Park leads S.Y. Kim by 2 in KPMG

By Associated PressJune 14, 2015, 12:45 am

HARRISON, N.Y. - South Korean stars Inbee Park and Sei Yong Kim added another chapter to their friendly rivalry on Saturday.

Park shot a 7-under 66 and overtook Kim on the final hole to take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

Kim, a rookie who came into the day with a one-stroke lead, shot a 69. The two had battled all afternoon and went into the final hole at 13 under par. But Park, who needed just 28 putts Saturday, made her seventh birdie of the day on 18, and Kim missed a 4-foot putt for par.

The 26-year-old Park said her experience in winning this tournament each of the last two years may give her a bit of an advantage Sunday over her 22-year-old countrywoman. Kim has won twice this season, but will be looking for her first major championship on Sunday.

"It feels like the first time is always hard, always hard to do and it puts extra pressure on yourself," Park said. "But when you're trying to do the second, third time in a row, it just feels like you've done your homework already. So you feel a little bit more relaxed and you kind of know how it feels like and how it's going to play like."

Kim said she plans to use the bogey on the 18th as "medicine" on Sunday to help her get better.

She also has a recent history that should give her some confidence. Kim beat Park at the Lotte Open in Hawaii by chipping in to force a playoff and holing out from 154 yards on the first sudden-death hole.


KPMG Women’s PGA: Articles, videos and photos


"Well, that's a past story," Kim said. "I want to write a new story tomorrow."

A win here could allow Park to catch top-ranked Lydia Ko in the rankings. Ko missed the cut on Friday, ending her streak of 53 consecutive made cuts.

Park could also tie Annika Sorenstam (2003-05), who is the only golfer who has claimed this title in three consecutive years, an accomplishment Park would list among the most impressive in her career.

"I have to say it would be pretty close to winning three majors in a row," she said. "That was my biggest accomplishment ever in my career, but if I'm able to do this tomorrow, I think that will definitely be like tied for first."

Kim and Park will go into Sunday with some separation from the rest of the pack. Suzann Pettersen and 17-year-old Canadian sensation Brooke Henderson each shot a 71. They ended tied with Hall of Famer Karrie Webb for third place at 8 under par, six strokes back of Park.

Henderson is attempting to become the youngest winner of a major championship. She is also looking for a win that would assure her a spot on the tour next year after being denied an age exemption.

"This year is definitely a learning experience for me," she said. "It's a year where I'm trying to play my best and get my card for next year ... whether it's the money list or the win this year, or go to Q-School. My goal is to have full status next year."

At the other end of the spectrum is Webb. The 40-year-old is attempting to become the second-oldest winner in the 60-year history of the event. Webb was in second place to start the day, but had to overcome bogeys on her first two holes to shoot a 72. She will be trying to win her eighth major.

"If I had told you I was going to shoot 1 under today, I wouldn't have thought I was going to be six behind," she said. "It's going to take a big round tomorrow from me and probably some help from the leaders.

Pettersen is on a hot streak after winning last week in Ontario, for her 15th tour victory, her first since October 2013.

Morgan Pressel is in sixth place. She went 5 under on the back nine to finish a round of 69, including an eagle after on 18.

"When I got to the 18th tee and I saw that the tee was moved up a little bit, plus it was downwind, I said to my caddie, I said definitely we can get there today if we hit a good drive and I did," she said.

Brittany Lincicome, who won the first LPGA major of the year at the ANA Inspiration, moved into contention and a three-way tie for seventh place.

After dropping two strokes the first eight holes, she made five consecutive birdies on the ninth through 13 holes. The 29-year-old American picked up a sixth on the 15th hole and had a birdie putt lip out on No. 17. She finished with a 69.

"I always like to be coming from behind," she said. "I don't like leading after two or three rounds because it makes me more nervous, I have to do more interviews and there's more attention, so if I'm coming from behind and chasing people, it seems to be more of my comfort zone."

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.