Masson keeps lead on Day 2 in North Texas

By Associated PressApril 27, 2013, 12:13 am

IRVING, Texas – Caroline Masson was relieved to be finished with her second round at the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout. She was fortunate to still have the lead.

Masson bogeyed three of her last four holes Friday to wrap up an even-par round of 71, good enough for a one-stroke lead over Carlota Ciganda.

''After the last few holes, I'm pretty happy it's over now,'' said Masson, who opened with a bogey-free 7-under 64. ''I don't know what went wrong really. It was just a few bad shots, but I think that it's good that it's over and then I can, yeah, just relax now and tomorrow I think I'll be fine again.''

Video: North Texas LPGA Shootout

At 7-under 135, Masson was a stroke ahead of Ciganda (70), and two ahead of top-ranked Inbee Park (70), 18-year-old LPGA rookie Moriya Jutanugarn (66) and Kathleen Ekey (67).

When Masson got to the 15th hole Friday, she was 10 under and had a four-stroke lead. Her advantage dwindled to one in a hurry.

Masson's drive at the 390-yard 15th went left, but the ball then rolled right across the sloping fairway into the water.

''It just carried down the downslope,'' she said. ''It was not a horrible shot. But that just happens.''

After missing the fairway again with her tee shot at the 405-yard 16th for another bogey, Masson managed to save par at the 178-yard 17th after coming up short of the green on her tee shot.

Then at the par-5 18th, Masson drove her tee shot behind a tree before a punch shot that rolled through the fairway and settled near another tree with no clear angle to the flag. After an approach shot short of the green, she stepped back before hitting her fourth shot, then dropped the club and looked down after she hit - way right of the pin, setting up a long two-putt for a closing bogey.

''It's a bit disappointing, but still, I played really solid, you know,'' said Masson, the 23-year-old German who made only her second cut in six LPGA tournaments this season.

After nearly ideal conditions for the opening round at Las Colinas Country Club, it was mostly cloudy with steady wind in the second round. There was even some light rain for those playing before noon, including Jutanugarn, the teenager from Thailand whose bogey-free 66 was the best round Friday, a day after she had three consecutive bogeys late in her round.

There were 80 players who made the cut, which was 3 over. That included Haley Mills (73-71) and Taylor Coleman (68-77), the two high school players who got in the field through a Monday qualifier. Two college qualifiers didn't make it to the weekend rounds. Coleman was tied for third after the opening round.

There will be a second cut Saturday to the top 50 and ties.

Stacy Lewis, the Texas native who has a chance to regain the No. 1 world ranking by finishing in the top five, has some work to do this weekend. She was tied for 36th at even par after a 70.

Ciganda, the 22-year-old Spaniard who plans to play in Europe next month after six LPGA events, overcame consecutive bogeys midway through her second round.

Those bogeys at the eighth and ninth holes were her only hiccups, though her 32 putts were six more than her opening round and about the only thing different. She only hit four of 13 fairways and 13 of 18 greens for the second day in a row.

''They were hitting a little closer to the pin, so I made a few shorter ones,'' Ciganda said. ''I would be happier with a few more putts if they would drop in. But I mean I'm happy with my round. ... Just those putts that didn't go in, that's the difference.''

There were two lengthy birdie putts she did make though, sinking shots from 15-16 feet on the 165-yard fourth hole, and the 405-yard 16th.

Park missed makeable putts on her last two holes. A 5-foot par putt lipped out at No. 8, then she missed a birdie chance from about the same length on her final hole.

''A couple of those putts that I just read it wrong, and especially the last two holes,'' Park said. ''Just left a couple out there today, but still very close to the lead.''

There was also the fortunate bounce for Park, when the South Korean's approach shot at No. 18 hit the rocks along the waterline, bouncing at least twice before ricocheting back into the fairway. She hit from there to set up her second birdie putt in a row before making her turn.

''I thought it was definitely in the water but everybody clapped, so I thought I got really lucky,'' said Park, who didn't see the ball bounce back into play. '' Yeah, I got a good break on the front nine, a little bad break on the back nine, so it evens out.''

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Winning on Kerr's mind this week and beyond

By Randall MellMarch 24, 2018, 2:11 am

Cristie Kerr moved into position Friday to do more than win the 21st LPGA title of her career.

She moved into position to claim an LPGA Hall of Fame point this week.

Yes, winning is foremost on her mind at the Kia Classic, where she took the lead with an 8-under-par 64 in the second round, she’s on a larger quest, too.

After turning 40 last fall, Kerr was asked what her goals are.

“The Hall of Fame is attainable, if I stick with it,” she said.

Kerr is five shots ahead of Lizette Salas (67), In-Kyung Kim (69), Hee Young Park (70) and Caroline Hedwall (70).

It’s a good time for Kerr to get on a hot streak, with the year’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration, next week. She has long been one of the best putters in the women’s game, but her ball-striking is impressive this week. She hit 17 greens in regulation Thursday, and she hit 16 on Friday.

“I like winning,” Kerr said. “I like challenging myself. Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older, with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, `Man, why does my hamstring hurt?’ From working around this hilly golf course.”

Kerr acknowledged Friday that her body is more vulnerable to time’s realities, but her mind isn’t.

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

“The golf ball doesn't know an age,” Kerr said. “I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.”

Kerr won two weeks after her 40th birthday last fall, boosting her LPGA Hall of Fame point total to 22. She is five points short of eligibility for induction. A player earns one point for an LPGA victory and two points for a major championship title. So there’s a lot of Hall of Fame ground to gain this week and next.

