Birdie Barrage Gives Lee Safeway Lead

By Associated PressAugust 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Safeway ClassicPORTLAND, Ore. -- Rookie Jee Young Lee birdied seven straight holes to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Safeway Classic on Friday.
 
The 20-year-old from Seoul, South Korea, had an 8-under 64 on the 6,327-yard, par-72 course at Columbia-Edgewater Country Club.
 
Christina Kim, a gregarious 22-year-old from Northern California, finished the sunny and warm first day at 6 under. After her round, she hugged everyone in her group, even her standard-bearer.
 
Jenna Daniels, who started from the 10th tee, went on a tear with nine birdies and was tied for the lead late in the day. But the six-year tour veteran double-bogeyed the final hole and finished 6-under.
 
South Korean Mi Hyun Kim was at 5 under.
 
Lee, who had Betty Boop club covers in her bag, eagled the par-5 No. 7 hole. She went on to hit birdies on the first seven holes of the back nine.
 
She hadn't expected the quality round, especially after she bogeyed the par-3 No. 2 hole.
 
'After the eagle I thought, OK, maybe this will turn around,' she said through a translator.
 
She had half a sandwich at the turn and went with fairway woods and rescue clubs for her birdie spree as temperatures zoomed toward the 90s. It was the first time she could recall getting seven straight.
 
'After the front nine I tried to play very aggressive,' she said. 'I thought it would help me.'
 
The course record is shared by Beth Daniel, who was 10 under after the first round in 2003, and Annika Sorenstam had a 10 under in the second round in 2002.
 
'It was fun to watch,' said Tina Barrett, who was in Lee's threesome. 'She just was on a roll.'
 
Lee's caddie, Travis Wilson, said he didn't offer much advice.
 
'After they start making birdies, you just shut up,' Wilson said.
 
Kim got into trouble on the par-4 No. 17 hole.
 
'When I hit that tree I was going, `Please hit that tree,'' she said. 'Either I'm hitting a tree or I'm hitting a maintenance shed.'
 
Sorenstam, who won in Portland in 2002 and 2003, was taking some time off after winning the Scandinavian TPC, the tournament she sponsors. Sorenstam also skipped last year's Safeway Classic.
 
The defending champion is South Korean Soo-Yun Kang, who won her first and only LPGA victory in Portland. Kang had a 7-over 79 on Friday.
 
Kang, who said she has been bothered by a neck injury, has not fared well this season. Her best finish was 24th at Hawaii.
 
Ashley Prange, who won a place in the tournament with her victory in The Golf Channel's 'The Big Break V: Hawaii,' shot a 6-over 78.
 
The former North Carolina player also won expenses to compete on the Futures Tour, where she has won twice. The top five money winners on that tour get to play on the LPGA Tour next season.
 
The field of 142 will be cut after Saturday's second round.
 
The Golf Channel will televise the Safeway Classic starting at 10 p.m. ET Friday.
 
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    Actor/Comedian Kevin Nealon Joins "Feherty," Monday, Aug. 20 at 9 p.m. ET

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsAugust 16, 2018, 1:15 pm

    Actor/comedian Kevin Nealon (Saturday Night Live) will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

    Filmed at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles last month, the episode will focus on numerous topics, including:

    • Nealon discussing his start in comedy in Los Angeles, where he worked as a bartender and filled in for comics who failed to show up for their act.
    • Reminiscing about his appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1984.
    • Reflecting on his nine-year run as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.
    • Recounting the time when his golf ball struck Adam Sandler during a round they were playing with filming Happy Gilmore.
    • Recalling time spent with Arnold Palmer during the filming of a commercial a few years ago.

    The following Monday (Aug. 27), Feherty will be joined by 20-time LPGA Tour winner Cristie Kerr at 9 p.m. ET, and then on Monday, Sept. 3 (9 p.m. ET), major champion Jimmy Walker will join as a guest for the series’ season finale.

    A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver, Golf Films as well as the network’s instruction platforms.

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    Thomas talks Tiger, plays 'Facebreakers' on 'Tonight Show'

    By Grill Room TeamAugust 16, 2018, 1:14 pm

    Justin Thomas didn't successfully defend his title at last week's PGA Championship, but he did get a guest spot on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon."

