Stupples Continues to Roll

By Sports NetworkAugust 5, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 Jamie Farr Owens ClassicSYLVANIA, Ohio -- Last week's Women's British Open champion Karen Stupples continued her fine play on Thursday. She posted a 6-under-par 65 to take the first-round lead of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
Four-time winner and defending champion Se Ri Park shot a 5-under 66 and is tied for second place with U.S. Women's Open winner Meg Mallon.
Brandie Burton, Catriona Matthew, Yu Ping Lin, Marisa Baena and Angela Jerman are knotted in fourth place at 4-under-par 67 at Highland Meadows Golf Club.
Stupples wasted little time in breaking into red figures. She knocked a 7-iron to 20 feet at the first to set up birdie, then rolled in a 6-footer for birdie at the third.
A pair of 9-iron approaches led to Stupples' next birdies. At the seventh, she sank a 15-footer, then closed her front side with a 6-foot birdie putt at nine.
Stupples missed the fairway at the 12th, then missed the green with a 7-iron. She holed a putt from off the green to reach five-under for the championship.
She played another loose 7-iron at the 400-yard 16th, missing the green left. Stupples chipped her third to 2 feet, but missed the par-saving putt. She closed with a pair of tap-in birdies at the par-5 closing holes at Highland Meadows to move clear of Pak and Mallon.
Stupples racked up her second win of the year last Sunday, but her first triumph in a major championship. She never considered withdrawing from this week and splurged with an upgrade in seating on the trip back to the United States. But Stupples is still basking in her accomplishment from a week prior.
'I am still on a high. I keep having to pinch myself,' said Stupples, whose tournament total of 19-under-par 269 at the Women's British Open tied the tournament record on a par-72 course. 'The way I played last week gave me a lot of confidence in how I managed myself around the golf course.'
Pak, who has six top-10s in the last six years at this event, recorded three birdies in her first seven holes, all from longer than 20 feet. She hit a pitching-wedge to 14 feet to set up another birdie at the ninth.
Pak played a 7-iron to three feet for a birdie at the 12th. Trouble loomed for this year's Michelob Ultra Open champion. Pak hit a nice sand-wedge to 10 feet at the 13th, but that was for par and the 22-time winner on tour missed the putt.
She closed her round with an eight-iron to 13 feet at the last. Pak stroked home the putt to get back within one of Stupples.
'This golf course forgives a lot,' said Pak. 'For some reason, it is fun to play this golf course. I know these greens really well. There are a lot of birdies out there.'
Mallon, who came from behind to win the U.S. Women's Open last month, opened on the back nine and got off to an amazing start. She birdied three holes in a row from the 11th, including a pair of 5-footers at 11 and 13.
She added another birdie at the 15th when she knocked an 11-wood to 15 feet. Mallon collected her fifth birdie on the first nine with another 15-foot putt at the par-five 17th.
Mallon, who won the Canadian Women's Open the week after her major triumph, birdied No. 1, but dropped a shot at the fourth when she missed a 4-footer. She parred out to join Pak in second.
'I got off to a terrific start today,' said Mallon. 'I am very happy with 5 under on the first day.'
Jeanne-Marie Busuttil, Amy Fruhwirth, Emilee Klein and Candy Hannemann are tied for ninth at minus-3.
Karrie Webb, Beth Daniel, Jennifer Rosales and Lorena Ochoa are part of a group in 13th place at 2-under-par 69.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - Owens Corning Classic

  • Full Coverage - Owens Corning Classic

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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon. 

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    Stock Watch: Spieth searching for putting form

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 16, 2018, 1:50 pm

    Each week on, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


    Patton Kizzire (+8%): By today’s accelerated standards, he’s a late bloomer, having reached the Tour at age 29. Well, he seems right at home now, with two wins in his last four starts.

    Rory (+7%): Coming off the longest break of his career, McIlroy should have no excuses this year. He’s healthy. Focused. Motivated. It’s go time.

    Chris Paisley (+5%): The best part about his breakthrough European Tour title that netted him $192,000? With his wife, Keri, on the bag, he doesn’t have to cut 10 percent to his caddie – she gets the whole thing.

    Brooke Henderson (+3%): A seventh-place finish at the Diamond Resorts Invitational doesn’t sound like much for a five-time winner, but this came against the men – on a cold, wet, windy, 6,700-yard track. She might be the most fun player to watch on the LPGA. 

