Lewis still feels pressure from Pettersen, Park

By Randall MellNovember 7, 2013, 5:57 pm

Stacy Lewis won’t have Inbee Park and Suzann Pettersen pushing her in the field when the Mizuno Classic begins Friday in Japan, but their presence lurks anyway.

At No. 3, Lewis is the highest ranked player in the Rolex world rankings playing the LPGA this week. She’s also the defending champion. She will be looking to keep pace with No. 1 Park and No. 2 Pettersen in the trio’s domination of the 2013 season.

“We’ve made each other work hard,” Lewis said Thursday in her pre-tournament news conference at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club. “I think the three of us combined, we’ve won over half the tournaments on the Tour. The three of us have definitely made each other better, I can tell you that. I’m sure it will continue into next year as well. What Inbee did in the middle of the year was just unbelievable. I think it really opened mine and Suzann’s eyes that, wow, this is really possible.”Lewis is going for her fourth LPGA title this year, which would equal her win total from last year, when she became the first American in 18 years to win the Rolex Player of the Year title.

The Rolex Player of the Year award isn’t based on a vote like the PGA Tour. It’s based on a points system.

Park leads the POY points race this season with 290. Mathematically, Lewis has a chance to equal Park’s total, but it’s a long-shot chance. Lewis would have to win all three of the remaining events on the LPGA schedule and hope Park doesn’t pick up a single point the rest of the way. Suzann Pettersen is more realistically in the running for Player of the Year. Pettersen has 252 points and Lewis 200 points. A win is worth 30 points with only top-10 finishes awarded points. Pettersen would have to win one of the final two events she is playing and at least tie for third in the other to have a chance.

Park (6), Pettersen (4) and Lewis (3) have combined to win more than half of the PGA Tour events staged this year (13/25). They’ve claimed all the majors with Park taking three and Lewis and Pettersen one each.

Lewis tees it up in Japan looking to improve on her 16 top-10 finishes in 23 starts this season. That consistency has helped her lead the LPGA in scoring (69.537) in her bid to become the first American in 19 years to win the Vare Trophy for low scoring average.

“I definitely didn’t expect these last two years,” Lewis said. “I kind of knew it was coming, but the number of top-10s I’ve had, and to be in contention, and getting wins, I mean, that’s ultimately what I want to do. And that’s what I’ve been able to do.

“I think that this year has almost been better than last year. I mean, that’s kind of crazy that I could have even topped it. But that’s the goal. Just trying to keep getting better and better.”

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.