Neumann Regains Top Spot

By Sports NetworkNovember 12, 2005, 5:00 pm
Ladies Professional Golf AssociationMOBILE, Ala. -- First-round leader Liselotte Neumann reclaimed first place after Saturday's third round of the Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions. She shot a 5-under 67 at the Magnolia Grove Golf Course and has a one-shot lead with an 11-under-par 205.
Defending champion Heather Daly-Donofrio posted a 4-under 68 in round three and is in position to join Se Ri Pak as the only players to successfully defend their titles. She is tied for second place at minus-10 with overnight co-leaders Christina Kim and Rachel Hetherington, both of whom carded rounds of even-par 72.
Juli Inkster fired a 4-under 68 and is alone in fifth place at minus-8. Angela Stanford shot a 2-under 70 and has sole possession of sixth at 7-under-par 209.
The field for this tournament includes winners from the past four seasons as well as active LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame members. The participating players own a combined 222 LPGA victories.
The Swede Neumann fell out of the lead on Friday when she only managed an even-par 72. She started Saturday's third round four out of the lead, but worked quickly to erase that deficit.
The former Solheim Cupper birdied three holes in a row from the second, then added another birdie at the par-5 sixth. Neumann dropped a shot at the par-3 eighth for the second time in as many days, but now the Swede was back in the mix.
At the par-4 12th, Neumann rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt to go to 10-under par and take a one-shot lead. Kim would eventually catch her, but Neumann reclaimed the top spot on the leaderboard at the par-5 16th.
Her drive came to rest in the rough, but she got enough club on the ball that it landed on the putting surface. Neumann's ball rolled to the top of a ridge guarding the flag, but did not have enough behind it and the ball came back to 45 feet. She lagged her birdie try 2 feet short and converted the birdie putt to move one ahead at minus-11.
The lead would be short-lived for Neumann. Her tee ball at the par-3 17th ran to the back fringe and she blasted her birdie putt 4 feet past the hole. Neumann missed the comebacker for par and after Kim birdied 16, Neumann trailed by a stroke.
At the difficult closing hole, Neumann knocked her approach 25 feet left of the stick. She ran home the birdie try to once again reach 11 under par, and when Kim bogeyed 17, Neumann was alone atop the leaderboard.
'I hit the ball pretty well. I kept in play off the tee and hit a lot of great irons into the green,' said Neumann, the 1988 U.S. Women's Open Champion and 13-time winner on the LPGA Tour. 'I'm hanging in there. It's still a lot of fun.'
Daly-Donofrio was only one-under on her round until she made the turn. At the 11th, she hit her approach inside a foot to set up birdie, then made it two in a row with a chip-in birdie at the 12th.
Daly-Donofrio hit her third shot at the par-5 16th to 2 feet and kicked in the birdie putt. She is one shot out of the lead as she attempts to join Pak, who turned the trick in 2001 and 2002, as the only back-to-back winners in tournament history.
'I've been making a lot of birdies,' said Daly-Donofrio. 'I'm going to need some birdies tomorrow because there are a lot of great players right at the top.'
Kim double bogeyed four, but atoned for the error with a birdie at the sixth. She joined Neumann in the lead when she rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the 15th, then found herself alone in first when she nearly holed a 60-foot eagle try at 16. Kim tapped in for birdie, but like many before her, struggled at the 17th.
Her tee ball hit close to the cup, but rolled through the green. Kim hit an ugly chip that stopped four feet from the hole. She missed that putt to fall to 10 under par.
'The last couple of days have been really good for me,' said Kim. 'Today just wasn't as high a quality. I'm one shot out and you never know what can happen come Sunday.'
Hetherington was 2-over but birdied the 15th for the third time this week. She converted a 6-foot birdie putt at the 16th to get within one.
Jeong Jang (68), Marisa Baena (69), Paula Creamer (71) and Hee-Won Han (73) are knotted in seventh place at 5-under-par 211.
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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.