Akiko Fukushima Press Conference Transcript
MODERATOR: Birdie on 7.
AKIKO FUKUSHIMA: The second shot was 8-iron, about three meters.
MODERATOR: Birdie on 9.
AKIKO FUKUSHIMA: Sand wedge, about three meters.
MODERATOR: Then birdie on 14.
AKIKO FUKUSHIMA: Tee shot was 9-iron, about five meters.
Q. I know you putted fairly well today, but are you going to practice your putting after the round today?
AKIKO FUKUSHIMA: I'm going to practice today.
Q. About how long do you usually practice? Are you going to practice any longer than that today?
AKIKO FUKUSHIMA: The shot she's going to practice today. The putting, she's just going to get the feel for it. She said just a little bit she's going to practice.
Q. What do you think of the leaderboard when you look at the names leading the tournament? What are your thoughts going into Sunday?
AKIKO FUKUSHIMA: She notices that there's only one difference between a lot of the players, so she has to really work on not going any lower than where she is at this time.
Q. How do you feel about your chances now? You played the course three times pretty well. How do you feel about your chances going into tomorrow?
AKIKO FUKUSHIMA: Tomorrow she will like going into tomorrow's game at her own pace, own game.
Q. Even though you've won here in the United States, do you feel like you're still trying to get more acceptance and recognition? There was Ayako Okamoto and Hiromi Kobayashi.
AKIKO FUKUSHIMA: She doesn't know how close that she's gotten to those names that you mentioned, but she would like to get closer to those names.
Q. How would it feel to you to win a major over here? What would it mean?
AKIKO FUKUSHIMA: To win here in the United States would really be a big thing for her because of the culture, you know, she needed to get accustom to different culture, different lifestyle, accumulation of all those things. To be able to win despite all those things, it would really be an accomplishment for her, a main accomplishment.
Q. I know you can understand a lot of things that you hear. How is your English? Do you understand more and are a little shy about speaking?
AKIKO FUKUSHIMA: She's laughing. My hearing is getting better. She's able to hear different things and understand things. She's very grateful that a lot of players, a lot of people, you know, call her, talk to her. She's very appreciative of that. She would like to try harder to be able to speak better. She thinks her hearing is getting better and she's comfortable with it. She needs to still practice on be able to speak.
Q. How many major Championships have you won at home in Japan?
AKIKO FUKUSHIMA: She won many tournaments, but two majors. 14 tournaments.
Q. What color of nail varnish will you wear tomorrow for the last day?
AKIKO FUKUSHIMA: Any suggestions? Good luck color?
Q. Probably red, good last-day color.
Full Coverage of the Nabisco Championship
McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School
One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.
McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.
It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.
McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).
Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).
Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.
Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award
The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.
The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.
Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.
The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.
A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.
Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4
Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.
Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.
South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.
Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.
The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout
It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.
Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.
Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.
"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."
Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.
Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.