Webb sets course record, claims Founders Cup title

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2014, 1:20 am

PHOENIX - Karrie Webb is close friends with founding player Louise Suggs and has a deep appreciation for the 13 women who started the LPGA in 1950.

The 39-year-old Australian made some more history of her own Sunday in the JTBC Founders Cup, rallying to win the event that honors the tour's pioneers.

''It's a very special event,'' Webb said.

The Hall of Famer shot a course-record 9-under 63 to take the lead, then waited 90 minutes to see if anyone could catch her.

To her surprise, no one did.

''I didn't expect to be sitting here at the start of the day,'' Webb said. ''Even, actually, when I finished the day, I didn't expect to be sitting here. So I feel a little bit lucky, I guess, to be sitting here. But it doesn't make it feel any less special.''

For the second time in the event, Webb overcame a six-stroke deficit in the final round. In 2011 in the inaugural tournament, she finished with a 66 for a one-stroke victory.

''I just love the feeling of this event,'' Webb said.



Webb donated $50,000 of her $225,000 check, giving $25,000 each to LPGA-USGA Girls Golf and ''The Founders'' documentary movie. She did an interview for the film this week and learned that only about 10 percent of the necessary money had been raised to complete the project.

''I was just standing on the 18th green when Mike (Whan, LPGA commissioner) was introducing me, and it just came to me that, 'You know, I would love to be a part of that movie being produced.'''

Webb talked Friday night with the 90-year-old Suggs, a fixture at the tournament the last three years but unable to make it this year.

''She told me that I had to go out and shoot 64 yesterday, which I let her down and I didn't do that,'' Webb said. ''So, I made it up to her today.''

She certainly did.

Webb had 10 birdies and a bogey, playing the back nine in 6-under 30. She birdied five of the last six holes, making a 20-footer on the par-4 18th to finish at 19-under 269.

''I definitely putted probably the best I have all week,'' Webb said. ''Worked on a few things last night and really got the ball rolling on the back nine.''

Webb also rallied to win the Women's Australian Open last month and has 41 LPGA victories to match founding player Babe Zaharias for 10th place.

Third-round leader Lydia Ko parred the final three holes to finish a stroke back along with 2013 winner Stacy Lewis, Azahara Munoz, Amy Yang and Mirim Lee.

The 16-year-old Ko shot 70. She had a three-stroke lead after birdieing Nos. 2-5, slipped back with bogeys on Nos. 6, 9 and 11 and pulled within one with a birdie on the par-5 15th.

''I tried to get myself together,'' Ko said. ''I made some bogeys at the wrong time, which wasn't ideal, but I tried my best until the last.''

Munoz and Yang, playing together in the third-to-last group, missed long birdie putts on 18 and each shot 67. Lee shot 69 in the next group, also missing a long birdie try.

That left Ko - and her 25-foot try on the last was just short and right.

''I played really well overall, so I'm just going to take the positive out of it,'' Ko said.

Lewis birdied the final two holes for a 66.

''Unfortunately, I just came up one shot short,'' Lewis said. ''But to finish the way I did, it was just really nice to hit the shots and make the putts at the end of the round. Seeing putts go in always helps going into the next couple of weeks.''

DIVOTS: Jessica Korda, playing with Ko in the last group, had a quadruple-bogey 8 on the par-4 seventh after hitting her approach into the desert, then played the final 11 holes in 5 under to tie for seventh at 17 under. The Bahamas winner closed with a 70. ... Hee-Won Han also matched the course record with a 63 to tie for 15th at 14 under. Playing in the ninth group of the day, she holed a sand wedge for eagle on No. 7 and had only 24 putts. Ai Miyazato set the course record in the first round last year, and Cristie Kerr matched it Saturday. Kerr finished with a 67 to tie for 10th at 16 under. ... Top-ranked Inbee Park also closed with a 67 to tie for 10th.

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Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x