Big Wiesy Shares Lead Annika Five Off Pace

By Sports NetworkJune 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Michelle Wie, 17-year-old amateur Morgan Pressel and reigning Women's British Open champion Karen Stupples are tied atop the leaderboard after three rounds of the U.S. Women's Open.
 
Wie, a 15-year-old amateur who finished second at the LPGA Championship two weeks ago, shot a 1-over 71 to join Pressel (70) and Stupples (69) at 1-over-par 214 Saturday at Cherry Hills Country Club.
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie posted a 1-over 72 and shares the lead heading into the final round at Cherry Hills.
Annika Sorenstam's chances at the first-ever single-season Grand Slam are still alive. She overcame a missed 3-footer for par at three and a four-putt double-bogey at six to shoot a 2-over 73.
 
Sorenstam is tied for 16th place at 6-over-par 219.
 
Before anyone can count Sorenstam out of the championship, there is history on her side.
 
The last time the U.S. Women's Open was held in Colorado, at The Broadmoor in 1995, Sorenstam overcame a five-shot deficit on Sunday to earn her first LPGA Tour title.
 
Then there was the time she made up 10 shots in the final round to overtake Pat Hurst at The Office Depot Hosted by Amy Alcott in 2001.
 
Finally, it was at Cherry Hills in 1960 when Arnold Palmer fired a 65 on Sunday to win the U.S. Open. He trailed by seven after three rounds 45 years ago, so Sorenstam's task might be easier.
 
'I know what I have got to do then,' said Sorenstam. 'I am running out of holes, but I need to get off to a good start tomorrow. I need to climb on that leaderboard and show them I am still here and I am serious and we'll see. I don't think I am going to need a miracle round, but it needs to be good.'
 
There are some competitors much closer to the trio of leaders than Sorenstam.
 
Eighteen-year-old Paula Creamer, who won the Sybase Classic earlier this year, shot a one-over 72 and is tied for fourth place with Birdie Kim (69) and Young Jo (70). The group is knotted at plus-2.
 
If either amateur leader or Creamer moves on to the winner's circle Sunday afternoon, she will be the youngest player to win a women's major.
 
If Wie or Pressel gets the victory, they become the first amateur to take the title since Catherine Lacoste in 1967.
 
Wie began the third round two off the lead and did not get off to a great start. She missed a 7-footer for par at the second, then dropped another shot at the fourth.
 
She rebounded quickly with short birdie putts at the fifth and seventh to get back to even par for the championship. At the par-3 eighth, Wie landed in the left rough and made her only play, knocking it 15 feet past the hole. She missed that putt to fall back to plus-1 and two off the lead.
 
With the rest of the field coming back to Wie, the 15-year-old tied for the lead at 11. She hit a massive drive down the fairway at the par-5 hole, but came up short with her second. Wie chipped to 3 feet and converted the putt to get back to even par and take a one-shot lead.
 
Wie made par from the deep rough at 14, but she would not be as fortunate at 16. Her drive landed in the left rough and her second came up short and right of the hole, which was not in a good position. Wie pitched 30 feet beyond the hole and missed her par putt.
 
Despite the bogey coming in, Wie is in position to win the biggest event in women's golf.
 
'I haven't really thought about that yet,' admitted Wie. 'If I think about it now, I put a lot more pressure on myself. I am just going to play it the way I did today, just play one shot by shot.'
 
Pressel, who is actually the highest-ranked amateur in the country, made bogey at the second but closed with a pair of birdies on her front nine. She rolled in an 8-foot birdie putt at seven, then added another at from 4 feet at No. 8.
 
Pressel, who will be a senior in high school next year, bogeyed No. 10, but rebounded with a birdie at 11. Her chip skirted the left edge, but she settled for a tap-in birdie.
 
From there, Pressel parred in. Along the way, she holed several clutch saves, including a 12-footer at No. 16 and a 4-footer at the last.
 
Pressel has been near the lead all week, just like Wie. At times Pressel has wondered why she doesn't get the same attention as her younger opponent, but the 17-year-old knows one way to get more recognition.
 
'We're tied going into the last day and I mean, if I play well tomorrow I think I will get my share of attention,' said Pressel, who plans to attend Duke University. 'I am coming here to win. So to be in that top spot going into the last day, it really is exciting.'
 
Stupples is the old lady of the group, as she turned 32 on Friday. She got her piece of the lead thanks to an amazing run of birdies on the back nine.
 
She tallied three bogeys on her front side, then birdied the ninth. Stupples drove into the semi-rough at 10, but wedged her approach to 5 feet. The reigning Women's British Open winner got up and down out of a bunker for another birdie at 11.
 
At the par-3 12th, Stupples hit a 6-iron to 8 feet and converted her fourth birdie in a row. She drained a pair of 6-foot birdie putts at 13 and 14 to match Dottie Pepper's record for six consecutive birdies in a U.S. Women's Open round.
 
'Anything can happen out there,' said Stupples. 'To do it so many holes in a row kind of felt a bit unreal really.'
 
She could have gotten seven in a row, but came up woefully short on a 10- footer at the 14th. Stupples missed a 35-foot birdie try 4 feet short at the last, then missed the par putt to fall to plus-1.
 
Young Kim (70) and Angela Stanford (73) are tied for seventh place at plus-3. Jamie Hullett (70), Candie Kung (71) and Cristie Kerr (72) share ninth at 4-over-par 217.
 
Nicole Perrot, the surprising 36-hole leader, double-bogeyed her first hole on Saturday and never recovered. She stumbled to a 7-over 78 and is tied for 12th at plus-5.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

    PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    The statement reads:

    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

    The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

    The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

    The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.

    Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 7:40 pm

    Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.

    Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.

    It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.

    Goodbye and good riddance.

    The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.

    “What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.

    Amen.

    The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.

    Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.



    Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.

    But at what cost?

    The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.

    The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.

    We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.

    In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.  

    We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.

    Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.

    We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.

    “What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.

    Amen again.

    We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.

    Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.

    There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.

    This is good governance.

    And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.

    This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.

    We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.

    Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.

    Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.

    Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”