LPGA Bahamas scheduled for 12 holes in Round 1

By Randall MellMay 23, 2013, 11:37 pm

Plans for the inaugural Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic were revised yet again Thursday with portions of the golf course still under water from the heavy rains earlier in the week on the Ocean Club Course at Atlantis on Paradise Island.

After Thursday’s first round was canceled and the event shortened to 54 holes, the LPGA had to re-group yet again, gathering players at the clubhouse at approximately 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Players were informed by LPGA staff that a new plan tentatively calls for 12 holes to be played Friday with the possibility of as many as 13 to 15 holes being played Saturday and, hopefully, an 18-hole finale on Sunday.

With four to five holes still under water, the plans depend on how quickly course conditions improve and how much more rain may fall. The new plan allows for the possibility of between 43 and 46 holes to be played with no cut and the top 70 and ties getting paid.

“We put our heads together and thought this was the best alternative to deal with a difficult situation,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said in a tournament release. “We think we have at least 12 holes that are playable and in this way we are putting on a golf tournament [without a cut] and playing enough holes for the money to count as being official. We think this is the best solution, and it still delivers a great event for our sponsors and fans.”

The course is being re-routed Friday around unplayable holes. The first round will start at No. 10 with players taking detours to 6-7-4-5-11-12-13-14-2-3 and 8. Some of the pars and yardages may be adjusted. Play will begin at 7:15 a.m. and run through 3:35 p.m.

Almost 12 inches of rain fell late Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday night. The ninth hole and Nos. 15-18 remain the most unplayable, with course maintenance trying to pump water off those holes.

“The damage to the golf course and structures caused by Tuesday’s heavy rain and winds was extensive,” tournament director Matt Truax said in a release. “But, we think we can still present a first-class event for the LPGA, Pure Silk and the people of the Bahamas.”

The LPGA is aiming to play a minimum of 12 holes per day to get to the 36 holes required for an official event.

“There is good and bad to the situation and you have to decide if your glass is half full or half empty,” Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis said. “At the end of the day, we’ll all play the same holes, the same course and be scored the same way. That’s a golf tournament.

“It’s all about your perspective on it. If you go into it thinking, ‘this is dumb’ or ‘we shouldn’t play’ then you probably won’t play very well. I think, for the sponsors, we need to play. It’s a first-year event and we need to get out there.”

This won’t mark the first time the LPGA will play fewer than 18 holes in a round. At the 1989 Kemper Open, Betsy King and Jody Rosenthal each shot 2-under-par 63 on a 16-hole layout in the first round because heavy rains made two holes unplayable. King won what turned out to be a 52-hole event.

Since 1963, LPGA events have been shortened to 36 holes 15 times. The most recent was the Hana Bank Kolon Championship in 2007. Sunday’s final round was wiped out by high winds with Suzann Pettersen declared the 36-hole champion.

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

Getty Images

Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

Getty Images

Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

Getty Images

Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.