Arricau Wins Ladies European Tour Title

By Martin ParkMay 30, 2004, 4:00 pm
A Corua, Spain -- Stephanie Arricau from France won her maiden title on the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour at the Union Fenosa Open de Espaa Femenino Xacobeo 2004 by beating New Zealander Gina Scott at the first extra hole after a thrilling Sunday afternoon at Club de Golf La Corua in Galicia produced a plethora of birdies and very nearly an almost classical French farce of a finish.
Arricau eventually signed for a 1-under-par 71 to reach nine under par total alongside Scott, who had a 3-under 69 to sneak into the playoff.
Becky Brewerton from Wales took third spot alone on 8-under-par after a 71 for her second top three of the season but could not take full advantage of her laser-like iron play on the back nine as her putter went cold at the wrong time.
With nobody making a significant move forward after the first nine holes, Arricau stretched away and seemingly had the title in the bag after a blistering back nine when she notched up five birdies in six holes to lead on 11 under par heading to the final hole ahead of Scott, who kept the pressure on with two birdies and an eagle of her own on the homeward nine.
Then the drama began. Leading by two from the Kiwi coming uphill at the 18th, the Frenchwomans approach to the green hit one of the tall conifers and rebounded back into a similar position.
From there, the former French and Spanish amateur champion punched the ball under the branches of the offending tree, leaving two putts from 30-feet for the win, should Scott miss her 20-foot birdie chance.
Scott did miss and Brewerton, who had birdied three of the last six holes to reach eight under, let her final chance slip by from 8 feet.
Arricau had no more than three feet uphill for the win, but the ball slipped by on the left for a double bogey and echoes of Jean Van de Veldes classic 1999 Open Championship farce were whispered in the gallery.
But where Arricaus male compatriots Van de Velde and also Thomas Levet in the 2002 Open Championship, failed to take the opportunity in playoffs, Arricau did. At the first extra hole, it would be Scotts turn to miss a short putt as the Frenchwoman safely negotiated the tricky closing hole in par for her maiden victory.
I was feeling really good after those birdies and I remembered that Jean-Luis Guepy had seven birdies in a row and I was trying to equal that, said Arricau, who was soaked by bottled water by her fellow French Ladies European Tourists after the win.
I was comfortable all the way in, but at the final hole, I just played the second shot too quickly and it was not a good shot. But I thought that I could just get it on, make bogey and I would still win.
But now Ive done it, Im really happy, but I couldnt believe the other players soaked me with water ' it should have been champagne!
Scott, who won her only title on the LET at the 2000 Chart Hills Classic after beating Isabella Maconi from Italy in a playoff, was magnanimous in defeat.
Its all I could do to get into the playoff, said Scott.
I played the back nine well and thats all I could ask for but Stephanie played great all day long.
Brewerton, who was looking to become the first rookie on the LET to win since 2001, hit 15 greens in regulation and was disappointed, despite finishing with her fourth top three on the LET, twice as an amateur and twice in this, her rookie season.
I did all the damage on the front nine, said Brewerton, who made double bogey on the eighth hole when she was tied for the lead.
I had so many good chances out there and lipped out a couple of times and I wasnt quite there on all of the others.
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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.