Brewerton Choi Kim share lead at Evian Masters

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2009, 4:00 pm
Evian MastersEVIAN-LES-BAINS, France ' Becky Brewerton shot a 5-under 67 and was tied for the first-round lead at the Evian Masters on Thursday, while Michelle Wie rescued a disappointing start with two late birdies.
 
The South Korean duo of Na Yeon Choi and In-Kyung Kim also shot 67s in windy and overcast conditions that forced play to be suspended for one hour because of late-afternoon thunder.
 
Natalie Gulbis celebrates a birdie on her 18th hole Thursday at the Evian Masters. (Getty Images)
Kims round was highlighted by holing out with a 9-iron for eagle at the 11th, while Choi made three birdies on both the front and back nine and only one bogey.
 
Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, teeing off with Alfredsson and Marianne Skarpnord of Norway, double-bogeyed her opening hole and finished an inconsistent day at 3 over.
 
Wie bogeyed Nos. No. 3, 6 and 13 before birdies on the last two holes for a 73. She had plenty of players between her and the lead, including defending champion Helen Alfredsson of Sweden, who is chasing her fourth Evian title and had four birdies in her round of 70.
 
Wendy Ward of the United States shot 68 to stay in touch with the leaders, along with South Koreas Ji Young Oh, Britains Karen Stupples and Frances Karen Icher.
 
Brewerton, from Wales, birdied four of the last five holes on the front nine and was on pace to match Alfredssons course record of 63 after moving to 5 under through 10. Bogeys on the 13th and 14th slowed her down, but Brewerton made two more birdies coming in.
 
My short game was excellent, the 26-year-old Brewerton said. I hit quite a lot of shots in very close on the front nine, so didnt have much work left to do for birdie.
 
Brewerton has more reasons to succeed at Europes richest womens tournament than just the $3.25-million purse. Following her win at the Spanish Open last week, Brewerton is desperate to play for Europe in next months Solheim Cup.
 
It would be nice to get back-to-back wins, which Diana Luna did a couple of weeks ago, said Brewerton, a former English Open champion. Martin Kaymer has done it on the mens (tour) recently, so fingers crossed it will be my turn.
 
Brewertons round is certain to have impressed European Solheim Cup captain Alison Nicholas, who was watching her at the 18th hole.
 
Alison has been at an awful lot of tournaments this year, said Brewerton, who made her rookie Solheim Cup appearance two years ago. Shes got her hands full trying to follow everyone around who has a chance to get in. So much could happen these two weeks, because there are so many points to play for.
 
The 19-year-old Wie, who is bidding for a Solheim Cup spot for the U.S. team, missed an easy par putt on the sixth hole, but recovered to end the day on a high note.
 
I couldnt get anything going, couldnt make any putts, Wie said. (I have) three more days to make it up. (Holes) 17 and 18 were a real positive boost for tomorrow.
 
The dark afternoon skies and slightly windy conditions made play uncomfortable, and Wie was fortunate to finish just before heavy rain and thunder forced players off the course.
 
I dont remember it being this windy, Wie said. I couldnt really give myself that many birdie putts.
 
She needs a big improvement if she is to collect any points for the Solheim Cup. Wie is in 16th place on the list, with the top 10 getting automatic spots on captain Beth Daniels team.
 
For sure, you definitely do want to play in it. But when Im out there I cant think of (the Solheim Cup), said Wie, who can also earn points at next weeks British Open, or hope to get one of two wild-card picks.
 
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    Elway to play in U.S. Senior Open qualifier

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

    Tony Romo is not the only ex-QB teeing it up against the pros.

    Denver Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open next week, according to the Denver Post.

    And why not? The qualifier and the senior major will be held in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. Elway is scheduled to tee off May 28 at 12:10 p.m. ET. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the U.S. Senior Open, June 27 to July 1.

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    Jutanugarn sisters: Different styles, similar results

    By Associated PressMay 23, 2018, 10:20 pm

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn play golf and live life differently.

    The sisters from Thailand do have the same goal in the LPGA, hoping their shot-to-shot focus leads to titles.

    The Jutanugarns are two of six women with a shot at the Volvik Championship to become the circuit's first two-time winner this year. The first round begins Thursday at Travis Pointe Country Club, a course six winners are skipping to prepare elsewhere for next week's U.S. Women's Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama.

    ''Everybody has a chance to win every weekend,'' Moriya said. ''That's how hard it is on tour right now.''

    Ariya competes with a grip-it-and-rip-it approach, usually hammering a 3-wood off the tee.

    Moriya takes a more calculated approach, analyzing each shot patiently.

    That's perhaps fitting because she's 16 months older than her sister.

    ''It's funny because when we think about something, it's always the different,'' she said. ''But we pretty much end up with the same idea.''

    Off the course, they're also different.

    The 22-year-old Ariya appears careful and guarded when having conversations with people she doesn't know well. The 23-year-old Moriya, meanwhile, enjoys engaging in interesting discussions with those who cross her path.

