Gustafson Collapses Lee Wins Playoff

By Associated PressJune 1, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ginn Tribute Hosted by AnnikaCHARLESTON, S.C. -- Seon Hwa Lee didn't expect she'd be accepting the Ginn Tribute trophy from tournament host Annika Sorenstam on Sunday.
 
Few others did, either.
 
Lee, though, took advantage of a stunning collapse from Sophie Gustafson, and watched Hall of Famer Karrie Webb miss a short par putt in the playoff. The result was Lee's third LPGA Tour title and one of the richest paydays, $390,000, in women's golf.
 
'There's lots of luck,' said Lee, nine strokes behind when her round began.
 
The comeback was the second-largest in LPGA Tour history, surpassed only by 10-stroke rallies from all-time greats Mickey Wright in 1964 and Sorenstam in 2001.
 
Lee shot a 67 to finish at 14-under 274. In the playoff at No. 18, Lee two-putted for par from about 45 feet before Webb's crucial error.
 
The 22-year-old South Korean was in the next-to-last group, but had no plans at a dramatic charge. She figured a solid performance would move her up the leaderboard a few notches, and she'd gain confidence for next week's major, the LPGA Championship.
 
Instead, Gustafson's fall and Webb's slip allowed Lee the chance at victory.
 
Lee chipped in for birdie from about 40 yards on the 13th to move within a stroke of the lead, still held by Gustafson.
 
That's when she began thinking maybe she had a chance. Turns out, she did.
 
The chip in 'was really, really big for me,' Lee said.
 
A bogey on the 16th hole dropped Lee into a three-way tie for first. She took the lead when she sank a curling, 20-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole.
 
Moments later, Webb matched Lee, rolling in a 12-foot birdie to set up a playoff for the second straight year at RiverTowne Country Club.
 
Lee looked stunned when Webb's short putt stayed left of the cup.
 
'She has a lot of experience and she is a Hall of Famer,' Lee said. 'So I didn't expect she was going to miss it.'
 
Neither did Webb, attempting to win her 36th LPGA Tour event.
 
'There is no excuse for missing that putt,' she said.
 
Song-Hee Kim (69) was third at 13-under, followed by Gustafson and Jane Park (72) another two shots behind.
 
Gustafson had few explanations for what went wrong.
 
'I just wanted to do what I had the last three days,' said Gustafson, who shot 66, 65, 67 her first three rounds. 'But then obviously that didn't work.'
 
Webb was much more sympathetic about Gustafson's struggles.
 
Holding a six-shot lead when the day began, Gustafson had five bogeys and two double bogeys in her last 15 holes for a 7-over 79.
 
'Definitely I feel bad for her,' said Webb, who played with Gustafson the past two rounds. 'You could probably tee it up nine times out of 10 with a six-shot lead and win.
 
'I'm sure she's very disappointed.'
 
Shellshocked may be a better description.
 
Gustafson was trying for her first LPGA Tour win since 2003 and raced to the top the first three rounds with long, accurate drives and dead-on putting. She opened Sunday rock solid as ever with a first-hole birdie.
 
Gustafson made birdie on the third hole to reach 20-under, and was still ahead by five when her troubles began.
 
She hit her tee shot on the par-3 eighth into a bunker behind the green for a bogey, then three-putted the next green to drop another shot.
 
Gustafson followed on the 10th with a double bogey, her lead shrinking to one stroke over Na-Yeon Choi.
 
Gustafson gave up the lead on the par-3 14th, her tee shot going dead left into a greenside lake. She walked back behind her bag with little emotion, staring straight ahead.
 
When she tapped in for another double bogey a short time later, Gustafson had given up the lead she'd held or shared since Friday.
 
And the problems didn't stop. Gustafson drove into thick rough for a bogey on the 15th. She put her tee shot into the marsh on the final hole for her last bogey.
 
It was the second recent disappointment for Gustafson. Two weeks ago, she missed a 12-foot putt on the final hole of the Sybase Classic that would've tied world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa.
 
Ochoa withdrew from the Ginn Tribute earlier this week because of the death of her uncle.
 
With the threat of severe weather, organizers moved up tee times and started players off both nines to squeeze in the round before storms arrived. Sorenstam was among those starting off the back nine.
 
She finished tied for 32nd after a final-round 71 left her at 4-under.
 
After posting three wins this season, the Swedish star had hoped for a better showing in what was likely the last time she'll play in her tournament given the announcement last month that she is retiring after this season.
 
'I'm very disappointed about that,' she said. 'I think everything else has been great this week. The host just doesn't perform.'
 

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    Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:32 pm

    SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

    He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the early 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

    ''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

    Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

    Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots out of the lead among those who played Friday morning. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

    Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, might have a long stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.


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    Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and was outside the cut. He was in jeopardy of missing his second straight cut, depending on afternoon scoring.

    Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

    The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

    Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

    ''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

    The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

    ''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

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    Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

    RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

    Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

    ''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

    On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

    ''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

    Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

    ''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''


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    Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

    ''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

    Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

    First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.

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    Football coach hates golf: Don't need practice swearing

    By Jason CrookApril 20, 2018, 10:15 pm

    Some football coaches are a little more talkative than others. On one side of the spectrum, there's Bill Belichick. On the other sits Washington State football coach Mike Leach.

    Leach always delivers the goods, and when asked recently if he liked golf, he didn't hold back:

    As wrong as the 57-year-old is on the topic (golf is awesome), the man makes some hilarious points:

    • “It’s boring. I don’t care where that ball goes.”

    • "Golfers are always practicing their swing. But you know what I never did? I never practice fishing in my living room.”

    • "They'll line up over the ball and they'll say they're going to do something that you can't do with a sniper rifle and a scope, but they're going to do it with a stick and a ball."

    • “Golf’s pretty much for people that don’t swear effectively enough or need practice. And so there are people that need golf, and I don’t think I do.”

    So in conclusion, it's confirmed: Mike Leach - not a golf guy.

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    Quiros takes 1-shot lead in Morocco

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 8:22 pm

    RABAT, Morocco - Alvaro Quiros shot a solid 2-under 70 in windy conditions to push into a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Friday.

    Quiros fought the elements, carding seven birdies and five bogeys to move to 7 under overall and take the outright lead at the halfway point of the European Tour event.

    The Spaniard was one clear of Andrew Dodt, who moved into contention with a 4-under 68 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Dodt dropped two shots in his first six holes but the Australian recovered from that shaky start to collect four birdies and an eagle.


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    Erik van Rooyen of South Africa was another shot back in third on 5 under after his 71.

    Bradley Dredge of Wales, who shared the first-round lead with Quiros, slipped off the pace with a 1-over 73. He's tied for fourth with Austin Connelly of Canada (71), 4 under par and three shots behind Quiros.