Pressel maintains one-shot lead at ShopRite

By Associated PressMay 31, 2015, 1:31 am

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Morgan Pressel said she knew Saturday that it was going to be a tough day in the second round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic. The wind was strong and steady, the greens were bumpy and she failed to convert some early birdie chances.

But Pressel showed some veteran patience throughout the day and effectively battled the elements well enough to shoot a 2-under 69 and maintain a one-stroke lead.

Pressel had three birdies and a bogey to reach 7-under 135 on Stockton Seaview's Bay Course. The 27-year-old American won the last of her two LPGA Tour victories in 2008.

''I think my patience was kind of tested on the first few holes where I had a few good birdie opportunities and didn't even sniff the hole,'' Pressel said.

''Rock (caddie Barry Cesarz) said to me, 'Keep giving yourself birdie opportunities.' And I ended up making a few. When you're missing four or five putts on the front nine from 10 feet for birdie, it can wear on you. You've just got to say, 'Hey, I made a good stroke, the greens bounced this way.'''

Sweden's Anna Nordqvist was second. She birdied the last three holes for a 69.

Gerina Piller, Kelly Shon, Pernilla Lindberg, Catriona Matthew and Christel Boeljon were tied for third at 4 under. Shon had a 68, and Piller, Lindberg, Matthew and Boeljon shot 70.

The start was delayed an hour by fog. After the fog lifted, the breeze that usually blows at the Bay Course confounded many players trying to pull the right clubs. In addition, players noted that bumpy greens affected their putting.

Pressel didn't allow the conditions to bother her. She did card a pair of birdies on her front nine – a 2-putt at the par-5 third hole and on the difficult par-4 sixth.

Her only bogey of the day came at the par-4 13th hole, where she lost her drive into the trees on the right and had to punch out from high grass into the fairway. After her third shot rolled over the green, she got up and down from 6 feet for a good bogey.

''I think that once that went in, my patience was fine,'' Pressel said. ''I'm like, 'OK, I got out of there with a bogey and didn't make double, and I know that I've just got to keep plugging along with pars coming in, and ended up making a good birdie on 16.''

She got the shot back at No. 16, hitting a 7-iron approach from 170 yards to 20 feet, and sinking the putt.

Pressel came close to winning last month, but lost a playoff to top-ranked Lydia Ko in the Swinging Skirts in California.

Nordqvist, a four-time tour winner who had four straight top-10 finishes earlier this year, rallied from bogeys at Nos. 11 and 12.

She began her hot stretch with a 5-foot birdie putt at the 16th, followed by a 6-footer at the short 17th and a 10-footer at the par-5 18th.

''I tried to give myself chances for birdies or play for pars on some holes,'' Nordqvist said. ''But knowing it's a three-day event, you're really going to have to try to shoot low scores every day. I tried to stay patient, and I think it paid off with three birdies there at the end.''

Defending champion Stacy Lewis and 17-year-old Canadian sensation Brooke Henderson struggled, but made the 36-hole cut right on the number at 3-over 145. Lewis had a 73, and Henderson, who had eight birdies in her opening round, went without a birdie Saturday in her round of 77.

Michelle Wie, who withdrew from the Kingsmill Championship for what was diagnosed as bursitis in her left hip, missed the cut with a 72 and 4-over 146 total. She said her hip was sore and that she was considering withdrawing from the Manulife Classic next week in Cambridge, Ontario.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions Saturday to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook began the run at La Quinta Country Club with birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.

After a bogey on the 10th, he birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and saved par on the 18th with a 20-footer to take a 19-under 197 total into the final round on PGA West's Stadium Course. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player is making his first start in the event. He won at Sea Island in November for his first PGA Tour title.

Fellow former Razorbacks star Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were a stroke back. Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 on the Stadium Course. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. They are both winless on the PGA Tour.


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Jon Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium Course to reach 17 under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3, Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

Scott Piercy also was two strokes back after a 66 at the Stadium.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Harkins shot 68 on the Stadium Course.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium Course to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time.

The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. The Southern California recruit had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over for the week.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine – and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Mickelson misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


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The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

“I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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LAAC returning to Casa de Campo in 2019

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 8:23 pm

The Latin America Amateur Championship will return to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic in 2019 (Jan. 17-20), event organizers announced Saturday in Chile, where this year’s championship is underway.

The LAAC champion receives an invitation to play the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club every spring.

The champion is also exempt into The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event for which he is eligible to compete. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The championship got its start in 2015 with Chile’s Matias Dominguez winning at Pilar Golf in Argentina. In 2016, Casa de Campo hosted, with Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet winning. At 16, he became the first player from Central America to compete in the Masters. In 2017, Chile’s Toto Gana won the title at  Club de Golf de Panama.