Solheim standout Hull, 17, back to work in Canada

By Associated PressAugust 21, 2013, 1:01 am

EDMONTON, Alberta – Charley Hull returned to work Tuesday, a New York Yankees baseball cap on her head and the British flag on her golf bag.

The 17-year-old made headlines and raised expectations on both sides of the Atlantic with a brilliant performance in the European victory Sunday over the Americans at the Solheim Cup.

But Hull said nothing has changed before she hit the driving range at the Royal Mayfair Golf Club to prepare for the CN Canadian Women's Open.

''I've always aimed high, so I'm not really bothered by anyone's expectations. It's what I think and what I want to do,'' said the golfer from Kettering, England.

The youngest to ever play in the Solheim Cup, Hull racked up an impressive 2-1-0 record and dismantled American Paula Creamer 5 and 4 in Sunday's singles at the event near Denver.

''I didn't feel it (the pressure) as much as I thought I would. I felt like it was just another game of golf, you know,'' Hull said.

''The crowds were really, really big. People can find them intimidating, so I just kind of tried to trick my mind (to shut the crowds out) and go out and play my own game.''

Hull, who turned pro in March, will play in Edmonton as a sponsor exemption. However, she has already received permission from the LPGA to play on tour before she turns 18.

She'll participate in the second stage of Q-school in October, and if all goes well she will be on tour starting Jan. 1.

She has already been tearing up the courses on the Ladies European tour, with five runner-up finishes. But she says she wants to tee it up with the best.

''I want to get on the LPGA,'' she said. ''Everything seems bigger. The players are better. It's just playing in front of bigger crowds more, so it's more fun.''

Hull has already made an impression by not standing out. She has not courted sponsors in order to avoid distractions.

Her red and black Titleist golf bag is a monument to minimalism. Aside from her name, there is little to distinguish it – no puppet heads or cutesy club covers.

''That's not me,'' she said.

The only personalized item is a fist-sized stuffed heart hanging on the side, wrapped in the flag of Britain.

Does it have special meaning?

Sort of.

''My friend gave it to me, so I thought rather than just put it in the (rubbish) bin, I'll put in on the golf bag,'' she said.

How about the Yankees hat? Big fan of America's iconic sports franchise?

No, she said, it's just something she picked up in England.

''I wear this hat because it's more comfortable on my head than the other hats. I don't even know what the (NY) symbol means.''

Hull is already known for her plain speaking. Recently she said it's ''silly'' for some golf courses to have male-members-only policies, adding, ''We are all equals and should be treated as such.''

Hull's father, David, said she got some of that from him.

''I've always brought her up to tell the truth and be honest,'' he said. ''I think that's what people should do in life. Say what you see.''

David said he could tell early his daughter was wired for golf.

''When she was 4, she just picked it up. She was so gifted. A natural, the way she could hit a golf ball,'' he said. ''I could show you a video of her swing when she was seven. Her swing was pretty similar (to what it is now).

''She could use her hands. (The club) seemed to be a part of her. It was strange.''

It wasn't in the genes, he added.

''I didn't start playing golf till I was 45. It doesn't come from me.''

He said his daughter practices 6 hours a day, and she thrives on the challenge.

''When she was little they used to say 'Oh, you're a girl, you have to play off the ladies' tees,''' he said.

''She would say, 'I don't want to do that. I'm playing with the boys. I want to challenge them.' So they let her play off the back tees with the boys.''

That's why the LPGA is the next step.

''There's a lot more competition here,'' he said. ''If she wants to get better that's what she wants, so I'll have to come with her until she's 18.

''I'll babysit her,'' he said, laughing.

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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

He's making his first start in the event.

''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.