Jutanugarn sisters reunited, contending in Hawaii

By Randall MellApril 18, 2013, 5:30 pm

The Jutanugarn sisters miss each other.

They’re relishing their reunion in Hawaii at the Lotte Championship this week even as they occasionally squabble as sisters like to do.

“I miss her,” says Moriya Jutanugarn, the older sister to Ariya. “When I stay with her, we’re going to fight all the time, but that’s a good thing. Staying with my sister is always a fun time, because, she is a crazy girl. Sometimes, I’m crazy, but she’s worse than me. If you go to her Instagram, you will see some of the crazy things.”

Ariya, 17, seized the first-round lead Wednesday at the Lotte Championship with an 8-under-par 64. She is already a Ladies European Tour winner as a rookie on that tour this season. She made it into the Lotte Championship through Monday qualifying.

Moriya, 18, an LPGA member, shot a 69 Wednesday and is tied for 16th.

Ariya and Moriya, the pride of Thailand, make each other laugh. They also make each other better. That’s why it has been hard competing on separate tours this year.

Ariya won the U.S. Girls’ Junior two years ago and lost to Lydia Ko in the semifinals of the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur. Ko went on to win that title. Moriya was runner-up in the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur.

With Moriya turning 18 and ready to go pro last year, the Jutanugarns wanted to start their careers together. Ariya petitioned last summer for a waiver of the LPGA’s age restriction to allow her to go to Q-School with Moriya, but Ariya wouldn’t turn 17 until just before the final stage. A player must be 18 to be a tour member. The LPGA denied her petition.

The Jutanugarns showed just how formidable they would be pursuing careers on separate tours late last year. First, Moriya shared medalist honors as co-winner of LPGA Q-School. Two weeks later, Ariya won LET Q-School.

The family has temporarily split this year to manage both careers. Ariya travels the LET with her father, Moriya the LPGA with her mother.

“It was a little bit sad, because normally we aren’t separate,” Moriya said. “At the end of this year, Ariya will try to qualify for the LPGA. If she plays on the LPGA next season, we can travel all together again.”

If Ariya holds on and wins the Lotte Championship this weekend, they might be back together sooner than they planned. If Ariya wins, she is eligible to claim a two-year LPGA membership. However, because she doesn’t turn 18 until Nov. 23, she would again have to petition the LPGA for a waiver of the tour's age restriction.

Ariya nearly won the Honda LPGA Thailand in February, the second event of the season. On the verge of becoming the first Thai to win an LPGA event, Ariya took a two-shot lead to the last hole with her homeland cheering her historic march. She was in tears after collapsing on the final hole with a triple-bogey 7 and losing by a shot to Inbee Park. Ariya fell into Moriya’s arms off the 18th green.

“After she missed that putt and lost in Thailand, everybody thought she would not play good in Singapore the next week,” Moriya said. “But, she kept her game. She was fine. It was a good experience for her.”

Ariya finished fourth in her next start at the LPGA’s HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. One month later, Ariya won the LET’s Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.

“Everybody was happy,” Moriya said. “I was happy, my parents were happy. It was perfect timing.”

Ariya said winning was a good tonic.

“I have a chance in Honda, but I lose it, so winning one in Morocco, it makes me confident,” Ariya told media after her round Wednesday in Hawaii. “It [makes] me stronger.”

Ariya has earned $215,568 as a non-member of the LPGA in her two starts this year. That would rank her eighth on the LPGA money list this week. If Ariya ends this season with non-member winnings that rank among the top 40 on the money list, she would be eligible for LPGA membership without going to Q-School this winter. However, only money won by non-members in events with cuts count. Ariya’s winnings this year have all come in LPGA events without cuts.

Ariya has an offer to play the LPGA’s Kingsmill Championship on a sponsor exemption next month and may try to Monday qualify for the North Texas Shootout next week. She also is registered for U.S. Women’s Open qualifying.

Moriya is off to a strong start to her LPGA rookie season. She tied for fourth at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and is 19th on the LPGA money list with $191,488 in earnings.

“When I play with Moriya, she helps me with everything,” Ariya said. “Sometimes, when I play not very good, I tell her what’s wrong, and she try to figure it out and teach me. When I play with her, it’s very happy and fun.”

The Jutanugarns look like they’re going to have a lot of fun together in the coming years.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

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

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

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

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.