It’s a long-term goal that motivates Kerr to take care of her body.

“I don't think the golf changes,” Kerr said. “I think, physically, it gets harder as you get older. Like I said, I've got tape on my hamstring. I strained it, just a little bit yesterday, walking around this golf course. It's tough as you get older, just being fresh and rested. I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.”

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Big names chasing Kerr into the weekend at Kia Classic

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 1:55 am

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Cristie Kerr shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in the Kia Classic to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend.

The 40-year-old Kerr had eight birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13-under 131 at rain-softened Aviara.

''I like winning. I like challenging myself,'' Kerr said. ''Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, 'Man, why does my hamstring hurt?' From working around this hilly golf course. The golf ball doesn't know an age. I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.''

She has 20 LPGA victories, winning at Aviara in 2015. She won twice last year and helped the U.S. beat Europe in her ninth Solheim Cup appearance.

''It's tough as you get older just being fresh and rested,'' Kerr said. ''I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.''

Lizette Salas, In-Kyung Kim, Hee Young Park and Caroline Hedwall were tied for second. Salas shot 67, Kim 69, and Park and Hedwall 70.

''I really like this golf course. I really like the environment,'' said Salas, the former University of Southern California player from Azusa. ''My family gets to come out. So much confidence at the beginning of the week, and definitely showed the first two days.

Jeong Eun Lee was 7 under after a 69, and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu had a 70 to get to 6 under.

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

Ariya Jutanugarn (72), Brooke Henderson (70) and 2016 winner Lydia Ko (71) were 5 under. Shanshan Feng (68) was another stroke back, and Singapore winner Michelle Wie (72) was 1 under.

Lexi Thompson was 2 over after a 74, making the cut on the number in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills.

Kerr opened with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-3 11th, added birdies on the par-4 16th, 18th and second, and ran off three in a row on the par-3 sixth, par-4 seventh and par-5 eighth.

''I don't think you can fall asleep on one shot,'' Kerr said. ''It's a really good golf course. I think I play better on courses that demand the focus, so I think that's why I've played well here in the past. ... I'm trying not to put limits on myself right now. I've got some good things going on with my swing.''

She has long been one best putters and green-readers in the world.

''I can see the subtleties that a lot of people can't,'' Kerr said. ''It's a gift from God being able to do that. I've always had that, so I'm lucky.''

Laura Davies withdrew after an opening 82. The 54-year-old Davies tied for second last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix, playing through painful left Achilles and calf problems.

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DJ hits 489-yard drive, but it doesn't count for history

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 12:22 am

AUSTIN, Texas – Dustin Johnson is no stranger to big drives, but even for DJ this one was impressive.

Trailing in his Day 3 match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Johnson launched a drive at the par-5 12th hole that traveled 489 yards, but that number comes with an asterisk.

“He got lucky it hit the road,” smiled Kevin Kisner, who was leading the world No. 1, 3 up, at the time. “I thought he would make an eagle for sure, he only had 80 yards [to the hole]. He didn’t hit a very good putt.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

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Johnson’s drive, which was 139 yards past Kisner’s tee shot, is the longest recorded on the PGA Tour in the ShotLink era, surpassing Davis Love III’s drive of 476 yards in 2004 at the Tournament of Champions.

The drive will not go into the record books, however, because the Tour doesn’t count statistics from the Match Play.

It should also be noted, Kisner halved the 12th hole with a birdie and won the match, 4 and 3, to advance to the round of 16.

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Durant leads Champions event in Mississippi

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 12:21 am

BILOXI, Miss. - Joe Durant had three straight birdies in a back-nine burst and a shot 6-under 66 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Rapiscan Systems Classic.

Durant birdied the par-4 11th and 12th and par-5 13th in the bogey-free round at breezy and rain-softened Fallen Oak. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway.

''It just sets up nice to my eye,'' Durant said. ''It's a beautiful golf course and it's very challenging. The tee shots seem to set up well for me, but the greens are maybe as quick as I've ever seen them here. You really have to put the ball in the right spots. I played very nice today. With the wind swirling like it was, I'm really happy.''

He won the Chubb Classic last month in Naples, Florida, for his third victory on the 50-and-over tour.

Full-field scores from the Rapiscan Systems Classic

''Done this long enough, Friday's just one day,'' Durant said. ''Especially in a three-day tournament, you've got to go out and shoot three good numbers. Fortunate to put one on the board, but I know I have to back it up with a couple of good days because you can get passed very quickly out here.''

Mark Calcavecchia was a stroke back. He won last month in Boca Raton, Florida

''It's probably my best round I've ever had here and it was a tough day to play,'' Calcavecchia said. ''The greens are just lightning fast. They're pretty slopey greens, so very difficult to putt.''

Steve Stricker was third at 68. He took the Tucson, Arizona, event three weeks ago for his first senior victory.

''Just getting it around and managing my game I think like I always do,'' Stricker said. ''You get in the wrong position here with the greens being so fast and you're going to be in trouble. I did that a couple times today.''

Billy Mayfair, Billy Andrade and David McKenzie shot 69. Jerry Kelly, the winner of the season-opening event in Hawaii, was at 70 with Wes Short Jr., Glen Day, Gene Sauers and Jesper Parnevik.

Bernhard Langer opened with a 71, and two-time defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez had a 72.

Vijay Singh, coming off his first senior victory two weeks ago in Newport Beach, California, had a 73.