Kim Leads Ochoa by One in OTown

By Associated PressApril 28, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Ginn OpenREUNION, Fla. -- Lorena Ochoa made one poor decision Friday. It was the only thing that kept her from topping the leaderboard.
 
Rebounding from a triple bogey, Ochoa shot a 2-under 70 to finish a stroke behind Mi Hyun Kim (66) after the second round of the Ginn Clubs & Resorts Open.
 
'I was pretty much close all day, playing for birdie,' said Ochoa, the 24-year-old Mexican star who won her fourth LPGA Tour title two weeks ago in Las Vegas.
 
Dakoda Dowd was playing for something very different. The 13-year-old golf prodigy, who was invited to play the event to fulfill her cancer-stricken mother's dying wish to see her compete on the LPGA Tour, followed her opening 74 with an 82 to miss the cut.
 
Nonetheless, tournament officials gave her a replica of the winner's trophy on the 18th green.

Ochoa hopes to get the real one.
 
She was 7 under after 36 holes and -- once again -- ahead of most of the field. She has been the best golfer on tour this season, with four top-10 finishes in six starts.
 
She has been equally impressive at the only full-field event in Florida, aside from one tee shot Friday.
 
Ochoa had five birdies in her first 11 holes and took sole possession of the lead at 10 under. But then she pulled out her driver on the par-4 14th.
 
She pushed her tee shot way right, landed in a bush and had to take a penalty stroke after determining her ball was unplayable. Trying to get her third shot over some trees from a bed of straw, the ball hit some limbs and dropped straight down.
 
Her fourth shot from under the tress didn't get out of the rough, leaving her with a pitch shot for bogey. She hit to 6 feet, but missed the putt and finished with the worst score of the day on the 387-yard hole.
 
'We were excited and we were playing aggressive and decided to hit a driver,' she said. 'I just missed it a little to the right. ... Without that hole, I feel really good.'
 
Ochoa bounced back on the final four holes with four birdie opportunities, but couldn't get any of the putts to drop.
 
'I didn't get mad. We just kind of let it go and I finished strong,' Ochoa said. 'Even though I didn't make any birdies, I finished strong and I was really close to the hole.'

Ochoa and Kim will tee off in the final group Saturday with Ai Miyazato, 6 under after a 68 in the second round. Everyone else will be chasing them.
 
Seon Hwa Lee (67), Laura Diaz (72) and first-round leader Cristie Kerr (74) were 5 under. Karrie Webb (67) and Annika Sorenstam (70) were six shots behind the leader.
 
Kerr opened the second round with three bogeys and four in the first five holes. She settled down and stayed close despite strong afternoon winds that made the greens super fast.
 
Sorenstam also struggled in the breezy conditions. But at least the world's No. 1 player broke par, something she didn't do in the final round last weekend and in the opening round Thursday.
 
'Tough day,' Sorenstam said. 'I don't know. I tried hard. Couldn't get much going. It's difficult with the wind. The greens are really slick. ... It's almost like glass.'
 
Kim, one of the tour's shortest hitters, took advantage of the dry fairways and used the extra roll to keep up with the power players. She made six birdies on the back nine, the last of which put her alone atop the leaderboard.
 
Her tee shot on the par-4 No. 18 went right and landed in a bunker. But her 9-wood landed 6 feet from the pin, and she made the putt.
 
'When I start, I told my mom my swing is not working and my putting is uncomfortable, but it was working on the course,' Kim said. 'It was a surprise to me, my score.'
 
Related Links
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    Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

    By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

    Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

    Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

    The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

    On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

    Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

    He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

    In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

    Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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    Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

    By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

    In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

    This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

    Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

    Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

    The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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    Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

    Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

    Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.


    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

    Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

    “There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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    Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

    By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

    Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

    Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

    Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

    “Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

    Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

    “Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

    Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.