Too nice to intimidate, Ko lets her game do it

By Randall MellJune 12, 2016, 1:09 am

SAMMAMISH, Wash. – Lydia Ko’s name ought to strike fear in the hearts of players trying to catch her Sunday at the KPMG PGA Women’s PGA Championship.

She ought to be making her colleagues resent her growing dominance by now.

But how do you fear and resent somebody who opens their golf bag in the middle of a round and offers you the peaches, mangos and cherries her mother packed her?

Cherries, by the way, with the pits already removed.

“I ate out of her bag all day,” Brittany Lincicome said.

Ko’s name sits atop the leaderboard at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, and that ought to make some knees wobble among players trying to catch her. At 19, Ko is already so formidable under pressure with the biggest prizes in the game within reach. She won the Evian Championship late last year closing with a 63. She won the ANA Inspiration in April sticking a wedge to a foot to birdie the final hole. Ko is so hard to beat because she so rarely beats herself, but she’s too sweet natured to intimidate the pack of players trying to beat her.

Just ask Lincicome and Tiffany Joh. They played alongside Ko on Saturday.

“There was a lot of banter,” Lincicome said. “It was such a fun group.”

By day’s end, though, Ko had the most fun playing.

With her 1-under-par 70 on Saturday, Ko became the player to beat at Sahalee Country Club.

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship: Articles, photos and videos

At 2-under overall, she’s one shot ahead of Lincicome (71) and Gerina Piller (71) and two in front of Anna Nordqvist (69), Brooke Henderson (73), Ariya Jutanugarn (68), Amy Yang (66), Mirim Lee (73) and Chella Choi (69).

There are 16 players within four shots of the lead, but there’s only one with a chance to win a third consecutive major.

Babe Zaharias was almost 40 when she became the first woman to win three consecutive major championships.

Pat Bradley was 35 when she won three in a row.

Mickey Wright was 27 when she did it, and Inbee Park was 24.

Ko is poised to try to join that elite club at 19 years, 1 month and 19 days old.

Don’t tell Ko, though.

“I don't really think about it when I'm out there playing,” Ko said. “I'm just trying to play my best and trying to hit that shot in front of me. I only know about these records after you guys tell me.”

Ko’s name is already in the record books as the youngest player to win an LPGA title, youngest to win a major championship, youngest to win the Rolex Player of the Year Award and youngest to rise to Rolex world No. 1.

But she’s trying not to think about records within reach.

“It's really cool to obviously have my name in those records amongst those amazing players,” Ko said. “That's the really cool thing about it, but when I'm out there I'm not thinking so much about records and what could happen, et cetera.

“Numbers sometimes are just numbers. All you can do is try your best.”

And share the peaches, mangos and cherries your mother packed you.

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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

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