Kim Denies Gulbis in Playoff

By Sports NetworkJuly 16, 2006, 4:00 pm
2004 Jamie Farr Owens ClassicTOLEDO, Ohio -- With a long birdie putt at the third playoff hole Sunday, Mi Hyun Kim denied Natalie Gulbis her first LPGA Tour title and won the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
For Kim, the victory was her second this season and the seventh of her career. For Gulbis, the runner-up finish extended her winless drought to 123 starts on the LPGA Tour.
Mi Hyun Kim
Mi Hyun Kim birdies the third playoff hole to win the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
Kim came from as many as four shots back to tie Gulbis for the lead, making three birdies on the back nine in her final round, including two straight at the 16th and 17th holes.
Gulbis, who played the front nine at 5-under-par 29, made a spectacular birdie at the 10th, then parred her final eight holes to tie Kim at 18-under-par 266 for the tournament.
Both players shot 6-under 66 in the final round -- setting up the dramatic sudden-death playoff.
Kim gave Gulbis two good chances to end the playoff on the first two extra holes -- played at the par-5 18th and 17th holes -- by hitting the rough with her drive both times.
Barely 5-feet tall, Kim struggles out of the long grass, but managed to make two pars.
Gulbis found the fairway on the first two playoff holes, then missed birdie putts of 18 feet and 12 feet -- sending the playoff back to the 18th hole for the second time.
There, both players found the rough off the tee. Kim got lucky with her second shot, just flying a creek that runs through the fairway, while Gulbis knocked hers to the center of the fairway.
After Kim landed her approach in the middle of the green, Gulbis stuck hers inside her opponent's to about 15 feet.
Kim then cooly rolled in her birdie putt. Gulbis missed hers just right.
Kim won the Ginn Clubs & Resorts Open in April and has seven other top-10 finishes this season, outside of her two victories. She claimed $180,000 for the win Sunday.
Gulbis' loss is the latest disappointing chapter in what has been a promising, yet fruitless, four-year LPGA career.
The woman with her own reality show -- and more than $2.2 million in career earnings entering this week -- was running away with the tournament early Sunday after the third round was completed in the morning.
She began the final round in a tie with Kim for the lead. Gulbis opened with back-to-back pars on her first two holes, then collected five consecutive birdies.
Gulbis went pin-seeking during her birdie spurt, knocking approaches within 12 inches at the third and within seven feet at both the fourth and the sixth holes.
Gulbis also rolled in birdie putts of 15 feet at the fifth and 12 feet at the seventh -- the last of which put her at 17 under for a four-shot lead.
But, ironically, her birdie streak ended when she actually hit a pin at the par-3 eighth. The ball landed a foot past the hole, then spun back far enough away that Gulbis settled for a par.
Kim made birdie at the eighth and ninth to get to minus-15 and within two shots. Two holes later, Gulbis nearly aced the par-3 10th on the way to another birdie.
But that's when the momentum shifted.
Kim also birdied the 10th to remain within two shots, and she had more red numbers up her sleeve. After collecting a fifth birdie with an 18-inch putt at the 16th, Kim rolled in a 10-footer for birdie at the 17th to tie Gulbis for the lead.
Gulbis hit a thin approach shot at 17 and landed short of the green in the rough. At the 18th, she missed an 18-foot birdie try after Kim couldn't convert on a 25-foot try.
Now in her fifth season, Gulbis has challenged often without a win. She had a career year in 2005, when she ranked sixth on the money list with just over $1 million, and now has six top-10 finishes this season.
Gulbis' winless drought is far from an LPGA record (Carolyn Hill went 359 starts before winning the 1994 McCall's LPGA Classic) but still -- a title eludes her.
Paula Creamer made a run at the lead, but finished one shot back at 17-under-par 267 to take third place. Creamer birdied four straight holes from the 14th and fired a 6-under 65 in her final round.
Se Ri Pak, a four-time winner here, shot a 5-under 66 in her final round and finished in fourth place at minus-16. Reilley Rankin was fifth at 12 under, and Brittany Lang and Sung Ah Yim shared sixth one shot further back.
World No. 1 Annika Sorenstam closed with a 1-under 70 in her final round and took eighth place at minus-9.
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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.