Wie studies her way to first-round 68

By Randall MellJune 20, 2014, 1:12 am

PINEHURST, N.C. – Michelle Wie still knows how to cram for an exam.

Two years after getting her diploma from Stanford, Wie is showing she’s still quite the student.

Throwing open all the yardage books she collected from the men after last week’s U.S. Open, Wie combed through them as if they were textbooks. She used them extensively as she prepared for Thursday’s start of the U.S. Women’s Open.

“I did a lot of homework,” Wie said. “I think it's the most homework I've ever done on a golf course.”

Wie aced the first-round exam that Pinehurst No. 2 threw at her. She shot a 2-under-par 68 that vaulted her up the leaderboard, just a shot behind the leader, Stacy Lewis, in the suspended opening round.

“She’s got a really good gameplan,” said David Leadbetter, Wie’s swing coach. “This is a golf course you really have to think your way around, really manage your game. She knows where she wants to hit it every hole.”

Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley and their caddies gave Wie their yardage books, complete with notes. Wie cross-referenced yardages and notes.

“Kind of color-coordinated everything,” Wie said.

Wie’s 68 was the best opening round she has posted in the 11 U.S. Women’s Opens she has played. It’s another big step in the rebuilding of her game, in a resurgence that included her victory at the Lotte Championship in April and her runner-up finish in the year’s first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

U.S. Women’s Open: Articles, videos and photos

How good was her 68? Here’s her opening round score in the last six U.S. Women's Opens: 82, 81, 82, 78, 74, 80. Wie has only posted one score better than that 68 in any round of a U.S. Women’s Open, a 66 she shot in the second round at Blackwolf Run two years ago.

When she first stormed the women's scene as a teen phenom, she was a factor in majors. She recorded six finishes of T-5 or better in majors before she was 17.

Is she ready to do one better than her second-place finish at Kraft earlier this year?

“I don't want to think about that,” Wie said. “It's a long road until Sunday. I've had a lot of fun today. It’s great being in contention. I'm going to do my best tomorrow and see what happens. If I keep doing what I'm doing now, I'll be close, and, hopefully, I'll be there Sunday, having an opportunity. That’s really all I can ask for.”

Wie hit 10 of 14 fairways in the first round. She pounded her driver around Pinehurst No. 2. Leadbetter estimated she hit it nine times.

Wie’s iron play wasn’t as sharp. She hit just 10 greens in regulation but scrambled impressively in a round of five birdies and three bogeys. Her putting, with that unorthodox “table-top” stance, was the key to the round. She holed a 15-foot putt to save par at the 17th, and then closed by making a 5-foot birdie putt.

“She holed some really good putts,” Leadbetter said.

Coming into this week, Wie made an adjustment to her putter. She had the lie flattened by 4½ degrees, according to Leadbetter.

“She’s feeling more comfortable,” Leadbetter said.

While Leadbetter loves the control Wie is showing with her ball striking, with her ability to use spin and trajectory for distance control, he really loves what he’s seeing in Wie’s eyes.

“She’s worked so hard to give herself these chances,” Leadbetter said. “Her whole demeanor is different now. She’s smiling, she’s happy and she’s having fun.”

And she’s contending.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.