Wright tied atop crowded leaderboard at Mobile Bay

By Associated PressApril 26, 2012, 9:11 pm

MOBILE, Ala. –  Jennifer Rosales birdied five of the first seven holes on the back nine and finished with a 5-under 67 on Thursday in the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic for a share of the first-round lead with Katie FutcherLindsey Wright and Caroline Hedwall.

Rosales, the Filipino player who won the last of her two LPGA Tour titles in 2005, had a birdie and a bogey on the front nine before making her back-nine move on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Magnolia Grove complex. The event was her first of the year on the tour.

''I'm doing scuba diving in the offseason,'' Rosales said. ''It's fun, I really love it. It's totally different from golf. That's it, that's what I've been doing back home.

The 33-year-old Rosales has limited tour status after finishing 124th on the money list last year.

''Actually, you know what? It's better not to expect anything,'' Rosales said. ''I just came out here and wanted to play and see this weekend. ... Actually, today was an easy day for me. I hit most of the fairways and greens. I only missed I think a green today. My putting was very good today.''

Futcher had the lead at 6 under after 17 holes, but dropped into a tie with a bogey on the par-4 ninth.

She revealed that she recently switched from bacon to salami as her on-course snack.

''I've tried everything on the golf course,'' Futcher said. ''I've tried sandwiches, I've tried nuts, I've tried every kind of bar you can think of. Bacon is good for me because it has a lot of protein and a lot of fat. I've switched now to salami. I go back and forth from salami to bacon. Right now I'm on a salami kick because ... bacon, you can only eat so much of it for so long, so I kind of need to switch it up. Just something with some fat in it as well as some protein, and then I'll eat just a straight carbohydrate bar.''

Wright and Hedwall had bogey-free rounds.

''It feels like it's kind of target golf and I like that,'' Hedwall said. ''I enjoy just hitting it; where it stops where you hit it, too. I like that and I think I did that well today. Just everything feels good, and hopefully I can play as well for the rest of the week.''

Wright won the New Zealand Women's Open in February.

''I just played a nice round of golf,'' the Australian said. ''I wish it was like that every day.''

Kraft Nabisco winner Sun Young Yoo was a stroke back along with Stacy Lewis, Morgan Pressel, Mariajo Uribe, Sydnee Michaels, Cindy Lacrosse, Haeji Kang and Mi Jung Hur.

''I hit the ball well and putted well,'' Yoo said. ''I missed a couple putts, but 4 under is a good score so I'm pretty happy with where I'm at right now.''

Natalie Gulbis topped the group at 69.

Teen star Lexi Thompson had a 70, and defending champion Maria Hjorth opened with a 71. Last year, Hjorth took advantage of Thompson's collapse, rallying to beat Song-Hee Kim by two strokes. Thompson, tied for the lead entering the final round, had a 78 to tie for 19th.

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.