Stupples Leads by Three

By Sports NetworkAugust 7, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 Jamie Farr Owens ClassicSYLVANIA, Ohio -- Karen Stupples posted a 3-under 68 on Saturday to regain the lead after the third round of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. Stupples's 54-hole total of 8-under-par 205 left her three shots clear of Marilyn Lovander.
 
Meg Mallon, who shared the overnight lead with Angela Jerman, struggled to a 74 to finish alongside Jeong Jang at 4-under-par 209. Defending champion Se Ri Pak followed at 3-under-par 210. She was joined by Karrie Webb, Lorena Ochoa, Lorie Kane, Brandie Burton, Nancy Scranton and Leta Lindley in a tie for fifth.
 
Fresh off her first major title in front of the hometown fans last week at the Women's British Open, Stupples came out to Highland Meadows Golf Club on Thursday and took the opening-round lead with a 65. She had somewhat of a letdown in the second round, but the Englishwoman was back in form on Saturday to retake the lead.
 
'I feel like my game is at a totally different level now than it was at this time last year, even after winning my first tournament in Tucson, I feel like I made a big step,' said Stupples. 'Winning a major, especially for me, winning the British Open is something I have always dreamed of.'
 
Stupples parred her first two holes before picking up her first birdie of the day at the par-4 third. She ran off another string of pars until her second shot to the ninth stopped within 20 feet of the hole for another birdie.
 
The 31-year-old had several scoring opportunities on the inward half, but was unable to convert on multiple occasions. She left her birdie putt short at the 12th and was unable to find the bottom of the cup at the par-4 13th after he approach landed inside 8 feet.
 
Stupples knocked her second shot to 6 feet at the 15th, but again was unable to walk away with birdie. She seemed to be letting another scoring chance slip away at the par-5 17th, but Stupples drained a 12-foot putt for her third birdie of the day to hold a solid edge in search of her third victory of the season.
 
'The way I'm playing, I feel like I have so much confidence right now,' said Stupples. 'I don't have to take on stupid shots. I don't have to be outrageous on the course. I can play my game and it will be enough, which is a wonderful feeling to have.'
 
Lovander, a veteran who has yet to win on the LPGA Tour, made a move on Saturday with three straight birdies starting at the par-3 sixth. She missed the putting surface at the 11th, but putted from off the green to grab a share of the lead at 7 under.
 
The 49-year-old stumbled with back-to-back bogeys from the 16th, but remains in position for her best career finish on the LPGA Tour.
 
'You just never give up out here,' said Lovander. 'I have been improving every year, so I am still playing.'
 
Mallon, who earned her second U.S. Women's Open title last month, was steady early with a birdie at the second, but she gave that shot back with a bogey at the fifth. She found trouble again with a bogey at the ninth and sent her second shot through the green at the par-4 11th.
 
Mallon was unable to save par and a bogey at the 16th left her four shots off the pace.
 
Jerman, a rookie on the LPGA Tour last year, struggled with a round of 78 to fall back into a group at even-par 213.
 
Related links:
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    Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

    Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

    “While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

    It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

    “What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

    The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

    “I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”

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    Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:







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    Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:59 pm

    The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.

    Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.

    Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:

    1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.

    2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.

    3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.

    4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.

    5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.

    6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.

    7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.

    8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.

    9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.

    10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.

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    Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:28 pm

    It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.

    Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.

    "The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."

    Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.

    That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.

    "You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.

    "But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."