Wie struggles in Rd. 3, falls into share of Open lead

By Associated PressJune 21, 2014, 10:01 pm

PINEHURST, N.C. – In the midst of throwing away a four-shot lead, Michelle Wie never lost sight of the big picture at Pinehurst No. 2.

The U.S. Women's Open rarely goes according to plan, and Saturday was no exception. Wie knows that from experience long ago, and she settled down with four important pars to wind up with a 54-hole share of the lead for the third time in her career.

Wie was a teenager the other two times. Now at 24, she was one round away from capturing her first major.

''I'm just grateful for another opportunity,'' Wie said after salvaging a 2-over 72 to tie Amy Yang. ''Tomorrow I'm going to play as hard as I can and hope for the best.''

Yang, who earned a spot in the final group for the second time in three years, didn't make a par until the eighth hole in a wild round so typical of this day. Only a sloppy bogey on the final hole cost her the outright lead, though she was more than happy with a 68.

They were at 2-under 208, the only players still under par.

A pivotal moment for Wie came on the 12th hole. She reached 6 under for the tournament with back-to-back birdies at the turn. She made her first double bogey of the tournament with a tee shot she hooked into the pine trees on the 11th. Her next drive sailed well to the right and settled on a sandy path. Instead of punching under the trees and over the bunker to the green – anything long is a tough up-and-down – she pitched out to the fairway and made bogey.

''U.S. Opens are tough,'' she said. ''I feel like maybe on a different golf course, I would have taken that chance. You just don't want to be too greedy out here. Even though you make bogey, sometimes you just don't want to make a double out here. I felt like I made the right decision there.''


U.S. Women’s Open: Articles, videos and photos


The USGA set the course up relative to what the men faced last Saturday in the U.S. Open when wire-to-wire winner Martin Kaymer had his only over-par round with a 72. It was short (6,270 yards) but tough because of the pin positions.

That didn't stop Juli Inkster. The 53-year-old Hall of Famer, who has said her 35th appearance in the Women's Open will be her last, had a tournament-best 66 to get into contention. She will be in the penultimate group, four shots out of the lead, still dreaming of a third Open title that would make her by 10 years the oldest Women's Open winner.

''You can think and you can dream all you want,'' Inkster said. ''But the bottom line is you've got to come out and make the shots. And if I'm tied for the lead coming up 18, then maybe I'll think about it. I've got a long way to go. I'm just going to enjoy the moment and hit a few balls and see what happens.''

Also remaining in the hunt was Lexi Thompson, who won the first LPGA major this year in a final-round duel with Wie, and pulled within one shot of Wie with a pair of birdies early in the round.

It fell apart on two holes.

Thompson missed the green to the left on No. 8 – the worst spot at Pinehurst – and her first chip fell down the slope, leading to double bogey.

On the next hole, she went long over the green and chose to take relief she really didn't need from a white line marking the TV tower. Thompson went to the drop zone, and her ball rolled back into a divot. Worst yet, she still used her putter, and it hopped high out of the divot and had no chance to reach the green. She made another double bogey, then made three straight bogeys on the back nine. She birdied the final hole for a 74 that left over 3 over.

Na Yeon Choi had a 71 and was in the group with Inkster at 2-over 212 along with Stephanie Meadow (69) and 18-year-old amateur Minjee Lee of Australia (72). Another shot back were So Yeon Ryu, who played her final 10 holes in 3 under for a 70, and Karrie Webb, who went the final 12 holes without a bogey for a 70.

''Michelle Wie has put a few of us back into the tournament,'' Webb said. ''Two hours ago, I didn't think I had a shot. I'm pretty happy about that.''

Wie hit 8-iron to 8 feet for birdie on the par-3 ninth, and then hit a beautiful lag from about 80 feet for at two-putt birdie on the par-5 10th to reach 6 under. One swing changed everything.

The back tee on No. 11 was used for the first time all week, playing at 444 yards. Lucy Li, the 11-year-old who missed the cut as the Women's Open's youngest qualifier in history, walked the final 12 holes with the last group. ''Man, that hole is like 10 times harder from there,'' she said. ''Well, maybe not for them.''

Definitely for them based on their shots.

Wie hit a snap-hook that rambled through the trees and left her no shot but to go sideways and slightly back. She hit her third in a greenside bunker, blasted out about 25 feet long and nearly off the green and made double bogey.

''You can't be in the tree here,'' Wie said. ''But I felt like I grinded out there.''

That's what it usually takes in the U.S. Women's Open. Wie shot 82 in final round at Cherry Hills when she was 15. She missed a playoff at Newport by two shots a year later. She is back again, a 24-year-old former teen prodigy, 18 holes away and still a long way to go.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

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Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

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Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

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Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

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Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

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Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.