Low AmTeen Inkster Will Be Back

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 7, 2003, 4:00 pm
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (AP) -- Aree Song, the highest-scoring of the teenagers at the U.S. Women's Open, had a rocky final round. She started at 2-under, and got as high as 3-over before finishing at 1-over.
But she kept her patience throughout, got to play with Annika Sorenstam and got invited back for next year.
Song wrapped up her day on the leaderboard with a birdie on the final hole for a 1-over 285.
She was the low amateur, and only two strokes off leaders Hilary Lunke, Angela Stanford and Kelly Robbins, who will meet in a playoff round on Monday.
'That was fun,' Song said.
Song, 17, just graduated from high school in Bradenton, Fla., with her twin sister Naree, who also played at Pumpkin Ridge but didn't make the cut. Both will be freshmen at Florida in the fall.
Formerly known by the last name Wongluekiet, the Thai twins were among 14 teenagers who qualified for the Open.
Seven of them made the cut, headlined by long-driving 13-year-old Michelle Wie, who was dogged by controversy.
Wie, who became the youngest player to win a USGA title for adults at the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links two weeks ago, finished well off pace at 298, but birdied her final hole to the roar of her large gallery.
Her father and caddie, B.J. Wie, had claimed that LPGA Tour pro Danielle Ammaccapane pushed his daughter during the first round then berated her in the scoring tent for a breach of etiquette.
B.J. Wie corrected his statements on Saturday, saying no physical contact was made.
Michelle Wie was then caddied by her hitting coach, Gary Gilchrist, for Sunday's final round.
Irene Cho, 18, who will begin her sophomore season at Southern California in the fall, left the 18th hole in tears, finishing with a 23-over 308.
Jane Park, 16, of Oak Valley, Calif., finished with a 12-over 296, as did 19-year-old Elizabeth Janangelo, who is headed to Duke this fall as a freshman.
Christina Kim, who at 19 is a rookie on the LPGA Tour, finished with a 10-over 294.
Two years ago, then-12-year-old Morgan Pressel became the youngest qualifier in U.S. Women's Open history and attracted large crowds at Pine Needles. She was back this year at 15, winding up with a 20-over 304.
The youngest girl to play in this year's Open, 13-year old Sydney Burlison, did not make the cut. Burlison was born nine days after Wie.
Juli Inkster fell short in her effort to win a second consecutive U.S. Women's Open and become the oldest-ever winner.
Last year at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kan., Inkster became the second-oldest to win the title, at 42 a year younger than Babe Zaharias when she won it in 1954.
At next year's Open, Inkster will be 44, so she'll get another shot.
'I've got the game,' she said. 'It's just a matter of getting the breaks.'
Inkster finished with a 3-over 287, four strokes off the lead. She bogeyed the final hole, which also gave her trouble in 1997 when the U.S. Women's Open was first held at Pumpkin Ridge.
'I played good today,' Inkster said. 'I just hit a couple of bad clubs -- which is easy to do out here.'
Asked what she planned to do after playing in her first U.S. Women's Open, Wie said she was returning to life as a teenager. 'I'm going shopping,' she said. ... Grace Park had the lowest final round with a 3-under 68. ... Sorenstam was understandably unhappy with her final round, finishing with a surprising bogey on the final hole for an even-par 284. She ended one stroke off the leaders. 'I'll change my batteries, I'll be ready when I need to,' she said. 'But right now I feel like being grumpy.'
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage of the U.S. Women's Open
  • U.S. Women's Open Leaderboard
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.