Wie leads again; play suspended in Arkansas

By Associated PressJune 28, 2014, 11:09 pm

ROGERS, Ark. - Whether it's because of her improved play or the reason for it, Michelle Wie appears as comfortable on and off the golf course as at any time in her career.

Wie continued her season-long surge Saturday, shooting her second straight 5-under 66 to take a two-shot lead in the suspended second round of the NW Arkansas Championship.

The performance put the U.S. Women's Open champion within a round of back-to-back wins for the first time in her LPGA career, not that she showed any signs of stress after reaching 10 under overall.

In fact, shortly after surging into the lead at Pinnacle Country Club, Wie joined PGA Tour pros Rickie Fowler and Keegan Bradley as part of a social media challenge in dumping a bucket of ice water on herself on the driving range.

Yes, life is good at the moment for Wie.

''I think it comes hand in hand,'' Wie said about her winning and revamped attitude. ''... I played really well toward the end of the year last year ... took a lot of time off, took about a month and a half. So, I just felt really refreshed, and I think it comes hand in hand.''

All 72 players in the afternoon session were unable to finish on Saturday because of thunderstorms, with second-round play expected to finish early Sunday before the final round begins later in the morning.

Before the rain arrived, the morning pairings were once again left chasing Wie - who earned her first major victory at the U.S. Women's Open last week at Pinehurst after winning earlier in the season in her home state of Hawaii.

So Yeon Ryu, paired with Wie, was second at 8 under after her second straight 67, while Suzann Pettersen, Chella Choi and Line Vedel were three strokes back. Pettersen had a 67, Choi shot 65, and Vedel had five holes left.

Top-ranked and local favorite Stacy Lewis was four shots behind at 6 under, a week after finishing a shot behind Wie at Pinehurst. The two are training and practice partners in Florida, and Wie couldn't help but challenge her friend to the ice bucket shower after her dousing.

''Michelle's obviously playing some really good golf,'' Lewis said. ''I'm going to have to shoot a good number tomorrow. ... At least I put a good number up today, and we'll see what happens tomorrow.''

Lewis made the early charge Saturday to close within a shot of first-round leader Alena Sharp, much to the delight of the pro-Arkansas crowd - where Lewis played collegiately.

For the second straight day, however, Wie saved her best for the back.

She jumped into contention with a 4-under 31 on the back nine Friday. After teeing off on the back nine Saturday, she once again closed with a flurry - birdieing four of her final seven holes to shoot a 4-under 32 and surge into the lead.

She putted 29 times Saturday, a day after needing 28 putts in her opening round using her more hunched-over style.

''These days, Michelle's on fire,'' Ryu said. ''I played with her today and yesterday, and her putting was awesome. I think that's why she could win a major tournament.''

Wie put the finishing touch on her round - and quest for a second straight tournament victory - with a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 9 that put her within reach of back-to-back wins.

''I just want to kind of get through tomorrow,'' Wie said. ''But at the same time, it is definitely in the back of my mind ... If I can get it done, hopefully it will happen.''

Wie held off Lewis by two shots to win her first major title in the U.S. Women's Open. Playing a group behind Lewis on Saturday, Wie bogeyed her second hole, No. 11, and recovered with a birdie on the par-5 14th.

She followed that with a second straight birdie on a par 5, getting up and down off the fringe on No. 18 to reach 6 under. Her birdie spree followed on the front nine, with large galleries following both Lewis and Wie.

Lewis followed a sluggish first round in which she putted 31 times by needing only 24 putts on Saturday. She stumbled with a bogey out of the greenside bunker on the par-3 fourth hole before recovering with birdies on No. 5 and 9.

She'll need more of the same if she or anyone else is to catch Wie on Sunday.

''It's going to have to be something pretty low,'' Lewis said. ''The way Michelle and a lot of those girls play, they're not really going to come back to us.''

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.

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.