Park rallies to take Malaysia LPGA

By Associated PressOctober 14, 2012, 3:25 pm

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Inbee Park rallied to win the LPGA Malaysia on Sunday for her second victory of the year, closing with a 4-under 67 to beat fellow South Korean player Na Yeon Choi by two strokes.

Park took the lead with a tap-in birdie on the par-4 13th and moved two shots ahead with another short birdie putt on the par-4 14th. She got away with bogeys on the final two holes when Choi made a double bogey on the par-3 17th in her closing 71.

''I'm very happy to win,'' Park said. ''I played for the second time here, and it's the first time I've won twice in one year, so I'm really proud of myself for that.''

She won the Evian Masters in July in France and has six straight top-three finishes and 10 top 10s in a row. In her previous three events, she tied for second in the Safeway Classic and finished second in the Canadian Women's Open and Women's British Open.

''I think my golf has improved, everything, hitting the ball, chipping, putting. Everything has really improved,'' said Park, also the 2008 U.S. Women's Open champion. ''I worked really hard on my swing. I've been hitting it very solid all year. So, that gave me a lot more birdie chances.''

Two strokes behind Choi entering the round and three behind with 10 holes left, Park picked up a stroke when the defending champion bogeyed the par-4 ninth, then pulled even with birdies on the par-4 10th and 11th holes. Park holed a 20-foot putt on 10 and a 15-footer on 11.

''I think I prefer leading, because I think it's much easier the last day,'' Park said. ''But, I mean, I had to play good on the final day to win. I knew that Na Yeon was really strong on this golf course, and I knew she really liked this golf course. So, I knew I had to go really low today to win, make a lot of birdies.''

Choi's tee shot on the 17th ended up in an unplayable lie in a bunker.

''I think I had bad luck,'' said Choi, the U.S. Women's Open winner in July. ''My ball was unplayable. I couldn't hit it from there. I'd really like to congratulate Inbee, my friend. I could see she was really nervous. She's usually not nervous at all. She was nervous today. I'm very happy my friend won this week.''

Park finished at 15-under 269 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club to match the tournament record in the event that started in 2010. She earned $285,000 to push her tour-leading total to $1,954,608.

Australia's Karrie Webb shot a 68 to finish third at 12 under, and Scotland's Catriona Matthew was another stroke back after a 67.

South Korea's So Yeon Ryu (66) was 10 under, and Australia's Lindsey Wright (67) and American Paula Creamer (69) were 9 under. American Jessica Korda matched the tournament record with a 64 to finish eighth at 8 under.

Norway's Suzann Pettersen, tied for fourth after the third round, had a 75 to drop into a tie for 19th at 4 under.

Michelle Wie closed with a 68 to tie for 38th at 1 over, and top-ranked Yani Tseng had a 71 to tie for 49th at 5 over. The Taiwanese star has struggled after winning three times in the first five events of the season.

American Morgan Pressel also had another frustrating week in a season derailed by thumb and wrist injuries, shooting 79-83-81-75 to finish 67th among the 68 finishers at 34 over – 49 strokes behind Park.

The tournament opened the LPGA's four-event Asian swing. The tour will be in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan the next three weeks.

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.