Kerr up two shots on Lewis, Pettersen

By Associated PressMay 4, 2013, 10:28 pm

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Success is no stranger to Cristie Kerr. Neither is winning after sleeping on a third-round lead.

While Kerr has 15 LPGA victories to her credit, she has no interest in viewing herself as the front-runner. The 35-year-old has more moving to do.

Kerr shot a 5-under-par 66 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the Kingsmill Championship on the River Course at Kingsmill Resort.

Fellow American Stacy Lewis carded a 68 and is tied for second with Suzann Pettersen of Norway. Angela Stanford is alone in fourth at 7 under.

'I've always loved it here,' said Kerr, the only two-time champion in the eight-year history of the event. 'I played a great round today.'

The 2005 and 2009 champion at the River Course started the day two strokes behind first- and second-round leader Ariya Jutanugarn, a 17-year-old from Thailand who entered on a sponsor exemption. Kerr rolled in six birdies, three on each side and all coming after a bogey on the second hole.

Video: Kerr atop the 'Mill

'Saturday is definitely moving day, but I got to look at it like I'm two back tomorrow,' Kerr said. 'That's when I play my best golf. I'm looking at tomorrow as moving day as well because if you're not moving, somebody else is gonna.'

That someone could be either of the two accomplished golfers sitting right behind her.

Lewis, the top-ranked American and No. 2 in the world, described her round as 'pretty boring and pretty frustrating,' but she moved back into the mix with birdies on Nos. 15 and 16.

'It was nice I hung in there and made a few birdies at the end to keep myself in it for (Sunday),' said Lewis, already a winner twice on tour this season. 'I know that my best round is still out there and I think that's what encouraging going into tomorrow.'

Pettersen won this event in 2007. The top three players each have at least one major championship victory on their resume.

If Kerr tacks on a third title at Kingsmill, her putter will have been the reason. It's the same putter she used to dominate the 2010 LPGA Championship and claim her second major title. That season, Kerr emerged as No. 1 in the world on three separate occasions, but she has since slipped to No. 12 in the rankings.

'Yeah, I love this putter, I've always loved this putter,' Kerr said. 'Hard not to love a putter that you won a major by 12 shots with, so it deserves another shot and it's going to get it.'

Jutanugarn, the current leader on the Ladies European Tour money list, finished her round with a 73 after bogeys on three of her first four holes and six in all.

She shot a first-round 64 and dominated the front nine on Thursday and Friday but opened Saturday with a wayward drive on the first hole, leading to a bogey. She also dropped a stroke on the second and fourth holes.

'I never nervous with my game today,' Jutanugarn said. 'Just have bad for putting and just miss my driver on first hole, that's it.'

Ilhee Lee's third straight 69 left her four shots back in fifth, though her day was hardly formulaic. The South Korean's wild round included an eagle, five birdies and consecutive double bogeys.

Inbee Park of South Korea, ranked No. 1 in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings and a three-time winner this season, shot 69 and is tied for eighth.

Lizette Salas turned in the day's low score with a 65, jumping from 40th overnight to a tie for sixth with Jutanugarn.

Overcast morning conditions gave way to sunny skies once the final groups hit the course, but chilly temperatures remained throughout, as did swirling winds.

With Jutanugarm dropping back, several players took turns atop the leaderboard.

Lee initially emerged from the pack with a 30-foot eagle putt on the seventh hole and started the back nine with a two-stroke lead.

Four holes later, her lead vanished after back-to-back double bogeys on 12 and 13, although Lee carded birdies on the next two holes.

Kerr, who last won at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in November, led almost exclusively from there.

Briefly joined by Pettersen at 8 under, Kerr jumped ahead for good with a birdie on 13. She extended her lead with a birdie on the par-5 15th.

Now Kerr needs another strong round for a sweet 16th LPGA win. Those in the hunt make that goal far from a certainty.

Asked if the current leaderboard gives the final round a major-type feeling, Kerr said, 'Absolutely. There's definitely no chickens to be counted.'

