Corning Classics long run coming to close

By Associated PressMay 20, 2009, 4:00 pm
LPGA Tour _newCORNING, N.Y. ' Rosie Jones wasnt going to miss saying so long, not to her adoring public along New Yorks Southern Tier and the golf course she once dominated.
The realization that the Corning Classic wont be here after this year really kind of hits home, Jones, the only repeat winner of the tournament (1996-97), said Wednesday. Its not one of our big, huge events on tour, but it was a big, heartfelt event. It was one of our signature tournaments, and those are hard to come by, hard to keep.
The Corning Classic, the lone event on the LPGA with the same title sponsor and held at the same venue since its inception, begins Thursday and will end for good on Sunday, another victim of the depressed economy.
Corning Inc. announced a month ago that it would no longer be able to continue as title sponsor, and that was enough to kill the tournament, which began in 1979 and has been staged at Corning Country Club every year.
Jones, who retired in 2006 but came back on a sponsors exemption to play last May, is the Corning Classics all-time leading money-winner with $564,630 earned over 78 rounds. Laura Diaz, the only native New Yorker to win the tournament, ranks second with $301,334.
Diazs victory here in 2002 was her second LPGA triumph ' she hasnt won since ' and the prospect of playing Corning for the final time wasnt something she was looking forward to.
Its very sad. Its been a great 11 years, Diaz said. The LPGA greatly appreciates everything this town and the Corning corporation have done for us. Its sad because the town is hurting. I feel like were friends of this community, and it pains me.
Although its outlook is improving, Corning Inc., an American manufacturer of glass, ceramics and related materials, has been hit hard in recent months. It had to cut 3,500 jobs worldwide this year and saw its first-quarter profit fall 99 percent.
Other factors in the Corning Classics demise were declining attendance and a lack of volunteers. The friendly, small-town atmosphere often was not enough to attract many of the games top players, in part because of Cornings spot on the schedule, just ahead of the McDonalds Championship.
The finale of the tournament, which has raised over $1.5 million for local charities over the years, will be different. The field for the 31st Corning Classic includes eight of the top 10 players on the money list and 28 of the top 30.
Among those returning is Paula Creamer, who also counts Corning as one of her favorite tour stops.
Its kind of shocking. You can understand, too, with the times that were going through right now, said Creamer, No. 9 in earnings this year. The fans here are just unbelievable. Its a small town, but the people have big hearts, and they really enjoy womens golf. Its just a different feeling. You get all types of generations that come out here.
One thing is certain. Jones, who reveled in the fact that she could be herself here ' she was seen more than once playing air guitar and singing in the front window of a restaurant downtown ' will remain the only back-to-back winner of the Corning Classic. An aching back forced defending champion Leta Lindley to withdraw from the only tournament shes won in 14 years on tour.
It has been an emotional week being here, said Lindley, who beat Jeong Jang in a one-hole playoff a year ago to become the ninth player to count the Corning Classic as her first triumph on tour. Ive shed a few tears along the way. It was a really hard decision for me to withdraw. I would feel differently if I knew I was coming back for 10 years, but knowing this is the final Corning Classic, and I dont get to participate, its really sad for me.
LPGA Deputy Commissioner Libba Galloway allowed a moment of hope for the future when tournament officials announced they would not renew their contract with the LPGA after this year.
Well miss it, Galloway said. But when things turn around, we would love the opportunity to come back to Corning.
Who knows? The guys last night were talking about, you know what, we can bring this back, added Jones, who is not playing and plans to return home before the tournaments end. There is a lot of optimism. I dont think people are ready to let go of womens golf here. Were always willing to come back.
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    DJ triples last hole, opens with 76 at Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 6:18 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Dustin Johnson’s chances of winning The Open are likely already over.

    The world No. 1 hit his tee shot out of bounds on 18 on his way to a triple bogey, capping a miserable day that left him with a 5-over 76, 10 shots off the lead and in danger of missing the cut.

    Johnson didn’t talk to reporters afterward, but there wasn’t much to discuss.

    He didn’t make a birdie until the par-5 14th, bogeyed 16 and then made 7 on Carnoustie's home hole when his tee shot caromed out of bounds left.

    Johnson has missed the cut only once in nine previous appearances at The Open – in his first try in 2009.

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    'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.

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    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

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    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”