Zingers Ryder Cup team begins taking shape

By Associated PressAugust 10, 2008, 4:00 pm
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2008 US Open 81x90BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. ' Ben Curtis will have to ditch the NFL apparel next month for the Stars & Stripes. A runner-up finish in the PGA Championship on Sunday earned him his first trip to the Ryder Cup.
 
I love Ben Curtis a lot, and I love the fact hes made the team, U.S. captain Paul Azinger said.
 
Curtis lost out on a chance to win another major when he bogeyed two of the last four holes at Oakland Hills, but only later did he realize the consolation prize. His tie for second moved him from No. 20 to No. 7 in the standings, earning him one of the eight automatic spots in the qualifying that ended with the PGA Championship.
 
Its almost a victory in itself, said Curtis, who wears apparel of NFL teams when he plays on the PGA TOUR.
 
Three of the eight Americans who qualified will be Ryder Cup rookies ' Anthony Kim (No. 5), Curtis and Boo Weekley, who closed with a 66 to tie for 20th to secure the final spot.
 
Justin Leonard finished sixth and will play in the Ryder Cup for the first time since he holed that 45-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole at Brookline to cap off the largest rally in history in 1999. That also was the last time the Americans won.
 
Phil Mickelson tied for seventh and was atop the points list ' Tiger Woods clinched the No. 1 spot in June after winning the U.S. Open, but is out the rest of the year after reconstructive surgery on his left knee.
 
The rest of the U.S. qualifiers were Stewart Cink, Kenny Perry and Jim Furyk.
 
Azinger will announce his four captains picks on Sept. 2. Europe still has three tournaments left before 10 players qualify, and captain Nick Faldo will have two picks after that.
 
The Ryder Cup will be played Sept. 19-21 at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky.
 
Steve Stricker was at No. 8 in the standings going into the week, but he was hurt by a 77 in the third round. Stricker closed with a 69, but any chance of overtaking Weekley unfolded before his eyes.
 
I just wanted to shoot something good and see what happened, Stricker said. I thought maybe I could catch Boo, but he was playing right in front of me, so I knew by the last few holes that wasnt going to happen.
 
Curtis won the British Open in 2003 ' his first major ' but did not make the Presidents Cup team. He didnt figure to be on this Ryder Cup team until he was runner-up at the Wachovia Championship in early May, then tied for seventh in the British Open.
 
And then came his week at Oakland Hills, where he took the 54-hole lead by one shot and was still tied for the lead with four holes to play until a bogey from the rough on the 15th.
 
He deserves to be on the team, doesnt he? Stricker said. Hes stood up to the challenge all week.
 
Weekley matched Harrington for the best score of the final round and will bring his homespun speech to the U.S. team room. He did not stop for questions after his round so he could get to the airport.
 
Got to run, he said.
 
Brandt Snedeker, who was in 15th place, needed to finish at least seventh to have a chance. He was at 4 over for the tournament through six holes, but a double bogey on No. 7 sent him to a 73.
 
Its going to come down to how I play the next three events, said Snedeker, who defends his title next week in Greensboro. Hopefully, I can play well and get on his radar. Im disappointed, because I had a chance to take care of my own business this week, and now it is out of my control. Ive got to play well.
 
Sergio Garcia secured his spot on his fifth consecutive team for Europe with a runner-up finish, while Justin Rose stayed in the mix with a 71 in the final round to tie for ninth.
 
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  • Thompson wins Race, loses tournament after short miss

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 8:52 pm

    The drama went down to the very last hole in the LPGA's final event of 2017. Here's how things ended up at the CME Group Tour Championship, where a surprising miss from Lexi Thompson opened the door for Ariya Jutanugarn to win in dramatic fashion:

    Leaderboard: Ariya Jutanugarn (-15), Lexi Thompson (-14), Jessica Korda (-14), Pernilla Lindberg (-13), Eun-Hee Ji (-13)

    What it means: There were scenarios aplenty entering the final round, with nearly every season-long accolade still hanging in the balance. Thompson appeared set to take them all as she sized up a 2-foot par putt on the final hole - a stroke that looked like it would take her to world No. 1 for the first time. Instead, the putt barely touched the hole and allowed Jutanugarn to rally to victory with birdies on the closing two holes. Thompson still took home $1 million for winning the season-long Race to the CME Globe, as it was a reverse scenario from last year when Jutanugarn won the $1 million but not the final tournament.

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    Biggest disappointment: Thompson faced heartbreak after the penalty-shrouded ANA Inspiration, and she again must handle a setback after essentially missing a tap-in with everything on the line. Thompson can enjoy a $1 million consolation prize along with the Vare Trophy, but a tournament win would have clinched Player of the Year honors as well as her first-ever trip to world No. 1. Instead, she now has the entire off-season to think about how things went awry from close range.

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    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

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