LPGA Tour Announces 2003 Schedule

By Martha BrendleNovember 20, 2002, 5:00 pm
Ty Votaw was openly bullish about the state of the LPGA Tour Wednesday as he announced the 2003 saying that the LPGA is the strongest its been in its 52 year history.
Two events have increased their purses by $200,000, Votaw said. Six events have increased their purses by $100,000. More than 40 percent of the events announced today have raised their purses for 2003.
2003 Partial LPGA Tour Schedule
After reiterating the numerous highlights of the year, Votaw released the 2003 schedule, which lists events through October 12, 2003. The period following October has some TBAs because of our international events and we plan on announcing them by January 1, Votaw Wednesday at Trump International.
The biggest surprise on the schedule was the announcement of the Con Agra LPGA Skins game being played in January 25-26 at Wailea Golf Resort in Maui. Aside from that, the LPGA Tour schedule has no tournaments listed for the months of January or February.
The real season kickoff will take place March 13-16 at the Welchs/Frys Championship. Its the first of two full-field events listed before the first major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, which does not allow much time or opportunity for competitors to tune up their games in competition.
Its probably not the best preparation for players to only have two events to warm up with, Votaw said. From that perspective I think its not ideal.
The LPGA Tour will take the week of the Masters off according to the Commissioner but the schedule will have at least 23 full-field events in 2003 and offer at least $2.5 million more in prize money.
The Nashville event, popular with the players, is still TBD at this time as is an event for the week of September 18-21. For the most part, the schedule has a close resemblance to 2002.
The one big feather in the cap of the LPGA is the addition of the Michelob Light Open at Kingsmill in Williamsburg, VA on May 1-4. This event, formerly a PGA Tour stop, is destine to become one of the favorite events on the LPGA Tour.
While the PGA Tour doesnt quite realize what theyve lost, the LPGA Tour knows what theyve gained.
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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.