Weather Suspends Second Rd of FUTURES Tour
Recurring lightning storms drove half of the tournament field back into the clubhouse during second-round action. Players were shuttled off the course at 4:07 p.m. as lightning was spotted and rain pelted the LPGA International Course.
Wigger, one shot off the lead at 4-under par coming into Saturdays action, grabbed a one-stroke lead after completing just six holes in her 2:09 p.m. tee-time. She scored a birdie on the fifth hole and was primed for another on the par-3 seventh hole before the storms hit. The non-exempt LPGA Tour member and former University of Virginia Cavalier passed first-day leader Nari Kim of Seoul, South Korea, after Kim made bogey on the third hole.
Its just part of golf to expect bad weather, said Wigger of Louisville, Ky. I looked at the weather reports for the weekend and I think Im a good player in bad weather because a lot of people get frustrated.
After players lingered for over half an hour in the clubhouse, play was suspended for the day around 6 p.m. by Duramed FUTURES Tour Head Rules Official Kelly Wergin because of recurring lightning strikes over the Legends Course.
We saw that the lightning storms were still coming toward the area, Wergin said. We were able to get 72 players off the course. Play will resume tomorrow at 8 a.m.
Players will be able to warm up on the driving range as soon as its light according to Wergin and move to the carts at 7:40 a.m. to conclude second-round play at 8 a.m. After the second round is completed and the 36-hole cut is made, the first and 10th tees will be utilized to complete Sundays final round, beginning around 11:45 a.m.
Carrying the low round of the day at 3-under par through nine holes prior to the storm, Yeon Joo Lee, had an unfortunate triple bogey on the 10th hole. The third-year professional from Seoul, South Korea, carded back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth holes, defying the wind that plagued most of the field in the morning.
Its OK because everyone is in the same situation, Lee said after coming off the course. I just need to go back out with the same mentality tomorrow and try to pick up where I left off.
Rain, Rain Go Away, Come Again Another Day
The storm didnt dampen the hearts of the players after packing in the clubhouse to retreat from the torrential downpour. The sudden invasion of Duramed FUTURES Tour players flooded the clubhouse lobby and preceded a wedding ceremony as they waited for announcements.
While waiting for the weather to clear, Second-year Duramed FUTURES Tour pro Caroline Larsson of Stockholm, Sweden, expanded her Korean vocabulary and proudly showed off new terminology to Scotland native and former Florida Southern collegian Pamela Feggans. Former Cal-Berkeley standout Sofie Andersson and her coach, Katarina Vangdal, the Swedish National Coach, wondered if there was a Coldstone Ice Cream shop in the vicinity. Libby Smith of Essex Junction, Vt., started thinking about the Final Four in the NCAA mens basketball championship. Smith says she doesnt follow college basketball and is more of an NBA fan, but still has a team to root for as March Madness continues later tonight.
I dont really get into the pools, but Im rooting for Kansas because my host family (originally from Kansas) might not let me in if I dont, Smith joked.
Jennifer Ackerson Scores Ace on 15th hole
Jennifer Ackerson of Dallas scored the Tour's second season hole-in-one during Saturday's second round. Ackerson used a 6-iron to ace the 164-yard 15th hole. It was her third career hole-in-one, but her first in competition.
'I was plus-two for the day and that shot got me back to even par, so it was pretty nice,' she said. 'It came at a good time.'
Olsen Salvages Second Round, Remains in the Hunt
Second-year Duramed FUTURES Tour pro Sarah (Martin) Olsen felt fortunate to have a morning tee time. Finishing at 2-over par on the day with a 74, the former collegian at Michigan State discussed the answers for blustery conditions and will have to wait to see how the second round plays out tomorrow to see if she will make the cut. A former college teammate of Duramed FUTURES Tour alums Allison Fouch and Emily Bastel in East Lansing, Olsen is no stranger to the complicated weather that she saw in the Big Ten Conference.
Sometimes the wind would affect it and sometimes the wind wouldnt touch it today, said Olsen of Brownstone, Mich. It kept me guessing because it was really windy in the morning. Its just not the weather that makes me play bad though, sometimes I can shoot myself in the foot.
Rahm, Koepka both jump in OWGR after wins
Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka both made moves inside the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings following wins in Dubai and Japan, respectively.
Rahm captured the European Tour season finale, winning the DP World Tour Championship by a shot. It was his third worldwide victory of 2017 and it allowed the Spaniard to overtake Hideki Matsuyama at world No. 4. It also establishes a new career high in the rankings for Rahm, who started the year ranked No. 137.
Koepka cruised to a nine-shot victory while successfully defending his title at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix. The victory was his first since winning the U.S. Open and it helped Koepka jump three spots to No. 7 in the latest rankings. Reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele, who finished second behind Koepka in Japan, went from 30th to 24th.
After earning his maiden PGA Tour victory at the RSM Classic, Austin Cook vaulted from No. 302 to No. 144 in the world. Runner-up J.J. Spaun jumped 48 spots to No. 116, while a hole-out with his final approach helped Brian Gay rise 73 spots to No. 191 after finishing alone in third at Sea Island.
Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas with Rahm and Matsuyama now rounding out the top five. Justin Rose remains at No. 6, followed by Koepka, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson. Rory McIlroy slid two spots to No. 10 and is now in danger of falling out of the top 10 for the first time since May 2014.
With his return to competition now less than two weeks away, Tiger Woods fell four more spots to No. 1193 in the latest rankings.
Love to undergo hip replacement surgery
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Two days removed from arguably the most hectic week of his year, Davis Love III will undergo replacement surgery on his left hip.
