Jang Moves in Front at Wegmans

By Sports NetworkJune 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Wegmans OpenPITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Reigning Women's British Open champion Jeong Jang fired a 6-under 66 on Saturday to move into the lead after three rounds of the Wegmans LPGA. She stands at 11-under-par 205 and is one ahead of Mi Hyun Kim and Brittany Lang at Locust Hill Country Club.
Kim, who won this year's Ginn Clubs & Resorts Open, shot a 5-under 67 in round three, while Lang, who tied for second last year as an amateur at the U.S. Women's Open, posted a 3-under 69. The pair is knotted at 10-under-par 206.
Jang wasted little time in breaking into red figures. She knocked a 7-iron to 6 feet to set up birdie at the first, then drained a 15-footer for birdie at the second.
The reigning Women's British Open champion seemed to be in trouble at the 161- yard, par-3 fifth. Jang's s6-iron tee ball missed the green left, but she chipped in from 15 yards for her third birdie of the round.
Jang played steady golf around the turn with all pars until the 12th hole. She hit a pitching-wedge to 10 feet and rolled in the birdie try at 12 to reach 9 under par for the championship.
At the par-3 15th, Jang once again hit a solid pitching-wedge shot. She holed her 15-foot birdie putt, then added a 9-footer for birdie at 16 to take sole possession of the lead.
'I think I missed one fairway,' said Jang. 'My putting was really good and the driver was the key I think. I'm very good right now.'
Jang has not won since her major triumph last year, but has posted six top-10s in 2006. A few weeks back at the LPGA Corning Classic, Jang had the lead on the final day, but played poorly and tied for seventh place.
'I was a little bit disappointed and I want to do a better job tomorrow,' acknowledged Jang. 'I just want to keep thinking about golf more and I didn't take it last time when I was leading at Corning. Everybody is playing good so we need to hit a low score.'
As for the win last year at Royal Birkdale, Jang has a newfound confidence.
'I think everything changed,' admitted Jang. 'My life, my golf, everything changed. Winning that makes it comfortable and makes it like, 'OK, I can do it.''
Kim collected her first birdie of the round at the second hole when her 9-iron stopped 10 feet from the hole. She holed out a sand-wedge from 65 yards for an eagle at the fourth and Kim recorded another birdie at eight when she converted a 7-footer.
At the 12th, Kim hit an 8-iron into the wind, but got the ball to stop 6 feet from the flag. She cashed in on the birdie putt to get within one of first place.
'Today, I missed a little bit and missed a couple of putts,' said Kim. 'But now I'm very happy with my score today.'
Lang had an up-and-down round as she made the turn at even-par thanks to one birdie and one bogey. She dropped another shot at the 10th when she three-putted from 30 feet, but reclaimed the lost stroke at the par-5 11th.
Lang ran home a 4-foot birdie putt at the 12th and birdied 15, but bogeyed the 16th when she missed a 9-footer for par. She closed her round in style with a tap-in eagle at the 17th and made a strong par at the last after her drive landed behind a tree.
Next up is win No. 1 for the former Duke University standout.
'It's going to be fun,' said Lang. 'I have never been in this position. I'm excited. I'm just going to go out and play aggressively and play hard.'
Marcy Hart (66), Soo Young Yoo (66), Silvia Cavalleri (68) and Wendy Ward (70) are knotted in fourth place at minus-8. Former U.S. Women's Open champion Hilary Lunke (65), Julieta Granada (67), Sherri Steinhauer (69), Aree Song (69) and Rachel Hetherington (71) share eighth place at 7-under-par 209.
Overnight leader Shi Hyun Ahn struggled on Saturday. She shot a 3-over 75 and is part of tie for 19th place at 5-under-par 211.
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    Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

    “Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    “We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

    In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010. 

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    Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

    SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

    “That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

    So was Woods.

    DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

    “His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

    Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

    “He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told PGATour.com afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.

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    “The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

    Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

    “Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told ESPN.com, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

    “Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

    Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time. 

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    With blinders on, Rahm within reach of No. 1 at Torrey

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 10:10 pm

    SAN DIEGO – The drive over to Torrey Pines from Palm Springs, Calif., takes about two and a half hours, which was plenty of time for Jon Rahm’s new and ever-evolving reality to sink in.

    The Spaniard arrived in Southern California for a week full of firsts. The Farmers Insurance Open will mark the first time he’s defended a title on the PGA Tour following his dramatic breakthrough victory last year, and it will also be his first tournament as the game’s second-best player, at least according to the Official World Golf Ranking.

