Kerr Highlights LPGAs First Visit to Thailand

By Lpga Tour MediaOctober 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Honda LPGA-ThailandFor the first time in the LPGA Tour's history, 60 golfers will make the long journey to Thailand for the inaugural Honda LPGA Thailand 2006 this week at Amata Spring Country Club. This event marks the first of three Global Group tournaments in Asia for the LPGA Tour. The player who earns the most points in the three tournaments combined will automatically qualify for the season-ending ADT Championship via the LPGA Playoffs 2006. No other playoff points will be awarded during the three-week swing.
 
American Cristie Kerr highlights the inaugural event. Kerr currently ranks fourth on the ADT Official Money List with $1,502,190 in season earnings after having won three events this season. Kerr is coming off a tie for sixth at the Samsung World Championship on Sunday. The nine-time Tour champion won the Franklin American Mortgage Championship benefiting the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, the CN Canadian Women's Open and the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic presented by SemGroup in 2006.
 
The tournament in Thailand marks a homecoming of sorts for three LPGA Tour players in the field: rookie Virada Nirapathpongporn; Stacy Prammanasudh; and Aree Song. All three players will look to notch their first-career victory. Nirapathpongporn grew up in Bangkok, Thailand, before moving to the United States to attend Duke University. Nirapathpongporn has played well in her first season on Tour with her highest finish coming at the LPGA Corning Classic in May, where she tied for fifth. She has currently earned $133,568 in her first season on Tour. She also finished 11th in the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year race this season with 223 points.
 
Prammanasudh, whose father is from Thailand, is enjoying her best season on Tour with $610,757 in season earnings to date. She has recorded six top-10 finishes this year and moved up to 17th this week on the ADT Official Money List after a fourth-place finish at the Samsung World Championship. Her best finish came in August at the Wendy's Championship for Children, where she tied for second. She also tied for third place at the U.S. Women's Open conducted by the USGA. She currently leads the second half ADT Points race of the LPGA Playoffs 2006 with 125 points. However, if she earns the most cumulative points during the Asia swing, she will win the Global Group and automatically qualify for the ADT Championship.
 
Song will feel right at home this week as she was born in Thailand. The 20-year-old is in her third season on Tour and has accumulated $838,660 in career earnings and $217,188 this season. She has posted five top-20 finishes this season, including a third-place finish at the Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola. Song's career best finish came during her rookie season at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, one of four major championships on the LPGA Tour.
 
The Honda LPGA Thailand 2006 was added to the schedule this year, which means that the LPGA will contest tournaments in 10 different countries this year.
 
Amata Spring challenges golfers with island green LPGA Tour players will get the true island experience when they arrive in Thailand this week.
 
Amata Spring Country Club is home to a challenging golf course thanks to lakes, rivers, mountains, strong cross winds and steep elevation changes. But designer Lee Schmidt did not think that was enough. Skill and accuracy will be tested when competitors set up on the 17th tee and look to the flagstick on Asia's only island green. On the par-3, 145-yard hole, hitting the green in regulation is more than something to be desired, it is a necessity as a missed green means a lost ball into the water. Once all golf balls are safely on the green, golfers will be ferried to the green by boat.
 
Opened in November 2005, the Amata Spring Country Club named LPGA Tour member Virada Nirapathpongporn as the club professional. One day after the club celebrates its 11-month anniversary, the Honda LPGA Thailand 2006 begins as the first LPGA Tour event ever hosted in the country.
 
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.