Lewis wins sixth LPGA title at HSBC

By Associated PressMarch 3, 2013, 11:10 pm

SINGAPORE – Stacy Lewis had a case of the jitters. She also had enough left in her game.

Lewis, the 2012 LPGA Player of the Year, won the HSBC Women's Champions on Sunday for her sixth career title on the tour. She closed with a 1-under 71, overcoming two bogeys and some shaky putting on the back nine to hold off South Korea's Na Yeon Choi by one stroke.

''The last four or five holes, I was pretty nervous, I'm not going to lie,'' said Lewis, who finished at 15-under 273 Sentosa Golf Club. ''I just played hard and put my head down and tried to make as many putts as I could, and fortunately I came away with the win.''

Choi, who had a 72, was runner-up at the tournament for the second consecutive year. She lost to Angela Stanford in a four-player playoff last year.

Paula Creamer, hampered by a shoulder injury from a car accident last week in Thailand, held a share of the lead early in the day but struggled with her putting on the back nine and faded to a 71 to finish third at 13 under. Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 74 to finish tied for 28th.

Lewis and Choi began the day with a share of the lead, but Lewis was able to gain some distance with a superb shot on the par-5 seventh hole.

After a long drive off the tee, Lewis hit a 200-yard shot toward the pin that stopped about 5 inches short. She tapped in for eagle, leaving her one shot ahead of Choi and two ahead of Creamer.

''It was probably one of the best shots I've ever hit,'' Lewis said. ''It had to be pretty close. I couldn't really tell from where I was but it was perfect.''

The back nine, however, was hardly as smooth for the 28-year-old American.

Leading by two shots on the 15th, Lewis hit her tee shot into the water for the second time this week and slammed her club into the turf. The bogey allowed Choi to pull within one.

''I hit the fairway (on 15) in the practice rounds, but I did not hit it on any tournament day,'' she said. ''I had two in the water and two in the bunker. ... Today I was just glad to get out of there with a bogey.''

Then, on the 17th, Lewis hit into the bunker off the tee and missed a long par putt to card her second bogey of the back nine.

That gave Choi one last chance to even the score on the 18th, but she pulled her birdie putt wide by an inch. Lewis exhaled deeply after making a par putt to win.

''Last year, I finished runner-up, too,'' Choi said. ''I went into the playoff and lost. I really wanted to win this week.''

Creamer, aiming for her 10th LPGA title, missed a 20-footer for eagle on No. 12 by inches, covering her mouth in disbelief. Then she barely missed a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 14 and started laughing. Two more near-misses followed on Nos. 15 and 16, wiping the smile from her face.

''I had some good, long efforts and they just didn't fall in. Sometimes it's your day and sometimes it's not,'' she said.

Creamer never dreamed she'd be this close to the title after the car accident on the way to the airport in Bangkok after the LPGA Honda Thailand tournament last week.

She slammed her right shoulder into the dashboard and woke up Thursday still numb. Her caddie, Colin Cann, and fellow golfer Ai Miyazato were also injured. Miyazato withdrew before the tournament because of a sore back, neck and head.

''This is much more than what I even bargained for,'' Creamer said. ''Didn't even know if I was going to tee it up. And taking a third after what Colin and I have been through, it's pretty good.''

Tseng was never a factor after the first day. The five-time major winner hasn't won a tournament in nearly a year and could soon lose her top ranking to Choi or Lewis, who moves up to third after this week.

''I didn't hit the ball very well this week, but it's OK. You know you always have next year to come back here,'' she said.

''World No. 1, I know it's good and people like it,'' she added. ''But I want to care about myself more and I just want to enjoy (my golf). If I lose (it), I'll get back one day, too.''

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Descending into golf's depths, and trying to dig out

By Brandel ChambleeApril 23, 2018, 3:05 pm

Watching Alvaro Quiros finish second this past week in Morocco, I was reminded of just how rare it is for player to come back from the depths of golf hell.

Quiros, a player of immense ability, hype and length, won the Dubai World Championship – his sixth win in four years – to close out 2011 and then went down the rabbit hole of trying to change his golf swing. He would miss 11 cuts in 2012 and either miss the cut or withdraw in another 41 European Tour events over the next four years. Because he hadn’t won a major championship, his epic backwards slide in the world rankings (435th prior to this past week) mostly went unnoticed – but it was far from unusual.

Ian Baker-Finch won the 1991 Open Championship, but just three years later, when he played 20 events on the PGA Tour and missed 14 cuts, he no longer looked anything like a recent major champion. In 1995, he played in 18 events and either missed the cut, withdrew or was disqualified from every one of them. In 1996, he missed the cut in all 11 events he entered on the PGA Tour; and in 1997, he shot 92 in the first round of The Open, withdrew from the championship and stopped playing professional golf.

Like Quiros, Baker-Finch’s downfall came after his biggest win, when he finally thought he had the time, because of the 10-year exemption he received, to change his golf swing.

