Nordqvist wins more fans in 'hometown' event

By Randall MellMarch 20, 2017, 3:19 am

PHOENIX – Almost 9,000 miles from the Swedish city where she grew up, Anna Nordqvist couldn’t have felt more at home.

The former Arizona State Sun Devil won the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in the shadow of the campus where she built so many college memories.

“It feels very, very special,” Nordqvist said. “I could only have dreamed of winning on what feels like home soil.”

In Sunday’s 96-degree heat, Nordqvist thrived. She was the hottest player in the Phoenix desert all week.

Closing with a 4-under-par 68, Nordqvist won comfortably, even with a bogey at the last. At 25 under overall, she finished two shots ahead of Stacy Lewis (68), Ariya Jutanugarn (68) and In Gee Chun (66).

Nordqvist, 29, wasn’t just a favorite of all the locals who remembered her here. She keeps discovering how many fans around the world she won last summer with the gracious way she handled losing the U.S. Women’s Open. In fact, she might have won as many fans in that loss at CordeValle as she did in any of her previous six LPGA victories before Sunday’s.

“The amount of support, the fans who reached out to me after that, I’m very touched,” Nordqvist said. “People almost supported me more. The only thing I didn’t get that week was a trophy.”

Nordqvist lost the U.S. Women’s Open to Brittany Lang after a high-definition close up of a television replay determined she grazed a few grains of sand taking back her 5-iron in a fairway bunker on the second playoff hole.

The jarring nature of that two-shot penalty, assessed a hole later, affected a lot of fans.

“I seemed to have a lot bigger following and social media, coming out to tournaments,” Nordqvist said. “I did my best that day. I touched the sun and life goes on. Here I am with my next trophy. I'm just trying to do my best. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”

Nordqvist set up Sunday’s victory with a tournament record 11-under-par 61 on Saturday. Her 25 under total was just two shots off the LPGA’s 72-hole record.

Lewis, Chun and So Yeon Ryu all made charges, with world No. 2 Jutanugarn charging late on the back nine.

“I'm proud of the way I played and proud obviously for sticking to my game plan,” Nordqvist said.

Nordqvist didn’t have to look far for comfort. She was followed all week by a half dozen Scandinavians, one wearing a Viking helmet.

Terje Erga, a Norwegian, wore a helmet with a pair of horns protruding from it. He was hosting a group of fellow Norwegians and a Swedish pro, Marcus Ferrell, whom Nordqvist grew up with.

“Marcus was, actually, one of my best friends from growing up playing golf,” Nordqvist said. “We grew up at the same golf course. It just means a lot, even though I'm far away, to have that hometown support.”

Nordqvist spent the week staying with a family she got to know while playing at Arizona State. She stayed with David and Alison Highmark.

“David’s like my American dad,” Nordqvist said. “He really took me under my wing when I moved here from Sweden. I don’t know what I would have done without him. From getting my tour card to helping me buy a condo, he’s been there for me.”

A lot of fans were there Sunday for the Swedish star.

“This truly feels like home,” she said.

Getty Images

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.