USC (Women), Vanderbilt (Men) Win Third Annual East Lake Cup

By Golf Channel Public RelationsNovember 2, 2017, 12:12 am

Trojans Rally to Overcome 2-0 Deficit in Championship Match to Win Title

Vanderbilt Defeats Two-Time Defending East Lake Cup Champions, Illinois

Arizona State (Women), Oklahoma (Men) Win Consolation Matches

ATLANTA, Nov. 1, 2017 – The University of Southern California (women) and Vanderbilt University (men) claimed the 2017 East Lake Cup presented by Hewlett Packard Enterprise on Wednesday, closing out their 2017 fall season schedule with a victory to carry momentum into next spring. The Trojans (No. 2 seed) defeated (No. 1) Stanford 3-2 in the championship match, while (No. 1) Vanderbilt defeated two-time defending East Lake Cup champion (No. 3) Illinois.

Despite Stanford jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the championship match, USC rallied to win the final three matches to claim the victory over its Pac-12 counterpart. Robynn Ree (junior) began the charge with a 1up victory over Stanford’s Shannon Aubert, and USC’s Muni He (sophomore) tied up the match, 2-2, with a 3&2 win over Stanford’s Andrea Lee. Divya Manthena (sophomore) – a walk-on – earned the championship-clinching point for the Trojans, taking down Stanford’s Madie Chou 4&2 to give USC its second victory at the East Lake Cup after winning the inaugural event in 2015.

“I knew we were really the underdogs coming in,” USC head coach Andrea Gaston said. “We stepped up at the right moment. I think this was truly a team effort over the past couple days. It means a lot to bring the cup home. It is special to be here. You know, all we can do is continue to shoot for the stars and try to come back again next year.”

In the men’s championship match, Vanderbilt’s Will Gordon (junior) punctuated his superb week with a 2&1 victory in the opening match to get the Commodores on the board. Harrison Ott (freshman) won his match 1up, which allowed sophomore John Augenstein to earn the clinching point with a 4&3 victory over Illinois’ Giovanni Tadiotto.

“This was a thrilling week for our program,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “We had a lot of people who got to watch us on national television, and that is what you dream of. We talked about just finishing the fall out the right way. It’s always fun if you finish on a positive note and take some good energy into the offseason.”

CHAMPIONSHIP:

Women’s: (2) Southern California def. (1) Stanford, 3-2

Men’s: (1) Vanderbilt def. (3) Illinois, 4-1

Stanford (1)                            vs.                   Southern California (2)

Albane Valenzuela (4&2)                             Alyaa Abdulghany

Shannon Aubert                                              Robynn Ree (1up)

Ziyi Wang (5&4)                                            Allisen Corpuz

Andrea Lee                                                     Muni He (3&2)

Madie Chou                                                    Divya Manthena (4&2)

 

Vanderbilt
(1)                        vs.                    Illinois (3)

Will Gordon (2&1)                                        Michael Feagles

Harrison Ott (1up)                                        Brendan O’Reilly

Patrick Martin                         Halved            Nick Hardy

John Augenstein (4&3)                                 Giovanni Tadiotto

Theo Humphrey                      Halved            Dylan Meyer              

In the men’s consolation match, Oklahoma took down Oregon in a repeat of the NCAA Championship finals earlier this year. The Sooners took four of the five matches, with convincing victories from its pair of juniors, Blane Hale (6&5) and Brad Dalke (5&4).

“I’m proud of all our guys,” Oklahoma head coach Ryan Hybl said. “You know, it’s not just this fall… This has been a phenomenal year. They will continue to grow and develop. Hopefully we can get after it in the spring.”

 On the women’s side, Arizona State earned two outright victories from Olivia Mehaffey (sophomore) and Sophia Zeeb (senior) in the first two matches out to earn two of the necessary three points to win the overall match. Roberta Liti (senior) and Linnea Strom (junior) both halved their respective matches to earn a half point each to get the Sun Devils to the necessary three point total to outlast Northwestern.

“It didn’t matter what we were playing for,” Arizona State head coach Missy Farr-Kaye said. “We were going to go out there and play really hard. This is the last day of [our fall season]. We are trying to stave off being a little tired and a little bit burnt out. [We wanted to] give it everything we’ve got and go out on a really good note to end our fall season.”

CONSOLATION:

Women’s: (4) Arizona State def. (3) Northwestern, 3-2

Men’s: (2) Oklahoma def. (4) Oregon, 4-1

 

Northwestern (3)                   vs.                   Arizona State (4)

Stephanie Lau                                                 Olivia Mehaffey (3&2)

Sarah Cho                                                       Sophia Zeeb (1up)

Janet Mao                                Halved            Roberta Liti

Hannah Kim (3&1)                                       Madison Kerley

Brooke Riley                           Halved            Linnea Strom

 

Oklahoma (2)                        vs.                    Oregon (4)

Garett Reband (2&1)                                    Ryan Gronlund

Riley Casey (3&2)                                         Edwin Yi

Blaine Hale (6&5)                                          Norman Xiong

Brad Dalke (5&4)                                          Donald Kay

Grant Hirschman                                          Thomas Mulligan (5&4)                  

Presented by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), the East Lake Cup Collegiate Match Play Championship is a three-day competition that features the eight semifinalists – including reigning NCAA national champion Oklahoma (men) and Arizona State (women) – reconvening at historic East Lake Golf Club.

For more information about the East Lake Cup, please visit the tournament website www.golfchannel.com/eastlakecup. Stay connected with the championship using the hashtag #EastLakeCup.

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

"He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

"I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

"From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

"And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

"There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

Ko told GolfChannel.com Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

“It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

"It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."