Asian players continue to dominate LPGA

By Randall MellOctober 12, 2011, 10:37 pm

Arnold Palmer may still be The King, but when it comes to the women’s game, Asia is The Kingdom.

The Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia event begins Thursday as the second stop in the four-tournament swing through the Orient. The Far East reigns supreme over the women’s game and is proud of its success with Taiwan’s Yani Tseng atop the Rolex world rankings for a 35th consecutive week and Asians claiming 65 of the top 100 spots.

“Golf in Asia is huge for women,” Paula Creamer said.

Asians relish playing in front of adoring home crowds. Ten of the last 11 LPGA events staged in the Far East have been won by Asians. An American hasn’t won an LPGA event in Asia since Juli Inkster won the Samsung World Championship in 1997.

Giant crowds turned out to watch Tseng win the LPGA HanaBank Championship in Incheon, South Korea, last week.

“I think it’s the first time in my life I saw that many people on a golf course,” Tseng said.

J.S. Kang, vice president of Sterling Sports Management, was in the gallery last week. His company represents an international clientele of players, including four South Koreans.

“To get those kinds of crowds last week, with the biggest major tournament on the Korean men’s PGA Tour going on at the same time, it really says a lot about the popularity of women’s golf there,” Kang said. “The Kolon Korea Open had Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy playing. It tells you how much the women’s game is loved. So does the fact that the LPGA’s No. 1 revenue source comes from its Korean TV rights deal.”

For the first time last year, Asians won the Rolex Player of the Year (Tseng), Vare Trophy (Na Yeon Choi) and money title (Choi) in the same season.

Asians have won the last three major championships, four of the last five and nine of the last 15.

With Tseng heading to her homeland next week for the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, the celebration of women’s golf promises to continue in the Far East. The Asian swing ends in Japan at the Mizuno Classic Nov. 4-6.



Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

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Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.