Pettersen, Pak, Gal trail M. Miyazato at Evian

By Associated PressSeptember 13, 2013, 6:39 pm

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France – Mika Miyazato of Japan shot a 6-under 65 Friday to take the lead after the rain-delayed first round of the Evian Championship, the year's fifth and final major. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes after Thursday's play was washed out.

Top-ranked Inbee Park, making a bid for golf history, got off to a bad start with a 74. The 25-year-old South Korean is trying to become the first professional to win four majors in a season. But she double bogeyed the second hole and capped a frustrating day with a bogey on the 18th.

Suzann Pettersen of Norway bogeyed the last hole to fall one shot behind Miyazato, along with Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak of South Korea and Sandra Gal of Germany.


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Miyazato is looking for her first LPGA title this year. This month, Pettersen won the Safeway Classic for the second time in three years for her 12th Tour victory.

''The best part was my putting,'' said Miyazato, who called this her ''best finish this year.''

Pettersen had a chance to take the outright lead when her long birdie putt on the 18th hole hit the lip and rolled out, and she then missed an easy par.

Play was called off after less than an hour Thursday because of heavy rain, with the scores wiped out. But it was sunny all day Friday, although that did not help Park.

She will have an even harder challenge now after the LPGA announced late Friday that it has decided to cut the tournament to three rounds. Organizers initially hoped to complete the 72 holes by playing two rounds Sunday, when rain is also forecast. There will be a 36-hole cut of the top 70 and ties.

But Pak, who won the last of her five majors at the LPGA Championship in 2006, feels confident of challenging for another after improving her wayward putting.

The 35-year-old said ''a bit of a lesson'' from her father last week helped set her straight – literally.

''He knows me (better) than anybody,'' she said. ''I was bending my upper body too much and at the same time my arms were too rounded.''

American Christina Kim is two shots behind Miyazato in fifth place, and one shot ahead of teen star Lydia Ko, American Michelle Wie and Australians Karrie Webb and Lindsey Wright.

Pak is 19 years older than Ko, the amateur from New Zealand who successfully defended her Canadian Women's Open title last month.

Pak made an even bigger impact in her first season as a professional in 1998 as the first two trophies of her career were both majors – the LPGA and the U.S. Women's Open – and she sees huge potential in Ko.

''When you play with the teenagers, they don't know much about the game, how to control the games. They just play golf, one day is a good day, one day is a bad day, very up and down,'' Pak said. ''But she looks like she has her own game already, only 16 years old but she knew how to play, how to control.''

No. 2-ranked Stacy Lewis, the only other player to win a major this year (the British Open), finished four shots behind Miyazato.

The course, built into the mountains in Evian-les-Bains overlooking the shores of Lake Geneva, underwent a redesign this year. It is regarded as one of the best on the tour.

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


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With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."