Kim on Fire at State Farm

By Sports NetworkSeptember 3, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 State Farm Classic SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Christina Kim posted a 6-under 66 on Friday to cruise to a four-shot lead midway through the State Farm Classic at The Rail Golf Course.
Kim opened the tournament with a course-record-tying, 10-under 62 on Thursday and now put her name further into the tournament's record book. Her 36-hole total of 16-under-par 128 smashed the former record by three strokes. Laura Davies established the old mark in 1994 and was later equaled by Annika Sorenstam in 2001, Patricia Meunier-Lebouc in 2002 and by Candie Kung last year.
'I just know it could have been better,' said Kim. 'I was not really feeling anything today. I just hit ball after ball. I was noticing how many under I was and who was on the leaderboard. That's definitely why I didn't shoot another 62 today.'
Cristie Kerr missed matching the course record by a single shot on Friday. She fired a 9-under 63 and is alone in second place at 12-under-par 132.
Jennifer Rosales shot a 7-under 65 in the second round and is in third at minus-11, followed by Suzann Pettersen, who shot her second 67 in as many days. Petterssen is alone in fourth place at 10-under-par 134.
Kim parred her first two holes then hit a 9-iron to 12 feet to set up birdie at the third. She collected her second birdie in a row at four, but it should have been eagle as she two-putted from 2 feet.
Kim ran home a pair of 15-foot birdie putts at seven and eight to extend her lead. At the 10th, Kim hit a sandwedge to 8 feet and drained the birdie putt. She hit a 5-iron to 10 feet at the par-3 11th and made that birdie to pull well ahead of the field.
She kept rolling with birdies at 14 when her eight-iron approach stopped 16 feet from the hole. Kim converted that birdie putt and LPGA Tour scoring records looked to be in jeopardy.
But, at the par-5 15th, Kim hit her drive left. It took two punch shots to get her back into play and she wedged her fourth to 23 feet. Kim took two putts for a bogey, then parred out to still have a commanding lead in pursuit of her first win on the LPGA Tour.
'I'm just here focusing on the moment,' said Kim. 'I'm not the kind of person that sits and mulls things over. There are so many things that can happen in a round that a fraction of a second can change winning to losing.'
Kerr wasted little time in breaking into red figures. She sank a 9-foot birdie putt at the first, then collected a pair of 5-foot birdie putts at four and seven to make the turn at 3 under.
Kerr, a two-time winner this season, caught fire on the back nine. She holed a 4-foot birdie putt at the 10th, and made it back-to-back birdies with a 9-footer at No. 11.
She reached the green with a 7-iron at the par-5 15th and made the eagle putt. Kerr knocked her 6-iron tee shot to three inches at the par-3 16th and kicked in the birdie putt. She then hit a 9-iron to four feet to set up birdie at the last and match her career low round on the LPGA Tour.
'It was a really good back nine for me,' said Kerr, who shot 63 four times before Friday, including the third round of this year's Women's British Open. 'I had some good holes. I have to play my own game, and approach the next two days like I approached the last two days.'
Rosales, who held the 54-hole lead at the U.S. Women's Open, started on the back nine Friday and tallied three birdies in her first four holes. She missed the green with her second shot at the par-5 15th, but chipped to 8 feet and holed the putt for birdie. Rosales made it two in a row with a 12-foot birdie putt at the 16th.
Rosales hit a spectacular approach to the first that stopped a foot from the hole. She two-putted for birdie from 18 feet at the fourth, but found trouble later in her round.
At the par-3 seventh, Rosales hit a 5-iron into a greenside bunker. She blasted out to 10 feet, but missed the par save. Rosales reclaimed the lost stroke one hole later with a 12-foot birdie putt.
'I didn't have any fives on the scorecard today, so I'm happy about that,' said Rosales. 'I've put myself in a good position, so I'm pretty happy about that.'
Lorena Ochoa, who won last week's Wachovia LPGA Classic, shot a 5-under 67 and is tied for fifth place with Mikaela Parmlid (71), Chris Johnson (65) and Hee-Won Han (66). That group came in at 9-under-par 135.
Kung, who went on to victory in last year's event, carded a 3-under 69 and shares ninth place at minus-8 with Young-A Yang (67), Marcy Hart (68), Laura Diaz (71) and Candy Hannemann (68).
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-under-par 143 and among the notable players who made the cut on the number are: Davies, Se Ri Pak, Carin Koch, Aree Song and Natalie Gulbis.
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

    Masters victory

    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

    Man of the people

    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

    Departure from TaylorMade

    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

    Victory at Valderrama

    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.