A. Jutanugarn 1 off Texas lead; Lexi falls 9 back

By Associated PressApril 29, 2017, 12:13 am

IRVING, Texas – The stubborn winds of North Texas might frustrate some golfers. Not Haru Nomura.

Nomura shot a 6-under 65 on Friday for a two-round total of 133 and a one-shot lead in the North Texas LPGA Shootout.

''My mind was very calm today,'' Nomura said. ''I like windy and tough conditions.''

Ariya Jutanugarn is second following a 67 with Suzann Pettersen another shot behind. Moriya Jutanugarn, Ariya's older sister, is fourth at 136 along with two-time tournament winner Inbee Park and Marina Alex.

Lexi Thompson, playing in her first tournament since a rules violation cost her a likely victory in the season's first major three weeks ago, shot a 72 after birdieing three of the first five holes. She's nine shots behind at 142.

First-round leader M.J. Hur also shot a 72 and trails by four strokes. Hur, who lives in McKinney, about 40 miles from the Las Colinas Country Club course, led after 18 holes last year and tied for second place.

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Nomura's best finish of the season is a tie for third at the opening Women's Australian Open. She has two career wins in seven seasons on the tour.

She was 10-under for the tournament on Friday going into the par-5 18th but put her second shot left of the fairway under some trees. Punching out left her with a par putt that curled to the right of the hole.

Ariya Jutanugarn has yet to win this season after claiming five titles in 2016 and being named player of the year.

''Just keep doing like what I did today and keep like playing my own game and just go have fun,'' she said.

Moriya Jutanugarn, who is 16 months older than Ariya, aced the 135-yard 13th. Her best career result is a fourth-place finish at the 2013 Women's Australian Open.

The sisters are staying together, and Moriya said she's looking forward to competing against Ariya.

''I try to beat her; she tries to beat me,'' Moriya said. ''It makes golf more fun.''

Dori Carter's 8-under 63 broke the tournament record by one shot. Carter, winless in seven seasons on tour, eagled the par-5 3rd hole with a sand wedge from about 70 yards. That highlighted a run of six straight sub-par holes.

''You see the ball, and all of a sudden you don't see the ball,'' Carter said. ''And I hear the crowd. My parents are the crowd.''

Thompson's 3-over back nine included a double bogey on the par-3 17th. Her tee shot landed 5 feet in front of the pin but rolled off the back of the green and into back water.

''It just wasn't my day, I guess,'' she said.

Park won at Las Colinas in 2013, when she was the player of the year, and again in 2015. After missing five cuts in 10 starts last season, she said she's treating her 11th year on tour like it's her first.

''I was getting a little too bored of the game and losing a little bit of concentration,'' Park said. ''I try to appreciate whatever is happening. It makes me a lot more happy.''

Defending champion Jenny Shin followed Thursday's 71 with a 72, trailing by 10.

Eighty players made the cut, which was 3 over. There will be a second cut after Saturday's third round to the top 50 and ties.

With rain forecast for Saturday afternoon and evening in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the third round will be played in threesomes beginning earlier than scheduled and sent off split tees.

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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.

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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.”