Asia Grabs Lead in Lexus Cup

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2006, 5:00 pm
SINGAPORE -- Playing captain Grace Park and Hee-Won Han beat Julieta Granada and Morgan Pressel 1-up in best-ball play Saturday to help Asia take a 7-5 lead over the International team in the Lexus Cup.
 
After splitting the six alternate-shot matches Friday, Asia won four of six matches Saturday in hot conditions to take the lead on Tanah Merah's Garden Course. The LPGA Tour-sanctioned event will conclude Sunday with 12 singles matches.
 
'I'm not sure what happened. It just seems like the Asian team outplayed us today,' International captain Annika Sorenstam said. 'A lot of matches went down to 18. It was a tough day for the International team. Obviously, tomorrow is going to be a big day. We have 12 points to grab and we need to grab as many as we can.'
 
Sorenstam has won both of her matches, teaming with childhood friend Carin Koch on Friday and Natalie Gulbis on Saturday.
 
Han made a 30-foot birdie putt on 18 to beat Granada and Pressel.
 
'I knew that if I was paired with her coming down the stretch, she would pull it off,' said Park, one of nine South Korean players in Asia's lineup.
 
'I'm very proud of my team. They obviously played very well, with a lot of energy, which is huge. ... I think our chances of winning tomorrow are great. We have a lot of girls that are playing very well and they're riding on confidence.'
 
Han, also from South Korea, won twice this year on the LPGA Tour.
 
'Grace played pretty good. I just made that putt,' Han said. 'The whole round, we were able to save each other on different holes.'
 
Granada, coming off a $1 million victory in the ADT Championship, tied the match with a birdie on 16 and the teams halved the 17th with pars.
 
'We really did give our best and fought very hard out there,' Granada said. 'It just came down to that last putt. We are a little upset, but we know we gave it our all. It's harder to lose that way, but what can you do?'
 
Park will face Sorenstam in the opening match Sunday. And, if the teams tie, the two captains will have a sudden-death playoff to determine the winner.
 
'I'm happy to be doing both, but it is a little bit more hard work than you would think, especially trying to put pairings together,' Sorenstam said. 'It's a lot more work, but I'm happy to be here and happy about our position and how they're doing.'
 
Sorenstam and Gulbis beat Jee Young Lee and Meena Lee 2-up.
 
'At first, I was nervous,' Jee Young Lee said. 'It was my first time going up against Annika, but we went out and hit some good shots to start off and played well. ... We did well out there. The other team made better shots, but it was a good day.'
 
Gulbis had two of the best shots, a tiebreaking 30-foot eagle chip on the par-4 16th and a match-ending 15-foot birdie putt on 18.
 
'Annika was already in there and had a 15-footer for eagle, so it was just chip it in or pick it up,' Gulbis said.
 
Paula Creamer and Stacy Prammanasudh earned the other point for the International team, beating Shi Hyun Ahn and Joo Mi Kim 3 and 2.
 
'I thought we played well together,' Prammanasudh said. 'If one of us hit off-line, the other was there to make up for it.'
 
Se Ri Pak and Seon Hwa Lee beat Sherri Steinhauer and Angela Stanford 4 and 2.
 
'I played a lot more solid today,' Pak said. 'I putted well. I was striking well. I didn't feel as good, but I just hung in there. She made a good partner for me. She helped me a lot. I helped her a lot. That's why it's a team game.'
 
In Asia's other two victories, Candie Kung and Jennifer Rosales beat Brittany Lincicome and Nikki Campbell 3 and 1, and Young Kim and Sakura Yokomine held off longtime European Solheim Cup stars Koch and Laura Davies 2-up.
 
'We both came from USC,' Rosales said. 'We have a good chemistry. We've known each other for so long, so it helps a little bit.'
 
On Sunday, Creamer will face Kung in the second match, and Pressel will play Lee Young Lee in the fourth. At the bottom of the order, Gulbis will face Joo Mi Kim in the 10th match, Granada will meet Seon Hwa Lee in the 11th, and Lincicome, the HSBC World Match Play winner, will face Pak in the 12th.
 
The winning team members will each receive $50,000, and the losers will get $30,000. Last year, the International team won the inaugural event 16-8.
 
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 146th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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Knox relishes round with 'mythical figure' Woods

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Russell Knox was expecting the worst and hoping for the best Thursday at The Open.

Playing with Tiger Woods tends to have that effect.

The native Scot received a treat earlier this week when he saw his name on the tee sheet alongside his boyhood idol, Woods.

“Felt good out there, but obviously my swing, it was just like I had too much tension,” Knox said after an opening 73. “I just wasn’t letting it go as normal. First round with Tiger, I expected to feel a little bit different. The way I felt was better than the way I swung.”

