Choi's late surge gives her Farr lead

By Associated PressAugust 10, 2012, 10:40 pm

SYLVANIA, Ohio – Even a wardrobe malfunction couldn't hold back Chella Choi.

The soon-to-be 22-year-old South Korean split a side seam on her pink shorts but still shot a 4-under 67 on Friday to take the second-round lead in the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic.

Choi shrugged off two bogeys to start the back nine, birdieing three holes coming down the stretch for a one-shot lead over Inbee Park, Mika Miyazato and Hee Kyung Seo.

About the only thing that didn't go Choi's way was when she jammed her divot-repair tool into her right front pocket at the ninth green, tearing a hole in the fabric. She was fortunate that she decided to go with leggings on a cool morning.

''I played really well today; same as yesterday,'' Choi said. ''I hit 16 greens and 12 fairways, so my shots were really good.''

Choi, without a win in her four years on the LPGA tour, started with a 66 and was at 9-under 133 at rainy Highland Meadows Golf Club.

She's clearly trying to not get ahead of herself.

''I have two more days,'' she said. ''I don't care about the other players. I'll just try to keep my score low.''

The leaderboard retained its international flair, but it's clear that - like the LPGA itself in recent years – the South Koreans are taking over. They held five of the top eight spots at the tournament's midpoint.

Park, winner of the most recent tour event, the Evian Masters, matched the day's low round, climbing 29 spots on the leaderboard with a 6-under 65.

''Winning Evian, that gave me a lot of confidence playing this week,'' she said.

Only Yani Tseng, the world's top-ranked player, has won back-to-back LPGA tournaments this year.

''It is actually easy and tough at the same time because you have such confidence,'' Park said. ''You feel a lot more comfortable on the golf course. If you're playing really good, that's a bonus.''

Choi was 3 under through seven holes before bogeying Nos. 10 and 11. But she regrouped to birdie 13, 15 and 16 coming in.

''I like the shape of the golf course,'' said Choi, who tied for second at the Manulife tournament in Canada in late March.

Miyazato shot a 68, and Seo followed a 68 with a 66 to also get to 8 under.

After thunderstorms overnight and off-and-on rain throughout the round, Highland Meadows is relatively defenseless. But a gusting wind picked up as play continued.

''I like the windy conditions because I'm from Okinawa and it's always windy,'' said Miyazato, who was followed by a large Japanese media contingent.

Seo needed just 26 putts in her 66, which featured six birdies and one bogey.

She said the intermittent rain and cooler temperatures caused her some difficulty.

''I had to put my jacket on and off,'' she said. ''It was hard to concentrate.''

First-round leader Pernilla Lindberg (71), Hee-Won Han (67), Karine Icher (69) and So Yeon Ryu (68) were 7 under.

It wasn't nerves that cost Lindberg her two-shot lead.

''I actually slept really good,'' the Swede said. ''I handled the situation better than I would have a while ago. I've been playing good in Europe lately, been up there in the lead a few times. I feel more and more comfortable every time I'm there.''

Icher, winless in a decade playing LPGA events, is hoping to stay patient.

''I've been many times in this position in my career and never won,'' she said. ''I'll just take it easy and try to play my best golf I can and we'll see.''

Defending champion Na Yeon Choi (no relation to Chella) shot a 71 and was at 141. She won the 2010 Farr. The event wasn't played last year while the city hosted the men's U.S. Senior Open.

Jennifer Rosales had a hole-in-one with a 4-iron on the 179-yard 14th. But with a 75, she still missed the cut of even-par 142.

Among those missing the weekend were Tseng, 2005 Farr winner Heather Bowie Young and Michelle Wie.

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Romo turns in even in PGA Tour debut

By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 3:00 pm

After stumbling out of the gates, Tony Romo has found his footing in his PGA Tour debut.

Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies from Nos. 4-8 while playing alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:

Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Romo, who plays to a plus-0.3 handicap, said earlier in the week that he expected some jitters once it came time to put a tee in the ground.

"You'll be nervous on Thursday on the first tee. Just going to be," Romo said. "I've got to get through the first three or four holes. If I can handle the nerves on the first three or four holes, I think that I'll settle in and hopefully just play the way I've been playing."

Click here to watch live first-round action on Golf Channel.

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Kim's missing clubs show up at sporting goods store

By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 1:58 pm

More than a month after they were lost on an American Airlines flight, the clubs I.K. Kim used to win last year's Ricoh Women's British Open turned up on the sale rack of a California sporting goods store.

Kim's clubs became lost in late January when she flew from Miami to San Diego, with the airline suggesting she simply rent a new set. A few weeks later, Kim shot a "What's in the bag" television segment which according to a Golfweek report caught the eye of three good samaritans in the San Diego area.

The three men recognized Kim's clubs for sale at a local Play It Again Sports, with the major winner's tools listed at $60 each. The store even had Kim's tour bag, complete with her LPGA player badge. Kim filmed the reunion with her bag - containing wedges and a few hybrids, minus the head covers - at the Carlsbad police station:

Kim was back in southern California this week for the Kia Classic, where she'll begin play Thursday morning at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad.

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New dad Garcia removes shoes, wins match

By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 12:48 am

AUSTIN, Texas – In one of the day’s most explosive matches, Sergio Garcia rolled in an 8-footer for birdie at the 18th hole to defeat Shubhankar Sharma, 1 up, at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

The duo halved just nine holes on Day 1 at Austin Country Club, with Garcia going from 2 up through four holes to 1 down with five holes to play.

But the Spaniard rallied with five birdies over his final eight holes and pushed his record to 20-17-1 in the Match Play. He also gave himself his best chance to advance out of pool play since the format began in 2015.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

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The victory continued what has already been a memorable week for Garcia, whose wife, Angela, gave birth to the couple’s first child last Wednesday.

“I already feel like I’m a winner after what happened on Wednesday,” Garcia said. “Obviously, it's something that we're so, so happy and proud of and enjoying it as much as possible.”

The highlight of Garcia’s round on Wednesday came at the 12th hole when he took a drop on a cart path. After considering his options, he removed his shoes and hit his approach from 212 yards to 29 feet for a two-putt birdie to halve the hole.

“I have spikes. So if I don't take my shoes off, I'm going to slip. It's not the kind of shot that you want to slip,” Garcia said. “I had tried it a couple of times on practice swings and I was already slipping a little bit. So I thought I would just take my shoes off, try to get a little bit in front of the hole and it came out great.”