Ko, Green reach U..S Women's Amateur final

By Associated PressAugust 11, 2012, 10:31 pm

CLEVELAND – Lydia Ko and Jaye Marie Green advanced to the 36-hole final in the U.S. Women's Amateur, winning semifinal matches in wet and windy conditions Saturday at The Country Club.

The 15-year-old Ko, the South Korean-born New Zealander who tops the world amateur rankings, beat Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn 3 and 1.

'Getting to the final feels really good,' Ko said. 'My putts were rolling today, which really helps the confidence. This is amazing to beat such a great player.'

The 18-year-old Green, from Boca Raton, Fla., edged Canada's Nicole Zhang 2 up.

'Just knowing I'm still in the running to be the United States champion gives me the chills,' Green said.

At 15 years, 3 months, 18 days, Ko is the second-youngest finalist in Women's Amateur history, and could become the second-youngest champion. Both records are held by Kimberly Kim, who was 14 years, 11 months, 21 days when she won the 2006 tournament. Ko won the New South Wales Open in January in Australia at 14 to become the youngest player to win a professional tour event.

Ko chipped in from 45 feet on the 15th for a birdie to halve the hole. At the 450-yard, par-5 16th, Ko hit the green in two shots and two-putted for another birdie to again go 2 up.

The deciding birdie came at the 17th. Jutanugarn missed the green while Ko hit her approach to 8 feet. Jutanugarn made one stab at it, hitting a chip from deep, matted rough that went 60 feet right of the hole. She conceded Ko's birdie putt to end the match.

'She's really a great player and an amazing putter,' Jutanugarn said.

Green birdied the par-3 11th to take a 3-up lead, but Zhang fought back.

'I hung in there the whole way,' Zhang said. 'I didn't give up at all.'

Zhang won the par-5 12th with a birdie and Green's lead was trimmed to 2 up. At the 14th, a par 3, it looked as if Zhang would win another hole. Her ball was 20 feet from the hole, while Green sprayed her tee shot far to the right, some 90 feet from the hole and in the rough.

Green followed with a fine pitch shot over a bunker to 6 feet. When Zhang missed her birdie putt, Green banged her putt into the back of the hole to retain her lead.

'To get up and down there, that definitely helped my confidence and kept me 2 up,' Green said.

Zhang won the par-5 16th with a birdie. She challenged the fairway bunker on the right, cutting the dogleg and flying her tee shot some 60 yards past Green, who was in the bunker. Zhang hit the green in two shots, easily making a birdie to win the hole.

Green was 1 up with two holes to play. They halved the 17th. At the par-4 18th, Zhang had to win the hole to extend the match. Green's approach shot came first and she hit a beauty that flew over the flagstick and nestled 18 feet from the hole. Zhang's approach shot from 138 yards was right at the flag, but a gust of wind knocked the ball down, 10 feet short of the green. When Zhang could not hole her chip, she conceded Green's birdie putt and the match.

'She hung in there the whole time,' Green said. 'I feel like I'm dreaming.'

Getty Images

Rose: 'Never' has Rory putted as well as Bay Hill

By Ryan LavnerMarch 19, 2018, 1:20 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Justin Rose didn’t need to ponder the question for very long.

The last time Rory McIlroy putted that well was, well …?

“Never,” Rose said with a chuckle. “Ryder Cup? He always makes it look easy when he’s playing well.”

And the Englishman did well just to try and keep pace.

After playing his first six holes in 4 over par, Rose battled not just to make the cut but to contend. He closed with consecutive rounds of 67, finishing in solo third, four shots back of McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Rose said this weekend was the best he’s struck the ball all year. He just didn’t do enough to overtake McIlroy, who finished the week ranked first in strokes gained-putting and closed with a bogey-free 64.

“Rory just played incredible golf, and it’s great to see world-class players do that,” Rose said. “It’s not great to see him make putts because he was making them against me, but when he is, he’s incredibly hard to beat. So it was fun to watch him play.”

Getty Images

Rory almost channels Tiger with 72nd-hole celebration

By Ryan LavnerMarch 19, 2018, 1:11 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy’s final putt at the Arnold Palmer Invitational felt awfully familiar.

He rolled in the 25-footer for birdie and wildly pumped his fist, immediately calling to mind Woods’ heroics on Bay Hill’s 18th green.

Three times Woods holed a putt on the final green to win this event by a stroke.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

McIlroy was just happy to provide a little extra cushion as the final group played the finishing hole.

“I’ve seen Tiger do that enough times to know what it does,” McIlroy said. “So I just wanted to try and emulate that. I didn’t quite give it the hat toss – I was thinking about doing that. But to be able to create my own little bit of history on the 18th green here is pretty special.”

Getty Images

McIlroy remembers Arnie dinner: He liked A-1 sauce on fish

By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 1:06 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Fresh off a stirring victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy offered a pair of culinary factoids about two of the game’s biggest names.

McIlroy regretted not being able to shake Palmer’s hand behind the 18th green after capping a three-shot win with a Sunday 64, but with the trophy in hand he reflected back on a meal he shared with Palmer at Bay Hill back in 2015, the year before Palmer passed away.

“I knew that he liked A-1 sauce on his fish, which was quite strange,” McIlroy said. “I remember him asking the server, ‘Can I get some A-1 sauce?’ And the server said, ‘For your fish, Mr. Palmer?’ He said, ‘No, for me.’”

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

A few minutes later, McIlroy revealed that he is also a frequent diner at The Woods Jupiter, the South Florida restaurant launched by Tiger Woods. In fact, McIlroy explained that he goes to the restaurant every Wednesday with his parents – that is, when he’s not spanning the globe winning golf tournaments.

Having surveyed the menu a few times, he considers himself a fan.

“It’s good. He seems pretty hands-on with it,” McIlroy said. “Tuna wontons are good, the lamb lollipops are good. I recommend it.”

Getty Images

DeChambeau comes up short: 'Hat’s off to Rory'

By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 12:48 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Amid a leaderboard chock full of big names and major winners, the person that came closest to catching Rory McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational turned out to by Bryson DeChambeau.

While Henrik Stenson faltered and Justin Rose stalled out, it was DeChambeau that gave chase to McIlroy coming down the stretch at Bay Hill. Birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 were followed by an eagle out of the rough on No. 16, which brought him to within one shot of the lead.

But as DeChambeau surveyed his birdie putt from the fringe on the penultimate hole, McIlroy put an effective end to the proceedings with a closing birdie of his own to polish off a round of 64. DeChambeau needed a hole-out eagle on No. 18 to force a playoff, and instead made bogey.

That bogey ultimately didn’t have an effect on the final standings, as DeChambeau finished alone in second place at 15 under, three shots behind McIlroy after shooting a 4-under 68.

“I thought 15 under for sure would win today,” DeChambeau said. “Rory obviously played some incredible golf. I don’t know what he did on the last nine, but it was deep. I know that.”

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

DeChambeau will collect $961,000 for his performance this week in Orlando, just $47,000 less than he got for winning the John Deere Classic in July. While he would have preferred to take McIlroy’s spot in the winner’s circle, DeChambeau was pleased with his effort in Sunday’s final pairing as he sets his sights on a return to the Masters.

“For him to shoot 64 in the final round, that’s just, hat’s off to him, literally. I can’t do anything about that,” DeChambeau said. “I played some great golf, had some great up-and-downs, made a couple key putts coming down the stretch, and there’s not really much more I can do about it. My hat’s off to Rory, and he played fantastic.”