Past champion Kerr once again leads Kia

By Associated PressMarch 25, 2017, 3:01 am

CARLSBAD, Calif. – A 10-foot putt stood between top-ranked Lydia Ko making the cut or getting a rare weekend off.

She rolled it just right.

So after taking Saturday off, she'll be driving out to Palm Springs on Sunday to start preparing for the season's first major.

Ko, the defending Kia champion, missed the cut for just the second time in 91 LPGA Tour starts when she bogeyed two of her final three holes Friday at the Kia Classic.

Cristie Kerr, the 2015 Kia champion, shot a 3-under 69 for a two-round total of 9-under 135, good for a one-shot lead over Mo Martin and Mirim Lee.

''I kind of was in an OK position after halfway. Then I had a really bad finish,'' said Ko, a 19-year-old New Zealander.

''I can't do anything about it. I tried my best out there to hopefully put myself in better position going forward. But, hey, I wish I would've been able to be able to play on the weekend.''

Ko fell apart on the last three greens. She missed short putts on 16 and 17 for a bogey and par, and three-putted No. 18 to finish at par-72 for a 36-hole total of 2-over 146.

The cut was at 1-over.

''Ball striking wasn't very good today,'' she said. ''I'm hitting my drives really well, but like the birdie opportunities I had I was missing quite a few of them. I was putting so much better today until the last few holes.''

So while there won't be a repeat champion at the Kia, Kerr can win it for the second time in three years if she keeps up her strong play through the weekend.

''You know, I've hit it really well,'' she said. ''I hit a couple squirrely shots coming in and had some really tough up and downs in the back, but all in all, I played well today,'' she said.

Kerr kept the lead despite bogeys on two of her final four holes.

To stay atop the leader board will take ''making it routine, just playing my game every day and keeping it simple. Staying out of my own way.''

Kerr had been tied at 6-under 66 with Martin and In Gee Chun after the first round.

Martin shot a 70 on Friday while Lee had a 67.

''I love this week in general,'' said Martin, who grew up in Pasadena and played at UCLA. ''It still feels like a home game to me. I/'ve got family and friends out. The course is playing fantastic. The weather has worked out really well.

''I had a few good putting days coming into this week just practice-wise with my putting coach, Jamie Mulligan. I think we made some good progress, and it's been showing off so far. It's been fun. Been hitting the ball as well as I have been from last year pretty much. So hitting it well. Putting it well. Chipping it well. Good combination.''

Mi Jung Hur, Austin Ernst, Jackie Stoelting and Karine Icher were tied at 6-under 138.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm