Ellis Leads Canadian Winter Q-School
The 25-year-old leads Dong Yi by one stroke heading into Wednesdays second round. Russell Surber of Blaine, Wash. fired a 69 while six others are three back.
Ellis wasnt the only player from the Golden State to fare well, as Californians hold down ten of the top 16 spots after the opening day.
Jeff Puska of Ladysmith, BC is the top Canadian after posting an opening round 71.
Once final round action wraps up Friday, the Canadian Tour will award exempt playing cards for the 2005 season to the low ten finishers with an additional ten players, plus ties, earning non-exempt status. Ninety-five golfers from five countries teed it up in the opening round.
With Southern California receiving a reprieve from the torrential rains that have pounded the area in recent days, Ellis calmly went out Tuesday and hit 11 of 14 fairways and missed just three greens in regulation all day.
That was just a solid round of golf, said Ellis, a three-time member of the NCAAs All-Pac Ten team while at the University of Oregon. I drove it well, hit some solid irons and made some putts. That usually leads to some good things. It was pretty stress-free.
Ellis, who turned professional a year and a half ago, advanced to the second stage of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament last fall but missed the final phase in the three-tiered marathon by one stroke. Looking to erase that disappointment here, he knows how vital it was to get a quick start out of the gate in Chino Hills. Sitting at the top of the leaderboard after one day, Ellis says he will take the same game plan into the second round and not let up at the 7,100-yard, par-72 Los Serranos CC track.
You dont want to put yourself behind the 8-ball early. You obviously want as much breathing room as possible heading into Friday. Ill keep firing, try to shoot the lowest possible score for four rounds and see where I am.
Last week, 14 players including U.S. amateur star Casey Wittenberg and Canadians Scott McNeil, Glenn Collins and Danny Sahl, earned Canadian Tour playing cards at the Florida Q-School.
The 2005 season kicks off Mar. 12-15 in Austin, Tex. with the Barton Creek Austin Canadian Tour Pro-Am Classic presented by Yes! Golf.
Scores Tuesday after the opening round of the Canadian Tours California Winter Qualifying School being held at the 7,104-yard, par-72 Los Serranos CC (a-denotes amateur):
1 Ellis, John San Jose, CA 33-34_67
2 Yi, Dong Alameda, CA 32-36_68
3 Surber, Russell Blaine, WA 34-35_69
4 Brunson, Daniel Greenville, SC 37-33_70
4 Henderson, Scott Dove Canyon, CA 36-34_70
4 Itzen, Justin Palm Desert, CA 34-36_70
4 Keller, Rob Temecula, CA 36-34_70
4 Kennedy, Robert Phoenix, AZ 35-35_70
4 Tomasulo, Peter Long Beach, CA 34-36_70
10 Beard, Michael Palm Desert, CA 35-36_71
10 Giarrantano, Tony Castle Rock, CO 35-36_71
10 Harrington, Scott Scottsdale, CA 35-36_71
10 Henson, Berry LaQuinta, CA 36-35_71
10 Puska, Jeff Ladysmith, BC 36-35_71
10 Sestero, Luke Scottsdale, AZ 36-35_71
10 Walton, Michael Palm Desert, CA 35-36_71
17 Hatley, Reid Spokane, WA 37-35_72
17 Riskam, Daniel Hermosa Beach, CA 36-36_72
17 Ruda, Jesse Santa Barbara, CA 37-35_72
20 Brown, Michael Cheltenham, PA 37-36_73
20 Frier, Steve Richmond, BC 39-34_73
20 Guetz, Bret Scottsdale, AZ 35-38_73
20 Lindstom, Jon Castle Rock, CO 38-35_73
20 Mackenzie, Brock Yakima, WA 36-37_73
20 Overson, Darrin Orem, UT 38-35_73
20 Smith, Todd Elk Grove, CA 37-36_73
27 Bergstedt III, Russell Phoenix, AZ 37-37_74
27 Buxbaum, Aaron Encinitas, CA 36-38_74
27 Coleman, Jim Bob Billings, MT 37-37_74
27 Floyd, Dan McKinney, TX 37-37_74
27 Fonner, Matthew Los Gatos, CA 37-37_74
27 Guetz, Brian Scottsdale, AZ 36-38_74
27 Kang, Tai Abbotsford, BC 36-38_74
27 Monfont, Kyle Dublin, OH 38-36_74
27 Puekdang, Ty Berkeley, CA 37-37_74
27 Sanchez, Cuauhtemoc Austin, TX 38-36_74
37 Aga, Matt Carlsbad, CA 37-38_75
37 Atlick, Scott Atherton, CA 42-33_75
37 Burnier, Jean-Luc Dana Point, CA 37-38_75
37 Gavlak, Zac Phoenix, AZ 40-35_75
37 Kawaguchi, Masa Japan 37-38_75
37 Kawano, Koichiro Japan 39-36_75
37 Kirkpatrick, Miles Stockton, CA 39-36_75
37 Kowaluk, Kurt Sudbury, ON 36-39_75
37 Mallinger, John Escondido, CA 39-36_75
37 Minamimoto, Osamu Japan 37-38_75
37 Nakane, Kenta Japan 35-40_75
37 Park, Pedro New Zealand 36-39_75
37 Potter, Dan Coeurd'Alene, ID 40-35_75
37 Smith, Blaise Chino, CA 37-38_75
37 Streat, Heath Australia 39-36_75
52 Dennis, Spencer Arroyo Grande, CA 39-37_76
52 Dorothy, Dean Aiea, HI 38-38_76
52 Heinz, Jerry Poway, CA 39-37_76
52 Kastner, Jason Hudson, QC 38-38_76
52 Martin, Nolan Cold Springs, CO 36-40_76
52 Moreno, JP Pico Rivera, CA 38-38_76
52 Patterson, Marcus Rancho Cordova, CA 37-39_76
52 Richardson, Brandon Junction City, OR 38-38_76
52 Smith, Warren Houston, TX 39-37_76
52 Tayler, Nik Australia 36-40_76
52 Uchibori, Yuki Japan 38-38_76
52 Vinson, CJ Phoenix, AZ 37-39_76
