Lewis, Jutanugarn battle to another draw

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2017, 10:16 pm

PHOENIX – They can’t shake each other.

Stacy Lewis and Ariya Jutanugarn are putting on quite the show at the top of the leaderboard at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup this week.

It was punch/counter punch again Friday as they continued to take turns with the lead playing alongside each other at Wildfire Golf Club.

“I had so much fun playing with her today,” Jutanugarn said.

Forgive Jutanugarn for repeating what she said Thursday, because it’s hard not to have fun making all the birdies these two are making.

Matching scores yet again Friday with 5-under-par 67s, they left the course tied for the lead through the morning wave.

They were a shot ahead of Mi Jung Hur and two shots ahead of In Gee Chun (69) and Jessica Korda (66).

“It’s always hard to follow up a round like yesterday, so happy with the day again,” Lewis said.

Lewis and Jutanugarn have combined to make 23 birdies and two eagles in two rounds.

And it’s looking as if they will be playing together again on Saturday.

Jutanugarn is seeking her sixth LPGA title in a little more than 10 months. She says she isn’t getting caught up this week in a match-play-like battle with Lewis or anyone else.

“I’m not really worrying about who is going to be on the leaderboard,” Jutanugarn said. “I just really want to focus on what is under my control ... Just go have fun.”

On Thursday, Lewis pulled three shots ahead of Jutanugarn, only to see Jutanugarn scorch the back nine and tie her for the lead at the last.

On Friday, Jutanugarn pulled two shots ahead on their first nine, only to see Lewis catch and pass her with three straight birdies after making the turn. Jutanugarn answered yet again, however, stuffing her approach to 5 feet at the last, where she made a tying birdie.

Jutanugarn is bogey free through two rounds.

Lewis, thanks to a nice escape from trouble at her last hole Friday, has just a single bogey. At her closing hole Friday, Lewis pushed her tee shot right into a fairway bunker with a menacing face to clear. She clipped a 9-iron nicely to 25 feet and two-putted for par.

“It was probably the shot of the day for me,” Lewis said.

Lewis is seeking her 12th victory, her first since the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship 33 months ago. She has a strong record at Wildfire Golf Club, with a victory, two seconds and a T-4 finish in her last four starts.

Lewis said the trick playing the birdiefest that is the Founders Cup is not getting too greedy.

“You still have to be patient, because on this golf course, if you try to force things you can make some big numbers,” Lewis said. “You have to go make birdies. That's the mentality. If you have a wedge in your hand, go be aggressive and make a birdie. If it doesn't feel right, if you have an awkward number, just take par and move on.”

One of them just may be moving on to a title if they keep this scoring blitz going.

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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.

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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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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