Park's bid for history 'almost impossible' after 74

By Doug FergusonAugust 4, 2013, 11:41 am

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Inbee Park says her bid to become the first golfer to win four straight professional majors in the same season is now ''almost impossible.''

Even in good scoring conditions Sunday morning at St. Andrews, Park couldn't get a putt to fall. She wound up with a 2-over 74 in the wind-delayed third round of the Women's British Open and was nine shots behind 54-hole leader Morgan Pressel.

''I really think it's almost impossible to do,'' Park said about staging a big rally Sunday afternoon. ''There's not many holes left to play now. This golf course, it is playing tough for me. The greens are getting firmer. It's tough to hit the ball close to the pin. You have to hole long putts here, but it doesn't seem to be going in.''


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It didn't get any better in the fourth round when the 25-year-old South Korean opened with a double bogey.

Nothing summed up her third round like the 18th hole.

The 25-year-old South Korean had a 10-foot birdie putt that looked good all the way until it dipped around the left side of the cup. Park shook her head and, after tapping in for par, continued shaking her head as she walked over to her caddie.

On Saturday, Park was 1-under through four holes when the third round was suspended by 65 kph (40 mph) gusts that moved balls on the greens. Sunday morning presented a better chance to score. It was calm when the round resumed. A 43-person maintenance staff used mowers on the green, but the blades were raised so that only the dew was removed. The greens were not cut in case of more high wind.

She made bogey on No. 6 and dropped two more shots coming back, while leaving several putts short.

''Today nothing wanted to drop,'' Park said. ''I didn't strike the ball bad at all today. It was good conditions for scoring, and I didn't really take advantage. You get days like that. It's OK. You can't play good every day.''

And even if she doesn't win the Women's British Open, she still has three majors she can cherish this year – the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April, followed by the LPGA Championship and the U.S. Women's Open.

Since the modern version of the Grand Slam began in 1960 – Bobby Jones won two professional and two amateur majors in 1930 – Park was the only player to win the first three majors of a season. The only other pro to do that was Babe Zaharias in 1950, when the LPGA Tour only had three majors.

Ben Hogan won three majors in 1953, though the British Open at Carnoustie was held one week after the PGA Championship. Hogan couldn't play the PGA Championship, physically because of his battered legs and logistically because Open qualifying was the same week as the PGA.

Tiger Woods won the final three majors of 2000 after tying for fifth in the Masters.

Woods, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam each got halfway to the Grand Slam and couldn't get the third leg.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.