Ruangkit Rolling at Champions Tour Q-School

By Sports NetworkNovember 17, 2006, 5:00 pm
Champions TourCORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- Thailand's Boonchu Ruangkit fired a 6-under 66 on Friday and has built a comfortable lead in pursuit of medalist honors at the final stage of Champions Tour Q School.
Ruangkit, a staple on the Asian Tour, stands at 13-under-par 203 and is five clear after three rounds at the TPC at Eagle Trace.
Robert Thompson shot a 1-under 71 and is alone in second place at minus- 8. Perry Arthur (67) and Rod Spittle (71) are knotted in third at 7-under-par 209.
After Saturday's final round, the top-30 players and ties will become eligible to compete in qualifiers held for open, full-field Champions Tour events next season.
The second round was completed Friday morning after darkness forced the suspension of play on Thursday. Thompson joined Ruangkit in the lead Friday morning, but Ruangkit cemented himself atop the leaderboard with his strong play early in round three.
Ruangkit birdied the par-3 third, then added back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth holes. He closed his front nine with a birdie at the par-4 ninth to reach 11 under par for the tournament.
Ruangkit gave one back with a bogey at the par-3 11th, but played spectacular golf down the stretch to all but seal a spot inside the top 30 after Saturday.
He birdied three in a row from the 14th to put serious space between himself and Thompson. Ruangkit is a five-time winner on the Asian Tour and in 1995, finished second on the tour's Order of Merit. His last victory on that circuit came at the 2004 Thailand Open.
'With very little wind today, I was able to stay aggressive and I'll try to do the same thing tomorrow,' Ruangkit said through his interpreter. 'I've been playing well lately, but I didn't think I'd have this big of a lead when I started out in the tournament on Wednesday.'
Thompson, who has never played in a Champions Tour event, made nine consecutive pars before a bogey at the 10th. He reclaimed the lost stroke with a birdie at 11, then traded a birdie for a bogey at 14 and 15.
He birdied the par-three 17th to move into second place by himself.
Doug LaCrosse posted a 4-under 68 and is alone in fifth place at minus-6, one shot better than Ray Stewart (69) and John McGough (71), who share sixth.
Graham Banister only managed an even-par 72 and has sole possession of eighth place at 4-under-par 212. Harry Taylor (66) and Greg Hickman (72) are tied for ninth place at minus-3.

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.

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Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.