Thompson leads Wie, Gustafson in Dubai

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2011, 1:33 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – American teenager Lexi Thompson has taken a two-shot lead after the second round of the Dubai Ladies Masters.

The 16-year-old Thompson, who is the youngest LPGA Tour winner, had six birdies en route to a bogey-free, 6-under 66 Thursday and 136 total.

“I just made a few more putts today,” Thompson said. “I hit it a little bit closer. I was just thinking ‘stay steady’ and playing consistent.”

Swedish veteran Sophie Gustafson (67) and Margherita Rigon (68) shared second place, while Julieta Granada and Becky Morgan trailed the leader by three shots.

Michelle Wie is four shots behind after a 67. The 22-year-old American, who is looking for her first win of the year, rallied after an opening-round 73. She had five birdies overall, including four on the back nine.

“I made a couple more putts,” Wie said. “I have two more days to try and shoot some more low scores.”

Overnight leader Lotta Wahlin of Sweden needed eight more strokes on Thursday, scoring a 74.

Thompson got her short game working after finishing 16th in the first round. She hit a lob wedge within 10 feet of the pin on the second hole and sent a 178-yard iron shot on the next hole within 15 feet to birdie both.

Thompson has started to match the hype that has surrounded her arrival on the tour, winning the Navistar LPGA Classic by five strokes in September.

A victory in Dubai would make her the second-youngest winner on the European Tour after Amy Yang of South Korea, who won the ANZ Masters in 2006 at 16 years, 191 days. That is just over five months younger than Thompson.

“This is such a great tournament and it would be an honor to win this,” Thompson said. “So I’m just going to try and take it easy and play one shot at a time.”

Wie also got her start on the LPGA Tour at 16 – turning pro two years ago.

However, she has struggled to meet expectations, winning only twice on the LPGA Tour and this year falling to 17th in the rankings because of nagging injuries and a drop in form.

On Thursday, Wie had a bogey-free round in the season-ending event and made several key birdie putts, including a 30-footer on No. 12.

“A little frustrated after the last two holes, but I kept steady out there today,” said Wie, who missed a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 18. “I’m still in contention, and going to go out there tomorrow, shoot another low round.”

Playing alongside Wie, the 38-year-old Gustafson is also looking for her first victory of the year. She was five shots back after the first day, but had five birdies in a bogey-free second round.

“I was striking the ball very well, so it feels good,” Gustafson said. “I was actually hitting the ball awful on Tuesday during the pro-am, but the Swedish coaches that are here this week from the Swedish Golf Federation helped me find my ball striking.”

Four-time major winner Laura Davies (81) continued to struggle in Dubai. The 48-year-old Englishwoman will miss the cut for the second week in a row.

She made an early exit at the Indian Open – only the fourth time she had missed a cut on tour – after her caddie failed to show up for the first round because of visa problems. She carried her own bag and shot 3 over the first day.

This week, Davies said her problems came down to poor play. Needing a sub-par round Thursday for any chance to play into the weekend, Davies had three bogeys and two double bogeys on the front nine to end her chances.

“I started nicely. Three-putted the first and had an eagle chance on 3 and just missed it,” Davies said. “On the fourth hole, I hit what I thought was a good chip and it went in the water. Triple bogey, 6 over. The cut is obviously going to be 1 or 2 (over) and that is a long ways back from there.”


Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: