Semple-Thompson Renamed Curtis Cup Captain

By Usga News ServicesOctober 2, 2006, 4:00 pm
USGAFAR HILLS, N.J. -- Seven-time USGA champion Carol Semple Thompson of Sewickley, Pa., has been re-appointed as the captain for the 2008 United States of America Curtis Cup team, the United States Golf Association has announced.
 
The 2008 Curtis Cup Match will be played over the Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland, from May 30 ' June 1.
 
The Curtis Cup is a biennial competition between female amateur teams from the USA and Great Britain and Ireland. The first Match was held in 1932 at Wentworth (England) Golf Club and the USA owns a 25-6-3 record, including victories in the last five Matches.
 
Thompson, 57, served as captain of the USA squad that won the 2006 Match at Bandon (Ore.) Dunes Golf Resort by an 11 -6 margin. She competed on a record 12 USA Curtis Cup teams, including the 2002 squad in her home area of Pittsburgh, Pa., when she holed a 27-foot putt from just off the 18th green at Fox Chapel Golf Club to retain the Curtis Cup for the American side. Thompson owns an overall Curtis Cup match-play record of 18-15-4, including 9-8-1 in singles competition.
 
Im so honored to be selected to captain the team again, said Thompson. Serving as captain of the team that won the Curtis Cup at Bandon Dunes was such a wonderful experience, and Im really looking forward to bringing the next team to St. Andrews.
 
Thompsons first USGA title came at the 1973 U.S. Womens Amateur when she defeated Anne Quast Sander in the final, 1 up, at Montclair (N.J.) Golf Club. She went on to win the 1990 and 1997 U.S. Womens Mid-Amateur titles and four consecutive USGA Senior Womens Amateur crowns (1999-2002). In August of 2005, Thompson competed in her 100th individual USGA competition when she played in the U.S. Womens Amateur at Ansley Golf Clubs Settindown Creek Course in Roswell, Ga. She has since increased her total of USGA championships to 103, including 32 U.S. Womens Opens.
 
In addition to her Curtis Cup experience, Thompson also played in five Womens World Amateur Team Championships for the USA. Thompsons father, Harton S. Semple, was president of the USGA from 1974-75, and her mother, Phyllis, has been active on various USGA committees.
 
The 2008 Curtis Cup will be a meeting of two captains who have represented their respective sides played in more Matches than anyone. The Great Britain and Ireland squad will be captained by Mary McKenna, who played on a record nine Curtis Cup teams. McKenna represented the GB&I at every Match from 1970 to 1986, and holds a 5-9-4 record in foursomes and a 5-5-2 record in singles.
 
The 2008 Match at St. Andrews will also mark a change in format for the Curtis Cup. The Match will change to a three-day format, featuring three foursomes and three four-ball (better-ball) matches on the first two days. On the final day, there will be eight singles matches, meaning all eight players from each side will compete in singles.
Getty Images

Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

<
Getty Images

DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

Getty Images

Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

Getty Images

Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.