Spieth runs away with Ping Invite Park wins girls

By Ajga StaffOctober 13, 2010, 6:53 am

STILLWATER, Okla.  –  Jordan Spieth dominated the Boys Division to return to the winner's circle at The Ping Invitational, while Kristen Park tied the women's course record in Monday's final round, claiming the girls' title at the fifth annual AJGA event at Karsten Creek.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, The Ping Invitational was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla. The 72-player field featured players from 19 states, Canada, the Philippines and Thailand. The Boys Division played Karsten Creek at 7,379 yards, while the Girls Division played at 6,306 yards.

Spieth, the 2009 Rolex Junior Player of the Year, entered the final round with a seven-stroke lead and continued to distance himself from the field after a phenomenal 5-under-par 31 on the front nine. Spieth's lead grew as large as 11 shots, ensuring there would be no drama as he sought his second Ping Invitational title in three years.

“I wanted to continue to stay aggressive like yesterday,” Spieth said about his front nine. “I wanted to stay below the hole, but still be aggressive. It paid off and I got some putts to drop, and all of a sudden I got in a routine; I got in a zone.”

The wind kicked up on the back nine, and despite giving a few shots back, he cruised to a nine-shot victory, shooting a 2-under-par 70 to finish the week at 69-69-70 – 208. Spieth was the only boy to finish the week under par.

Spieth is best known for being among the leaders in the final round of the PGA Tour's HP Byron Nelson Championship this summer. But in the AJGA, he has long been among the top players, reaching the height of junior golf in 2009 when he was named the Rolex Junior Player of the Year.

He now has four AJGA victories and a win at the 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.

In second place was defending champion Emiliano Grillo, an Argentinian who resides in Bradenton, Fla. Grillo finished at 1-over-par 217. Beau Hossler of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., finished 10 off the lead to take third place at 2-over-par 218.

Tied for fourth at 220 were Yi Keun Chang of Diamond Bar, Calif., Gavin Hall of Pittsford, N.Y., and Oliver Schniederjans of Powder Springs, Ga.

In the Girls Division, Park tied the course record set by Kyung Kim in the first round, allowing her to overcome the three-stroke gap between her and Kim at the start of the day.

“My first two days I was struggling with my putting, but my shots made up for it,” Park said. “But today, everything just came together.”

Park bogeyed her first hole, but then the birdies began pouring in as she birdied four of her next six holes, taking over the lead in the process. Adding two more birdies on her back nine, she never looked back en route to a five-stroke victory. Her closing score of 5-under-par 67 was the only girls' final-round score under par. Park won the Rolex Tournament of Champions earlier this year.

“I've been working hard this year, and this is one tournament I've always wanted to win,” she said.

Kim, of Chandler, Ariz., finished tied for second place with Shannon Aubert of Orlando, Fla., at even-par 216. Tied for fourth place at 2-over-par 218 were Cindy Feng of Orlando, Fla., and sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn of Bangkok, Thailand.

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'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

“The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

"Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

“It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

"The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

“I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

“Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

The problem was an expired visa.

Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

“Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

“It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”