Park Leads After Opening 62

By Sports NetworkOctober 14, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 Samsung World ChampionshipPALM DESERT, Calif. -- Grace Park fired a 10-under-par 62 on Thursday to take the first-round lead of the Samsung World Championship at Bighorn.
The 62 established a new 18-hole tournament record at this event, which features an elite, 20-player field. Pat Bradley set the previous record of 63 in the 1986 event.
'I'm extremely thrilled. It's my first time shooting 10 under, so I'm happy,' said Park, who fired a 61 in the third round of this year's Welch's/Fry's Championship for her lowest all-time on tour. 'I felt very comfortable with my game, and today it was just an unbelievable day.'
Catriona Matthew is alone in second place after an opening-round of 64. Annika Sorenstam, a three-time former winner, defending champion Sophie Gustafson, and a pair of two-time winners on tour this season Cristie Kerr and Lorena Ochoa are tied for third place at minus-6.
Amateur sensation Michelle Wie struggled to a 2-over 74 and is tied for 18th with Se Ri Pak.
Park broke into red figures for the first time with a 15-foot birdie putt at the second hole. She knocked an 8-iron to 15 feet to set up birdie at the fourth and made it two in a row with a 10-footer at the fifth.
Park ran into trouble at the next hole, but it certainly did not look like there would be a problem. She hit a 9-iron to 15 feet at the par-3 hole, but three-putted for bogey.
Things went even better for the 25-year-old on the back nine. She hit a 7-iron to 10 feet for a birdie at the 10th, ran home a 4-footer for birdie at 11, then ran a 3-wood 2 feet from the hole for an eagle at the par-5 12th.
Park nestled her wedge-approach close at the 14th and tapped that in for birdie. At the 16th, Park hit an 8-iron to 15 feet and sank that for birdie. She tallied back-to-back birdies at 17 when her 6-iron second stopped 8 feet from the hole.
Park did not look like she was going to close her round with birdie and a 62. She hit a gap-wedge to 25 feet at the closing hole, but rolled in the putt for her second lowest round on the LPGA Tour.
Despite the new 18-hole tournament record, and her second lowest round on the LPGA Tour, Park knows that this is the first day of the tournament and anything can happen with this field.
'Every day is a new day and I will always remember this round and hopefully keep this momentum,' said Park, who captured her first major this season at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. 'I'm not going to think about today's round tomorrow. It's over, done with and I'm going to start fresh tomorrow.
Matthew, who won this year's Wendy's Championship for Children in a playoff against Hee-Won Han, flew out of the gate with a tap-in birdie at the first. She hit an 8-iron to 15 feet for another birdie at the second, then parred her next seven holes.
Matthew knocked a 9-iron to 2 feet for another kick-in birdie at 10, then came up just short of the green in two at the 12th. She chipped to 2 feet to set up birdie, then went on a spectacular birdie tear to get within two of Park's lead.
At the 14th, Matthew holed a 10-footer for birdie. Her second in a row came from 12 feet at 15, then half that distance for her third straight birdie at the 16th. Matthew hit a 5-iron to 3 feet for her fourth consecutive birdie at 17.
The 35-year-old from Scotland closed with a nice two-putt par to post her 64.
'I thought I played obviously well today,' said Matthew, a two-time Solheim Cupper. 'I could have had a few more birdies even. I missed a few short putts for birdies, but obviously I'm delighted with the score.'
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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.

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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.