Thompson wins Dubai, makes history

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2011, 1:04 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Teenager Lexi Thompson has made history as the youngest winner on both the LPGA and Ladies European Tours.

The 16-year-old Thompson shot a 5-under 67 Saturday to win the Dubai Ladies Masters, becoming the youngest professional winner on that side of the Atlantic.

Thompson pulled away from Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa to win by four strokes for her second professional victory. In September, she became the youngest winner of an LPGA tournament at the Navistar LPGA Classic in Alabama.

“It feels amazing,” Thompson said. “I’m just honored they invited me back and I’m just grateful to be here. I’ve been working on my game really hard and it has paid off.”

Thompson chipped in for a birdie on No. 9 to take a one-shot lead over Pace and extended her lead with four birdies on the back nine for a 15-under 273 total.

Pace (69) started strong with two birdies and an eagle on her first six holes, but shaky putting on the back nine ended her chances.

The 2010 European Tour money winner, Pace hit her approach shot on No. 12 over the green for her second bogey in five holes.

“Things could have been a little different,” Pace said. “I hit a bad club on 12, which cost me a shot, and that is where things changed around.”


Mell: Thompson a wake-up call for U.S. players


Sophie Gustafson of Sweden (71) was a shot behind Pace in third place followed by four players another shot back.

Michelle Wie (72) came into the final round five shots behind leader Thompson. She fell out of contention with two bogeys and a double-bogey on the front nine, finishing tied for 12th.

“It was pretty frustrating. I couldn’t get my putts going,” Wie said. “I just needed to play better on the front nine all week. Nothing really went. Nothing went in. At least, I finished birdie, birdie. I gotta work on a lot of things for next season.”

Thompson’s father Scott, who caddies for her, said he was most impressed how she handled the pressure when Pace made her run.

“She didn’t panic and kept playing her game, not worrying about what else anyone was doing,” he said.

Wie offered a congratulatory tweet and predicted she would be force to be reckoned with in the future. The 22-year-old Wie praised the support Thompson gets not only from her father but her entire entourage.

“I think she kind of has that mentality, just grip it and rip it,” said Wie, who also joined the LPGA Tour at 16 and has two wins. “She just goes out there and just kind of has fun, which is really nice to see. She’s a really talented player and I’m really impressed.”

Thompson is projected to move into the top 40 in the rankings. She credits her success with playing alongside her brothers, including PGA Tour member Nicholas.

The precocious Floridian qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open at age 12 in 2007 at Pine Needles, tied for 10th at the tournament last year and was a runner-up by one shot last year at the Evian Masters, one of the richest events on the LPGA Tour schedule.

Her breakout moment came in September when she won the Navistar LPGA Classic by five strokes and was granted LPGA membership two weeks later.

The unfailingly polite, easy-going Thompson said she was looking forward to spending some time with friends and steadily improving next season.

“There’s not really any pressure,” she said. “I’m just playing the game and doing what I love. Playing every week in these tournaments is an honor for me, so I’m just coming out and relaxing and doing my best.”

Her father also tried to tamp down expectations, saying he just wanted to relish her second victory since she turned pro a year-and-a-half ago.

“The first one wasn’t a fluke. She has won again now. That is the great thing,” he said. “The first one people may say she is lucky for the week. But she won again, so it kind of validates it.”

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: