Interesting pairings for Sybase Match Play Championship

By Associated PressMay 18, 2011, 1:04 am

LPGA Tour _newGLADSTONE, N.J. – The Sybase Match Play Classic hasn’t started, but the advantage already belongs the long hitters on the LPGA.

More than nine inches of rain fell on the Hamilton Farm Golf Club last month and the hilly course became even wetter on Monday and Tuesday. To make matters worse, there’s more heavy showers predicted on Wednesday.

The draw for the 64-player field was held at a press conference Tuesday with the top 32 players in the 64-player field drawing a golf ball to determine who they would face. A designated official drew for players not at the conference.

Top-seeded Na Yeon Choi of South Korea drew Catriona Matthew of Scotland, the No. 39 seed, in the $1.5 million event.

“I just hope I play better than last year,” said Choi, who lost in the opening round.

Not all the top seeds were lucky in the draw, though.

Second-seeded Jiyai Shin was paired with No. 33 seed Meena Lee in a match involving South Korean players.

Third-seeded Cristie Kerr was not in the press center and was paired against fellow American Amanda Blumenherst, the No. 48 seed. Kerr showed up minutes later and asked to make her own selection. It was denied.

No. 4 seed Yani Tseng of Chinese Taipei, the LPGA’s leading money winner this year and the No. 1 player in the world, had the best draw, getting a match with No. 63 seeded Marcy Hart.

The course, though, is going to be a test due to the soggy conditions limiting the distance that the ball will roll. Long-hitting Brittany Lincicome practiced on Tuesday and was wary about the course.

“It’s definitely going to be on the long-hitters’ side,” she said. “I played nine holes this morning and with just the little rain we had this morning, No. 18, I could not get to the other side of the water and had to lay up short of the water. It was just a lot of longer irons into the greens than what we are used to.”

Lincicome then smiled and said a player never knows what they will get from match play.

“If you are not on top of your game every day you’re not going to keep going,” she said. “Or you play (lousy) and it depends on what happens that day. In match play, you never know.”

Several friends were paired in opening-day matches. Australian Karrie Webb (No. 23) and Sarah Kemp (No. 50) were paired, and rookie Belen Mozo (No. 64), who was given a sponsor’s exemption, drew fellow Spaniard Azahara Munoz (No. 30), last year’s rookie of the year.

No. 5 Suzann Pettersen drew No. 49 Natalie Gulbis, No. 9 Michelle Wie will play No. 38 Beatriz Recari of Spain, No. 10 Paula Creamer is paired against No. 57 Aree Song of South Korea, and defending champion Sun Young Yoo of South Korea will play No. 54 Grace Park. Yoo is No. 16.

Single rounds will be played on Thursday and Friday with double rounds on Saturday and Sunday.


Watch: Koepka holes out from off the green at 16

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 21, 2018, 5:36 am

Brooks Koepka faced a stiff challenge from Gary Woodland on Sunday in South Korea, but eventually, it came time to end the suspense.

Having clung to a slim lead for much of the back nine, Koepka looked as though he was going to have to scramble just to save par when he missed the green at 16. 

Instead, caddie Ricky Elliott was able to leave Koepka's putter in the bag.

That holeout combined with a bogey from Woodland at the 17th but Koepka ahead by three, allowing him to walk to victory and to the top of the world rankings.

Getty Images

Watch: Koepka nearly aces par-3 13th Sunday

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 21, 2018, 4:24 am

Just when it looked like he was facing a legitimate challenge Sunday, Brooks Koepka responded with a near-ace.

Up four to start the final round, Koepka saw his lead disappear as Gary Woodland raced up the leaderboard to tie him at 13 under and then 14 under.

Unfazed, the three-time major winner birdied the par-5 12th to regain his outright lead and then followed up with this tee shot at the 218-yard, par-3 13th.

And just like that, the tap-in birdie put Koepka back ahead by two with five to play.

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Haas nearly shoots age in taking Champions playoff opener lead

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 10:05 pm

RICHMOND, Va.  -- Jay Haas shot a 7-under 65 - missing his age by a stroke - to take a two-shot lead Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Trying to become the oldest winner in tour history, the 64-year-old Haas birdied the par-5 16th and 18th holes to get to 11-under 133 on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.

''I've been out here too long to know that I can learn to expect anything,'' Haas said. ''While I'm hopeful every day and I've been playing OK, the last couple weeks have not been very good, but this week has been much better. I love this golf course and it looks good to my eye. Most of the holes look like I'm going to hit a good shot, so I enjoy playing here.''

Mike Fetchick set the age record of 63 years to the day in the 1985 Hilton Head event. Haas is second on the list, taking the 2016 Toshiba Classic at 62 years, 10 months, 7 days for his 18th senior title.

''That's a good way to say I'm old, 'experience,''' Haas said. ''I think I'm very nervous most of the time when I play and today was no exception, but I continued to hit good shots and, hopefully, I can put one foot in front of the other, one shot at a time, do what I tell my son to do every time, you know? See if I can put some of those adages to work tomorrow.''

Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic

Stephen Ames and Scott Dunlap were tied for second after the round that started in light rain. Ames had a 67, and Dunlap shot 68.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer had a 66 to join Billy Mayfair (67) and Woody Austin (68) at 9 under. Langer won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the season points lead. The 61-year-old German star has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.

The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, California, and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, was tied for 23rd at 4 under after a 71.

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Sergio leads by 4 entering final round at Valderrama

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 20, 2018, 9:26 pm

Sergio Garcia closed with three straight birdies to shoot a 7-under 64 on Saturday, taking a four-shot lead into the third and final round of the Andalusia Valderrama Masters.

The tournament, which Garcia has won  twice (2017, 2011), was reduced to 54 holes because of numerous weather-related delays.

With his bogey-free round, Garcia moved to 10 under, four shots clear of Englishman Ashley Chesters, who shot a 1-under 70.

Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters

"Hopefully we'll be able to play well tomorrow and get another win at Valderrama," Garcia said. "Hopefully I can finish it in style."

Chesters, however, is conceding nothing. "There's always a chance," he said. "There's not a lot of pressure on me."