Getty Images

With mother cancer-free, Lexi looks to end emotional year on high note

By Randall MellNovember 14, 2017, 11:11 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – Lexi Thompson is looking to end the most emotionally challenging year of her young career on a high note at this week’s CME Group Tour Championship.

It’s been a good year for Thompson, close to a spectacular one, with two victories and five second-place finishes, three of them after playoff losses. Those playoff losses included her painful heartbreak at the ANA Inspiration back in April, when she was hit with a pair of two-shot penalties as she appeared to be running away with her second major championship title.

This summer, Thompson, 22, struggled with more emotions, when her mother, Judy, was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Judy has since been declared cancer-free after undergoing treatments that included radiation.

“It’s definitely been an up-and-down year,” Thompson said Tuesday. “A lot of things have gone on. A lot of positives to take from the year. I would say throughout the whole year, I've learned how strong I am, on and off the golf course, with what I've been through and how I've handled things.”

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Thompson leads the competition for the Vare Trophy for low scoring average (69.147) and the Race to the CME Globe points standings, which comes with a $1 million jackpot as the prize. She can also claim the Rolex Player of the Year Award with a victory.

While Thompson said she’s trying not to focus on awards, she did reveal there’s a long-term goal that drives her. She wants to be remembered among the best who ever played the game.

“That's my No. 1 goal, to be in the Hall of Fame,” Thompson said.

The Vare Trophy comes with one Hall of Fame point. So does the Rolex Player of the Year Award.

It takes 27 points to make it to the LPGA Hall of Fame. With nine career victories - one a major - Thompson already has 10.

“I can't really focus on that,” she said. “I just have to focus on playing my game and playing well this week. Definitely been in the back of my mind, because that's a No. 1 goal mine.”

Getty Images

Two-time major champ Pettersen pregnant

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 7:14 pm

PHOENIX – Suzann Pettersen is pregnant with her first child.

Pettersen’s husband, Christian Ringvold, confirmed the news with Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz.

Pettersen, 36, who married Ringvold in January of 2017, is due in the fall. The 15-time LPGA winner and two-time major champion has yet to make her first start this year. She’s an eight-time Solheim Cup veteran.

Getty Images

Watch: Woods rips iron from sand, makes birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 17, 2018, 6:10 pm

Tiger Woods didn't bogey the first hole on Saturday like he did the day prior - but he did drop at a shot at the par-3 second when he failed to get up and down from the bunker.

Luckily, it wouldn't take him long to get that stroke back. One hole later, at the dogleg-left, par-4 third, Woods ripped a 2-iron off the tee, hit a less-than-stellar approach long and right, and poured in this 38-footer for birdie to get back to even par on the day.

He followed with another at the par-5 fourth, smoking a drive 313 yards uphill, short-siding himself with his second shot, and playing this deft pitch to set up a tap-in 4.

After a par save from the bunker at 5, Woods missed the fairway right at the par-5 sixth, laid up with his second, spun a wedge to 15 feet with his third, and rolled in this third birdie of the day to move to 6 under for the week.

Woods' momentum was slowed by a bogey at 8, the product of an errant tee shot, and a missed birdie try at 9 left Tiger to make the turn in 1 under-35, minus-5 for the week.

He quickly returned to 6 under for the championship when he hit an approach from 186 to inside 10 feet at the par-4 11th and walked in the putt:

Following four straight pars, Woods for the second day in a row made an unlikely birdie at the par-5 16th after missing the fairway to the right and declining to layup.

(More coming...)

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

Getty Images

Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.