Wie Proves She Belongs with Finish

By Associated PressJune 12, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 McDonaldHARVE DE GRACE, Md. -- Michelle Wie was rolling her eyes and slapping her thigh in disgust early in the final round of the LPGA Championship.
By the end of the round Sunday, the 15-year-old from Hawaii was accepting back-slaps of congratulations for her career-best runner-up finish in the LPGA Tour major.
As challenger after challenger failed to make a run at steady-playing Annika Sorenstam in the final round, Wie worked her way up the leaderboard. The first amateur to play in the LPGA Championship closed with a 3-under 69 for an 8-under 280 total -- three off Sorenstam's winning score
``I just felt really good about myself today,'' Wie said. ``I was trying to make a run for her money, but I just wanted to shoot a good score.
``I definitely felt like I had a chance. Although, the last couple holes, I knew it was kind of far to reach.''
Wie was the only player in the field to break par in all four rounds.
``That's why I can't understand people saying that she can't be here,'' said Laura Davies, who tied for third. ``She belongs here.''
Wie is the sixth amateur to finish second in an LPGA major and the first since Jenny Chuasiriporn lost in a playoff to Se Ri Pak in the 1998 U.S. Women's Open. Pat O'Sullivan (1951 Titleholders) and Catherine Lacoste (1967 U.S. Women's Open) are the only amateurs to win majors.
This is just the latest success for Wie.
She won the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links at age 13 and shot a 68 at the Sony Open last year at 14, the lowest score ever by a female competing on the PGA Tour. She finished fourth in the 2004 Kraft Nabisco and tied for second in an LPGA Tour event in January.
Wie opened the championship at Bulle Rock Golf Club with a solid 3-under 69 and followed with consecutive 71s, earning a spot in the next-to-last group for the final round.
And while Sorenstam pulled away, claiming her third straight LPGA Championship and moving to the halfway mark in her quest to win the Grand Slam, Wie made her presence felt.
And she did it in predictable fashion, taking advantage of her length off the tee and playing the par-5s at Bulle Rock in 6 under over four days.
``My energy was so up that my 3-wood went farther than my driver in the last couple of days,'' said Wie, who overcame an upset stomach to surge into contention Thursday.
Wie struggled with her putter throughout the early rounds, missing a number of putts from 15 feet or less. But late in the final round, the pieces started to come together.
She made bogey at the par-5 second when her approach spot spun back off the front of the green. She pitched past the hole and left her par try short. She gave her right leg a hard whack, which might have gotten her started.
She reeled off five straight pars and then birdied the par-5 eighth.
She picked up two more strokes with consecutive birdies at Nos. 10-11. Wie scrambled out of trouble at the 14th, chipping out of deep rough and making the par putt.
She had a long eagle chance at the 493-yard, par-5 15th, and sent a nifty lag putt within tap-in distance. She closed out the round with four straight pars for the best showing of her career.
``I felt real good about my putting on the last nine holes,'' she said.
As an amateur who just finished her sophomore year in high school and recently got her driver's permit, Wie wasn't eligible for the $164,385 second-place prize. That meant an extra $36,000 each to rookie Paula Creamer and Davies, who tied for third at 6 under and split second- and third-place money instead of the third- and fourth-place cash they would have shared had Wie been a pro.
Despite a 14th-place at the first major of the season, the Kraft Nabisco, some players grumbled about the rule change that allowed Wie to join the 150-player field.
``There's definitely going to be some people who are against me, and I really don't care about it,'' she said.
Wie has already qualified for the U.S. Women's Open in Colorado in two weeks, and received an exemption into the Women's British Open in July.
But first, she'll compete in the U.S. Amateur Public Links qualifier on Tuesday near Pittsburgh.
And later this summer, she play in the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic.
On this week at least, Wie was better than the rest of the field, behind only Sorenstam.
``She belongs here,'' Davies said. ``Anyone who don't believe that has rocks in their head.''
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - McDonald's LPGA Championship
  • Full Coverage - McDonald's LPGA Championship
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  • 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:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.