Morgan Vaults to the Top

By Sports NetworkMay 21, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Sybase ClassicNEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Becky Morgan fired a 7-under 64 on Friday to take a commanding lead at the halfway point of the Sybase Classic. Morgan finished 36 holes at 11-under-par 131 for a four-shot edge over her closest challengers.
 
'I played really well today. I hit a lot of greens, a lot of fairways and putted really well,' said Morgan. 'I'm happy.'
 
Kraft Nabisco Championship winner Grace Park posted a 5-under 66 to share second place with Amy Hung and Young-A Yang at 7-under-par 135. Sherri Steinhauer was two shots further back at 5-under-par 137.
 
Morgan, who shared second at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship earlier this season, started on the 10th tee and picked up her first birdie of the day at the par-4 12th at Wykagyl Country Club.
 
She began her surge up the leaderboard with the first of three consecutive birdies starting at the par-5 15th. Morgan moved to 8 under around the turn to pass Park, who was already in the clubhouse at minus-7.
 
Morgan started to distance herself from the competition with a birdie at the par-5 first after her third shot landed within 8-feet of the hole.
 
The 29-year-old knocked her tee shot to 15 feet for a birdie at the par-3 seventh and followed that up with a birdie at the eighth to hold the 36-hole lead on the LPGA Tour for the first time in her career.
 
'Well, it doesn't happen very often but I'm getting more used to being on top of the leaderboard,' said Morgan, a native of Wales. 'Probably a good start for this weekend.'
 
Park had an early start on the back side to take the clubhouse lead before Morgan's afternoon run.
 
The Korean collected four birdies and two bogeys over her first nine holes and made a rally on the front nine, starting with a birdie at the second.
 
Park drained a 20-footer for a birdie at the seventh and dropped a sand-wedge within a foot of the hole at the eighth. Park tapped in for birdie for her share of second.
 
'The past two days my game has been very similar, just hitting really good tee shots,' said Park. 'The greens were a lot smoother and faster. So, I was able to have a little more confidence knowing that it's going to roll to where I intend it to.'
 
Yang, who was one of three co-leaders after the opening round, was cruising at 10 under with a chance to join Morgan in the lead before stepping onto the ninth, her last.
 
The 25-year-old sent her tee shot into the water and walked away with a triple-bogey to fall back into a tie for second after a round of 69.
 
'It's always bad to finish bad,' said Yang. 'It leaves a bad taste, but I still have something to work for tomorrow and Sunday.'
 
Silvia Cavalleri, who held a share of the lead after round one, managed a 1-over 72 to join Jeong Jang and Michele Redman in a tie for sixth at 4-under-par 138.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 5-over-par 147 with 79 players qualifying for the weekend. Defending champion Hee-Won Han survived at 4-over-par 146.
 
Se Ri Pak missed the cut badly at 9-over-par 151 after a round of 78.
 
Related Links:
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  • Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

    Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.