Inkster Holds Clubhouse Lead Wie Penalized

By Sports NetworkAugust 4, 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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  • Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

    Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

    “I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

    Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

    “I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

    Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

    Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

    Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

    “Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

    Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”

    You Oughta Know: LPGA's Sunday scenarios

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:17 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Tour Championship is loaded with pressure-packed subplots Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

    Here’s what You Oughta Know about the prizes at stake:

    Race to the CME Globe

    Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park are 1-2 in CME Globe points. They are best positioned Sunday to take home the $1 million jackpot in the season-long competition.

    Thompson and Park are tied for fifth in the tournament, one shot off the lead. If either of them wins, she will take home the jackpot.

    The way it’s unfolding Thompson is a good bet to take home the jackpot by merely finishing ahead of Park, unless they both stumble badly on Sunday.

    Ariya Jutanugarn is tied for the lead. She must win to take home the jackpot, but she would also need Thompson to finish ninth or worse and Park to finish eighth or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points to make a bold Sunday charge.

    Stacy Lewis is one shot off the lead with a longshot chance at the jackpot. She must win the tournament while Thompson finishes 26th or worse, Park finishes 12th or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points makes a bold Sunday charge.

    So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng and Brooke Henderson are among others who still have a shot at the $1 million prize, but they have fallen back in the pack and need bold Sunday charges to take home the jackpot.

    Rolex Player of the Year

    The Rolex Player of the Year Award remains a four-player race.

    Ryu (162), Feng (159), Park (157) and Thompson (147) all have a chance to win the award.

    Park and Thompson are best positioned to make Sunday moves to overtake Ryu.

    Park needs to finish sixth or better to win the award outright; Thompson needs to win the tournament to win the award.

    It’s simple math.

    The top 10 in the tournament will be awarded points.

    1st - 30 points

    2nd – 12 points

    3rd – 9 points

    4th – 7 points

    5th – 6 points

    6th – 5 points

    7rd – 4 points

    8th – 3 points

    9th – 2 points

    10th – 1 point

    Vare Trophy

    Thompson took a 69.147 scoring average to Naples. Park needs to finish nine shots ahead of Thompson to have a shot at the trophy.

    Money-winning title

    Park leads the tour in money winnings with $2,262,472. Ryu is the only player who can pass her Sunday, and Ryu must win the tournament to do so. Ryu is tied for 32nd, five shots off the lead. If Ryu wins the tournament, she also needs Park to finish worse than solo second.

    Rolex world No. 1 ranking

    World No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Park and No. 3 Ryu are separated by just three hundredths of a point.

    Because they are so close, the scenarios for overtaking Feng are head spinning.

    At No. 4, Thompson is a full average ranking point behind Feng, but she could become the sixth different player this season to move to No. 1. Thompson, however, has to win Sunday to have a chance to do so, and then it will depend on what Feng, Park and Ryu do. Again, the scenarios are complex.

    Cook leads RSM Classic by three at Sea Island

    By Associated PressNovember 19, 2017, 12:28 am

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to increase his lead to three strokes in the RSM Classic.

    Cook, a shot ahead after a second-round 62, had five birdies and a bogey - his first of the week - to reach 18-under 194 with a round left at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course.

    ''Putting is key right now,'' Cook said. ''Been able to make a lot of clutch putts for the pars to save no bogeys. Hitting the ball pretty much where we're looking and giving ourselves good opportunities on every hole.''

    Former University of Georgia player Chris Kirk was second after a 64.

    ''I'm really comfortable here,'' Kirk said. ''I love Sea Island. I lived here for 6 1/2 years, so I played the golf course a lot, SEC Championships and come down here for the RSM Classic. My family and I, we come down here a few other times a year as well.''

    Brian Gay was another stroke back at 14 under after a 69.

    ''I love the course,'' Gay said. ''We keep getting different wind directions so it's keeping us on our toes. Supposed to be another completely different wind direction tomorrow, so we're getting a new course every day.''


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    J.J. Spaun had a 62 to get to 13 under.

    ''I just kind of played stress-free golf out there and kept the golf ball in front of me,'' Spaun said. ''I had a lot of looks and scrambled pretty well, even though it was only a handful of times, but pretty overall pleased with how I played today.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour.

    ''I think with an extra year on the Web this past year, I really grew mentally and with my game, just kind of more confidence,'' Cook said. ''I was able to put myself in contention on the Web.com more this year than I have in the past. I think I've just, you know, learned from experiences on the Web to help me grow out here.''

    He planned to keep it simple Saturday night.

    ''I've got my parents here and my in-laws are both here as well as my wife,'' Cook said. ''Go home and just have a good home-cooked meal and just kind of enjoy the time and embrace the moment.''

    Kirk won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2015 at Colonial.

    ''It's nice to be back in contention again,'' Kirk said. ''It's been a little while for me. But I felt great out there today, I felt really comfortable, and so hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow and I'll keep my foot on the pedal and stay aggressive, try to make some birdies.''