    Thomas appeared on the talk show Wednesday night and, of course, a primary topic was Tiger Woods' run at the Wanamaker Trophy.



    Thomas also played a game of "Facebreakers" with host Fallon, in which both men tried to break panes of glass emblazoned with the other's face with golf shots. Thomas nearly took out the real Fallon on his first shot, and after several uncessful attempts by both men, massive cheating ensued.

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    Bhatia loses U.S. Am match after caddie-cart incident

    By Ryan LavnerAugust 16, 2018, 2:21 am

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – One of the hottest players in amateur golf had his U.S. Amateur run end Wednesday under unusual circumstances.

    Akshay Bhatia, the 16-year-old left-hander who has been dominating the junior golf circuit over the past year, squandered a late lead in his eventual 19-hole loss to Bradford Tilley in the Round of 64.

    Bhatia was all square against Tilley as they played Pebble Beach’s par-5 14th hole. After knocking his second shot onto the green, Bhatia and his caddie, Chris Darnell, stopped to use the restroom. Bhatia walked up to the green afterward, but Darnell asked what he thought was a USGA official for a ride up to the green.

    “The gentleman was wearing a USGA pullover,” Darnell explained afterward. “I asked if I could get a ride to the green to keep up pace, and he said yes. So I hopped on the back, got up to the green, hopped off and thought nothing of it.”

    Conditions of the competition prohibit players and caddies from riding on any form of transportation during a stipulated round unless authorized.

    It turns out that the cart that Darnell rode on was not driven by a USGA official. Rather, it was just a volunteer wearing USGA apparel. A rules official who was in the area spotted the infraction and assessed Bhatia an adjustment penalty, so instead of winning the hole with a birdie-4 to move 1 up, the match remained all square.


    U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos


    Even more interesting was what Darnell said happened earlier in the match.

    “I had already seen the other caddie in our group do it on the ninth hole,” Darnell said. “Same thing – USGA pullover, drove him from the bathroom up to the fairway – so I assumed it was fine. I didn’t point it out at the time because everything seemed kosher. He had the USGA stuff on, and I didn’t think anything of it.”

    Bhatia won the 15th hole to go 1 up, but lost the 17th and 19th holes with bogeys to lose the match. He didn’t blame the outcome on the cart incident.  

    “What can you do? I’ll have plenty of opportunities to play in this tournament, so I’m not too upset about it,” he said. “It’s just frustrating because I deserved to win that match. That wasn’t the outcome I wanted, but I can’t do anything about it.”

    Bhatia, of Wake Forest, N.C., has been a dominant force in the junior ranks, going back-to-back at the Junior PGA (including this dramatic hole-out), capturing the AJGA Polo, taking the Sage Valley Invitational and reaching the finals of the U.S. Junior.

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    1, 2, 3 out: Thornberry, Suh, Morikawa lose at U.S. Am

    By Ryan LavnerAugust 16, 2018, 1:14 am

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The top three players in the world had a tough afternoon Wednesday at Pebble Beach.

    Braden Thornberry, Justin Suh and Collin Morikawa – Nos. 1-3, respectively, in the World Amateur Golf Ranking – all lost their Round of 64 matches at the U.S. Amateur.

    Thornberry lost, 2 and 1, to Jesus Montenegro of Argentina. As the No. 1 amateur in the world, the Ole Miss senior was in line to receive the McCormack Medal, which would exempt him into both summer Opens in 2019, provided he remains amateur. But now he’ll need to wait and see how the rankings shake out.

    Suh and Morikawa could have played each other in the Round of 32, but instead they were both heading home early.


    U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos


    Suh, a junior at USC, never led in his 1-up loss to Harrison Ott, while Cal's Morikawa lost to another Vanderbilt player, John Augenstein, in 19 holes.

    Englishman Matthew Jordan is the fourth-ranked player in the world, but he didn’t make the 36-hole stroke-play cut.

    The highest-ranked player remaining is Oklahoma State junior Viktor Hovland, who is ranked fifth. With his college coach, Alan Bratton, on the bag, Hovland beat his Cowboys teammate, Hayden Wood, 3 and 2, to reach the Round of 32.