Spain sweeps singles, wins International Crown

By Associated PressJuly 27, 2014, 9:45 pm

OWINGS MILLS, Md.  Their bond goes far beyond their designation as teammates, and as a whole they are far more than merely a quartet of players thrown together to represent Spain.

The foursome that won the inaugural International Crown on Sunday have been friends on and off the golf course for years, which goes a long way toward explaining why Spain played so well as the fifth seed against many of the finest women golfers in the world.

Carlota Ciganda breezed to an early victory to set the tone, and Spain won all four of its singles matches in the final round to win the coveted trophy.

''Even though we were maybe the underdogs because of the seedings, I knew deep inside that what you need in a team championship is what we have,'' said Belen Mozo, who clinched the title with a 3-and-2 win over Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand. ''We have always played together, we have always won together. Coming in, we knew we had that advantage over the other teams.''

Sweden finished second in the tournament that began Thursday with 32 players from eight countries. The top-seeded United States was among three teams eliminated Saturday, leaving five countries and 20 players to compete for the trophy.

Spain began the final round tied for second behind Japan, but Ciganda immediately gave the Spaniards a boost by beating Na Yeon Choi of South Korea 8 and 6. Beatriz Recari followed with a 3-and-2 victory over Mikaela Parmlid of Sweden, and Mozo's clinching victory set off an impromptu celebration on the 16th hole that began with a jubilant Recari jumping into Mozo's arms.

Azahara Munoz completed the sweep by beating Ai Miyazato of Japan 2 and 1.

Munoz and Ciganda played at this same Caves Valley course in helping Arizona State win the 2009 NCAA women's championship. Munoz, Ciganda and Recari participated on the last two Solheim Cup champions for Europe.


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''We're so good as a team because we're used to, since we were younger, playing together,'' Munoz said. ''I always played with Belen and Carlota. They were always my foursome partners. It just is so special to be on a team with them.''

Points accumulated through Saturday were added to those amassed Sunday. Using the scoring system of two points for a win and one for a tie, the final order was: Spain (15 points), Sweden (11), South Korea (10), Japan (10), Thailand (9), United States (6), Taiwan (4) and Australia (3).

''We are all superstars, we all did our roles and we are all No. 1,'' Mozo declared.

Japan entered the final round with a one-point lead but lost three of four matches, its lone win coming when Mika Miyazato beat Onnarin Sattayabanphot of Thailand 3 and 1.

''We all like to play under pressure and we know we can do it. It just didn't happen,'' Ai Miyazato said. ''It wasn't our week, but it was an amazing experience.''

Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg topped Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand 6 and 5, taking the lead for good at No. 1 and winning at 10, 11 and 12 to pull away. But the Swedes' bid to win the tournament fizzled when Caroline Hedwall lost to South Korea's Inbee Park, 4 and 2.

Although Sweden didn't come home with the trophy, at least one team member left with a fond memory.

''I've gotten to show myself on the biggest stage that I've been on so far and it feels like I've really take advantage of that,'' said Lindberg, 28, who was playing in her first match-play event. ''It's been so much fun, just over expectations for everyone.''

Park, meanwhile, rode the momentum generated by Saturday's wild-card playoff win over the U.S. to breeze past Hedwall. That left South Korea with at least an outside shot of capturing the event.

''It was important to win the first match. It kind of gives everyone hope and some energy to play well,'' Park said.

That's how it worked for Spain. Alas, South Korea could not sustain the momentum.

Not long after Park won, Choi walked off the course after 12 holes in her mismatch against Ciganda, and South Korea's chances grew even dimmer when I.K. Kim lost to Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand 1 up.

So Yeon Ryu's 1-up win over Sakura Yokomine of Japan left South Korea at 2-2 for the afternoon.

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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.