Gustafson Wins Controversial Samsung

By Sports NetworkOctober 12, 2003, 4:00 pm
THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- Sophie Gustafson captured the Samsung World Championship on Sunday amid a cloud of controversy due to a pair of rulings on the back nine.
Gustafson, who is romantically linked to LPGA Commissioner Ty Votaw, had a long birdie putt on the par-3 14th and went through her routine. She seemingly grounded her putter and noticed the ball was twitching so she backed off and after she did, the ball rolled down a ridge.
According to the rules, if a player grounds his or her club, the ball has been officially addressed and if it moves, that is a penalty stroke. The replays seemed to show Gustafson clearly over the ball with the putter head grounded, but officials declared the replays inconclusive and gave Gustafson the benefit of the doubt.
'From what I could tell, yes, the player's putter was behind the ball,' said LPGA Tour rules official Jim Haley. 'Through what Sophie told us, she was bound and determined to tell us she was especially aware that is a penalty situation, if she does ground her club.
'She told us she did not ground her club. Through that conversation, we determined that we weren't going to dispute her integrity and we determined there was no penalty in that situation.'
On the very next hole, Gustafson missed the green and stamped down a ball mark just off the edge of the green. That is also an infraction but officials determined the mark was not in her line, so no penalty.
'She did not improve her line of play on the 15th hole,' said Charlie Williams, another LPGA Tour rules official.
When it was all said and done, Gustafson fired an 8-under 64 to finish the tournament at 14-under-par 274. This was her fourth win on the LPGA Tour and her first since the 2001 Subaru Memorial of Naples.
'If it's a close call, I think you should look because you always want to remove the doubt,' said Gustafson, who pocketed $200,000 for the win. 'It has been two years since I won on the LPGA Tour, so it's really nice to be up here again.'
Beth Daniel and overnight co-leader Rachel Teske tied for second at 12-under- par 276. Daniel shot a 2-under 70 on Sunday while Teske, who bogeyed two of her last three holes, managed a 1-under 71.
Annika Sorenstam, the defending champion and new member of both the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame, found water at the 17th and double bogeyed the hole. She shot a 2-under 70 and finished alone in fourth place at 11-under- par 277.
The final determination on the possible penalties was not made until after Gustafson completed her round. She was told not to sign her scorecard after the round and her and playing partner Juli Inkster brought their caddies to the television truck, where the replays were reviewed and the final decision was made.
The problem going on was that while the questions were being answered about the penalties, the three other players with chances of catching her were on the course, not knowing about Gustafson's situation.
'I had no idea until we walked off the green,' said Daniel. 'By the time I started making putts, it was kind of too late.'
'I saw they asked for a ruling, that's all I knew,' said Sorenstam. 'My caddie and I thought we had to birdie the last two and of course I was trying to play aggressive.'
The rules debate marred an otherwise spectacular round by Gustafson. She holed a bunker shot for eagle at the first, then birdied five of her next six holes to vault to the top of the leaderboard.
Gustafson made her first mistake of the round at the par-4 ninth. She chipped her third into a bunker and left with a double-bogey 6, in the process, dropping one shot behind Teske who had one birdie and eight pars on her front nine.
Gustafson rebounded with a four-foot birdie putt at the 10th to tie Teske for the lead. Gustafson drained a 20-footer for birdie at the 13th to take a brief lead but Teske rolled home a four-foot birdie putt at the 12th to once again tie for first.
Teske sank a 15-foot birdie putt at 13 while Gustafson was dealing with her problems at 14. After Gustafson made par at the hole, she holed a 12-foot birdie putt at 15 to match Teske.
Teske struggled down the stretch. She missed the green at 16 and made bogey when her four-foot par save skated by the right edge. Teske, a two-time winner this season, came up 10 feet short with her chip at the 17th and took another bogey, falling two behind Gustafson.
Se Ri Pak, who led after the first two rounds, carded a 1-over 73 on Sunday and took fifth place at minus-9, followed by Inkster, who shot a 70 to finish at 8-under-par 280.
Grace Park (69) and Cristie Kerr (70) shared seventh place at 7-under-par 281. Meg Mallon took ninth at minus-6, while Lorie Kane finished a shot behind Mallon at 5 under par.
Related Links:
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.