David Duval won the 2001 Open Championship and just two years later he shot 83-78 in the same event and missed the cut, which was one 16 events he either missed the cut or withdrew from that year. In 2005, he missed 18 cuts in 19 starts. Duval’s competitive demise may well have been precipitated by injuries and an existential malaise after winning golf’s oldest championship, but it was accompanied by queries far and wide as to how to correct his swing and thinking, just like Baker-Finch before him and Quiros thereafter.

These desperate searches for help, like the indelible ink stains on dyer’s hands, are the one common thread amongst those who suffer from the absolute negation of their technical and then creative abilities. Those who take as indisputable the theories of others are, in the deepest sense, wounding their own intuition. They are controverting the evidence of their own senses in such a way that is comforting to the insecure player, but tragic to the artist. To quote Carl Jung: “Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.”

As I write this, PGA Tour winners Steven Bowditch (1,885th in the world) and Smylie Kaufman (337th) are in similar downward spirals in their careers and no doubt are desperate for, and susceptible to any suggestion.

One player they can look to who made it back from the frantic madness that accompanies losing one’s game, is Henrik Stenson. He put his trust in one man, Pete Cowen, even though while working with Pete he missed 14 cuts in 2002, followed by 15 missed cuts in 2003, and 11 in 2004. What Stenson did not do was panic and run from teacher to teacher, from shrink to shrink, as the missed cuts piled up.

Stenson, with Cowen’s help, slowly built one of the most reliable swings in the history of the game. A swing that regularly leads events in fairways found and greens hit in regulation. A swing that authored the lowest score ever shot in major championship history. A swing that is a far cry from the OB-launching swipes he was taking in late-2001 and 2002.

Given the soul-eating depths of where he came from, a place from which few have dug themselves out of, I watch Stenson play golf with a far great admiration than I otherwise would, and similarly was pulling for Quiros in Morocco. The same way I am pulling for Bowditch and Kaufman to find their games again.

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Langer skipping Senior PGA for son's HS graduation

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 23, 2018, 2:53 pm

Defending champion Bernhard Langer will miss this year’s Senior PGA Championship to attend his son’s high school graduation.

Langer made the announcement Monday, during Senior PGA media day at Harbor Shores in Michigan. The event will be held May 24-27.

“I won’t be able to defend my title this year because my son graduates from high school that very same weekend,” he said. “Family comes first in my life, so I have to be there to celebrate.”

Langer said that his son, Jason, will play golf for the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. Langer and his family live in South Florida.

Langer won last year’s event at Trump National outside Washington, D.C. The 60-year-old has no wins but three runners-up in eight senior starts this season.  

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Landry reaches OWGR career high after Valero win

By Will GrayApril 23, 2018, 12:40 pm

After notching his first career PGA Tour win at the Valero Texas Open, Andrew Landry also reached unprecedented heights in the latest installment of the Official World Golf Ranking.

Landry shot a final-round 68 at TPC San Antonio to win by two shots, and in the process he cracked the top 100 in the world rankings for the first time at age 30. Landry started the week ranked No. 114, but he's now up to 66th. The move puts him within reach of a possible U.S. Open exemption, given that the top 60 in the May 21 rankings will automatically qualify for Shinnecock Hills.

Trey Mullinax went from No. 306 to No. 169 with his T-2 finish in San Antonio, while fellow runner-up Sean O Hair jumped 29 spots to No. 83 in the world. Jimmy Walker, who finished alone in fourth, went from No. 88 to No. 81 while fifth-place Zach Johnson moved up five spots to No. 53.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


Alexander Levy took home the title at the European Tour's Trophee Hassan II, allowing the Frenchman to move from No. 66 to No. 47. With no OWGR points available at this week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Levy is guaranteed to stay inside the top 50 next week, thereby earning a spot in The Players.

Idle since an MDF result at the Houston Open, former world No. 1 Lee Westwood dropped two spots to No. 100 this week. It marks the first time Westwood has been ranked 100th or worse in nearly 15 years, ending a streak of consistency that dates back to September 2003.

The top 10 in the rankings remained the same, with Dustin Johnson leading off at No. 1 followed by Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose. Rickie Fowler remains No. 6 with Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia rounding out the top 10.

With no starts announced until the U.S. Open in June, Tiger Woods dropped two more spots to No. 91 in the latest rankings.

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What's in the bag: Valero Texas Open winner Landry

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 23, 2018, 12:34 pm

Andrew Landry won his first PGA Tour event at the Valero Texas Open. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.

Driver: Ping G30 (9 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 65X shaft

Fairway woods: Ping G (14.5 degrees adjusted to 15.5), with Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75X shaft; (17.5 degrees), with Project X HZRDUS Yellow 85X shaft

Irons: Ping iBlade (3-PW), with Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105 S shafts

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts

Putter: Ping PLD ZB-S

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x