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M. Jutanugarn looks to make history Sunday at Evian

By Associated PressSeptember 16, 2017, 5:50 pm

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France – Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand shot 3-under 68 to lead the Evian Championship second round on Saturday, and could join her younger sister Ariya in golf's record book.

Seeking to become the first sisters to win a major title, Moriya's 9-under total left her one shot ahead of Ayako Uehara of Japan, who had seven birdies in her round of 66.

The leading group on Sunday is completed by Katherine Kirk of Australia, who carded a 69 to trail Moriya by two strokes. All three playing partners will seek their first major.

Victory for Moriya - who has a career-best finish of 10th at a major - would make the Jutanugarns the first sisters to win a Grand Slam title since the LPGA was founded 67 years ago.

Ariya, who was top-ranked this season, won the 2016 Women's British Open.

''I probably don't feel that bad playing on the golf course rather than watching my sister play,'' said Moriya, who recalled feeling ''nervous, excited'' last year when finishing her round to watch Ariya win at Woburn, England.

Two pairs of brothers have won major titles, though not for more than 50 years.

Lionel and Jay Hebert of the United States each won a U.S. PGA Championship, in 1957 and 1960, respectively. The Park brothers of Scotland, Mungo and Willie, won back-to-back Open Championships in 1874 and '75. That was Willie Park's fourth Open title.


Evian Championship: Articles, video and photos

Full-field scores from the Evian Championship


The fifth women's major of the season is a 54-hole event after weather-affected play on Thursday was wiped from the record.

Moriya had chances to match her 65 from Friday's first round though she let birdie chances slip after consistently accurate approach shots.

''I played pretty solid today,'' Moriya said, ''couldn't make a little more putts.''

Uehara is ranked only No. 163 yet her 14 birdies so far are two more than anyone else on the rain-softened Evian Resort course looking across Lake Geneva to Switzerland.

A strong trio of recent major winners are on 6 under, three shots back, and will play together on Sunday.

First-round leader Sung Hyun Park, the U.S. Women's Open champion, followed her 63 with a 73. Former No. 1 Lydia Ko of New Zealand, the 2015 Evian winner, carded a second 68. Women's British Open winner In-Kyung Kim bogeyed the par-4 18th in her round of 69.

Park has already played two days in a stellar group of the world's three highest-ranked players with No. 1 So Yeon Ryu, her fellow South Korean, and No. 2 Lexi Thompson of the U.S.

Thompson (72) is level par and Ryu shot a 69 to make the cut at 2 over. Ryu acknowledged letting it affect her that she had been leading on Thursday when play was suspended and then scrapped.

''It was really hard to stop (thinking) about it,'' the top-ranked Ryu said. ''For my situation it was unfair. I just need to just accept it.''

Ariya won't be playing on Sunday when her sister chases history. A second-round 74 left her 9 over and far below the cut line.

Defending champion In Gee Chun of South Korea, whose 21-under total then set a majors record, shot a second straight 70 to be 2 under.

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Ryu wins Meijer Classic by 2 shots

By Associated PressJune 17, 2018, 9:46 pm

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - So Yeon Ryu won the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday for her first victory of the season and sixth overall, closing with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke margin.

The 29-year-old South Korean player birdied the par-5 16th and par-4 17th and parred the par-4 18th to finish at 21-under 267 at Blythefield Country Club.

Two strokes behind Anna Nordqvist and Lee-Anne Pace entering the round, Ryu had six birdies and a bogey in the final round.


Full-field scores from the Meijer LPGA Classic


Caroline Masson was second after a 68. Lydia Ko shot a 67 to finish third at 18 under.

Nordqvist and Pace each shot 73 - after each had a 64 on Saturday - to tie for fourth at 17 under with Jacqui Concolino (66), Azahara Munoz (68) and Angela Stanford (70).

U.S. Women's Open winner Ariya Jutanugarn shot a tournament-record 62. She birdied five of the first seven holes, eagled No. 8 and added three more birdies to finish 12th at 15 under.