NOTES: Park, coming off a victory in the North Texas Shootout, bounced back from a 1-over-par 72 in the second round. She carded a bogey on the first hole but played the last 17 holes in a bogey-free 3 under. She will start the final round six strokes behind Kerr, ... Playing in her first event as a member of the LPGA, 23-year-old American Katie Burnett has posted rounds of 68-70-71 and is tied for eighth with Park.

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Bjorn adds four Ryder Cup veterans as vice captains

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 1:05 pm

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has added a quartet of vice captains for the biennial matches this fall in Paris.

Bjorn had already named Robert Karlsson as his first assistant, and he announced Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship that his group of advisors will also include major champions Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, and former world No. 1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

Westwood is among Europe's most decorated Ryder Cup players, and his addition in this role signals he likely won't participate as a player in the matches for the first time since 1995. The Englishman has spoken openly about his desire to captain the European squad at Whistling Straits in 2020, but he's been quiet on the course in recent months, with a missed secondary cut at the Houston Open his only start since mid-February.

Harrington is seen as another possible captain for the 2020 matches, and he'll don an earpiece for the third straight Ryder Cup, having represented Europe as a player on six straight teams from 1999-2010.

Donald played on four Ryder Cup teams from 2004-12, with the Europeans winning each time he was on the roster. This will mark his first stint as a vice captain, as Donald announced last month that he would be sidelined indefinitely while recovering from a back injury.

At age 38, McDowell will be the youngest vice captain in the room, having holed the winning putt eight years ago at Celtic Manor. He won the French Open in both 2013 and 2014 at Le Golf National, site of this year's matches, and will also be making his debut as a vice captain.

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Bidder pays $50,000 to caddie for Woods

By Grill Room TeamMay 22, 2018, 12:28 pm

Someone has paid $50,000 to caddie for Tiger Woods at this year’s Hero World Challenge.

An unnamed bidder paid for the opportunity at an auction Saturday night at Tiger Jam, where monies are raised to support the Tiger Woods Foundation.

The Hero World Challenge will be contested Nov. 29-Dec. in Albany, Bahamas. The pro-am is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28.

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:28 am

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


TV Times (all times ET):

11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals

4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Arizona grabs last spot with eagle putt, playoff win

By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 3:18 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – With her team freefalling in the standings, Arizona coach Laura Ianello was down to her last stroke.

The Wildcats began the final round of the NCAA Championship in third place, but they were 19 over par for the day, and outside the top-8 cut line, with only one player left on the course.

Bianca Pagdaganan had transferred from Gonzaga to compete for NCAA titles, and on the 17th hole Ianello told her that she needed to play “the best two holes of your life” to keep the dream alive.

She made par on 17, then hit a 185-yard 6-iron out of a divot to 30 feet. Not knowing where she stood on the final green, Pagdaganan felt an eerie calm over the ball. Sure enough, she buried the eagle putt, setting off a raucous celebration and sending the Wildcats into a play-five, count-four team playoff with Baylor at 33 over par.

Their match-play spot wasn’t yet secure, but Ianello still broke down in tears.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring

“Bianca is such an inspiration for all of us,” she said. “She’s the kind of kid that you want to root for, to have good things happen to.”

Arizona prevailed on the second playoff hole. As the 8 seed, the Wildcats will play top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals Tuesday at Karsten Creek.

Though the finish had plenty of drama, no teams played their way into the coveted top 8 on the final day of stroke-play qualifying.

Baylor came closest. The Bears barely advanced past regionals after a mysterious stomach virus affected several players and coaches. They competed in the final round with just four healthy players.

On Monday, Gurleen Kaur put Baylor in position to advance, shooting 68, but the Bears lost by three strokes on the second extra hole.

Arkansas finished one shot shy of the team playoff. The second-ranked Razorbacks, who entered NCAAs as one of the pre-tournament favorites, having won seven times, including their first SEC title, couldn’t overcome a 308-300 start and finished 10th. Player of the Year favorite Maria Fassi finished her week at 19 over par and counted only two rounds toward the team total.