Park Tops Sorenstam in Korea

By Sports NetworkOctober 31, 2004, 5:00 pm
2004 CJ Nine Bridges ClassicJEJU DO, South Korea -- Local favorite Grace Park birdied three of her final four holes Sunday to pull away and win the CJ Nine Bridges Classic by five strokes. Park completed the event with a new tournament record score of 16-under-par 200.
'I am happier than I imagined,' said Park, who shot a 65. 'This is my first tournament win in Korea.'
Annika Sorenstam and fellow Swede Carin Koch shared second place at 11-under- par 205 after they each posted final round 67s. Shi Hyun Ahn, the 2003 champion, closed with a 3-under 69. She was joined in fourth place at minus-10 by Jeong Jang (68) and Lorena Ochoa (67).
Park held a share of the lead after each of the first two rounds. After round one, she was tied with Koch and after round two she shared first with Kate Golden. Park fell out of the lead quickly in the final round as she bogeyed the first.
The Seoul, South Korea native atoned for that error with a birdie at the par-5 third. Park converted a birdie try at the sixth to move to minus-10, which put her two strokes clear of the field at Nine Bridges Golf Club.
Park caught fire around the turn. She drained a birdie putt at the ninth and came right back to birdie No. 10 and move four shots ahead of the field.
The six-time winner made it three straight as she birdied the 11th to get to 13-under. Park parred her next three holes before she birdied the 15th.
Park closed the tournament in style. She birdied the 17th and came right back to birdie the par-5 closing hole for the third time in the tournament.
'Today, my plan was to do my best on every single shot,' Park said. 'I tried to think positively.'
Sorenstam, the women's world No. 1, made a run at the lead in the final round but came up short. She drained back-to-back birdies from the fifth and added a birdie at the par-5 ninth to get within one shot of Park.
However, Sorenstam tripped to a bogey at the 11th. She came back with consecutive birdies from the 14th, but faltered to another bogey at the 17th. The 34-year-old closed with an eagle at the last to share second place.
Koch opened with a birdie at the first, but stumbled to her lone bogey at the third. The 33-year-old picked up birdies at the fifth and seventh to move to minus-8.
Koch, a three-time Solheim Cup performer, continued her steady climb up the leaderboard with birdies at the 12th and 14th. She managed to join Sorenstam in second place with a birdie at the par-3 17th.
Young Kim and Jill McGill shared seventh place at 9-under-par 207. Golden stumbled to a final-round 73. She ended at minus-8 alongside Soo-Yun Kang.
Korean Se Ri Pak finished at 7-under-par 209. She was joined there by Americans Stacy Prammanasudh and Sherri Steinhauer, as well as Europeans Catriona Matthew and Women's British Open champion Karen Stupples.
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    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.

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    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.