Se Ri Pak returns to form grabs State Farm lead

By Associated PressJune 4, 2009, 4:00 pm
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LPGA Tour _newSPRINGFIELD, Ill. ' The young South Koreans on the LPGA mention the late nights glued to the television set watching Se Ri Pak when they see her. They tell her they idolized her growing up.
 
It all brings a smile to Paks face, gives her a big boost. Along with that comes this awkward revelation.
 
To them, Im an old lady, she said.
 
The Hall of Famer shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 on Thursday for a share of the first-round lead with fellow South Korean Jee Young Lee in the State Farm Classic.
 
A five-time major winner, the 31-year-old Pak is seeking her first top-10 finish in 10 starts this year. If she does, itll come against a field that features 49 of the LPGAs top 50 money winners.
 
Kris Tamulis opened with a 67, and Natalie Gulbis, Suzann Pettersen and Anja Monke shot 68s at Panther Creek in the final tuneup for the McDonalds LPGA Championship next week at Bulle Rock in Maryland.
 
Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer were in a large group at 69, and Michelle Wie shot a 70. Kraft Nabisco winner Brittany Lincicome was in danger of missing the cut after opening with a 75.
 
Pak, however, was on target.
 
Seeking her 25th LPGA win and first since the 2007 Jamie Farr Classic, she had six birdies ' three on the final four holes ' in tying her lowest round this year.
 
Lately, my games been getting pretty settled down ' getting closer and closer each week, said Pak, who has finished no higher than 13th this year and is 44th on the money list.
 
With the seasons second major next week, the timing is pretty good. Pak won the 2006 event at Bulle Rock, beating Karrie Webb in a playoff.
 
Pak began the day by hitting a sand wedge to 15 feet on par-5 first and completed her round with a flurry, birdying three of the final four holes.
 
She was at 3 under when she hit a good tee shot and drove a wedge to about 10 feet for the birdie on the par-4 15th and two-putted from 35 feet for birdie on the par-5 16th. She finished the round with a 7-iron to about 15 feet on 18.
 
Relatively unknown, Lee tied for 10th at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay in February and tied for ninth at the MasterCard Classic the following month. Now, shes off to a good start at the State Farm ' a bogey on the par-3 14th aside. She finished the day by knocking a 6-iron 6 feet from the cup for a birdie on No. 9.
 
Not long after that, Pak joined her in the lead.
 
I feel great, Pak said. I have a lot of confidence about my game. The last couple weeks Ive been so close, but I cant really score well because my putting was (poor).
 
To that end, in a stroke of good luck, she went back to the Never Compromise putter she used early in her career and the change seemed to pay off.
 
Seems pretty good to find it deep in the closet, said Pak, who has a deep, talented field close behind her.
 
Gulbis, who started on No. 10, was at 5 under and challenging for the lead before bogeying the par-4 eighth. Her second shot clipped the trees and settled in the rough to the right side, but she almost saved par on the hole with a 60-foot putt that slid just past the cup.
 
This is a very important stretch for a couple different reasons, Gulbis said. Its a big purse. Next week is a major. But this is a Solheim Cup year. Every single spot, every single point, every single stroke could be the difference between you making the Solheim Cup.
 
For most of the day, she seemed locked in.
 
Wie, who was in Gulbis group, had the distance off the tee but was a bit wild in the long and short games and let her frustration show.
 
She yelled Youre kidding me! when her chip shot on No. 13 sailed about 25 feet beyond the cup, before saving par. There was more frustration and a similar cry 'Youve got to be kidding me! ' on No. 8 when she chipped a shot past the green to a bunker on the left side. She bogeyed that hole and No. 9 to fall to 2 under.
 
Not a great round. Not a bad one, either.
 
She certainly was feeling better than she did after leaving this course last year, when she was one stroke off the lead after three rounds but got disqualified for failing to immediately sign her scorecard. That spoiled a good shot at her first tour victory, which shes still seeking.
 
I do know that there are high standards, Wie said. I have very high standards myself so I think its great that people have high expectations of me. You know, when those expectations start to drop, then Ill start to have a problem.
 
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  • Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.