Choi loses lead then wins Farr in playoff

By Associated PressJuly 5, 2010, 2:56 am

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SYLVANIA, Ohio – In each of her two previous LPGA Tour victories, Na Yeon Choi birdied the last hole to win.

It took a little bit longer at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, but she did it again.

Choi made a 2 1/2 -foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole Sunday to beat fellow South Koreans In-Kyung Kim and Song-Hee Kim and American Christina Kim.

“As I was walking toward the green today, I was thinking about how I had won the last two tournaments and I said to myself, ‘Maybe I can do it again,”’ she said through an interpreter.

Choi had rounds of 64, 67, 68 and 71 to finish at 14-under 270. It took a gutty 15-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to even extend her day after she had blown what had at one time been a five-stroke lead.

“It was tough out there. I was nervous at times,” Choi said. “But I tried to focus on my game. Now I’m really happy, and proud that I controlled my emotions today.”

Choi, who led after each of the first three rounds, was up by two strokes at the turn but bogeyed 14 and 15 to lose the lead. In-Kyung Kim, who shot a 64, had four birdies on the last seven holes to get to 14 under and slide past Choi.

Song-Hee Kim, who had a final-round 66, birdied the 17th to join In-Kyung Kim at that number

Christina Kim, who was five back of Choi after a double bogey at 10, birdied the next three holes and added another one at 17 to join the growing crowd at 14 under. Playing in the same pairing with Choi, she watched Choi nail her long birdie putt at the 72nd and then had a 12-footer for the win.

“I knew that if I wanted to win I had to at least give it a go to make it to the hole,” she said. “So I said, ‘Screw it.’ I hit it and it’s either going to go in or not.”

But it missed off the right edge.

The playoff holes were 18 and 17, both par 5s. Neither is a backbreaker, but they’re also not reachable in two shots.

“We were playing two par 5s, which you can make birdie on,” In-Kyung Kim said. “I had my chance, and everyone had their own chance.”

With thousands of people now ringing the 18th green, the drama built on the first playoff hole. All reached the green in regulation, but all four missed birdie putts of 10-18 feet. After the other three missed their birdie attempts, Song-Hee Kim failed to make a 10-footer.

“The thing is, you have to expect everybody to make their putt,” Christina Kim said. “Once you get into match-play format, you have to think that someone’s going to make it. I was surprised when none of the putts went in. It was a very difficult hole location – but, still – I thought someone was going to make it.”

So the four went back to the 17th hole. Song-Hee Kim flew her third shot over the green and into a bad lie in the back bunker. She barely got her fourth shot out, dooming her chances. Christina Kim had a 20-footer for birdie, In-Kyung Kim a 12-footer and Choi’s wedge nestled close.

After the first two missed their birdie attempts, Choi, who had previously won the Samsung World and Hana Bank-KOLON championships, tapped hers in.

Her caddie, Paul Fusco, had helped her control her emotions throughout the up-and-down day after three rounds in which she was always in command.

“He told me to calm down. I was nervous after those two bogeys and he said to just calm down,” Choi said. “I tried to think positive. On the last (72nd) hole, I knew I had to make that putt. I tried putt it with great passion.”

Jiyai Shin just missed the playoff by a shot after birdieing the final three holes in a 64.

Shin, No. 6 in the world rankings, said she and her fellow South Koreans motivate each other.

“We’re really close, but on the course we’re in good competition with each other,” she said. “It’s a really good thing, because when other Korean players play well, I’m thinking, ‘Oh, I hope I do more.’ It pushes me to do more. Then if my friends win, the congratulations come from heart.”

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High school seniors win U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

By Associated PressMay 24, 2018, 1:44 am

TEQUESTA, Fla. - The 18-year-old Hammer, from Houston, is set to play at Texas next fall. Barber, from Stuart, Fla., also is 18. He's headed to LSU.

''Growing up watching U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs on TV, I just knew being a USGA champion is something that I desperately wanted,'' said Hammer, who qualified for a U.S. Open three years ago at 15. ''And to finally do it, it feels incredible. It feels as good, if not better, than I thought it would. And especially being able to do it with Garrett. It's really cool to share this moment.''

Hammer and Cole won the par-4 eighth with a birdie to take a 2-up lead. They took the par-4 10th with a par, won the par-5 13th with an eagle - Barber hit a 4-iron from 235 yards to 3 feet - and halved the next two holes to end the match.

''Cole didn't want me to hit 4-iron,'' Barber said. ''He didn't think I could get it there. I was like, 'I got it.' So I hit it hard, hit pretty much a perfect shot. It was a crazy shot.''

The 32-year-old Dull is from Winter Park, Fla., and the 42-year-old Brooke from Altamonte Springs, Fla.

