Final Eagle Lifts Delsing to the Top

By Sports NetworkOctober 25, 2002, 4:00 pm
PRATTVILLE, Ala. -- Jay Delsing fired a course-record 63 in the second-round of the Buy.Com Tour Championship to take a one shot lead at 8-under 136.
Delsing's 63 bettered the former course-record of 65 at the 7,685-yard Senator Course at Capitol Hill that Todd Barranger carded on Thursday. He also set the Buy.Com Tour Championship record, breaking the mark of 64 set by Alabama native Spike McRoy two years ago.
Jeff Klauk, Eric Meeks and Mike Heinen are one behind Delsing at minus 7. Barranger and Keoke Cotner are two back of the leader at 6-under.
Delsing stepped to the 18th tee needing no worse than par on the final hole to tie the previous course record. However, he holed out from 208 yards for eagle to break the record by two shots.
'I feel fortunate to get back into contention and have a chance to compete on the weekend,' said Delsing, who stands 19th on the Buy.Com Tour money list. 'I played great (Thursday) from tee-to-green, but didn't putt very well.'
The winner of this year's Omaha Classic started his round slowly. He rolled in a 40-footer on two for birdie, before sinking a five-foot birdie putt at the 681-yard par-5 fifth.
'That hole (five) was something. I hit 3-wood off the tee and a 5-wood for a second shot,' Delsing said. 'We were laughing because we were trying to figure out the yardage and we needed an abacus. I had 414 yards to the front for my second shot. If we ever get to the day where somebody can reach that, then I'm just going to pack them in.'
Delsing held his round together with an up-and-down from 100 yards at the sixth.
'Rounds like this are always held together by a couple of really good pars that you make after you hit a bad drive or a bad chip,' said Delsing. 'This golf course is relentless in terms of never letting up. It keeps you down and kicks away at you.'
Delsing then caught fire carding four birdies in a five-hole stretch starting at seven. He sank a 12-footer at the par-3 seventh, then got up-and-down on eight, before sinking a six-footer on the ninth to make the turn at 31.
Around the turn, he continued his streak at 11 by making a five-footer to go to 6-under for his round. However, Delsing faltered at the next with his only bogey of the round, when he three-putted from 35-feet.
Delsing got that stroke right back with a birdie on 13. He got to 7-under for his round with a birdie at 17. After hitting 3-wood off the 18th tee, Delsing then holed a 4-iron from 208 yards.
'It's amazing, just when you get to the point where you get really fed up with this game, the golf gods throw you a bone like this,' said Delsing. 'It was a special day for me.'
Barranger is one of many players looking for a big week that will secure their spot in the top 15. Barranger, currently 15th on the money list struggled to a 73 after shooting a 65 Thursday, which bettered his first-round score at this event by 20 strokes from a year ago.
Gavin Coles and Roland Thatcher are three shots back at 5-under 139. Patrick Moore, Jason Gore, Ken Green, Steven Alker, Tyler Williamson, Jason Buha, Charles Warren and Aaron Baddeley are one behind that pair.
Gore and Moore are two of the four men at this event looking for their third wins of the season. Gore, Moore, Cliff Kresge and Arron Oberholser are the two-time winners on the Buy.Com Tour this season. If one of these four were to win this event, they would gain the automatic 'Battlefield' promotion to the PGA Tour.
Oberholser struggled to a 1-over 73 on Friday and is at minus-1 143. Kresge recovered from a bad first-round to card a 69 Friday to climb to even-par 144.
Full-field scores from the Buy.Com Tour Championship
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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.

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Clanton rides hole-out eagle to lead at Founders

By Associated PressMarch 17, 2018, 1:47 am

PHOENIX - Cydney Clanton holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 13th and closed with a birdie Friday to take the second-round lead in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Clanton shot a 5-under 67, playing the back nine at Desert Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 9-under 135.

Clanton's wedge on the 13th flew into the cup on the first bounce. She also birdied the par-5 11th and 15th and the par-4 18th. The 28-year-old former Auburn player is winless on the LPGA.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Ariya Jutanugarn, Marina Alex, Karine Icher and Mariajo Uribe were a stroke back on a calmer day after wind made scoring more difficult Thursday.

Jessica Korda and Mo Martin were 7 under, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 6 under.

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Ko's struggles continue with Founders MC

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:26 am

PHOENIX – Lydia Ko loves the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and its celebration of the game’s pioneers, and that made missing the cut Friday sting a little more.

With a 1-over-par 73 following Thursday’s 74, Ko missed the cut by four shots.

After tying for 10th at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in her last start, Ko looked to be turning a corner in her quest to find her best form again, but she heads to next week’s Kia Classic with more work to do.

“I just have to stay patient,” Ko said. “I just have to keep my head high.”

It was just the fifth missed cut in Ko’s 120 career LPGA starts, but her fourth in her last 26 starts.

Ko’s ball striking has been erratic this year, but her putting has been carrying her. She said her putting let her down Friday.

“It seemed like I couldn’t hole a single putt,” she said. “When I missed greens, I just wasn’t getting up and down. When I got a birdie opportunity, I wasn’t able to hole it.”

Ko came to Phoenix ranked 112th in driving distance, 121st in driving accuracy and 83rd in greens in regulation. She was sixth in putting average.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Cristie Kerr saw the struggle playing two rounds with Ko.

“Her game’s not in good shape,” Kerr said. “She seemed a little lost.”

Ko, 20, made those sweeping changes last year, starting 2017 with a new coach (Gary Gilchrist), a new caddie (Peter Godfrey) and new equipment (PXG). She made more changes at this year’s start, with another new coach (Ted Oh) and new caddie (Jonnie Scott).

Ko doesn’t have to look further than Michelle Wie to see how a player’s game can totally turn around.

“It always takes time to get used to things,” Ko said. “By the end of last year, I was playing solid. I’m hoping it won’t take as much time this year.”

Ko had Oh fly to Asia to work with her in her two starts before the Founders Cup, with their work showing up in her play at the HSBC in Singapore. She said she would be talking to Oh again before heading to the Kia Classic next week and then the ANA Inspiration. She has won both of those events and will be looking to pull some good vibes from that.

“This is my favorite stretch of events,” she said. “And I love the Founders Cup, how it celebrates all the generations that have walked through women’s golf. And I love the West Coast swing. Hopefully, I’ll make more putts next week.”

Ko, whose run of 85 consecutive weeks at Rolex world No. 1 ended last summer, slipped to No. 12 this week.