Three Tied at Asahi Ryokuken

By Sports NetworkOctober 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 Asahi Ryokuken International ClassicNORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Liselotte Neumann, a 12-time winner on the LPGA Tour, posted her second 4-under 68 in as many days on Friday to share the lead midway through the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship.
Donna Andrews also carded a 68 and Becky Morgan, from Wales, shot a 3-under 69 in the second round to join Neumann in first at Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club. The trio is knotted at 8-under-par 136.
Cristie Kerr, a three-time winner this season, posted a 4-under 68 and shares fourth place with Jeong Jang (67) and Laura Davies (69). The group is tied at 6-under-par 138.
Neumann, a Swede who has played on six Solheim Cup teams, opened on the back nine Friday and broke into red figures with a 20-foot birdie putt at the 12th. She hit a poor approach at the par-4 14th, finding the greenside bunker, but she holed out from the trap for her second birdie.
At the par-4 17th, Neumann hit an 8-iron to 15 feet and drained the birdie putt. She made it two in a row with a 17-footer at No. 18.
Neumann kept her strong play going on the second nine. She ran home a 25-foot birdie putt at the first and tallied her fourth birdie in a row at two, when she sank a 30-footer.
'It's a bucket today,' said Neumann, referring to the size of the hole during her strong putting performance around the turn. 'Everything is dropping. Even though they were long, they were easier to read.'
Things fell apart quickly for Neumann, who won the 1988 U.S. Women's Open. At the fourth, her tee shot found a fairway bunker and her second landed in a greenside trap. She could not get up and down for par and missed the green at five. Neumann once again could not save par at the hole and fell into a tie for the lead.
'I have been putting really well these last two days,' said Neumann. 'I think yesterday I probably played better than I did today. But I made some crucial putts today to keep the momentum going, and I'm just very pleased to be 8 under par.'
Andrews hit a 9-iron over the green at the second hole, then missed her 4-footer to save par. She rebounded from there with a 15-foot birdie putt at the fourth.
Andrews had 50 feet for birdie at the par-5 ninth and after a few seconds of hanging on the hole, the putt dropped in the cup. She made it two in a row at 10 when she made a 20-footer, but things soon fell apart.
She bogeyed the 12th and 13th holes when her approaches missed the green in regulation. Andrews came back with three birdies in a row from the 14th, including a 40-footer at No. 15 to get a piece of first.
'I had a couple that got away from me today, but obviously I made a lot of putts,' said Andrews, who won the 1994 Kraft Nabisco Championship. 'I made some really long putts today and that was how I was able to score as well as I did.'
Morgan had a much calmer round compared to her fellow co-leaders. She opened on the back nine and birdied the 11th when her 11-wood stopped 8 feet from the hole. Morgan made a 15-footer for birdie at the 15th to reach 7 under par and joined the leaders with a birdie at the par-5 sixth hole.
While Neumann has 12 LPGA Tour wins and Andrews half that number, Morgan, 30, is winless since joining the circuit in 2001. She does not see her inexperience as a problem.
'Hopefully I'll play the way I have the last two days,' said Morgan. 'I kind of feel like this is about the best I've played all year. It's been pretty steady stuff.'
Beth Daniel (68), Joanne Morley (72) and Miriam Nagl (70) are tied for seventh at 5-under-par 139.
Grace Park and Kim Saiki, two of three first-round co-leaders, only managed 2-over 74s on Friday and are part of a group tied for 10th. Amateur Ya-Ni Tseng (69), Patricia Baxter-Johnson (70), Soo Young Moon (71), Joellyn Erdmann-Crooks (70) and Maggie Will (69) joined Park and Saiki at minus-4.
Silvia Cavalleri, the other co-leader with Park and Saiki, struggled to a 4-over 76 and is part of a group tied for 24th at minus-2.
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    McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

    By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

    The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

    McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

    McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

    ''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

    Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

    ''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

    McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

    ''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

    ''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

    The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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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.