Kerr wins rain-delayed State Farm Classic

By Associated PressJune 14, 2010, 8:22 pm

LPGA Tour _newSPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The flu didn’t get to Cristie Kerr during the week. The weather didn’t get to her over the weekend. And none of her competitors could stop her from collecting a second LPGA State Farm Classic championship Monday.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Kerr said. “An amazing, long week.”

Kerr held off late challenges by Anna Nordqvist and Na Yeon Choi at the rain-delayed tournament, shooting a 3-under 69 in the final round at Panther Creek Country Club to secure the first LPGA Tour victory by an American since Michelle Wie won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in November.

Kerr, who also won the title in 2004, finished at 22-under 266, a shot ahead of Nordqvist and Choi. She was pumped up to get the win.

“That definitely motivates me to be the top American and top player on tour,” said Kerr, who won $255,000 to move into the second on the money list $60,000 behind Ai Miyazato. “I’m just happy not to have to answer, ‘Why are there no American winners anymore?’ “

Juli Inkster, second after a first-round 65 had her tied for second, shot 68-71 on the weekend to end in 35th.

Karrie Webb made her way into a tie for 11th with a final-round 65. Natalie Gulbis went 4 under in her closing round to finish tied for 36th and Michelle Wie finished at 6 under, tied for 52nd.

Kerr led after third-round play was completed Sunday morning and would have been the champ if the fourth round had been washed out. But with more than half the round completed when heavy rains and lightning rolled in Sunday, tour officials decided to try to finish the tournament Monday.

Kerr never wavered. After Saturday’s delay, she made six more birdies to finish with a 63. Monday, she birdied three holes before an inconsequential bogey on 18.

Kerr said the stormy conditions Sunday helped her.

“It was actually to my advantage that they called play last evening, because I was just exhausted,” she said. “I didn’t sleep well at all on Saturday night, just up coughing the whole night.”

Kerr came down with flu-like symptoms early in the week and then weathered two storm postponements that left birdie putts on the course to post rounds of 67-67-63-69. She missed the green and bogied 18 on Monday, but with a two-shot lead over Nordqvist and Choi, her two-putt was good for the victory.

“You know, you always want to try and complete the tournament to be able to feel like you earned it,” Kerr said. “I would have taken it, don’t get me wrong, but this feels better.”

Choi birdied three of her last four holes to get to 21 under, but Nordqvist, who birdied four straight before the rain stopped play on Sunday, was up and down after the break. She bogeyed the par-4 12th and before birdies on Nos. 13-14. She had another birdie chance on the par-5 16th, but missed a short put. She had to get up and down from the sand on 18 to save par, but the bad read on 16 is what really cost her.

“I knew I had to make a couple of birdies those last couple of holes to give it a shot, but I gave this my best,” she said. “I thought I hit a pretty good putt, it just broke a little too much. I mean, that’s life.”

First-round leader Shanshan Feng and Hee Young Park, who just missed a birdie putt on 18 that would have given her a final-round 62, ended tied for fourth at 20 under. Feng, the only Chinese golfer on the tour, loves to play Panther Creek.

“I think this course fits me. It’s not an easy course, but I feel like it’s good for me as a long hitter,” she said. “My putting was really good. My putting is not usually that good, but it’s good here.”

Park’s 63 was a personal best and included nine birdies. She was playing on an injured knee and the delay may have helped.

“It’s getting worse, so I rested it,” she said. “That was a good choice.”

A day into the new week on tour, Kerr was already thinking of what lay ahead.

“Winning is a great feeling, but you can’t stop there,” she said. “You’ve got to be able to set new goals. I’ve got another tournament (this) week and then I’ve got another major. So giddy up.”

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."

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Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

"That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

"Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

"He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."