Inkster Holds Clubhouse Lead Wie Penalized - COPIED

By Sports NetworkAugust 5, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Weetabix WomenLYTHAM ST. ANNES, England -- Michelle Wie made one big mistake at the Women's British Open on Friday, while Juli Inkster maintained her three-shot lead by avoiding too many.
 
Inkster overcame three bogeys with a trio of birdies to shoot even-par 72, heading into the weekend at 6-under-par 138 and looking for her eighth career major victory.
 
'Sometimes in a major championship you've just got to grind it out, and today was one of those days,' said Inkster, who fired a 66 Thursday. 'I'm very happy with the way I shot.'
 
Juli Inkster
Despite managing just an even-par 72 in Rd. 2, Juli Inkster still holds a three-shot lead.
Inkster played Royal Lytham & St. Annes' par 5s at even-par on Friday after she was minus-5s on them Thursday. The biggest difference, she said, was the play of her driver.
 
'I just never hit it solid,' she admitted. 'It got me in a little bit of trouble, especially on the par fives where you need a birdie.'
 
Wie was assessed a two-stroke penalty for making contact with a piece of moss during her backswing in a greenside bunker at the par-4 14th, giving her a triple-bogey on the hole.
 
She wasn't notified until her round was over that what she thought was an even-par 72 was actually her second consecutive 74.
 
'I just could not get anything going, and it's not good after you play that you add two more shots,' said Wie, who is tied for 36th place at 4-over.
 
Wie was penalized because the rules specifically state that a player's club cannot make contact with a sand trap before the stroke. A stroke is defined only as the forward motion of the club.
 
'I knew I hit the moss, but I guess I knew the rule wrong,' Wie said. 'What I always knew from the rule ever since I started playing golf was that if you swing through it, it would be OK. It is a good learning experience.'
 
Wie drained an 8-foot birdie putt at the par-5 11th to get as low as plus-1 in her round. But she missed badly on a short birdie putt at 12 before botching the 14th.
 
Last year, of course, Wie was able to overcome an opening-round 75 with back-to-back 67s and a Sunday 69 to finish tied for third place at her first Women's British Open.
 
But at 10 stokes back heading into the weekend, Wie is in jeopardy of finishing outside the top-5 for the first time at a major this season.
 
Her infraction Friday was reminiscent of the one she made at last year's Samsung World Championship, where Wie was disqualified in her first professional start for taking a drop in the wrong place.
 
Wie, 16, joked Friday that the rule book is 'not actually great reading material.'
 
'[B]ut I am going to definitely call a rules official if something questionable happens,' she said.
 
Annika Sorenstam -- perhaps golf's biggest rule bookworm, man or woman -- is tied for seventh place at minus-1 following a 71. Sorenstam, the 2003 winner at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, opened with a 72 Thursday.
 
'A few missed shots out there makes it really tough because this golf course is so challenging,' Sorenstam said.
 
The world No. 1 finds herself missing opportunities on the same holes Inkster did Friday.
 
'I've been hitting the ball well,' Sorenstam said. 'I just haven't been capitalizing on the par 5s.'
 
Behind Inkster, Silvia Cavalleri is alone in second place at 3-under 141 after matching the leader with a 72. Cavalleri was tied with Inkster, but triple-bogeyed the 17th.
 
Lorie Kane and 2004 champion Karen Stupples both shot 69 and share third place with Candie Kung (70) and Lindsey Wright (71) at 2-under 142.
 
Tied with Sorenstam one shot further back are reigning LPGA Rookie of the Year Paula Creamer (71), leading Ladies European Tour player Gwladys Nocera (73), Il Mi Chung (71), two-time Women's British winner Sherri Steinhauer (70) and former champion Sophie Gustafson (67).
 
That's a lot of top-flight talent on Inkster's heels, but she has a milestone in her sights: the Super Career Grand Slam.
 
Only Karrie Webb has achieved what is called the Super Career Grand Slam -- winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Championship, the U.S. Women's Open, the Women's British Open and the du Marier Classic, which was a major until it was replaced by the British in 2001.
 
If Inkster wins this weekend, she would become the second.
 
Technically, Inkster has already accomplished the Career Grand Slam by winning the first four majors she played (she completed it by claiming the LPGA Championship and U.S. Women's Open in 1999, the same year she became a member of the Hall of Fame).
 
Only the British has eluded her, with her best finish being a tie for 15th place last year.
 
Inkster, 46, could also become the oldest woman to win a major this weekend. (Fay Crocker was 45 when she won the Titleholders Championship in 1960.)
 
'I don't think age has anything to do with it. I just like to win,' said Inkster, who became the third-oldest woman ever to win a major when she claimed the 2002 U.S. Open at age 42.
 
'I've never won the British Open...But I've got to figure that driver out before I can even think about that.'
 
Webb, meanwhile, had a double-bogey and four bogeys Friday and shot a 10-over 82 to miss the cut at plus-14.
 
The cut line fell at plus-7 with 71 players advancing. Also missing the cut were Pat Hurst, Mi Hyun Kim and Carin Koch.
 
