Top Junior to Play LPGA Event with Cart

By Golf Channel NewsroomJanuary 31, 2007, 5:00 pm
Ladies Professional Golf AssociationMT. PLEASANT, S.C., ' The worlds No. 1-ranked female golfer, Annika Sorenstam announced a special addition to the field of her LPGA event, the Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika.
 
Sorenstam has awarded a sponsors exemption to her tournament to14-year-old MacKinzie (Mac) Kline of Encinitas, Calif., one of the top-rated junior golfers in the country.
 
Sorenstam, who will host the $2.6 million tournament at the Arnold Palmer designed RiverTowne Country Club Course at the Belvidere Resort, May 31-June 3, 2007, learned of MacKinzies rare heart condition as well as her love for the game of golf and decided to make her dream of playing on the LPGA Tour come true.
 
Due to her medical condition, Kline cannot walk long distances without becoming fatigued. As a result, the LPGA has issued a ruling making Kline the first player in the organizations history to be able to utilize a cart during her rounds due to a medical condition.
 
The LPGA is pleased MacKinzie Kline will compete in the Ginn Tribute hosted by Annika, said LPGA Commissioner Carolyn F. Bivens. As a result of a congenital heart defect, MacKinzie requested permission to use a cart and have access to oxygen during the competition.
 
After an assessment of her circumstances and careful consideration, the LPGA has granted MacKinzies request. We are confident that the use of a cart and oxygen will not provide MacKinzie with an unfair competitive advantage.
 
MacKinzie is a very unique and determined young lady and we are thrilled to have her play in the Ginn Tribute, said Sorenstam. What she has accomplished, not only in golf, but for the community is extraordinary.
 
This is a dream come true for me, said Kline of her first LPGA appearance. Ive always had the dream to play on the LPGA Tour and Annika has made this a reality for me. Words cannot express my appreciation for this honor.
 
Kline was born with a very complex congenital heart defect named Transposition of the Greater Vessels, asplenia, single ventricle and her liver on the opposite side of her body. She underwent open heart surgery within the first eight weeks of birth and then again before her second birthday. Doctors said she was lucky to be alive and advised that she should stay away from contact sports or those that required aerobic exercise.
 
She then took up the game of golf and became one of the top juniors in the country. She qualified for the U.S. Womens amateur, but had to decline because she could not walk 18 holes.
 
Kline suffered a setback in 2005, when she suddenly required more sleep than usual and began to struggle on and off the course. Doctors repaired a hole in her heart and discovered a blood clot above the valve of her single ventricle, which they did not remove because of the risk of the surgery.
 
Kline continues to go through monthly blood draws at a childrens hospital, multiple medications on a daily basis, six heart cauterizations and regular visits to her doctor.
 
She has been granted a USGA exemption to utilize a cart when she plays and she also has her oxygen unit with her.
 
Kline has done extensive community service work to create awareness for her condition. At the age of 10, Mac became the National Spokesperson for the Childrens Heart Foundation, an organization that raises money for CHD research. She set a goal to raise $1 million for the organization and has recently reached the $725,000 mark. The Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika will make a charity donation toward her vision following the tournament.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika Sorenstam
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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.