''Cole Hammer is a special player,'' Brooke said. ''Obviously, he's going to Texas (and) I'm not saying he is Jordan Spieth, but there are certain things that he does.''

In the morning semifinals, Hammer and Barber beat Idaho high school teammates Carson Barry and Sam Tidd, 5 and 4, and Brooke and Dull topped former Seattle University teammates Kyle Cornett and Patrick Sato, 4 and 3.

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Watch: Pumped up Beef deadlifts 485 lbs.

By Grill Room TeamMay 24, 2018, 12:19 am

Andrew "Beef" Johnston has been playing some solid golf on the European Tour this season, and he is clearly pumped up for one of the biggest weeks of the year at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Judging from the video below, Beef will have no problems lifting the trophy on Sunday as he reportedly deadlifted 220 kg ... (Googles kilogram to pounds converter, enters numbers) ... that's 485 lbs!

@beefgolf with a new deadlift PB 220kg ! #youcantgowronggettingstrong

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Arizona captures NCAA DI Women's Championship

By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 11:56 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – Turns out this match-play format provides fireworks. Almost always.

In the four years since the women’s NCAA Championship has switched from the stale, 72-hole stroke-play format the championship matches have been pure magic.

This year, for the third time in the past four years, the final outcome came down to the last match and Arizona took home its third title with a 3-2 victory over Alabama on Wednesday when junior Haley Moore defeated senior Lakareber Abe on the 19th hole.

The Wildcats also won NCAA titles in 1996 and 2000, the latter when current Arizona coach Laura Ianello was on the team as a player.

“Arizona is my home, it is where I went to school and [the championship] needs to be back home,” Ianello said. “So I am so proud to be the coach to bring it back.”

Two days ago, Arizona was in the midst of an epic collapse. The Wildcats were safely in the third position after 54 holes of stroke play and needed only to be inside the top eight after 72 holes to advance to the match-play portion of the event.

But they played the worst round of the day and were on the outside looking in with one hole remaining when junior Bianca Pagdanganan made eagle on the par-5 18th hole. That propelled the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor that they ultimately won.

On the first day of match play, Arizona continued to ride the wave of momentum by defeating Pac-12 rivals UCLA, the top seed, and Stanford, a match-play stalwart the past three years.

Next up for Arizona was Alabama, the top-ranked team in the country and the second seed this week after stroke play.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring


“Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a hell of a ride,” Ianello said, attempting to take pressure off her team, which, on paper, looked like an underdog.

But you know the saying, anything can happen in match play, and often does.

Alabama coach Mic Potter put out his three first-team All-Americans in the first three spots hoping to jump out to an early lead. Junior Lauren Stephenson played poorly in the opening match and lost, 4 and 3, to freshman Yu-Sang Hou.

Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight dispatched Wildcats Gigi Stoll and Pagdanganan easily in the second and third matches.

Arizona’s Sandra Nordaas beat Angelica Moresco, 1 up, in the fourth match meaning the fifth and final match, which was all square after 16 holes, was going to decide the NCAA title.

Lakareber lost the 17th hole when her approach shot sailed well short and right of the green in thick, gnarly rough. She attempted to advance the ball but could not and headed to the final hole 1 down.

With seemingly every golf fan in Stillwater on site, including several men’s teams here to participate in next week’s championship, Abe hit a laser second shot into the par-5 18th hole setting up a 12-foot look for eagle. Moore missed her birdie putt and Abe won the hole to set up extra holes to decide the championship.

In the extra frame, Moore was left of the green in two shots and Abe was short in the greenside bunker. Moore chipped to 4 feet and Abe’s bunker shot was 6 feet away. Abe missed, Moore made and Arizona walked away with the hardware.

“It means so much, it’s actually like a dream,” Moore said. “I’m just so happy for my team right now.”

Potter has been a head coach for 35 years – at both Furman and Alabama – and finally was able to collect his first NCAA Championship in 2012. Being so close to a second one will sting for quite a while but he will be able to live with the outcome for one simple reason.

“They fought their hearts out all year,” Potter said. “I just want to congratulate them for the way they battled, not only today, but in match play. Everyone gave their best on every shot - that’s all we can ask.”

Arizona def. Alabama, 3-2

Yu-Sang Hou (AZ) def. Lauren Stephenson (AL), 4 and 3

Kristen Gillman (AL) def. Gigi Stoll (AZ), 4 and 3

Cheyenne Knight (AL) def. Bianca Pagdanganan, 4 and 2

Sandra Nordaas (AZ) def. Angelica Moresco (AL), 1 up

Haley Moore (AZ) def. Lakareber Abe (AL), 19th hole

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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.