    Rahm’s victory last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his second on Tour and fourth worldwide tilt over the last 12 months, propelled the 23-year-old to No. 2 in the world, just behind Dustin Johnson. His overtime triumph also moved him to within four rounds of unseating DJ atop the global pecking order.

    It’s impressive for a player who at this point last year was embarking on his first full season as a professional, but then Rahm has a fool-proof plan to keep from getting mired in the accolades of his accomplishments.

    “It's kind of hard to process it, to be honest, because I live my day-to-day life with my girlfriend and my team around me and they don't change their behavior based on what I do, right?” he said on Tuesday at Torrey Pines. “They'll never change what they think of me. So I really don't know the magnitude of what I do until I go outside of my comfort zone.”

    Head down and happy has worked perfectly for Rahm, who has finished outside the top 10 in just three of his last 10 starts and began 2018 with a runner-up showing at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and last week’s victory.

    According to the world ranking math, Rahm is 1.35 average ranking points behind Johnson and can overtake DJ atop the pack with a victory this week at the Farmers Insurance Open; but to hear his take on his ascension one would imagine a much wider margin.

    “I've said many times, beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task,” Rahm said. “We all know what happened last time he was close to a lead in a tournament on the PGA Tour.”

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    Rahm certainly remembers. It was just three weeks ago in Maui when he birdied three of his first six holes, played the weekend at Kapalua in 11 under and still finished eight strokes behind Johnson.

    And last year at the WGC-Mexico Championship when Rahm closed his week with rounds of 67-68 only to finish two strokes off Johnson’s winning pace, or a few weeks later at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play when he took Johnson the distance in the championship match only to drop a 1-up decision to the game’s undisputed heavyweight.

    As far as Rahm has come in an incredibly short time - at this point last year he ranked 137th in the world - it is interesting that it’s been Johnson who has had an answer at every turn.

    He knows there’s still so much room for improvement, both physically and mentally, and no one would ever say Rahm is wanting for confidence, but after so many high-profile run-ins with Johnson, his cautious optimism is perfectly understandable.

    “I'll try to focus more on what's going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win,” he reasoned when asked about the prospect of unseating Johnson, who isn’t playing this week. “I'll try my best, that's for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

    If Rahm’s take seems a tad cliché given the circumstances, consider that his aversion to looking beyond the blinders is baked into the competitive cake. For all of his physical advantages, of which there are many, it’s his keen ability to produce something special on command that may be even more impressive.

    Last year at Torrey Pines was a quintessential example of this, when he began the final round three strokes off the lead only to close his day with a back-nine 30 that included a pair of eagles.

    “I have the confidence that I can win here, whereas last year I knew I could but I still had to do it,” he said. “I hope I don't have to shoot 30 on the back nine to win again.”

    Some will point to Rahm’s 60-footer for eagle at the 72nd hole last year as a turning point in his young career, it was even named the best putt on Tour by one publication despite the fact he won by three strokes. But Rahm will tell you that walk-off wasn’t even the best shot he hit during the final round.

    Instead, he explained that the best shot of the week, the best shot of the year, came on the 13th hole when he launched a 4-iron from a bunker to 18 feet for eagle, a putt that he also made.

    “If I don't put that ball on the green, which is actually a lot harder than making that putt, the back nine charge would have never happened and this year might have never happened, so that shot is the one that made everything possible,” he explained.

    Rahm’s ability to embrace and execute during those moments is what makes him special and why he’s suddenly found himself as the most likely contender to Johnson’s throne even if he chooses not to spend much time thinking about it.

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    Rahm focusing on play, not shot at No. 1

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 9:06 pm

    SAN DIEGO – Jon Rahm’s meteoric rise in the world rankings could end with him reaching No. 1 with a win this week at Torrey Pines.

    After winning last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his fourth title in 51 weeks, Rahm has closed the gap on Dustin Johnson – less than 1.5 average points separates them.

    With Johnson not playing this week, the 23-year-old Spaniard has a chance to reach the top spot for the first time, but only if he defends his title at the Farmers Insurance Open.

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    “Beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task. It’s no easy task,” he said Tuesday. “We still have four days of golf ahead and we’ll see what happens. But I’ll try to focus more on what’s going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win.

    “I’ll try my best, that’s for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

    Rahm has already become the fourth-youngest player to reach No. 2 in the world, behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.