Lewis, Pak chasing Jutanugarn in Thailand

By Randall MellFebruary 23, 2013, 3:02 pm

Ariya Jutanugarn is making sure youth phenoms remain a major storyline to the start of the 2013 LPGA season.

Seizing the 54-hole lead Saturday, Jutanugarn added some spicy fascination to the final round of the Honda LPGA Thailand.

Jutanugarn, 17, is a homegrown Thai prodigy trying to become the third youngest winner of an LPGA event. If that isn’t enough to fan the flame of interest among locals, there’s another compelling storyline. Jutanugarn may have something to prove to the LPGA after her petition for a waiver to join the tour was denied last year by tour officials. She’s playing this week on a sponsor invite.

Jutanugarn’s run comes a week after 15-year-old amateur sensation Lydia Ko made headlines taking a share of the lead into the final round of the LPGA’s season-opening ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. Ko’s bid to win back-to-back professional events was denied when Jiyai Shin outplayed her in the final round.

Jutanugarn chased down Stacy Lewis, the reigning LPGA player of the year, in Saturday’s third round. Playing alongside Lewis in the final pairing, Jutanugarn rode a wave of Thai support at Siam Country Club in coming from three shots back to catch and pass Lewis. Jutanugarn grew up in Bangkok.

“I did feel a lot of pressure early on,” Jutanugarn told reporters after her round. “I felt the whole Thai people’s hope on my back. After a few holes, people starting to cheer me up, and that made all the pressure go away.”

With a 2-under-par 70 in windy conditions, Jutanugarn moved to 11-under 205. Lewis (76) slipped three shots back into a tie for second with Se Ri Pak (71) and Beatriz Recari (72).

Rolex world No. 1 Yani Tseng (72) is 10 shots back in her attempt to win this event for a third consecutive year. Ko (74) is nine shots back.

Jutanugarn is half of a gifted sister tandem. Her older sister, Moriya, 18, shared medalist honors at LPGA Q-School in December to earn her playing privileges. Two weeks later, Ariya won the Ladies European Tour Q-School to earn LET status.

Moriya tied for fourth in Australia last week and sits tied for 61st in Thailand this week.

Ariya is considered the more accomplished of the sister tandem. She won the U.S. Girls’ Junior two years ago and was medalist at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links three years ago. She lost to Ko in the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur last summer. Ariya sought to join her sister at LPGA Q-School last fall but was denied a waiver of the LPGA’s rule requiring members be at least 18.

Ariya and Moriya have rarely been apart in their budding golf careers. The denial of an LPGA waiver forced the family to split apart for the start of Ariya’s and Moriya’s pro careers with Ariya’s and Moriya’s father accompanying Ariya to LET events and their mother accompanying Moriya to LPGA events.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: