Piller leads Women's Open champ by 1

By Associated PressJuly 21, 2017, 12:20 am

SYLVANIA, Ohio - Gerina Piller shot an 8-under 63 on Thursday in the Marathon Classic to take a one-stroke lead over U.S. Women's Open champion Sung Hyun Park and Peiyun Chien.

Winless in the LPGA, Piller had nine birdies and a bogey in the first round at Highland Meadows. The American birdied the first three holes and four of the first five.

''Got off to a good start and got the putts rolling,'' Piller said. ''To be honest, my ball-striking didn't feel as great coming into this weekend, and the week after a major it's always tough just because you're so exhausted mentally. I just went out there and really trusted what I had and just brought it together. My game feels really good right now.''

Park, the South Korean player who won her first major title last week at Trump National in New Jersey, had seven birdies in a bogey-free round.

''My feeling today was so awesome,'' Park said. ''It was a good start after the major championship, winning. First of all, I need to focus more on the Marathon Classic and want to keep my happiness behind from now on.''

Chien, an LPGA rookie from Taiwan, had eight birdies and a bogey.

''The golf course is narrow,'' Chien said. ''It's very tough first shot because you need to play a cut or little draw a lot, not just hit it straight. ... I changed my playing because I'm always thinking the swing on the golf course, so today I just played freely, tried to find some feeling and play.''

Kelly Shon, Aditi Ashok and In-Kyung Kim shot 65, Angel Yin and Sandra Changkija followed at 66, and U.S. Solheim Cup players Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lincicome and Alison Lee topped the group at 67.

Stacy Lewis, her U.S. Women's Open chances ruined by a third-round meltdown, had a 69.

Canadian Brooke Henderson shot 70.

Lydia Ko, winless since her victory last year at Highland Meadows, had a 73. She had three bogeys and one birdie.

''When you're not hitting the ball fantastic, it's not going to be the greatest score,'' Ko said. ''But there's always tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll be able to get a few things better for tomorrow's round.''

Piller is trying to not get too far ahead of herself.

''Tomorrow is a different day, and I'll just kind of do the same thing as I did today, go out there and take one shot at a time, as cliche as it sounds,'' Piller said. ''But you're not going to win it on Thursday, Friday or Saturday, so it's going to take all four rounds.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who was the low amateur at the 2014 Aussie Open, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.