri Pak.

Pak, whose success helped lead to the surge of South Koreans on the tour, double-bogeyed her final hole to finish with an 80 on the day and plus-9 in her final scheduled tournament in the United States.

Some players, including Karrie Webb and Christina Kim, came back to the 18th green to watch Pak's final shot and congratulate her on a remarkable career.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.