Rookies Michelle Wie Stacy Lewis in the spotlight

By Associated PressSeptember 11, 2009, 2:44 am

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ROGERS, Ark. – Michelle Wie might not even be the most watched rookie at this week’s LPGA event.

Stacy Lewis, who won the 2007 NCAA championship while at the University of Arkansas, will be on familiar turf for the P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship. Lewis was the first-round leader at this event two years ago, when the rest of it was called off because of bad weather.

“It’s become home for me the last couple years, so it’s so nice to be back and sleeping in my own bed this week,” Lewis said. “It’s always fun to play this golf course. It’s one I’ve played since I came here in school.”

Pinnacle Country Club is about a 15-minute drive from where Lewis went to college, and she’s played in this event since it started in 2007. Last year Lewis finished tied for 49th. She said she was exhausted after a week of distractions.

Lewis hasn’t won on tour, but she led the U.S. Women’s Open after three rounds last year before finishing five shots back. That only increased expectations for the Rogers event, and Lewis struggled after a good start.

“It was the week after the U.S. Open, and just the magnitude of that. I wasn’t prepared for it,” Lewis said. “I was looking forward to this year, because I knew what to expect. I knew what was coming, and I knew the week was going to be busy.”

Wie, of course, is also trying for her elusive first win. Like Lewis, she showed potential long before this, her rookie season on the LPGA. Wie finished in the top five of four straight majors in 2005-06, and although she struggled after that, she’s now showing signs of a breakthrough. She’s 17th on the money list this year despite missing the cut last weekend at the Canadian Women’s Open.

“I think it’s, you know, a learning experience for me. I have never done this before. My parents have never done this before,” Wie said. “So I make really good decisions, which I’m proud of, and I make bad decisions, which I learn from.”

Wie has finished in the top 10 six times this year and helped the U.S. win the Solheim Cup last month. She went 3-0-1 in that event, showing some of the form that made her a phenom before she was sidetracked by injuries and other missteps.

“I’ve known her since she was 12 years old, and we’ve become very good friends. She is a great kid. She really is,” said Cristie Kerr, the tour’s leading money winner this year. “And I say ‘kid’ because she’s still 19. I’m 31 now.”

Wie should be a crowd favorite again this week, but she’ll have plenty of company, from hometown hope Lewis to other big names like Kerr, Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis and Christina Kim.

Creamer has been battling the flu and bronchitis recently.

“I’m starting to get my strength back,” she said Wednesday. “I haven’t been able to work out just because my body’s been so weak.”

Seon Hwa Lee is also in the field after winning the event last year.

Lewis said she’s happy with the field, considering the tournament is sandwiched between last weekend’s event in Canada and next weekend’s in California.

“I think this tournament is starting to become a better event every year,” Lewis said. “Good players are talking about it more early in the season and looking forward to it.”

Just imagine how popular the tournament would be if the weather would cooperate. The 2007 event was called off after 18 holes, and rain was a factor last year too. This week, Wednesday’s Pro-Am was shortened because of rain.

“I think it’s going to be a long week again,” Lewis said. “When the LPGA comes to town, the rain comes to town.”

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.

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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.

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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.