Se Ri Pak, the 2001 Women's British Open champion and reigning LPGA Championship winner, withdrew before the second round with a neck injury.
 
Related Links:
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  • Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

    Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

    Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

    Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

    Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

    With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

    Ko told GolfChannel.com Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

    “It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

    Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

    Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

    "It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."

    Piller pregnant, no timetable for LPGA return

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Gerina Piller, the American Olympian golfer and three-time Solheim Cup veteran, is pregnant and will not be rejoining the LPGA when the 2018 season opens, the New York Times reported following the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

    Piller, 32, who is married to PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, is due with the couple’s first child in May, Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz reported.

    Piller declined an interview request when GolfChannel.com sought comment going into the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Piller told the New York Times she has no timetable for her return but that she isn’t done with competitive golf.

    “I’m not just giving everything up,” Piller said.

    As parity reigns, LPGA searching for a superstar

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 4:00 pm

    Apologies to the LPGA’s golden eras, but women’s golf has never been deeper.

    With the game going global, with the unrelenting wave of Asian talent continuing to slam the tour’s shores, with Thailand and China promising to add to what South Korea is delivering, it’s more difficult than ever to win.

    That’s a beautiful and perplexing thing for the women’s game.

    That’s because it is more difficult than ever to dominate.

    And that’s a magic word in golf.

    There is no more powerful elixir in the sport.

    Domination gets you on the cover of Sports Illustrated, on ESPN SportsCenter, maybe even on NBC Nightly News if the “D” in domination is dynamic enough.

    The women’s best chance of moving their sport to another stratosphere is riding the back of a superstar.

    Or maybe a pair of superstar rivals.


    Photos: 2017 LPGA winners gallery


    A constellation of stars may be great for the devoted regular supporters of the women’s game, but it will take a charismatic superstar to make casual fans care.

    The LPGA needs a Serena Williams.

    Or the reincarnation of Babe Zaharias.

    For those of us who regularly follow the LPGA, this constellation of stars makes for compelling stories, a variety of scripting to feature.

    The reality, however, is that it takes one colossal story told over and over again to burst out of a sports niche.

    The late, great CBS sports director Frank Chirkinian knew what he had sitting in a TV production truck the first time he saw one of his cameras bring a certain young star into focus at the Masters.

    It’s this player coming up over the brow of the hill at the 15th hole to play his second shot,” Chirkinian once told me over lunch at a golf course he owned in South Florida.  “He studies his shot, then flips his cigarette, hitches up his trousers and takes this mighty swipe and knocks the shot on the green. It was my first experience with Arnold Palmer, and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, who is this guy?’

    “The thing about golf, more than any other sport, it’s always looking for a star. It’s the only sport where people will root against the underdog. They don’t want the stars to lose. They’re OK with some unknown rising up to be the story on Thursday or Friday, but they always want to see the stars win.”

    And they go gaga when it’s one star so radiant that he or she dominates attention.

    “It didn’t matter if Arnold was leading, or where he was, you had to show him,” Chirkinian said. “You never knew when he might do something spectacular.”

    The LPGA is in a healthy place again, with a big upside globally, with so much emerging talent sharing the spotlight.

    Take Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship.

    The back nine started with Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie making the turn tied for the lead. There is no more powerful pairing to sell in the women’s game today, but there would be no duel. It would have been too far off script as the final chapter to this season.

    Parity was the story this year.

    Sunday in Naples started with 18 players within two shots of the lead.

    Entering that back nine, almost a dozen players were in the mix, including Ariya Jutanugarn.

    The day ended with Jutanugarn beating Thompson with a dramatic birdie-birdie finish after Thompson stunned viewers missing a 2-foot putt for par at the last.

    The day encapsulated the expanding LPGA universe.

    “I’ve never seen such crazy, brilliant golf from these ladies,” said Gary Gilchrist, who coaches Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko and Rolex world No. 1 Shanshan Feng. “It was unbelievable out there. It was just like birdie after birdie after birdie, and the scoreboard went up and down. And that’s why it’s so hard to be No. 1 on this tour. There’s not one person who can peak. It’s all of them at a phenomenal level of golf.”

    If Thompson had made that last 2-footer and gone on to win the CME, she would have become the sixth different world No. 1 this year. Before this year, there had never been more than three different No. 1s in a single LPGA season.

    Parity was the theme from the year’s start.

    There were 15 different winners to open the season, something that hadn’t happened in 26 years. There were five different major championship winners.

    This year’s Rolex Player of the Year Award was presented Sunday to So Yeon Ryu and Sung Hyun Park. It’s the first time the award has been shared since its inception in 1966.

    Thompson won twice this year, with six second-place finishes, with three of those playoff losses, one of them in a major championship. She was close to putting together a spectacular year. She was close to dominating and maybe becoming the tour’s one true rock star.

    Ultimately, Thompson showed us how hard that is to do now.

    She’s in a constellation we’re all watching, to see if maybe one star breaks out, somebody able to take the game into living rooms it has never been, to a level of popularity it’s never been.

    The game won’t get there with another golden era. It will get there with a golden player.