Blumenherst advances Thompson ousted

By Usga News ServicesAugust 7, 2008, 4:00 pm
USGAEUGENE, Ore. ' Stroke-play co-medalists Amanda Blumenherst, 22., and Stephanie Na, 19, both recorded victories during Wednesdays first round of match play at the U.S. Womens Amateur Championship at Eugene Country Club.
Blumenherst, the Womens Amateur runner-up a year ago, lost three of the first four holes in her match against 19-year-old Lizette Salas.
I dont know what happened out there, said Blumenherst. I just wasnt really in sync and I wasnt playing my game. I was just kind of out of it.
But the three-time NCAA Player of the Year from Duke was able to square the match after a birdie on No. 8 and pars on the 10th and 12th holes, and took her first lead with another par on the par-4 15th.
On the par-5 16th, Salas had a chance to square the match but missed a 10-footer for birdie.
I would definitely want that putt back, said Salas. That was a big one, and I just couldnt take advantage of the opportunity she gave me.
Salas tee shot on the next hole wound up behind a tree, and she eventually conceded the hole, and the match, to Blumenherst, who earned a 2-and-1 victory.
Despite her vast match-play experience, which includes two Curtis Cups and more than 10 USGA championships, Blumenherst said it was the first time she had come back to win a match after being 3 down.
I think its great that I fought back, said Blumenherst. Ive never actually done this before, where Ive been down that much. Usually Ive come back so its not embarrassing how much Ive lost by, but to actually come back and win on the 17th hole, I havent done that yet.
Na had a much easier time against Kelley Louth, 22, who survived a three-hole playoff that concluded Wednesday morning to earn the last spot in the match-play field. Na, who is playing in her first USGA championship, birdied the first hole to take a 1-up edge and was 4 up after seven holes en route to a 3-and-1 victory.
I started off really well and I was hitting it really good and I got off to a good start with a birdie, said Na, the 2008 Australian Stroke Play champion. I was really happy with the way I was going. We halved a couple of holes with bogeys but thats all you have to do in match play, it doesnt matter what the score is in the end.
Tiffany Joh, 21, and Alexis Thompson, 13, had their hopes dashed of becoming the seventh player in history to win two USGA championships in the same season after first-round losses Wednesday.
Jane Chin, 21, made a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th hole to eliminate Joh, the 2006 and 2008 U.S. Womens Amateur Public Links champion, 1 up.
The always-cheery Joh saw a silver lining in the close loss.
Obviously Im going to be disappointed but to be honest I was 2 down through 11, just coming back, Im not going to lie, I had a blast on the back nine, making a couple birdies when I really needed them, said Joh, who also played on the victorious 2008 USA Curtis Cup team. Its unfortunate the way that it ended, but I have to give myself a little pat on the back for how I played coming down the back nine.
Thompson, who had won the Girls Junior 10 days ago, trailed 4 down after 14 holes against Jennifer Hirano, 18, but won three consecutive holes to trail by one hole on No. 18. Thompson had an opportunity to win the hole but missed an 8-foot par putt that would have extended the match.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Amateur
  • Getty Images

    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

    Getty Images

    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

    Getty Images

    Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

    Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

    Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.

    Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

    Getty Images

    Mickelson 'displeased' with iron play; 10 back

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:18 am

    All of Phil Mickelson’s offseason work on his driver has paid off through two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    His iron play? Not as sharp, and it’s the reason why he heads into the weekend 10 shots off the lead.

    “I’ve been pretty pleased, overall, with the way I’ve been driving the ball, and very displeased with the way my iron game has been,” said Mickelson, who shot 68 Friday on PGA West’s Nicklaus course. He has hit only 21 of 36 greens so far this week. “Usually my iron play is a lot better than what it’s been. So I’ll go work on it and hopefully improve each round in this tournament and build a solid foundation for the upcoming West Coast events.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    “I feel like if I continue to drive the ball the way I am, and if I got my iron play back to my normal standard, I should have the results that I’ve been expecting.”

    Mickelson, of course, is always bullish this time of year, but he has been able to find 10 of 14 fairways each of the past two rounds, including at narrower La Quinta Country Club, which doesn’t always fit his eye.

    “This is actually the best I’ve driven it in a lot of years,” he said.

    Currently in a tie for 67th, Mickelson will need a solid round on the more difficult Stadium course Saturday to ensure that he makes the 54-hole cut. He hasn’t missed a cut in his first West Coast event of the new year since 2009.