Munt Extends Lead at Yara Yara

By Sports NetworkMarch 9, 2001, 5:00 pm
Alison Munt of Australia carded a 1-under 71 on Friday to extend her lead to two shots through 36 holes of the Australian Women's Open at Yarra Yarra Golf Club. Munt sits atop the leaderboard at 8-under-par 136, while fellow countrywoman Corinne Dibnah and France's Marine Monnet share second place at 6-under par.
Defending champion and world No. 1 Karrie Webb is four shots off the pace after posting back-to-back rounds of 2-under 70.
Munt, who shot a bogey-free 65 to lead by one after the opening round, picked up where she left off with four birdies over the first six holes Friday to get to 11-under par. She went 3-over the rest of the way, however, bogeying the seventh, 11th, 15th and 16th against one birdie at the 12th.
'I suppose you could say I got a bit wobbly on the back nine, but I knew it was going to be a long, hard day out there and I played well,' said the 35-year-old Munt, a two-time winner on the Evian Ladies European Tour last year. 'I'm still pretty pleased with how it all went.'
Munt, a member of the LPGA Tour in 1996, tied for seventh at last week's Australian Ladies Masters.
Dibnah, the winner of 13 European Tour titles, matched three birdies with three bogeys Friday for an even-par 72. She is searching for her first victory since 1994.
Monnet posted five bogeys, including two over the last three holes, on her way to her second straight round of 3-under 69. The 22-year-old Parisian placed third on the Order of Merit last season after notching nine top-10 finishes.
Sophie Gustafson (69), Jane Crafter (71) and Elisabeth Esterl (71) are three shots back at minus five.
Webb, who captured an unprecedented fourth consecutive Australian Ladies Masters title last week, was less than satisfied with her three-birdie, one-bogey effort in round two.
'I played a bit scratchy. I did have a few chances but I didn't putt very well today,' said Webb, who was six shots down heading into the weekend last week at Royal Pines. 'I think I missed a good four or five putts from 10 feet. It was not a round that had a lot of momentum, but until the last hole I didn't make any mistakes either.'
England's Laura Davies experienced an up-and-down 69 on Friday that consisted of seven birdies and four bogeys. She is currently alone in eighth place at 3-under 141.
Getty Images

McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

Getty Images

Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.