Wie Climbs Back in the Saddle

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 31, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Weetabix WomenJust a few short days removed from another tough runner-up finish at the Evian Masters, 16-year-old Michelle Wie will again dust herself off and step back up to the plate at the Weetabix Women's British Open.
The LPGA Tour's last major of the season, the field will gather at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England, site of Annika Sorestam's one and only British Open title back in 2003.
Michelle Wie
In order to collect her first win, Michelle Wie has to go through the likes of Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb and Lorena Ochoa.
With Wie already having performed as well as anybody on tour at the three majors in 2006 - she has lost by a total of five strokes in those three events - the Hawaiian teen is well aware that a major victory is not a question of if, but a question of when.
'Well, I feel like I have played very consistently lately and that is good because I feel like I am getting very, very close,' said Wie following last week's Evian Masters.
Certainly the biggest lightning rod in all of golf, Wie is up against what may be the greatest depth of talent that the LPGA Tour has ever seen, with the likes of Sorenstam, Karrie Webb, Lorena Ochoa, Se Ri Pak and a slew of blossoming South Korean players.
And although Sorenstam is not necessarily at her best this year, she is the winner of the last major these women played, a playoff victory over Pat Hurst at the U.S. Women's Open. Along with it being her second win of the year - and the third U.S. Open title of her career - the victory also boosted the Swede back into the Rolex Player of the Year race. It is an award she has won a record eight times.
Then there's the remarkable resurgence of Australia's Webb, holder of three tour titles this season, including the year's first major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. By holding off Wie in France last week, Webb climbed to the top of the LPGA Tour's money list, leapfrogging both Ochoa and Sorenstam. It also moved her to the top of the Rolex Player of the Year rankings, a title she won in successive years in 1999 and 2000, and is now in good position to knock Sorenstam off that perch.
As good as the Wie, Webb and Sorenstam trio are, the aforementioned Ochoa is arguably having the best season of them all. In a stretch beginning with her runner-up showing at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and finishing with her win at the Sybase Classic, Ochoa enjoyed an incredible six-tournament run in which she finished no worse than second place.
The four runner-ups and two wins have clearly shown that the proud Mexican deserves a seat amongst the game's elite. A rough double bogey-bogey finish in the third round of the Evian Masters ended up being the difference of Ochoa not making a playoff with Webb.
Add to the mix the wealth of South Korean talent - including soon-to-be Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak, the sweet putting Mi Hyun Kim, and almost shoo-in rookie of the year Seon Hwa Lee - and you can easily see why it is so tough for Wie to capture her first win.
But by building on her performances of the recent past, Wie hopes to again be in the mix come Sunday's final round.
Last year's champion Jeong Jang will return to defend her title. Jang was the only player in the field last year to shoot all four rounds in the 60s en route to her four shot win over Sophie Gustafson.
The purse for the event is $1,800,000.
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  • 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.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: