Davies Takes Temporary Control
Davies, who has missed five cuts in 10 events this year, shot her second consecutive round of 4-under 68 at the Locust Hill Country Club, elevating her 36-hole score to 8-under-par 136, one shot better than Brandie Burton (69), and five better than four others at minus-three.
She seems to miss being on top of a leaderboard.
It used to be very nice when I was one of the top players, the 37-year-old remembered.
I used to be called in for pre-tournament press conferences, not that we want to do them, but it means youre a top player. At the moment, Im not though, and its embarrassing to be honest.
Hard to say yet, but Davies may just be putting an end to that embarrassment this week.
Friday at Locust Hill, she got off to a bit of a shaky start, making bogey at the second hole, but then kicked it in thereafter, knocking off five unanswered birdies over the rest of her round.
Im putting really well, she commented of her game. I made a couple of long putts and did good to two-putt a lot of tough greens. Ive just been hitting fairways and greens and making some putts.
She is also swinging her driver again, something she has not been doing since her last win at last seasons Philips Invitational Honoring Harvey Penick.
On 17 I hit a good drive today and had a 4-iron into the hole, she said.
That hole would account for one of her birdies on the day. Of course, when you can hit a 275-yard drive into the wind at Locust Hills par-5 17th, you can get home in two with a 4-iron. Then you can make your birdies.
But Davies isnt too overly-emphatic just yet. She is still adjusting to getting back into the swing of things.
And, truth be told, she is not quite the confident Laura Davies that she used to be.
My problem is that I stand on the tee and look at trouble instead of look at the middle of the fairway, she admitted. So, Im not expecting too much this weekend because I know what Im thinking and where Im looking.
Maybe she will start thinking and looking in different places.
In the meantime, she had better not get too down on herself, for Burton is right on her heels. And Burton is feeling rather good about her game.
We are only half way through and there is still a lot good golf to be played, she commented following her round. It is always nice to backup a good first round with another good round on Friday. After about the third hole out there I was able to get the putter going and the ball was rolling well.
Should she continue to roll the ball well, she may just take her first tournament on the tour since her last at the 98 du Maurier Classic.
Among the group at 3-under is Danielle Ammaccapane, who has already cashed-in three top-10s for 2001.
Defending champion Meg Mallon had a relatively disappointing second round. After opening with a 3-under 69, she could do no better than 74 on Friday. She sits in a tie for 11th.
Full-field scores from the Wegman's Rochester International
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.
Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18
Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf
Well, this is a one new one.
According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:
“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”
Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.
“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.
The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.
“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”
The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.
Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.
Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.