52 Watanabe, Steve San Francisco, CA 40-36_76
52 Wiles, Trevin Sandy, UT 39-37_76
66 Dickson, Chris Bright's Grove, ON 37-40_77
66 Ferlic, Gavin South Bend, IN 40-37_77
66 Inlow, Travis Calgary, AB 39-38_77
66 Jensen, Brent Pleasant Hill, CA 40-37_77
66 Kupeyan, Calvin Tecumseh, ON 38-39_77
66 McNally, Michael Billings, MT 43-34_77
66 Pederson, Shawn Lahana, HI 39-38_77
66 Robertson, John W. Olympia, WA 41-36_77
66 Shibuya, Randy Honolulu, HI 40-37_77
75 Blackwell, Shane Scottsdale, CA 39-39_78
75 Takase, Atsushi Japan 40-38_78
77 Kuraoka, Justin Rancho Cordova, CA 38-41_79
77 Newbolt, Tim Kihei, HI 40-39_79
77 Stevens, Noah Woodlands, TX 40-39_79
77 Streatfield, Andrew Marina, CA 35-44_79
81 Duran, Tony Phoenix, AZ 40-40_80
81 Kennedy, Dean Vancouver, BC 40-40_80
81 LeBlanc, Dale Scottsdale, AZ 42-38_80
81 Libby, Kyle San Jose, CA 40-40_80
81 Narita, Mitsutake Japan 37-43_80
81 Pekuri, Mark Santa Monica, CA 40-40_80
87 Johnstone, Evan Orinda, CA 40-41_81
87 Luce, Jeremy Austin, TX 42-39_81
87 Potter, Bryan Santa Monica, Ca 40-41_81
90 Aldrich, David (A) Grass Valley, CA 38-44_82
90 Smith, Ryan Australia 40-42_82
92 Hamano, Takashi Japan 40-43_83
92 Israel, Peter (A) Palm Desert, CA 43-40_83
94 Hilton, Jed Riverton, UT 42-45_87
95 Stahlheber, Charles Vancouver, WA 48-50_98
Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain
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.
“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.”
Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead
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.
“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.
Clanton rides hole-out eagle to lead at Founders
PHOENIX - Cydney Clanton holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 13th and closed with a birdie Friday to take the second-round lead in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
Clanton shot a 5-under 67, playing the back nine at Desert Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 9-under 135.
Clanton's wedge on the 13th flew into the cup on the first bounce. She also birdied the par-5 11th and 15th and the par-4 18th. The 28-year-old former Auburn player is winless on the LPGA.
Ariya Jutanugarn, Marina Alex, Karine Icher and Mariajo Uribe were a stroke back on a calmer day after wind made scoring more difficult Thursday.
Jessica Korda and Mo Martin were 7 under, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 6 under.
Ko's struggles continue with Founders MC
PHOENIX – Lydia Ko loves the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and its celebration of the game’s pioneers, and that made missing the cut Friday sting a little more.
With a 1-over-par 73 following Thursday’s 74, Ko missed the cut by four shots.
After tying for 10th at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in her last start, Ko looked to be turning a corner in her quest to find her best form again, but she heads to next week’s Kia Classic with more work to do.
“I just have to stay patient,” Ko said. “I just have to keep my head high.”
It was just the fifth missed cut in Ko’s 120 career LPGA starts, but her fourth in her last 26 starts.
Ko’s ball striking has been erratic this year, but her putting has been carrying her. She said her putting let her down Friday.
“It seemed like I couldn’t hole a single putt,” she said. “When I missed greens, I just wasn’t getting up and down. When I got a birdie opportunity, I wasn’t able to hole it.”
Ko came to Phoenix ranked 112th in driving distance, 121st in driving accuracy and 83rd in greens in regulation. She was sixth in putting average.
Cristie Kerr saw the struggle playing two rounds with Ko.
“Her game’s not in good shape,” Kerr said. “She seemed a little lost.”
Ko, 20, made those sweeping changes last year, starting 2017 with a new coach (Gary Gilchrist), a new caddie (Peter Godfrey) and new equipment (PXG). She made more changes at this year’s start, with another new coach (Ted Oh) and new caddie (Jonnie Scott).
Ko doesn’t have to look further than Michelle Wie to see how a player’s game can totally turn around.
“It always takes time to get used to things,” Ko said. “By the end of last year, I was playing solid. I’m hoping it won’t take as much time this year.”
Ko had Oh fly to Asia to work with her in her two starts before the Founders Cup, with their work showing up in her play at the HSBC in Singapore. She said she would be talking to Oh again before heading to the Kia Classic next week and then the ANA Inspiration. She has won both of those events and will be looking to pull some good vibes from that.
“This is my favorite stretch of events,” she said. “And I love the Founders Cup, how it celebrates all the generations that have walked through women’s golf. And I love the West Coast swing. Hopefully, I’ll make more putts next week.”
Ko, whose run of 85 consecutive weeks at Rolex world No. 1 ended last summer, slipped to No. 12 this week.