Battle for No 1

By Randall MellJuly 25, 2010, 11:56 pm

LPGA Tour _newThe fight for No. 1 is head-spinning stuff in women’s golf.

You wouldn’t know it, though, in Jiyai Shin’s unwavering and resolute march back to the game’s mountaintop just six weeks after she underwent emergency surgery for an appendicitis.

With no missteps in her thrilling victory Sunday at the Evian Masters, Shin assured that she will move back to No. 1 when the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings are released Monday.

It will mark the fifth change at the top of the women’s rankings in the last 14 weeks.

That’s more lead changes than we’ve seen in the last decade in the men’s Official World Golf Ranking.

This is good theater for women’s golf, especially the dramatic way it’s playing out.

This isn’t like the men’s game, where it seems as if nobody wants to take the No. 1 ranking from Tiger Woods when Woods is offering it up on a platter.

The women are making hard, feisty charges up the game’s mountaintop.

Though Lorena Ochoa retired from women’s golf this past spring, she didn’t hand over the top ranking. Shin took it from her. Shin seized the top spot with her performance in Ochoa’s farewell tournament at the Tres Marias Championship early in May.

Ai Miyazato has taken two turns atop the women’s rankings this summer with her four victories this season. Cristie Kerr bumped Miyazato off the top with Kerr’s record 12-shot victory at the LPGA Championship.

It’s a wonderful summer show the women are giving us, one that makes you want to see more. They’re putting on the kind of show that begs for more than the 24 events we’re going to get to see this year, the kind of show that will make us miss the women when they take their next long furlough.

Though Paula Creamer didn’t move to No. 1 with her virtuoso performance winning the U.S. Women’s Open at Oakmont two weeks ago, she looked like she’s intent on getting there.

The Evian Masters finish was edge-of-your seat theater.

With Shin walking to the 18th tee Sunday at Evian Masters Golf Club, 15-year-old Alexis Thompson was up ahead trying to make history. In a spirited finish, Thompson hit a wedge to 12 feet, then coolly drained the birdie putt to get to 13 under.

Thompson’s birdie created a four-way tie for the lead.

Shin and Morgan Pressel were in that logjam. So was Na Yeon Choi, who charged magnificently with birdies at four of the last five holes.

“I was watching the leaderboard all day, I was so nervous,” Shin told in a telephone conversation after. “My hands were shaking at the end.”

Shin didn’t betray any nervousness. She looked totally unaffected, burying a testy 6-foot putt for par at the 17th hole and then striping her final drive down the middle after Pressel nearly pulled her drive into the trees.

After Shin made her final birdie putt from 8 ½ feet, the drama only built. Pressel had a birdie chance to tie from 8 feet. She clipped the left side of the hole, leaving Shin the winner.

With a 5-under-par 67, Shin posted the only bogey-free round among the final five twosomes off in the final round.

Shin is just 22 years old, but she’s already won 32 times around the world as a professional.

Despite all the quality challenges from various players this summer, Shin looked more than worthy of that top ranking with her finish Sunday. If she hadn’t been raced to the hospital on the eve of the State Farm Classic six weeks ago, there’s no telling if she would have ever let go of that No. 1 ranking she took from Ochoa.

With Shin still recovering and out of action following her surgery on June 9, Miyazato won the Shoprite LPGA Classic on June 20, ending Shin’s seven week run at the top of the rankings.

“I think the time off after the surgery helped me,” Shin said by telephone. “After that, I enjoyed coming back. I felt happy playing.”

Just 10 days after her surgery, Shin was back hitting balls. Fourteen days later, she was teeing it up in the LPGA Championship. Her caddie, Dean Herden, said she couldn’t finish her swing without pain starting the first round of that major, but she ended up tying for third in her return.

“I knew we had a lot of big tournaments coming up,” Shin said. “I told myself, I have to recover quickly. It really made me focus.”

Shin heads to the Women’s British Open this coming week, the site of her first LPGA title and the most important triumph of her career.

“I go with a lot of confidence,” she said.

So do so many challengers eager to knock her off the mountaintop. It’s what is making the LPGA worth watching this summer.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

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Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

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