Han Faces Stiff Test

By Lpga Tour MediaAugust 16, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 WendyDUBLIN, Ohio - Many times in order for a person to succeed, they must go the extra mile. For Korea's Hee-Won Han, that translated into three extra holes at last year's Wendy's Championship for Children, as she needed just that to fend off Wendy Ward and claim her second career LPGA title.
The victory was the second of the 2003 season for the LPGA's 2001 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year and helped propel her to a fourth-place finish on the 2003 ADT Official Money list with more than $1.1 million in earnings.
This year, Han will have her hands full, as she defends her title against Ward, the event's 2001 winner, and a host of other LPGA stars. Among those are 2004 tournament champions Meg Mallon, a three-time 2004 winner, two-time winner Cristie Kerr, as well as Moira Dunn, Lorena Ochoa, Grace Park, Jennifer Rosales, Kim Saiki and Karrie Webb.
In addition, 2002 Wendy's Championship for Children winner Mi Hyun Kim and 2000 champion Lorie Kane are also teeing it up at Tartan Fields Golf Club.
LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame members JoAnne Carner and Betsy King are also competing.
Nineteen-year-old Shi Hyun Ahn and 18-year-old Aree Song, who are locked in a tight battle for the 2004 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award, are also competing in the $1.1 million event. Ahn, with 562 points, holds a slim 18-point advantage over Song with seven events remaining.
Speaking of teenagers, a pair of amateur phenoms are competing in the 54-hole event via sponsor exemptions. Michelle Wie, 14, and Paula Creamer, 17, both of whom have top-five finishes on the LPGA Tour in 2004, are challenging Han for the title this week.
Last year, Han and Ward finished three rounds of regulation knotted at 199 (-17), thanks to a final-round 66 (-6) by Han and a blistering final-round
63 (-9) by Ward. Ward had a chance to win the event outright in regulation, but missed a 7-footer for birdie on the closing hole.
The duo replayed the 18th hole first in sudden death and recorded pars. The tournament appeared to be Han's on the second extra hole when Ward's approach shot landed 35 feet from the cup and Han was within six feet. But Ward jarred the 35-footer and Han also birdied to force a third extra hole.
Han's tee shot on the third sudden-death hole landed 25 feet away, with Ward's coming to rest 20 feet from the cup. Han showed Ward she could make the long putts too, holing her 25-footer for birdie, and Ward was unable to convert her birdie try to extend the playoff.
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Wendy's Championship
  • Getty Images

    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.