    Their mother, Narumon, was with her daughters Wednesday and the three of them always stay together as a family. They don't cook during tournament weeks and opt to eat out, searching for good places like the sushi restaurant they've discovered near Travis Pointe.

    Their father, Somboon, does not watch them play in person. They sisters say he has retired from owning a golf shop in Thailand.

    ''He doesn't travel anymore,'' Moriya Jutanugarn said.

    Even if he is relegating to watching from the other side of the world, Somboon Jutanugarn must be proud of the way his daughters are playing.

    Ariya became the first Thai winner in LPGA history in 2016, the same year she went on to win the inaugural Volvik Championship. She earned her eighth career victory last week in Virginia and is one of two players, along with Brooke Henderson, to have LPGA victories this year and the previous two years.

    Moriya won for the first time in six years on the circuit last month in Los Angeles, joining Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam as the two pairs of sisters to have LPGA victories.

    On the money list, Ariya is No. 1 and her sister is third.

    In terms of playing regularly, no one is ahead of them.

    Ariya is the only LPGA player to start and make the cut in all 12 events this year. Moriya Jutanugarn has also appeared in each tournament this year and failed to make the cut only once.

    Instead of working in breaks to practice without competing or simply relax, they have entered every tournament so far and shrug their shoulders at the feat.

    ''It's not that bad, like 10 week in a row,'' Moriya said.

    The LPGA is hosting an event about five miles from Michigan Stadium for a third straight year and hopes to keep coming back even though it doesn't have a title sponsor secured for 2019. LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan told reporters he's confident Ann Arbor will be a long-term home for the circuit.

    ''I can't tell you the specifics about how we're going to do that,'' Whan acknowledged.

    LPGA and tournament officials are hosting some prospective sponsors this week, trying to persuade them to put their name on the tournament.

    Volvik, which makes golf balls, is preparing to scale back its support of the tournament.

    ''We're coming back,'' said Don Shin, president of Volvik USA. ''We just don't know in what capacity.''

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    Wise: 'No hard feelings' over Nelson missed kiss

    By Will GrayMay 23, 2018, 10:18 pm

    Aaron Wise left the AT&T Byron Nelson with his first PGA Tour trophy and a seven-figure paycheck. But lost in the shuffle of closing out his breakthrough victory in near-darkness was his failed attempt for a celebratory kiss with his girlfriend on the 18th green.

    Wise appeared to go in for a peck after his family joined him on the putting surface, but instead he and his girlfriend simply laughed and hugged. After the moment gained a bit of online notoriety, Wise told reporters at the Fort Worth Invitational that the young couple simply laughed it off.

    "Yeah, I have been giving her some s--- about that," Wise said. "A lot has been made about it. It's really nothing. Like I was saying, she was just so excited to surprise me. I was kind of ruining the surprise a little bit that she was shocked, and she didn't even see me going in for the kiss."

    At age 21, Wise is now one of the youngest winners on Tour. He explained that while both his girlfriend and mother flew in to watch the final round at Trinity Forest Golf Club, where he shared the 54-hole lead and eventually won by three shots, he took some of the surprise out of their arrival in true millennial fashion - by looking up his girlfriend's location earlier in the day.

    Still getting used to his newfound status on Tour, Wise downplayed any controversy surrounding the kiss that wasn't.

    "No hard feelings at all," Wise said. "We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was."

    Mmm Visuals / Lancaster Country Club

    Giving back: Chun creates education fund at site of Open win

    By Randall MellMay 23, 2018, 8:04 pm

    South Korea’s In Gee Chun is investing in American youth.

    Chun broke through on the largest stage in women’s golf, winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago, and she’s making sure Lancaster, Pa., continues to share in what that brought her.

    Chun is preparing for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek outside Birmingham, Ala., but she made a special stop this week. She returned to the site of her breakthrough in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Wednesday, launching the In Gee Chun Lancaster Country Club Education Fund. She announced Tuesday that she’s donating $10,000 to seed the fund. She’s expected to raise more than $20,000 for the cause in a fundraising dinner at the club Wednesday evening. The fund will annually award scholarships to Lancaster youth applicants, including Lancaster Country Club caddies and children of club employees.

    “I’m excited to be back here,” said Chun, who put on a junior clinic during her stay and also played an outing with club members. “Winning the U.S. Women’s Open here in Lancaster gave me the opportunity to play on the LPGA and make one of my dreams come true.”

    Chun also supports a fund in her name at Korea University, where she graduated, a fund for various “social responsibility” projects and for the educational needs of the youth who create them.

    “Education is very important to me,” Chun said. “I would like to help others reach their goals.”

    Chun made donations to the Lancaster General Health Foundation in 2015 and ’16 and to Pennsylvania’s J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust last year. Lancaster Country Club officials estimate she has now made donations in excess of $40,000 to the community.

    “We are grateful In Gee’s made such a wonderful connection to our community and club,” said Rory Connaughton, a member of Lancaster Country Club’s board of governors. “She’s a special person.”