Pioneers, peers amazed by Ko

By Randall MellMarch 20, 2015, 3:01 am

PHOENIX – Even the game’s pioneers are buzzing over Lydia Ko.

With the 17-year-old phenom climbing yet another leaderboard Thursday at the JTBC Founders Cup, Hall of Famer Patty Sheehan was marching out of the Marriott Wildfire clubhouse to catch some of the action.

“She’s amazing,” said Sheehan, who won 35 LPGA titles, six of them major championships. “The way she handles herself, she’s so mature and relaxed and in control. You just don’t see that in 16- and 17-year-olds like you see it in Lydia. It’s astonishing.”

With her 6-under-par 66 Thursday at the JTBC Founders Cup, Ko is back in contention yet again, tied with Sophia Popov, Kim Kaufman and Tiffany Joh as the leaders in the clubhouse at the weather-delayed event.

Founders Cup: Articles, videos and photos

Ko hasn’t stopped making news this season. At the LPGA season opener, she wrested the Rolex world No. 1 ranking from Inbee Park, becoming the youngest player to hold that distinction in the history of professional golf. Ko went on to win back-to-back titles at the Women’s Australian Open and New Zealand Women’s Open and is coming off a second-place finish at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore in her last start.

Ko’s 66 on Thursday marked her 21st consecutive round under par in an LPGA event. Her run of sub-par scores goes back to the first round of her victory at the CME Group Tour Championship in November.

Ko hit all 14 fairways she looked at Thursday. She hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation. She outplayed a couple U.S. Women’s Open winners in her grouping with Na Yeon Choi shooting 70 and Michelle Wie a 73.

It’s getting to be a stunner now if Ko isn’t on a leaderboard. She’s seeking her 11th worldwide title in a professional event, her seventh LPGA title.

“You know who Kathy Whitworth is, right?”

Sheehan tweeted that question to Ko after Ko won in Australia last month.

Does Sheehan really think Ko could challenge Whitworth’s LPGA record 88 career victories?

“She has the potential, but I’m not sure she has the ambition,” Sheehan said.

Sheehan says that because she knows Ko recently revealed that she would like to retire at 30 and start another career. Ko is enrolled at Korea University, where she begins her studies this month with psychology as her major field of study. She said after Thursday’s round that she might also be interested in a career in broadcasting.

What did Ko think of Sheehan’s suggestion that she is good enough to break Whitworth’s record?

“It’s pretty cool to be compared in that way,” Ko said. “I've had six victories, so I've got 82 more to reach there. It’s a long way, and I’ve said I would like to retire when I'm 30 ... I'm trying to concentrate on one tournament at a time and that's all I can do.”

The Founders Cup was created to honor the LPGA’s founders and pioneers. So many of them are here this week. Hall of Famers Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley and Betsy King are here. So are founders Marilynn Smith and Shirley Spork. The special honorees this week are Judy Rankin, Donna Caponi and Sandra Palmer, who will be recognized in a dinner on Friday.

With Ko doing things no teenager has ever achieved in the game, the pioneers are being treated to history in the making.

“I’ve got to work hard on my game to get halfway near their records,” Ko said.

Ko’s peers are just as abuzz over what they’re seeing as the game’s pioneers. They can’t believe Ko doesn’t even have a driver’s license yet.

“Lydia is awesome,” said Kaufman, a co-leader. “It's great to watch and great to watch her demeanor. I love to play with her. I don't think she realizes how good she is and what she's doing yet. I mean, she's so young. We are out there talking about if she's going to get her driver's license. That's all she's thinking about. She's so innocent.”

Amy Anderson, four shots off the lead, isn’t surprised seeing Ko contending yet again.

“She's incredible,” Anderson said. “I actually get asked about her a lot, like what's going on there. She is the real deal. I've never seen her hit the ball bad. Every part of her game is her strength, and it's really fun to watch. It's really fun to be part of the tour when she's here.”

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.

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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 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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Rory faces criticism

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President at the Presidents Cup

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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

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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


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Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

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Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

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Pros comment on the president

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