Rosales Extends Advantage

By Sports NetworkJuly 3, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 U.S. WomenSOUTH HADLEY, Mass. -- Jennifer Rosales carded a 2-under 69 on Saturday to extend her lead to three strokes after the third round of the U.S. Women's Open. Rosales, who earned her first LPGA Tour win in May, finished with a 54-hole total of 7-under-par 206.
Two-time U.S. Women's Open champion Annika Sorenstam posted a 70 to move into a tie for second with one round to play. Sorenstam, who missed a birdie putt at the 18th that would have put her in the last group on Sunday with Rosales, was joined by Meg Mallon and Kelly Robbins at 4-under-par 209.
'Tomorrow I'm going to chase somebody who's playing really well,' said Sorenstam. 'I'm gonna have a lot on my mind, so it really doesn't matter which group I'm playing in. I just want to get off to a hot start.'
Rosales, the 1998 NCAA champion, was on the verge on multiple occasions before breaking through two months ago at the Chick-Fil-A Charity Championship. Now the 25-year-old has a three-shot edge and is on the brink of winning the most storied championship in women's golf.
'It didn't hit me yet,' said Rosales. 'Probably when I get to my room and settle down, probably that's when I'm going to start feeling it.'
Rosales, who carried a one-shot margin into the third round at Orchard Golf Club, stumbled out of the gate with a bogey at the opening hole to fall into a logjam at 4 under. She countered with a birdie at the par-5 third to regain the outright lead at minus-5.
At the par-4 eighth, Rosales knocked her approach to 7 feet but her birdie try rolled five feet past the hole. Rosales saved par coming back, and converted a 6-foot putt for a birdie at the ninth to make the turn at 6 under.
Rosales missed the green en route to a bogey at the 10th but hit a tremendous second shot to the par-5 13th that rolled within 7 feet of the hole. She missed the eagle putt, but tapped in for a birdie.
Rosales was steady down the stretch and played her approach to 6 feet at the par-4 16th, a hole she bogeyed on Friday. Rosales ran home the birdie try to reach 7 under, three shots clear of her closest competitors.
She almost made birdie at the 17th and sent her second shot to the top ridge on the 18th green. Rosales' birdie effort came up short, but she rolled in the par putt to secure a breathable edge heading into the final round with a few former major winners in her rearview mirror.
'I still stick to my game plane,' said Rosales. 'Birdies will come to you, you don't have to force any shots. I'm trying not to think about it too much till tomorrow, till the last hole. We'll see what happens tomorrow.'
Sorenstam had a rocky start with a pair of bogeys over her first four holes but the top player in the game responded with back-to-back birdies starting at the eighth.
The Swede dropped another shot with a bogey at the 11th. At the par-5 13th, Sorenstam hit her second shot to 12 feet and drained the eagle try to reach 4 under. Sorenstam then sank a 7-footer for a birdie at the very next hole to pull within one of the lead.
Sorenstam hit a bad approach to the 15th, however, and watched as her ball bounced through the green. She bogeyed the hole and parred her way in to finish within striking distance.
'I thought I played very sensible today,' said Sorenstam, who won this event in 1995 and 1996. 'I thought I was patient. I really didn't get off to the start I wanted, but I kept grinding, I kept trying.'
Mallon, the 1991 U.S. Women's Open, put on a putting display that included a bending, 18-foot putt at the 16th on her way to a 67, the low round of the day.
Robbins, who participated in the playoff at this event last year, was on fire early with four birdies on the front nine that gave her a share of the lead in the afternoon.
Her charge was derailed at the 10th, however, where she picked up the first of back-to-back bogeys. Robbins got one back with a birdie at the 16th to complete a round of 68.
Rachel Teske shot a 70 to finish alone in fifth place at 3-under-par 210. Michelle Ellis was one shot further back at 2-under-par 211 after a round of 72.
Michelle Wie was keeping pace with Rosales until a double-bogey at the last left her in a group at 1-under-par 212.
'It's a really great feeling, but if I was 3 under then I'd be a little bit better,' said Wie, who is playing under a special exemption this week. 'But 1-under's still pretty good in the U.S. Open.'
The 14-year-old amateur sensation mixed two birdies and three bogeys on the front nine and dropped her approach inside 6 feet for a birdie at the 11th. Wie then birdied the 13th and added a birdie at the 16th to reach 3 under.
Wie found trouble at the closing hole, however, after her second shot drifted left into the gallery. She scrambled to a double bogey to join Kim Saiki, Candie Kung, Pat Hurst and Moira Dunn in a tie for seventh.
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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.