Kung Ties Matthew for Takefuji Lead

By Sports NetworkApril 18, 2003, 4:00 pm
LAS VEGAS -- - Candie Kung posted her second round of 5-under 67 in as many days to share the lead with first-round co-leader Catriona Matthew as play was suspended due to darkness during the second round of the 54-hole Takefuji Classic. The duo shares the top spot at 10-under-par 134 as 18 players remain on the course.
Those six groups will return to Las Vegas Country Club at 11:00 AM ET Saturday to wrap up the second round. The cut will be made and the final round will be played shortly thereafter.
There was a 90-minute weather delay Friday as a thunderstorm blew through the area. Eventually play resumed but too late for the entire field to complete their second rounds.
Cristie Kerr shot a 4-under 68 on Friday and is alone in third place at 9-under par. Laura Diaz, who shared the lead with Matthew after Thursday's first round, posted a 1-under 71 and is tied for fourth with Kim Saiki, who carded a 2-under 70. The duo stands at minus-7.
Annika Sorenstam, the 2002 winner of this event, improved on her opening- round, even-par 72. She fired a 5-under 67 and is part of a group tied for sixth at 5-under-par 139.
'I'm happy,' said Sorenstam, who will not play in the final group in the final round for the first time in four events this year. 'Yesterday, I didn't hit a lot of fairways and I missed a lot of greens. Today, it was a lot more solid.'
Kung was most impacted by the weather delay. She waited 20 minutes on the tee at the ninth, her 18th, when play resumed and made a mess of the par-5 hole. Kung drove into the left rough, then had to pitch her second down the fairway to advance the ball. She hit a lob-wedge with her third shot but missed the green and could not get up and down for par, falling into a tie with Matthew at 10-under par.
'It's just one of those shots, it happens once in a while,' said Kung. 'It should be a perfect lob and I don't know what happened there and I shanked it. It was bad.'
The bogey ruined a wonderful round for the 21-year-old. Kung opened on the second nine at Las Vegas Country Club and birdied her first hole. She drained a five-footer at the 12th for birdie and closed her front nine with a two-putt birdie from 30 feet at the par-5 18th.
Kung holed a four-foot birdie putt at the first and collected back-to-back birdies at six and seven to reach 11-under. Then the storm rolled in and things went downhill for Kung.
'If we didn't have that suspension I would have hit my drive in the fairway because I was hitting it good all day,' said Kung. 'I'm sure I'm going to be thinking about it, but I try to throw that away.'
Matthew birdied the fourth hole from two feet and added another front-nine birdie at the par-5 ninth. She sank a 20-foot birdie at the par-5 10th but ran into trouble at the very next hole.
At the 11th, Matthew's drive missed the fairway and she was forced to punch out into the short grass. She failed to get up and down at the hole to fall to 8-under par.
Matthew hit a seven-iron to two feet to set up birdie at the par-3 14th, then made a 12-footer for birdie at 15 to polish off her round of 4-under-par 68.
'I am certainly driving it straighter and longer than I used to, but really I'm kind of trying to work on my short game and my putting at the moment,' said Matthew, who won the Hawaiian Ladies Open in 2001. 'That is where my weakness is at the moment. So I am working hard on that the last few months.'
Se Ri Pak (70), Michele Redman (65), Soo-Yun Kang (70), Akiko Fukushima (70) and Kate Golden (69) joined Sorenstam in a share of fifth at 5-under-par 139.
Related Links
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x