Yang leads Lewis through 54 at U.S. Women's Open

By Associated PressJuly 11, 2015, 11:41 pm

LANCASTER, Pa. – Amy Yang shot a 1-under 69 Saturday and maintained a three-shot lead over Stacy Lewis through three rounds of the U.S. Women's Open.

The last twosome off, Yang answered every time Lewis tried to trim her three-shot deficit. The pair went toe-to-toe, giving the pairing a match-play feel.

The 25-year-old South Korean pushed her lead to four strokes at the 13th before Lewis capitalized on a two-stroke swing at the 14th, closing within two. But Lewis' struggles with putting carried over to the 17th, where she made a three-putt bogey en route to a 69, sending Yang's advantage back to three heading to the final round.

Yang's three-day total of 8-under 202 is the second-lowest in championship history behind Julie Inkster's 201 in 1999. Lewis was at 5-under 205.

On Moving Day, all the action was outside the top two spots.

In Gee Chun, playing in her first U.S. Open, shot a second 2-under 68. The 20-year-old from South Korea is alone in third place at 4-under 206. Japan's Shiho Oyama is fourth at 3 under after a 71.

Defending champion Michelle Wie played with nagging hip and ankle pain, firing a 68. She is in a four-way tie for fifth at 2-under 208, along with two-time winner Inbee Park (70).

History was made in the third round when South Korea's Chella Choi shot a front-nine 29, but the 24-year-old missed a three-foot putt on her final hole that would have tied the championship's single-round scoring record. She settled for a 6-under 64, shooting up the leaderboard and into the pack at 2 under.

On Sunday, Yang will be in a familiar position: playing in the last pairing on the final day. She has been in the last grouping two of the last three years, and in 2010. At Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014, she played with Wie, was overtaken by eventual runner-up Lewis and settled for fourth. In 2012, she finished second to Na Yeon Choi, and placed fifth in 2010.

Yang said she'll draw on those tournaments on Sunday.

''It was good experience, the last two - the final group experience,'' she said. ''Me and my coach, we prepared. We practiced hard. I'll go out there and I'll just do my best, like what I practice.''

Lewis, a two-time major winner, figures she needs to solve the slippery, sloping greens of Lancaster Country Club if she's to overtake Yang.

''It's just the severity of these greens,'' said Lewis, who is tied for 26th with 96 putts over three rounds. ''And the moment you do try to hit one of those down the hill, that's when you knock it five feet by. I don't think the speed of the greens is that inconsistent, I just think it's the slope within the greens.''

Chun is enjoying her run through her first U.S. Open. She was paired with two-time champion Karrie Webb on Saturday, saying she was 4 years old when the seven-time major winner turned pro. She offset three bogeys with five birdies in her round to stay in contention, albeit four strokes off the lead.

''Everything I experience here, it is new, completely new,'' she said. ''So this is an adventure to me. So tomorrow it's going to be the same thing. Everything is going to be very fun. I just want to be enjoying every bit of the time.''

The hilly course in the heart of Amish country is taking its toll on the hobbled Wie. At one point Saturday, the 25-year-old, four-time winner was kneading her hip and thigh, trying to loosen her muscles.

''I just feel like there's a knot in it sometimes and just trying to get it to go,'' she said.

''Unfortunately it does get a little bit worse. It's just a pretty hilly golf course. On flat lies, it's OK. It's just on the uphill shots,'' she said.

Wie, 57th after the opening round, finally got into red numbers with a birdie at the second, but struggled to stay below par on the front nine. She gave a stroke back at the fourth before following consecutive birdies at the sixth and seventh with back-to-back bogeys closing out the side.

She finally got on track on the back side, posting birdies on the 10th, 12th and 13th to reach 3 under. But she gave another stroke back at the 16th and limped in with pars.

Wie is refusing to let the injuries that forced her to withdraw from Kingsmill earlier this year hamper the defense of her major title.

''It was a long day today,'' Wie acknowledged. ''I'm glad to be done ... I've played with the pain for a while. I know what to expect, nothing is unexpected.

''I just feel like it's coming together. I just want to keep the good feelings going and keep improving on them, gaining confidence in my good shots and learn from the bad ones.''

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Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.