Ko leads KPMG Women's PGA by 1 through 54

By Associated PressJune 11, 2016, 10:49 pm

SAMMAMISH, Wash. - When Lydia Ko won the last two major championships, she was the one lurking behind.

On Sunday at Sahalee, the top-ranked Ko will take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

''I can't control what the other girls are doing,'' the 19-year-old Ko said. ''So (I'll) just try my best out there. We've still got a long 18 holes to go.''

Ko shot a 1-under 70 on Saturday to reach 2-under 211. She won the Evian Championship in September in France for her first major title and took the ANA Inspiration in April in California, giving her a chance to become the fifth player in tour history to win three straight majors.

''It's really cool to, obviously, have my name in those records among those amazing players. And I think that's the really cool thing about it,'' Ko said. ''But when I'm out there I'm not thinking so much about records and what could happen.''

Ko used her deft short-game to save shots on the 16th and 17th holes, but couldn't avoid dropping a stroke at the last when her third shot went to the back of the green and she missed a 15-foot par putt.


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Brittany Lincicome and Gerina Piller were tied for second. They each shot 71, with Lincicome also bogeying the 18th. Second round co-leaders Brooke Henderson and Mirim Lee each shot 73 to drop into the group at even par. Only three players were under par even as Sahalee played easier following overnight rain.

Ariya Jutanugarn, the winner of her last three tournaments, was in the group at even par. Jutanugarn got back into contention with a 68. Amy Yang also was even after the lowest round of the week, a 66. Yang went out in 32 and was 6 under for her round after a birdie at No. 15, before dropping a shot on the 16th.

Anna Nordqvist, the winner last week in New Jersey, and Chella Choi completed the group at even par. They each shot 69.

Ko missed a chance to create some separation late in her round. She moved to 3 under with an 18-foot birdie putt on the 15th, then showed off her delicate touch around - and on - the green coming in. Ko put herself in poor position off the tee on the 16th, but a flop shot out of the rough to 4 feet allowed her to save par. On the par-3 17th, Ko's tee shot found the green but in a position where a chip shot was the only way to get to the hole because of the fringe. The chip from green-to-green left her a 3-foot tap in.

But her second shot on the 18th caught a large tree fronting the left of the green and was unable to save par.

Lincicome, a two-time major champion, also dropped a shot at the final hole because of a three-putt. Along with Ko, Lincicome is the only other player in the field not to post a round over par in the tournament

''It's easier to come from behind than be the leader,'' Lincicome said. ''I feel like I'm in great shape.''

Piller is hoping she can finally make a breakthrough after three years of progressively getting closer to her first career victory. She has finished in the top 10 six times this year, including a second-place finish at home in Texas when she was overtaken on the final day.

She has risen to No. 16 in the world rankings and moving up one more spot before July 11 would earn her an automatic spot in the Olympics.

''I do feel like winning is definitely close,'' Piller said. ''I definitely feel that my game is good enough and it's just a matter of time when the pieces fit and it just comes together.''

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Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

“I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

“I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

“More punishment,” he said.

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DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

• Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

• This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

• Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery

 


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


• In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

• At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

• Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

• My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.