The Wait is Over as Third Round Underway

By Associated PressJune 30, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. WomenSOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -- Angela Park shot a 69 to finish at 5-under 137 and take a two-stroke lead Saturday over three others after two rounds at the U.S. Women's Open, where Michelle Wie withdrew with a lingering wrist injury.
 
Park, whose opening-round 68 was best in the field at Pine Needles, saved par with a 30-foot putt on No. 18 and secured the lead over Amy Hung, Jiyai Shin and Julieta Granada heading into the third round, which officials hoped to start later in the afternoon.
 
'My caddie told me I spent the least amount of time reading that putt out of all the putts today,' Park said. 'I hit it and it went in, so keep it simple.'
 
The 18-year-old LPGA Tour rookie -- who was 3 under after the first round and didn't take a shot Friday because of weather delays and a late start time -- continued to establish herself as a legitimate contender in a tournament previously dominated by thunder, lightning and Wie's abrupt withdrawal.
 
Wie, who shot a first-round 82, was at 6 over through the back nine when she sent her tee shot on No. 1 into the left rough. Immediately after striking her second shot, she approached USGA personnel and walked off the course.
 
'I just kind of woke up, and it was really sore,' Wie said of her left wrist. 'But it was OK. It held up. ... I tweaked it. And then after that it kind of went downhill. I don't remember hurting this much again.'
 
Morgan Pressel was at 3 under at one point before bogeying two of her final four holes, including one that followed a poor tee shot on No. 18 to finish with a 70, four strokes behind the leader.
 
'I didn't really have too many opportunities to mess up out there, and I certainly had more birdie opportunities that I could have converted,' Pressel said.
 
The player who supplanted Pressel as the youngest qualifier in Open history -- 12-year-old Alexis Thompson -- finished the final five holes of her round, with two bogeys and a double-bogey putting her at 16 over.
 
'I saw what I have to be, what my game has to be like, what has to be good in my game, my short game if you miss the green,' Thompson said. 'So I'm going to work on that -- I'm going to work on everything -- but it was an awesome experience.'
 
It wasn't that way for a former Women's Open champion at Pine Needles.
 
Karrie Webb, the 2001 champion who opened with an 83 for the worst score of her career, offset consecutive birdies with a double-bogey on No. 10 to finish 12 over and well beyond the projected cut of 6 over.
 
'I got into a bit of a funk, then I didn't swing it well,' Webb said.
 
Meanwhile, 1996 winner Annika Sorenstam finished her second round at 5 over with a par on No. 9.
 
And, as the case has been all week, the threat of severe weather continued to loom large, with organizers mapping out contingency plans for Monday and hoping to avoid a third straight day of delays.
 
'This area has gone for weeks on end without any kind of weather,' said Mike Davis, the USGA's senior director of rules and competition. 'And bring the USGA to town, and it's amazing how we can change weather patterns.'
 
Just ask Janice Moodie.
 
She didn't bother with a caddie Saturday morning to complete her second round. The Scot was less than 3 inches from closing her round Friday when lightning threatened and the horn abruptly sounded to stop play.
 
So after daybreak she returned to the 18th green with only her putter, tapped in a gimme putt to finish her 76 -- then turned around and went back home.
 
'I think I might have squeezed it (Friday) if we had just gone ahead,' Moodie said. 'It's just one of those things, isn't it? The horn's got to be blowing sometime. It just happens to be when I'm doing my first putt.'
 
It's been that kind of week so far at Pine Needles, where Mother Nature has dominated the field.
 
With threats of thunder and lightning during the first two days, some players were left to spend more time with pool cues and pingpong paddles in the clubhouse rather than putters on the practice green.
 
'This tournament is just a championship of patience,' Pressel said.
 
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  • Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

    While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

    Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

    The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    ''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''


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    Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

    Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

    Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

    ''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

    The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

    Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

    ''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon: