Ward Leads With Opening Round 64
The 28-year-old leads by two strokes over Jennifer Hubbard and Audra Burks, who each carded rounds of 66 over the Country Club of the North, and whom will each play with Ward during Sundays final round.
The event was reduced to 36 holes following torrential rains that forced a complete cancellation of play on Friday.
Ward is looking for her third win on the LPGA Tour. Her last came in 1998, but she came relatively close here last season, as she charged home with a final round of 63, which tied the course record and saw her finish in sixth-place behind eventual champion Annika Sorenstam.
This year, she is hoping to go a little better.
'I do like this golf course, said Ward. It sets up well for me.'
'The numbers are out there,' she went on to say. 'You can't just kind of scoot around tomorrow and think even-par will do it because it won't.'
Burks, a two-year player on the LPGA tour, knows this as well.
'When it's just two days instead of three or four, it leaves it wide open to the whole field,' she explained. 'With a three or four-day event, someone like Karrie Webb or Annika has a chance to kind of work their way in, then go low on the last day and beat you. With 36 holes, it's a horse race. You just want to stay on your horse.'
At 3-under following an opening round of 69, Sorenstam opened in mediocre fashion, going even-par over the first ten holes, but then kicked in the afterburners with three late birdies. Five shots back, she could pose the kind of last-day threat that Burks was talking about.
'I was telling my caddie, Sorenstam said, 'I want to continue. Can we go another nine? I'm getting warmed up.''
Should she continue to warm up throughout Sundays round, the LPGA Tour just might have a six-time winner for 2001 on their hands at the awards presentation.
Full-field scores from The Champions Classic
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
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. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18