Manage your game and your ball in windy conditions

By September 16, 2012, 7:00 pm

The 2012 Ricoh Women's British Open was a true battle against the elements. Only one player finished under par, that being Jiyai Shin, who was 9-under and lapped the field to win by nine shots.

Aside from Shin, the other big story at Royal Liverpool at Hoylake was the weather.

Not long after the start of the second round Friday, winds kicked up to 60-plus mph, and officials shortly thereafter called play for the day. Then, in a rare move, partial scores of the players who had gone out early were ified.

And the winds were whipping again on Sunday, leading to some incredibly high scores in the final round.

Most average golfers don't experience such extreme wind during their recreational rounds, but even something less than an all-out gale can take a lot out of you and add a lot of strokes to your score.

So how you can you fare better when the wind starts howling?

SwingFix instructor Jason Sedan offered some advice:

'Playing in extreme wind conditions can be a test at any level,” Sedan said. “Here are few ideas about how to play shots in different windy conditions:”

• When hitting into the wind, take much more club than the yardage would otherwise indicate. Never try to muscle a shot through the wind, as you will only impart more spin and cause the ball to fly higher and come up even shorter. By taking more club, you not only have the increased speed you need for the ball to carry the right distance, you also have lower loft, which will keep the ball boring through the wind.

• Stopping the ball close to where it lands on the green becomes the toughest challenge hitting downwind. Find a number you are comfortable carrying the ball in the air, and based on the club you will use to hit to that distance, try to gauge the amount of stopping power you will have when it lands. If you have a wedge that you think will stop quickly, you can play a little deeper to the hole location. If you have a 5-iron, you may need to entertain landing short of the green or risk running through. It would also be at this point that you figure out where the best place to play your next shot from will be.

• Crosswinds can be very challenging to amateur golfers because rarely do they understand the influence the wind blowing left or right has on the distance the shot will carry. A golfer playing a right-to-left shot will need less club for a right-to-left wind and more club into a left-to-right wind. A golfer playing a left-to-right shot will need more club in a right-to-left wind and less club in a left-to-right wind. When needing a ball to release when it lands, look to start a ball away from the target and let the wind push it back. When looking to have a ball land more softly, play a ball closer to the target and curve the ball into the wind.

'These small adjustments when playing in windy conditions can produce dramatically improved results for where your ball ends up on the course,” added Sedan. “Likewise, overlooking these factors can make for a tiresome day on the links. And be mindful that windy conditions are a challenge to golfers at every level, and do your best to enjoy the unique playing conditions.'

Take an online lesson with Jason Sedan.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions Saturday to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook began the run at La Quinta Country Club with birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.

After a bogey on the 10th, he birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and saved par on the 18th with a 20-footer to take a 19-under 197 total into the final round on PGA West's Stadium Course. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player is making his first start in the event. He won at Sea Island in November for his first PGA Tour title.

Fellow former Razorbacks star Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were a stroke back. Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 on the Stadium Course. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. They are both winless on the PGA Tour.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Jon Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium Course to reach 17 under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3, Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

Scott Piercy also was two strokes back after a 66 at the Stadium.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Harkins shot 68 on the Stadium Course.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium Course to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time.

The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. The Southern California recruit had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over for the week.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine – and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Mickelson misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

“I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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LAAC returning to Casa de Campo in 2019

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 8:23 pm

The Latin America Amateur Championship will return to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic in 2019 (Jan. 17-20), event organizers announced Saturday in Chile, where this year’s championship is underway.

The LAAC champion receives an invitation to play the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club every spring.

The champion is also exempt into The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event for which he is eligible to compete. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The championship got its start in 2015 with Chile’s Matias Dominguez winning at Pilar Golf in Argentina. In 2016, Casa de Campo hosted, with Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet winning. At 16, he became the first player from Central America to compete in the Masters. In 2017, Chile’s Toto Gana won the title at  Club de Golf de Panama.