Kim Wins Futures Q-School Lang Second

By Futures Tour MediaNovember 12, 2005, 5:00 pm
Futures TourLAKELAND, Fla. -- The FUTURES Golf Tour's Qualifying Tournament brings a new cast of young international talent to this Central Florida town each year and invariably, a fresh new face steps up and makes her initial mark in women's professional golf.
That was again the case when amateur Song-Hee Kim of Seoul, South Korea, fired her career-low round of 9-under-par 63 on the third day and stayed out of the field's reach down the stretch in today's final round. Kim, 17, carded a score of 2-under-par 70 today to complete the 72-hole event at 270 (-18) -- a tournament record since the FUTURES Golf Tour began holding a qualifying tournament in 1999. For the record, Kim's performance shattered last year's four-day qualifying total of 279, set by Paula Creamer and Brittany Lincicome.
'I couldn't catch her,' said runner-up Brittany Lang of McKinney, Texas, who carded rounds of 69-69-69-68 to finish alone in second place at 13-under-par 275. 'I had it to 5 under today, but she was really solid and she's really long. There are a lot of great young players right now, like Paula [Creamer] and Michelle [Wie], and she's in the next wave.'
Co-runner-up with top-ranked amateur Morgan Pressel this summer at the U.S. Women's Open Championship, Lang, 20, should know a thing or two about great young talent. Lang rolled in five birdies and recorded one bogey today as she tried to chase down the lanky Korean teenager. But Kim was unflappable and was one of five amateurs who finished in the tournament's top seven spots -- an unprecedented number of high-finishing ams.
Even after touring the front nine holes of Cleveland Heights Golf Course at even-par 36, the slender 5-foot-9 Korean teen remained patient and rolled in birdie putts from 15 feet on the 12th and from nine feet on the 14th hole in her bogey-free round. In spite of a disappointing day with her putter in which she used 32 putts, Kim managed to play under par and was largely uncatchable.
'I had good concentration this week and it feels good that I had nice scores,' said the shy teen through her translator, Sun Min Lim.
Kim admitted that she was still surprised by her third-round score of 63 and had trouble falling asleep later that night. She also admitted that she was 'a little nervous' beginning today's final round, but probably benefited from the fact that she didn't realize that Lang was the same player who finished second at this year's U.S. Women's Open.
'I didn't know it was her,' she said shyly. 'Maybe it is easier when I don't know about other players.'
Korean amateur Ha-Na Chae fired a final-round 68 and finished third at 10-under-par 278. Chae, 19, along with Kim and amateur Song Yi Choi, were three of the Korean National Team's six members in this week's FUTURES Tour Qualifying Tournament.
'It surprises me a little but Korea has a lot of good players,' said 2005 FUTURES Tour winner Jin Young Pak, 19, who visited Lakeland today to watch the tournament in the city where she won her first professional event back in March.
FUTURES Tour veteran Salimah Mussani of Burlington, Ontario finished solo fourth at eight-under-par 280, in spite of spending most of the night in a local hospital emergency room with severe stomach pains. Mussani went to a local hospital at 3:30 a.m., and then informed medical staff that she would have to postpone a suggested CAT scan for a suspicious appendix because she 'had a golf tournament to play.' Sleepless but determined -- and still in pain -- the former Stanford University player carded a two-under-par 70 to lend credence to the old 'beware of the ailing golfer' adage.
Rounding out the top seven was amateur Angela Park, 17, of Torrance, Calif., at 282 (-6), and amateur In-Bee Park, 17, of Las Vegas at 283 (-5).
'I think I played pretty decent golf, but I have to get better at playing strong at the end,' said former U.S. Girls' Junior Champion In-Bee Park, who shot a two-under-par 70 today with bogeys on her last two holes. 'This week was a really good experience with really great competition.'
It also was a week in which the amateurs certainly grabbed the attention of the professionals in the field. Australia's Nikki Garrett of New South Wales was still shaking her head at the performance of Kim, after having watched the tournament's winner fire a 66 during the second round and her record-setting 63 in the third.
'If I putted like her, maybe I'd be that good,' said Garrett, who was paired with Kim for the two rounds. 'She made it look so easy and it was good to watch.'
As for Kim, she seemed most animated when she spoke of flying home to Korea on Saturday. She admitted that she was homesick for her mom's cooking in spite of her father Chun Bae Kim's valiant efforts to prepare rice, soup and Korean barbecue for his daughter all week.
Kim plans to return to the United States in January to attend the International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) in Hilton Head Island, S.C., where she hopes to improve her English. And she plans to play on the FUTURES Golf Tour in 2006 as an amateur.
She already has won as an amateur, but to all who were chasing Song-Hee Kim for 72 holes this week, she sure played like a pro.
Getty Images

Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

Getty Images

Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

Getty Images

Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

Getty Images

Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

"It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

"This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."