Knox said that he was nervous playing alongside Woods, a player he’d only encountered on the range. “He’s almost like a mythical figure,” he said.

But after a while, he settled into the rhythm of the round at Carnoustie.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I thought it would be worse,” he said, “I feel like I should know what I’m doing. It’s cool playing with Tiger, but I’ve got to get over that. I’m here to win, not just enjoy my walk around the course.”

Knox probably had more interaction with Woods than he anticipated, if only because the third member of the group, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, keeps to himself because of the language barrier.

“It’s kind of a blur,” Knox said. “It’s like, Oh, I’m chatting away with Tiger here like normal. I don’t even remember what I was saying.”

There have been countless stories from this year as the next generation of players – guys who grew up watching Woods dominate the sport – get paired with Woods for the first time.

It was no less special for Knox on Thursday.

“It’s nice for him to say things like that,” Woods said, “and we enjoyed playing with each other. Hopefully we’ll play a little bit better tomorrow.”

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Rain expected to shower Carnoustie Friday morning

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:43 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – By the end of the day Friday, we’ll be able to determine which side of The Open draw ended the first two rounds at Carnoustie with more favorable conditions. With rain expected for most of Friday morning, it seems those who played early/late may be more pleased.

According to Weather.com, there is a 75 percent chance of rain beginning at 2 a.m. local time Friday here in Scotland. That percentage vaults up to 95 percent by 7 a.m., with the first tee time scheduled for 6:35. At 11, the number drops to 55 percent. After 2 p.m., the percentage chances of rain are 25 percent and below for the remainder of the day.

Temperatures during the day are expected to be from the low 50s to the low 60s and winds will vary between 14-18 mph, again per Weather.com.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


This is The Open’s official weather report for the weekend:

Saturday: A dull start with some drizzle possible. Staying cloudy for much of the day but gradually becoming brighter with a chance of some sunny intervals during the afternoon and evening. Winds light and variable in direction but should predominantly settle in to a SSE 8-12mph during the afternoon. Max temp 20C (68F).

Sunday: Often cloudy but mainly dry. A better chance of some decent sunny spells compared to Saturday. Most likely the windiest day of the Championship; SW 12-18mph with gusts 20-25mph. Feeling warm, especially in any sunshine with a max temp of 23C (73F).

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Bandaged Woods 5 back after even-par 71

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:38 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods arrived Thursday with therapeutic tape on the back of his neck.

Carnoustie’s back nine inflicted even more pain.

Playing in the most difficult conditions of the day, Woods’ progress was stalled by two late bogeys as he settled for an even-par 71 that left him five shots off the lead at The Open.

“I played better than what the score indicates,” he said. “It certainly could have been a little bit better.”

Woods created a stir when he showed up with black kinesiology tape on his neck. Afterward, he said that his neck has been bugging him “for a while” and that Thursday was merely the first time that the tape was visible.

“Everyone acts like this is the first time I’ve been bandaged up,” he said, smiling. “I’ve been doing this for years.”

Woods said that the discomfort didn’t really affect his swing, other than a few shots “here and there.” It didn’t seem to affect his score, either, as he went out in 2 under before a few stumbles on the back nine.

On the fast, baked-out turf, he played conservatively off the tee, using driver only once and 3-wood just twice. Apparently he didn’t need the added distance, not with his 6-iron traveling 240 yards. He tried to play to his spots, even if it routinely left him more than 200 yards for his approach.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


That’s the strategy he employed at Hoylake in 2006, where he hit driver just once and captured the third of his Open titles. Despite some of the similarities in firmness, Woods said that Carnoustie presents a different challenge off the tee.

“These fairways are very small,” he said. “They’re hard to hit right now. They’re so fast, and they’re so moundy.”

Finding the fairway wasn’t the chief problem for Woods on Day 1, however. He missed just four fairways but found only 11 greens.

More damaging to his score was his play on the par 5s. Despite having only an 8-iron in, he failed to birdie each of the two par 5s and then bogeyed Nos. 10, 13 and 15 to squander his early momentum.

Though the draw here won’t be a significant factor – or at least not like in recent years, with a wide range in scores from morning to afternoon – it’s clear that Woods (in game 47 of 52) encountered the most difficult of the conditions Thursday, with the wind gusting to 20 mph and the fairways running even faster after another sun-splashed afternoon.

Still, his opening 71 was one of the better scores in the late wave.

“He hit it good,” said playing partner Russell Knox. “He plotted his way around, which I expected him to do, and he was very conservative off the tee. It’s kind of fun to watch him do that, to be honest.”

Even more fun would be a major with Woods in contention.

He hasn’t broken par in the opening round of his last eight majors. Indeed, for Woods, these slow starts have been the real pain in the neck.