Thompson, Miyazato tied at ANA; Ko, Pettersen 1 back

By Associated PressApril 2, 2016, 1:35 am

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Lexi Thompson powered her way to the top of the ANA Inspiration leaderboard Friday, using length and strength to counter the thick rough.

''If you're going to hit it crooked out here, you might as well hit it far and crooked, so you have a shorter shot in,'' Thompson said. ''But it's very thick. I had some really nasty lies out there.''

Trying to win the major championship for the second time in three years, Thompson birdied the final hole for a 4-under 68 and a share of the second-round lead with Ai Miyazato at 7 under.

Miyazato, tied for the first-round lead with Azahara Munoz, followed her opening 67 with a 70. The 30-year-old Japanese player also finished with a birdie, hitting to 2 feet on the par-5 ninth.

Short off the tee and in stature at 5-foot-2, Miyazato is far more conservative than Thompson at tree-lined Mission Hills.

''I don't really want to be too aggressive on this golf course,'' Miyazato said. ''You need to be really patient and you need to be smart for the course management.''

Top-ranked Lydia Ko (68) was a stroke back along with Suzann Pettersen (67), In Gee Chun (69), Lizette Salas (67), Sung Hyun Park (67) and Lee-Anne Pace (70). Michelle Wie (69) topped the group at 5 under, and 2011 winner Stacy Lewis (68) was another shot behind.

The Kia Classic winner Sunday in Carlsbad, the 18-year-old Ko fought allergies that affected her vision.

''I'm currently one-eye blind,'' Ko said. ''I don't have very good eyesight, especially my left side is the worst, so it was really irritating me. Hopefully, it will be OK by tomorrow.''

ANA Inspiration: Articles, photos and videos

Thompson finished her morning round with a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th to reach 7 under. She had five birdies - three in a row on Nos. 12-14 - and one bogey.

''I definitely could have shot a few shots lower out there, but I hit some bad shots out there, too, that I got away with it,'' Thompson said. ''I recovered really well. That's what you have to do in majors. If you hit a bad shot, you have to pick yourself up and go to the next one.''

That was evident after she drove into the right-side trees on the narrow par-4 16th. She escaped with a mighty hooked pitching wedge under the trees, leaving a 15-foot putt that she nearly holed for birdie.

The winner in Thailand in February for her seventh tour title, she's using a new big-headed putter and has scrapped her eyes-closed routine and narrowed her stance.

''It's a dramatic change,'' Thompson said. ''Just changing to the Cure putter and a little bit different stance over the putts has given me a lot of confidence. I'm rolling it a lot better, and having my caddie, Benji (Thompson, no relation), line me up has helped me out a lot, too.''

Miyazato rebounded from a bogey on the par-3 eighth with the birdie on No. 9 to set up a Saturday pairing with the long-hitting Thompson.

''I played with her many times and I really like to play with her,'' Miyazato said. ''It just doesn't matter this golf course if you hit long or not. You need to be really staying with your game.''

Miyazato was third in the Kia Classic for her first top-10 finish since April 2013. Ranked No. 1 in the world for 11 weeks in 2010, the nine-time LPGA winner is 90th now after climbing 67 spots Monday.

Chun is returning from a back injury that sidelined her for a month. The U.S. Women's Open champion was hurt when she was struck by a hard-case suitcase that rival player Ha Na Jang's father dropped down an escalator at the Singapore airport.

''During the time I had injury treatments back in Korea, I was so depressed and I lost my appetite and motivation,'' Chun said. ''Once I got here, I began to get my motivation back.''

Jang was 5 under after a 70. She bogeyed her final hole after a poor drive.''It was a really big miss off the tee,'' said Jang, a two-time winner this year.

Wie holed out from 132 yards for eagle on the par-4 12th, her third hole of the day.

''That was fun,'' Wie said. ''I definitely felt like I could have made a lot more. I just felt like a blind person out there. I hit a lot of good putts. I just misread them slightly.''

DIVOTS: Defending champion Brittany Lincicome, paired with Thompson, was 3 under after a 69. Last year, Lincicome eagled the final hole of regulation and beat Lewis on the third hole of a playoff. Lincicome also won the event in 2009. ... Munoz had a 78 to drop into a tie for 48th at 1 over. ... Amateurs Hannah O'Sullivan and Albane Valenzuela each shot 73 to make the cut. O'Sullivan, the U.S. Women's Amateur champion, was 1 over, and Valenzuela 2 over. The 18-year-old O'Sullivan is a high school senior in Chandler, Arizona. Valenzuela, also 18, is from Switzerland.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm