Korda leads Creamer by one in Bahamas

By Associated PressJanuary 24, 2014, 10:57 pm

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – Jessica Korda took the second-round lead in the season-opening Bahamas LPGA Classic, birdieing four of her last seven holes in high wind Friday for a 7-under 66. The 20-year-old Korda had an 11-under 135 total on Atlantis Resort's Ocean Club course. ''We went from beautiful, sunny, slight wind to cloudy and hurricane wind,'' Korda said. ''It was a tough day out there. I mean, a little mentally draining because you really had to put everything into every shot.'' The 2012 Women's Australian Open winner, Korda recently started working with swing coach Grant Price. She struggled with her swing last year and felt that it led to some injuries in her left shoulder and wrist.

''It was just time for a change,'' Korda said. ''There was just stuff that wasn't working. I've worked with (Grant) before, so I was really comfortable going into it, and he's just super positive, and that's something that I really needed coming into this year.

''We're just working on keeping everything in plane and keeping it really simple to where if something does go wrong on the golf course, I can fix it myself.''

Price, Hall of Famer Nick Price's nephew, is fighting testicular cancer.

Paula Creamer, playing alongside Korda, was a stroke back after a 65.

''Feeding off Paula was good,'' Korda said. ''She made four birdies in a row after (starting with a double bogey), and it wasn't like she wasn't giving herself opportunities. It was birdie after birdie. It was awesome to play with somebody like that because they really do push you and keep making you try harder.''

Creamer drove left on the first hole and three-putted from 7 feet. She birdied 10 of the last 17 holes.

''After that, I said, 'Let's go make some birdies.'' And I did,'' said Creamer, winless since the 2010 U.S. Women's Open. ''I love playing in windy conditions. I always have. The more difficult, the better. You have to be kind of a feel player out in these kind of situations and trust what you're doing and committing to your shots, and that's something that I really worked hard on in the offseason and it paid off today.''

Michelle Wie and Monday qualifier Jenny Suh were tied for third at 9 under. Wie had a 65, and Suh shot 66.

Wie had 28 putts in her bogey-free round.

''I think I just had a good rest this offseason,'' Wie said. ''When I came back in January and I picked up my golf clubs, I was really excited to play. I was so ready to get back into a rhythm.''

Suh failed to gain fully exempt status on the tour when she lost a playoff at Q-school.

''I know what the weekend could do and what it could hold for me, but I'm just going to keep enjoying myself and try to make as many birdies as possible,'' Suh said.

Lydia Ko, the 16-year-old New Zealander who shared the first-round lead with Meena Lee, was three strokes behind at 8 under after a 70. The fourth-ranked Ko is making her first start as an LPGA Tour member. She won the Canadian Women's Open the last two years as an amateur and closed last season with a victory in a non-tour event in Taiwan in her second pro start.

Na Yeon Choi (68), Christel Boeljon (67) and P.K. Kongkraphan (69) also were 8 under.

Third-ranked Stacy Lewis was 6 under after a 71.

Lee had a 76 to drop to 2 under.

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Simpson overtakes DeChambeau in Ryder Cup race

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:09 pm

A T-12 finish at The Open allowed Webb Simpson to move past Bryson DeChambeau into the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot in the U.S. Ryder Cup points race with just three weeks to go.

Simpson finished the week at 3 under, five shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. Adding another strong result to his win at TPC Sawgrass and T-10 finish at the U.S. Open, he's now edged in front of DeChambeau by less than 41 points. But with players earning one point per $1,000 each of the next two weeks and 1.5 points per $1,000 at the PGA Championship, the race is far from over.

Jordan Spieth's T-9 finish strengthened his position at No. 6, as the top six players are essentially assured of qualifying automatically. Rickie Fowler held onto his spot at No. 7, while Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner both moved onto the bubble following T-2 finishes at Carnoustie. After a T-6 finish, Tiger Woods jumped from 31st to 20th.

Here's a look at the updated American standings, with the top eight after the PGA qualifying automatically and captain Jim Furyk adding four picks in September:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Bubba Watson

6. Jordan Spieth

7. Rickie Fowler

8. Webb Simpson

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9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Xander Schauffele

12. Matt Kuchar

13. Kevin Kisner

14. Tony Finau

15. Brian Harman

On the European side, Molinari was already in position to qualify automatically but is now assured of a spot on Thomas Bjorn's roster this fall. Fellow major champs Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy also solidified their footing with runner-up performances.

Here's a look at how things look for the Europeans, with the top four from each list after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

European Points

1. Francesco Molinari

2. Justin Rose

3. Tyrrell Hatton

4. Tommy Fleetwood

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Thorbjorn Olesen

Russell Knox

Eddie Pepperell

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Alex Noren

3. Rory McIlroy

4. Paul Casey

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Matthew Fitzpatrick

Sergio Garcia

Ian Poulter

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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.