Kane welcomes evolution of womens golf

By Associated PressAugust 26, 2010, 3:58 am

LPGA Tour _newWINNIPEG, Manitoba – LPGA veteran Lorie Kane of Canada sees a lot of change in the evolution of her sport.

Gone are the days when Americans and Europeans dominated the LPGA Tour. This year 126 active players represent 28 different countries, with almost half hailing from Asia.

There’s also been an influx of youth.

The average age of the top 10 players heading into this week’s Canadian Women’s Open at St. Charles Country Club is 24. Japan’s Ai Miyazato, the No. 1 player on the Rolex World Rankings list, is just 25.

Players can’t get their LPGA card until they’re 18, but many are turning pro in their teens and playing on sponsors’ exemptions.

Kane welcomes the new look.

“I think it’s great,” said the 45-year-old native of Charlottetown. “It means that women’s golf across the world, not just across Canada and the U.S., is strong. I think that needs to be the fact to continue to grow the brand of the LPGA Tour.”

This week’s tournament – the only LPGA stop in Canada – begins Thursday with a field of 156 players, including 48 of the top 50 on the money list.

Those making the cut after 36 holes will vie on the weekend for part of the US$2.25 million purse, including $337,500 for the winner.

No Canadian made the cut at last year’s event in Calgary and 14 will try to change that this weekend. The last Canadian to win an LPGA Tour event on home soil was Jocelyne Bourassa in 1973.

Alena Sharp is the country’s top-ranked player. She’s ranked 112th in the world and has earned $113,340 this year (53rd on the money list).

Sharp, 29, also believes the diversity of passports is good for the game, but she thinks young golfers would benefit more if they got a post-secondary education before turning pro.

“Because our schedule is so diminished right now, it’s better to stay in school for the four years and then get a degree and then come out here,” said Sharp, who turned pro after graduating from New Mexico State in 2003 with a marketing degree.

“In a couple more years, our tournaments will be back up. There’s really no point, unless you’re a phenom and you don’t want to go to school and you’re winning everything, I think you should stay in school.”

There are fewer tournaments on the schedule these days. Tour commissioner Michael Whan admits the recession has hit the LPGA Tour hard.

“But I feel comfortable telling you that we’ll play more in 2011 than we played in 2010,” he said. “I feel comfortable telling you that what’s going on at the LPGA has definitely caught the attention of companies, not just in the U.S. but around the world.”

Fans in Winnipeg will get a glimpse of the future this week at St. Charles.

American Alexis Thompson will be playing on a sponsor’s exemption. The 15-year-old turned pro in June – the youngest female player to do so – and has already tied for 10th and second in two events.

Morgan Pressel, a 22-year-old Florida native, is also teeing it up.

She became the youngest player in tour history to win a major when she captured the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship at 18 years 10 months nine days.

Tour veteran Juli Inkster, 50, said the young players have raised the exposure of the game, as has holding events outside North America.

“They dress great, they dress hip, I think it’s great,” the Californian said.

And she doesn’t mind competing against girls less than half her age.

“That’s the beauty of golf, you can,” Inkster said. “You couldn’t do that in tennis or baseball.”

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Wie has hand surgery, out for rest of 2018

By Randall MellOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

Michelle Wie will miss the rest of this season after undergoing surgery Thursday to fix injuries that have plagued her right hand in the second half of this year.

Wie announced in an Instagram post that three ailments have been causing the pain in her hand: an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment.

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone where it attaches to a ligament or tendon.

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I think John Mayer once said, “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” A lot of people have been asking me what’s been going on with my hand and I haven’t shared much, because I wasn’t sure what was going on myself. After countless MRI’s, X-rays, CT scans, and doctor consultations, I was diagnosed with having a small Avulsion Fracture, bone spurring, and nerve entrapment in my right hand. After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through. So I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free! Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Dr. Andrew Weiland, an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, performed the procedure.

“It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year, but, hopefully, I am finally on the path to being and staying pain free,” Wie wrote.

Wie withdrew during the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with the hand injury on Aug. 2 and didn’t play again until teeing it up at the UL International Crown two weeks ago and the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week. She played those events with what she hoped was a new “pain-free swing,” one modeled after Steve Stricker, with more passive hands and wrists. She went 1-3 at the UL Crown and tied for 59th in the limited field Hana Bank.

“After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through,” she wrote.


Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos


Wie, who just turned 29 last week, started the year saying her top goal was to try to stay injury free. She won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March, but her goal seemed doomed with a diagnosis of arthritis in both wrists before the year even started.

Over the last few years, Wie has dealt with neck, back, hip, knee and ankle injuries. Plus, there was an emergency appendectomy that knocked her out of action for more than a month late last season. Her wrists have been an issue going back to early in her career.

“I don’t think there is one joint or bone in her body that hasn’t had some sort of injury or issue,” Wie’s long-time swing coach, David Leadbetter, said earlier this year.

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Woods receives his Tour Championship trophy

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 8:57 pm

We all know the feeling of giddily anticipating something in the mail. But it's doubtful that any of us ever received anything as cool as what recently showed up at Tiger Woods' Florida digs.

This was Woods' prize for winning the Tour Championship. It's a replica of "Calamity Jane," Bobby Jones' famous putter. Do we even need to point out that the Tour Championship is played at East Lake, the Atlanta course where Jones was introduced to the game.

Woods broke a victory drought of more than five years by winning the Tour Championhip. It was his 80th PGA Tour win, leaving him just two shy of Sam Snead's all-time record.

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Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.



“It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

In a statement released by the Tour, officials pointed out the lawsuit and the “potential increase to the longtime caddie healthcare subsidy” are two separate issues.

“Although these two items have been reported together, they are not connected. The PGA Tour looks forward to continuing to support the caddies in the important role they play in the success of our members,” the statement said.

Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

“It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”