O'Toole gets true big break at U.S. Women's Open

By Associated PressJuly 11, 2011, 11:37 pm

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Ryann O’Toole’s big break really came this week at the U.S. Women’s Open.

Best known for her stint on the “Survivor”-like reality golf show “Big Break,” O’Toole finished in ninth place Monday with a final score of 3 over, six shots behind South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu, who won in a playoff.

Along with O’Toole’s performance came a check for $81,915 – by far the biggest of her career – and opportunities not only to compete in future LPGA events but to pick up more sponsors.

“I got my name out there,” said O’Toole, who’s already received 200 emails, most of them in the form of new Facebook requests. “That was kind of my goal: to give everyone a heads up that I can play and I can contend.”

Yes, she concedes, her stint on “Big Break” was good exposure. But she wants to be known for her work on a course at a tournament, not in front of a camera competing in challenges.

“I know I’ll always have the title of ‘Big Break,”’ O’Toole said. “But I would love to have the title of U.S. Open” winner.

She’s hardly alone.

There was a time when she was near the top of the leaderboard, before unraveling Sunday and shooting a 4-over 75 in the third round. She regrouped for the final round, finishing Monday in fine fashion with a birdie on No. 18, which was the toughest hole on the challenging Broadmoor course.

O’Toole didn’t have the biggest galleries following her around at the tournament. That distinction belonged to 2010 U.S. Open champion Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr, the top American finisher at 1 under.

Someday, the 24-year old from San Clemente, Calif., hopes those fans are trailing her around the course.

“I’ve spent a few tournaments behind Paula, Cristie and Natalie (Gulbis). I’m sitting there going, `I want the crowd,”’ O’Toole said. “I’m hoping that this will bring that for me. I know over time that with good finishes, and hopefully a win soon, that I’ll have that.”

O’Toole is splitting her time this season between the LPGA and the Futures Tour, where she captured a title and a $17,500 paycheck in April.

But this was more than she could’ve envisioned.

“Surreal,” she said. “As a golfer and as a competitor, I didn’t win. So I’m still frustrated about that and still bummed out.

“But at the same time, if I was going into this event and someone said, `Hey, would you take a top 10?’ I would have said, `Yeah, great.”’


KERR PLUNK: Of all the shots that Cristie Kerr hit over the week, there’s one in particular that got away.

She hit a shot into the trees on the 10th hole in her second round and ended up making triple bogey. Considering she finished at 1 under, just two shots away from joining South Korea’s Hee Kyung Seo and So Yeo Ryu in a playoff, it’s understandable she was so hung up on that loose swing.

“The only thing I was thinking about was if I was Arnold Palmer, someone would have jumped in the way of that thing,” Kerr said, smiling. “So I guess I have to keep getting more popular so I can get a little army following me around out there.

“I played great and basically amounted to … one bad swing on the 10th hole. To win the Open, you can’t do that.”


STANFORD EDUCATION: The last time Angela Stanford played on a Monday at the U.S. Women’s Open, she lost a playoff in heartbreaking fashion.

That was eight years ago. This time, Monday at the Open treated her no better.

As she walked up the 17th fairway Monday to finish up her final round, Stanford had a momentary flashback to 2003 at Pumpkin Ridge.

Back then, Stanford sank a long a birdie putt on the final hole to work her way into an 18-hole playoff. She then made a 30-footer on the final hole of the playoff, only to have Hilary Lunke drain one, too, to capture the win.

That loss taught her a lesson: Soak up the moment no matter how painful.

“The pressure is one thing, but you’ve got to enjoy it, too,” said Stanford, who’s from Saginaw, Texas. “Looking back, I wish I would’ve enjoyed it a little more.”

Stanford finished the 2011 Open at even par, three shots away from earning a place in this year’s playoff. She’s still searching for her first major.

“When it happens, it’s supposed to happen,” said Stanford, who earned $150,166 for her fourth-place finish. “If it never happens, that’s the way it’s supposed to happen, too.”


CHIP SHOTS: Paula Creamer kept the U.S. Open trophy on her kitchen table. New champion So Yeon Ryu said she planned to keep it near her bed. … For her fifth-place finish, Japan’s Mika Miyazato earned $121,591. She has pledged to donate all of her winnings from the 2011 majors to the Red Cross for the recovery cause in her home country.

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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.