A Pair of Kims Lead Wegmans

By Associated PressJune 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
LPGA logo for LeaderboardsPITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Rookie In-Kyung Kim shot a 5-under 67 Friday to join South Korean compatriot Mi Hyun Kim atop the leaderboard after two rounds of the Wegmans LPGA.
 
In-Kyung Kim, the 19-year-old native of Seoul, whose best finish was a tie for fourth at last month's LPGA Corning Classic, ran off six birdies at the tree-lined Locust Hill course but gave up the outright lead with a three-putt bogey on the last hole.
 
'I'm still having fun and I have two more days to go,' she said. 'I think right now I'm in a good position and I can try to win this weekend.'
 
Eight-time tour winner Mi Hyun Kim (68) had five birdies through 11 holes but lost momentum with four holes to play when she three-putted from 30 feet for her only bogey.
 
Both of them moved to 7-under 137, two ahead of Angela Stanford (69), who moved into contention despite a double-bogey finish. Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, who tops the money list with $1.25 million shot a 71 to move to 4 under.
 
First-round leader Cristie Kerr picked up birdies on Nos. 2 and 3 to get to 8 under but struggled on the back nine with two bogeys and a double bogey to finish with a 75 for a total of 3 under.
 
Norway's Suzann Pettersen (75), who captured her first major title at the LPGA Championship two weeks ago, also lost ground with a double bogey on No. 12 and a two-shot penalty for slow play on No. 14 to drop to 1 under. Defending champion Jeong Jang (73) was at even par.
 
The $1.8 million tournament, sandwiched between two majors, drew 47 of the top 50 money winners, but two have dropped out with injuries. Natalie Gulbis, who opened with a 78, withdrew on the third hole with recurring back pain and Stacy Prammanasudh left Thursday with a thumb injury.
 
In-Kyung Kim had pinpoint accuracy off both tees and fairways and made three long putts for birdie from 25 feet on No. 9 and from 20 feet on Nos. 5 and 12.
 
'My driver was really good and second shot was real close to the hole, so I had lots of opportunity to make a birdie,' she said.
 
She missed the cut in four of her first six tournaments but has stayed through the weekend in the past five, tying for 21st at the LPGA Championship.
 
'I feel (I'm) getting better every day,' she said.
 
Mi Hyun Kim won the SemGroup Championship in May, tied for second in Corning and picked up two other top-10s this year. The 30-year-old Inchon native has earned $7.1 million since joining the tour in 1999, including a season-best $1.3 million last year.
 
She thinks the tight fairways suit her game better than many of her competitors.
 
'I have more confidence when I play here because (the) course is not so long,' she said. 'I'm not a long hitter, I'm more an accuracy player.'
 
But she also worries about how she'll handle the pressure if she's among the leaders Sunday. 'Many people cheering for me, and so I really want to win this tournament,' she said.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Wegmans LPGA
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.