Shin leads Henderson by 1 in KPMG Women's PGA

By Associated PressJune 12, 2015, 1:12 am

HARRISON, N.Y. - South Korean Jenny Shin kept moving up the leaderboard, chasing Hall-of-Famer Karrie Webb.

Shin eventually caught her, shooting a bogey-free, 7-under 66 Thursday for a one-stroke lead after the opening round at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, the second major of the season.

"I was chasing the leaderboard all day, and I was surprised that Webby was at 6 under at one point," said the 22-year-old Shin. "I got there and was like `Maybe I can get one more on the 18th hole,' and I did."

Canadian teenager Brooke Henderson had a three-putt bogey on her final hole at the ninth to drop a shot back after Shin birdied No. 18 at the Westchester Country Club.

"I hit it well all day, I'm disappointed with the finish on the last hole," said the 17-year-old Henderson, who was playing on a sponsor exemption.

Webb birdied three of the first four holes and finished at 68. The 40-year-old Webb started her round in hazy conditions at No. 10 and shot a 4-under 33 on the opening nine. She had a bogey-free round until she dropped a shot on the seventh when she missed the fairway left and hit the front bunker.

"I hit a wedge to a foot and a half on 10 and that settled me in," Webb said. "Hit the green in two on 12 and had about a 15-footer for eagle. I really put some very solid swings on it early on."

Shin had five birdies and an eagle on the par-5 15th. She spoke to her sports psychologist on Wednesday night to help calm her nerves.


KPMG Women’s PGA: Articles, videos and photos


"I was freaking out for this round, so I tried to play as comfortable as I can, just like any other tournament," Shin said. "I tried not to think of it as a major and it turned out great. I had a couple of bogey-free rounds last week, so I think I'm on a good run."

Americans Brittany Lincicome, Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr and Stacy Lewis were in a large group that finished four strokes back at 70 in steamy temperatures that reached the mid-80s. Lincicome, the winner of the first major at the ANA Inspiration in April, eagled the par-5 15th and followed with a birdie on 16.

Two-time defending champion Inbee Park shot a 71. Top-ranked teenager Lydia Ko was another stroke back, and Suzann Pettersen, coming off a win in Canada, finished at 74. Michelle Wie, bothered by a hip injury, shot 75.

Shin, who is seeking her first major, had three birdies on the front nine to gain on Webb, a seven-time major winner.

Henderson, who turned pro in December, is below the LPGA's age requirement of 18. But she made the most of her sponsor exemption.

Henderson birdied No. 10, her opening hole, and added birdies at Nos. 3, 5, 6 and 15. For her eagle on the par-5, 274 yard 12th hole, she hit a 7-wood 204 yards and the ball landed three feet from the cup.

Then came the three-putt on her final hole, where she "tried to hit it a little too hard and had an 8-footer to save par."

The 29-year-old Lincicome, who is seeking her third major, is one of the longest hitters on the tour. She used a 4-iron from 203 yards out and got within 30 feet for her eagle on the par-5, 497-yard 15th.

"The putt, if I hadn't hit the hole, it probably would have gone off the green," she said. "[My caddie] asked if I had dented the cup."

Park finished with a birdie on 18, one of five on the day along with a bogey. The South Korean has won five majors, including three straight in 2013.

Kerr had a bogey on the par-5, 551-yard fifth hole and four birdies on the West Course that she often plays when in New York. She's familiar with the sloping greens at the longtime home of the PGA Tour event now called The Barclays.

"The front nine, I had a bunch of chances and a couple putts lipped out," Kerr said. "I just tried to stay patient and got off to a great start on the back nine."

BIRDIES: Annika Sorenstam, a winner of 10 majors and three Women PGA Championships, said she walked the course. "It's a tough course, the greens and some blind holes where you really have to commit yourself. The scores are not that low, not many birdies. It will be a typical grinder week." ... Lincicome ran into Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza at the Mets game on Tuesday night and got a picture with him. ... Playing with Kerr and Jessica Korda, Lincicome bet $5 for every birdie after a slow start. "Korda birdied the last, so we were tied, unfortunately," Lincicome said. "We just kind of needed something to motivate us to get back in it. We didn't let Kerr in because she was already making too many."

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Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.