    New European Ryder Cuppers (+2%): In something of a Ryder Cup dress rehearsal, newcomers Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton each went undefeated in leading Europe to a come-from-behind victory at the EurAsia Cup. The competition come September will be, um, a bit stiffer.


    Jordan’s putting (-1%): You can sense his frustration in interviews, and why not? In two starts he leads the Tour in greens in regulation … and ranks 201st (!) in putting. Here’s guessing he doesn’t finish the year there.

    Brian Harman’s 2018 Sundays (-2%): The diminutive left-hander now has five consecutive top-10s, and he’s rocketing up the Ryder Cup standings, but you can’t help but wonder how much better the start to his year might have been. In the final pairing each of the past two weeks, he’s a combined 1 under in those rounds and wasn’t much of a factor.

    Tom Hoge (-3%): Leading by one and on the brink of a life-changing victory – he hadn’t been able to keep his card each of the past three years – Hoge made an absolute mess of the 16th, taking double bogey despite having just 156 yards for his approach. At least now he’s on track to make the playoffs for the first time.

    Predicting James Hahn’s form (-4%): OK, we give up: He’d gone 17 events without a top-15 before his win at Riviera; 12 before his win at Quail Hollow; and seven before he lost on the sixth playoff hole at Waialae. The margins between mediocre play and winning apparently are THAT small.

    Barnrat (-5%): Coming in hot with four consecutive top-10s, and one of only two team members ranked inside the top 50 in the world, Kiradech Aphibarnrat didn’t show up at the EurAsia Cup, going 0-3 for the week. In hindsight, the Asian team had no chance without his contributions. 

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    Langer not playing to pass Irwin, but he just might

    By Tim RosaforteJanuary 16, 2018, 1:40 pm

    Bernhard Langer goes back out on tour this week to chase down more than Hale Irwin’s PGA Tour Champions record of 45 career victories. His chase is against himself.

    “I’m not playing to beat Hale Irwin’s record,” Langer told me before heading to Hawaii to defend his title at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. “I play golf to play the best I can, to be a good role model, and to enjoy a few more years that are left.”

    Langer turned 60 on Aug. 27 and was presented a massage chair by his family as a birthday gift. Instead of reclining (which he does to watch golf and football), he won three more times to close out a seven-win campaign that included three major championships. A year prior, coming off a four-victory season, Langer told me after winning his fourth Charles Schwab Cup that surpassing Irwin’s record was possible but not probable. With 36 career victories and 11 in his last two years, he has changed his tone to making up the nine-tournament difference as “probable.”

    “If I could continue a few more years on that ratio, I could get close or pass him,” Langer told me from his home in Boca Raton, Fla. “It will get harder. I’m 60 now. It’s a big challenge but I don’t shy away from challenges.”

    Bernhard Langer, Hale Irwin at the 1991 Ryder Cup (Getty Images)

    Langer spent his off-season playing the PNC Father/Son, taking his family on a ski vacation at Big Sky in Yellowstone, Montana, and to New York for New Year’s. He ranks himself as a scratch skier, having skied since he was four years old in Germany. The risk of injury is worth it, considering how much he loves “the scenery, the gravity and the speed.”

    Since returning from New York, Langer has immersed himself into preparing for the 2018 season. Swing coach Willy Hoffman, who he has worked with since his boyhood days as an as assistant pro in Germany, flew to Florida for their 43rd year of training.

    “He’s a straight shooter,” Hoffman told me. “He says, 'Willy, every hour is an hour off my life and we have 24 hours every day.'"

    As for Irwin, they have maintained a respectful relationship that goes back to their deciding singles match in the 1991 Ryder Cup. Last year they were brought back to Kiawah Island for a corporate appearance where they reminisced and shared the thought that nobody should ever have to bear what Langer went through, missing a 6-footer on the 18th green. That was 27 years ago. Both are in the Hall of Fame.

    "I enjoy hanging out with Hale," Langer says.

    Langer’s chase of Irwin’s record is not going to change their legacies. As Hoffman pointed out, “Yes, (Bernhard) is a rich man compared to his younger days. He had no money, no nothing. But today you don’t feel a difference when you talk to him. He’s always on the ground.”