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Fleetwood fires 63, waits to see if score is enough

By Rex HoggardJune 17, 2018, 8:52 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Tommy Fleetwood became the sixth player to shoot 63 at the U.S. Open, and just the second to do it in the final round. Now he waits.

Fleetwood teed off almost 2 ½ hours before – and six strokes behind – the leaders at Shinnecock Hills on Sunday, but stormed into the hunt thanks to four consecutive birdies starting at the 12th hole. The Englishman’s round was even more impressive considering he didn’t birdie either of the layout’s par 5s.


U.S. Open: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage


Fleetwood finished at 2 over par – after missing a 9-foot putt for birdie and 62 at the 18th – which was tied for second place and one stroke off the lead held by Brooks Koepka when he completed his round.

After speaking with the media, Fleetwood went to the locker room to await a possible playoff, which was changed this year from an 18-hole overtime to just two holes of aggregate play.

“We'll go and relax a little bit and just see,” said Fleetwood, who rolled in 159 feet of birdies putts. “Only time will tell what's going to happen today at the course. If it was like yesterday, I'd feel a little more comfortable than now.”

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Fowler follows 84 with 65, praises Shinnecock setup

By Rex HoggardJune 17, 2018, 5:44 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – As promised, the USGA dialed back Shinnecock Hills for Sunday’s final round, watering the greens overnight and deferring to more user-friendly hole locations.

The evidence of this was on the leaderboard, with four early finishers having shot under-par rounds, including Rickie Fowler, who closed with a round-of-the-week 65. There were just three under-par cards on Saturday.

“That's the golf course I enjoy playing. Obviously, pin placements were a lot safer,” said Fowler, who had just one bogey on Sunday and opened his day with a 4-under 31 on his opening nine. “The pins today will definitely allow for the greens to firm up and get fast, and we'll see how much they dry out. It was definitely more receptive this morning than yesterday, that's for sure.”


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It was a 19-stroke turnaround for Fowler, who ballooned to a third-round 84 on Day 3 during what most contend were the week’s toughest conditions. Fowler had put himself into contention going into the weekend thanks to a second-round 69, but struggled on Saturday afternoon like much of the field.

Fowler said the setup was vastly different to what players faced on Saturday and that even if the winds increase for the afternoon tee times the course will remain playable, unlike Round 3 when many players said the USGA “lost” the golf course.

“They did a good job of staying safe,” Fowler said, “because if it does dry out, it will still be very playable.”

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Phil celebrates par on 13, ducks media after round

By Ryan LavnerJune 17, 2018, 5:35 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Phil Mickelson didn’t have another meltdown at the U.S. Open.

Back on the 13th green Sunday – less than 24 hours after taking a two-shot penalty for hitting a moving ball and recording a sextuple-bogey 10 – Mickelson poured in a 10-footer and raised his arms in mock triumph, as if he’d finally won that elusive major title.

Not quite.

He’d simply made par.

“It looked like he won the Masters,” said playing partner Rickie Fowler. “He didn’t jump, but he had a little celebration there.”


U.S. Open: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage


The par save and the final-round 69 were one of the lone bright spots during what was an adventurous week for Lefty, even by his unpredictable standards. Mickelson’s shocking swat was still the talk of this Open, especially after USGA executive director Mike Davis revealed Saturday night that Mickelson had called him to ask for more clarification on the rule he said that he knew he’d broken.

Despite some calls for him to withdraw from the tournament, Mickelson displayed his usual cheerful demeanor inside the ropes with Fowler.

“He joked about it right as we went down the first hole,” Fowler said.

Fowler said that he didn’t know “if I would have had the wits like Phil to run after it” on 13, but added that it never should have come to that in the first place.

“He could have saved himself a shot by just letting it go and taking unplayable, but then that would still look pretty funny too,” he said. “The course shouldn’t play that way.”

If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”