Love, who hosted and played in last week’s RSM Classic, said he tried to avoid the surgery, but the pain became too much and he will undergo the procedure on Tuesday at the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center in Birmingham, Ala.
“I had a hip problem the last few years, and I had a hip resurfacing trying to avoid hip surgery because I’m a chicken, but after playing [the CIMB Classic and Sanderson Farms Championship] I realized it was an uphill battle,” Love said.
Love said doctors have told him recovery from the procedure will take between three to four months, but he should be able to start work on his chipping and putting within a few weeks.
Love, who missed the cut at the RSM Classic, said earlier in the week that his goal is to become the oldest PGA Tour winner and that the only way to achieve that was by having the surgery.
“Now I’m excited that I’ve crossed that bridge,” said Love, who will turn 54 next April. “Once I get over that I can go right back to the Tour. I won after a spine fusion [2015 Wyndham Championship] and now I’d like to win with a new hip. That’s the reason I’m doing it so I can get back to golf and keep up.”
LPGA awards: Ryu, S.H. Park tie for POY
NAPLES, Fla. – In the end, the CME Group Tour Championship played out a lot like the entire 2017 season did.
Nobody dominated the game’s big season-ending awards, though Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park came close.
Thompson walked away with the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot and the Vare Trophy for low scoring average. If she had made that last 2-foot putt at the 72nd hole Sunday, she might also have walked away with the Rolex Player of the Year Award and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.
Park shared the Rolex Player of the Year Award with So Yeon Ryu. By doing so, Park joined Nancy Lopez as the only players in LPGA history to win the Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year titles in the same season. Lopez did it in 1978. Park also won the LPGA money-winning title.
Here’s a summary of the big prizes:
Rolex Player of the Year
Ryu and Park both ended up with 162 points in the points-based competition. Park started the week five points behind Ryu but made the up the difference with the five points she won for tying for sixth.
It marks the first time the award has been shared since its inception in 1966.
Ryu and Park join Inbee Park as the only South Koreans to win the award. Park won it in 2013.
Thompson won the award with a scoring average of 69.114. Sung Hyun Park finished second at 69.247. Park needed to finish at least nine shots ahead of Thompson at the CME Group Tour Championship to win the trophy.
There were a record 12 players with scoring averages under 70.0 this year, besting the previous record of five, set last year.
CME Globe $1 million prize
Thompson entered the week first in the CME points reset, but it played out as a two-woman race on the final day. Park needed to finish ahead of Thompson in the CME Group Tour Championship to overtake her for the big money haul. Thompson tied for second in the tournament while Park tied for sixth.
By winning the CME Group Tour Championship, Jutanugarn had a shot at the $1 million, but she needed Park to finish the tournament eighth or worse and Thompson to finish ninth or worse.
LPGA money-winning title
Park claimed the title with $2,335,883 in earnings. Ryu was second, with $1,981,593 in earnings.
The tour saw a tour-record 17 players win $1 million or more this season, two more than did so last year.
Ryu came into the week as the only player who could pass Park for the title, but Ryu needed to win to do so.
Rolex world No. 1 ranking
The top ranking was up for grabs at CME, with No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Sung Hyun Park and No. 3 So Yeon Ryu all within three hundredths of a ranking point. Even No. 4 Lexi Thompson had a chance to grab the top spot if she won, but in the end nobody could overtake Feng. Her reign will extend to a second straight week.
Rolex Rookie of the Year
Park ran away with the award with her U.S. Women’s Open and Canadian Pacific Women’s Open victories among her 11 top-10 finishes. She had the award locked up long before she arrived for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.
Ko ends first winless season with T-16 at CME
NAPLES, Fla. – Lydia Ko carved a hybrid 3-iron to 15 feet and ended the most intensely scrutinized year of her young career with a birdie Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship.
“Nice to finish the season on a high note,” Ko said after posting a 3-under-par 69, good for a tie for 16th. “Obviously, not a top-10 finish, but I played really solid. I feel like I finished the season off pretty strong.”
Ko posted two second-place finishes, a third-place finish and a tie for fifth in her last eight starts.
“Ever since Indy [in early September], I played really good and put myself in good positions,” Ko said. “I felt like the confidence factor was definitely higher than during the middle of the year. I had some opportunities, looks for wins.”
Sunday marked the end of Ko’s first winless season since she began playing LPGA events at 15 years old.
Let the record show, she left with a smile, eager to travel to South Korea to spend the next month with family after playing a charity event in Bradenton, Fla., on Monday.
Much was made of Ko beginning the year with sweeping changes, with new equipment (PXG), a new coach (Gary Gilchrist) and a new caddie (Peter Godfrey).
In the final summary, it wasn’t a Ko-like year, not by the crazy high standards she has set.
She saw her run of 85 consecutive weeks at No. 1 end in June. She arrived in Naples holding on to the No. 8 ranking. She ends the year 13th on the LPGA money list with $1,177,450 in earnings. It’s the first time she hasn’t finished among the top three in money in her four full years on tour. She did log 11 top-10 finishes overall, three second-place finishes.
How did she evaluate her season?
“I feel like it was a better year than everyone else thinks, like `Lydia is in a slump,’” Ko said. “I feel like I played solid.
“It's a season that, obviously, I learned a lot from ... the mental aspect of saying, `Hey, get over the bads and kind of move on.’”
Ko said she learned a lot watching Stacy Lewis deal with her run of second-place finishes after winning so much.
“Winning a championship is a huge deal, but, sometimes, it's overrated when you haven't won,” Ko said. “Like, you're still playing well, but just haven't won. I kind of feel like it's been that kind of year.
“I think everybody has little ups and downs.”