Hyo Joo Kim wins Founders Cup by 3 over Lewis

By Associated PressMarch 23, 2015, 1:32 am

PHOENIX – Hyo Joo Kim overcame her fear of bees - and beat Stacy Lewis, too.

Forced to hit under a tree with a beehive above her head, the 19-year-old South Korean player birdied five of the next eight holes to outlast Lewis on Sunday in the JTBC Founders Cup.

''I was just scared of the bees and I didn't want to be stung,'' Kim said through a translator. ''So, I kept asking if I can get relief and I kept asking and they said, 'No, you can't.' So, I just swallowed my fears and tried to play the shot as best I could.''

Kim hit back to the fairway, wedged to 10 feet and two-putted for a bogey to drop into a tie for first with Ilhee Lee with eight holes left at Desert Ridge.

The long-hitting Kim birdied the next three holes - making putts of 5, 50 and 3 feet - and finished with a 5-under 67 to beat Lewis by three strokes for her second LPGA Tour title in 13 career starts.

''I think the situation on hole 10 helped,'' Kim said. ''After I went through there and I got a bogey, I just realized there's no time to feel pressure or feel afraid. I just had to go out there and play.''


Founders Cup: Articles, videos and photos


The third-ranked Lewis shot a 68. She matched Kim's birdies on Nos. 12, 13 and 15 and pulled within a stroke with a birdie on the par-4 16th.

''The way I played on the front, to think I could still be within a shot coming up those last few holes was pretty amazing,'' Lewis said. ''I'm proud of the way I hung in there. I was in three divots today in the fairway, so that didn't really help things.''

Kim made a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th to finish at 21-under 267. Lewis three-putted for bogey, missing her comebacker from 4 1/2 feet after the outcome was decided.

''In the morning I wasn't concentrating on winning because I was playing with Stacy Lewis and as a rookie, I just felt that by playing with her, I would learn a lot from her,'' Kim said. ''I was just trying to make a good impression as a rookie.''

She did.

''She's just really solid,'' Lewis said. ''Kind of had to battle back from some adversity there on 10. ... Even when I did make some putts, she made the putts to follow and she put a lot of pressure on.''

On 18, Kim hit her 140-yard approach pin-high to the right of the difficult pin placed over the large left-side bunker and in front of a rear falloff.

Lewis drove into a sand-filled divot in the fairway, making it nearly impossible to clear the bunker and stop the ball near the pin. She ended up 30 feet away at the back of the green.

''For the lie I had, I hit it a really good shot,'' Lewis said.

Lewis won the 2013 tournament and has 11 LPGA Tour victories. The 30-year-old Texan finished second for the second time this year and the 17th time in her career.

Projected to jump from eighth to fourth in the world, Kim won the Evian last year in France for first major title and has eight victories on the South Korean tour.

Kim is the fifth South Korean winner in the first six events this year - and the other champion, top-ranked Lydia Ko, was born in South Korea.

Lee shot a 66 to tie for third with Mi Hyang Lee (68) and Pornanong Phatlum (67) at 16 under.

Ko had her third straight 69 to tie for sixth at 15 under. The 17-year-old New Zealander has broken par in her last 24 LPGA Tour rounds and 27 worldwide, a streak that started in the first round of her victory last year in the season-ending event. She won the Women's Australian Open and the Ladies European Tour's New Zealand Women's Open in consecutive weeks this year.

Anna Nordqvist, Austin Ernst, Sei Young Kim and Na Yeon Choi matched Ko at 15 under. Nordqvist, the former Arizona State player from Sweden, had a 64 for the best round of the day.

Alison Lee, the 20-year-old former UCLA player who matched the course record with a 63 on Saturday, had a 74 to tie for 24th at 11 under.

Karrie Webb, the 2011 and 2014 winner, shot a 69 to tie for 34th at 9 under. Michelle Wie tied for 64th at 4 under after a 71.

Getty Images

Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


"I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.

Getty Images

Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.

Getty Images

Stone (60) wins Scottish Open, invite to Carnoustie

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:06 pm

There's never a bad time to shoot a 60, but Brandon Stone certainly picked an opportune moment to do so.

Facing a jammed leaderboard in the final round of the Scottish Open, Stone fired a 10-under 60 to leave a stacked field in his wake and win the biggest tournament of his career. His 20-under 260 total left him four shots clear of Eddie Pepperell and five shots in front of a group that tied for third.

Stone had a mid-range birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the first 59 in European Tour history. But even after missing the putt on the left, Stone tapped in to close out a stellar round that included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle. It's his third career European Tour title but first since the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2016.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


Stone started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jens Dantorp, but he made an early move with three birdies over his first five holes and five over his first 10. Stone added a birdie on the par-3 12th, then took command with a three-hole run from Nos. 14-16 that included two birdies and an eagle.

The eye-popping score from the 25-year-old South African was even more surprising considering his lack of form entering the week. Stone is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and had missed four of his last seven worldwide cuts without finishing better than T-60.

Stone was not yet qualified for The Open, and as a result of his performance at Gullane Golf Club he will tee it up next week at Carnoustie. Stone headlined a group of three Open qualifiers, as Pepperell and Dantorp (T-3) also earned invites by virtue of their performance this week. The final spot in the Open will go to the top finisher not otherwise qualified from the John Deere Classic.

Getty Images

Daly (knee) replaced by Bradley in Open field

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 12:13 pm

Former champion John Daly has withdrawn from The Open because of a right knee injury and will be replaced in the field at Carnoustie by another major winner, Keegan Bradley.

Daly, 52, defeated Costantino Rocca in a memorable playoff to win the claret jug at St. Andrews in 1995. His lingering knee pain led him to request a cart during last month's U.S. Senior Open, and when that request was denied he subsequently withdrew from the tournament.

Daly then received treatment on the knee and played in a PGA Tour event last week at The Greenbrier without the use of a cart, missing the cut with rounds of 77-67. But on the eve of the season's third major, he posted to Twitter that his pain remains "unbearable" and that a second request for a cart was turned down:

This will be just the second time since 2000 that Daly has missed The Open, having also sat out the 2013 event at Muirfield. He last made the cut in 2012, when he tied for 81st at Royal Lytham. He could still have a few more chances to improve upon that record, given that past Open champions remain fully exempt until age 60.

Taking his place will be Bradley, who was first alternate based on his world ranking. Bradley missed the event last year but recorded three top-20 finishes in five appearances from 2012-16, including a T-18 finish two years ago at Royal Troon.

The next three alternates, in order, are Spain's Adrian Otaegui and Americans Aaron Wise and J.B. Holmes.