Miyazato wins ShopRite takes over top ranking

By Associated PressJune 21, 2010, 4:13 am

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GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J – Ai Miyazato has much in common with Lorena Ochoa.

They’re both humble, friendly, competitive, and one other thing. They know what it feels like to be called the world’s best women’s golfer.

Miyazato climbed to the summit on Sunday, shooting a 7-under 64 to win the $1.5 million ShopRite LPGA Classic by two strokes over M.J. Hur of South Korea on Seaview’s Bay Course, just miles from the Atlantic City casino resort.

It was the fourth win in nine events this year for Miyazato, who is finally living up to the expectations thrust on her in 2006 when she made the move from Japan to the LPGA Tour. The 25-year-old now has five wins in the last two season, and she is starting to dominate in a way akin to Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam.

“When I started playing in the States, that’s when I really started thinking about being No. 1,” Miyazato said after giving herself a belated (Saturday) birthday present. “That became a dream of mine, especially watching Annika (Sorenstam) and Lorena play. Now that I am No. 1, I still can’t believe it, but I do feel very comfortable with it.”

The Rolex women’s rankings won’t be announced until Monday, but the LPGA said Miyazato will be No. 1.

“Ai is not only one of the greatest golfers out here, but she is such a good person,” said Paula Creamer, who threatened for two rounds and faded (71) to seventh in her first tournament since surgery on her left thumb in March.

“Japan should be so proud because she represents her country to the highest level,” Creamer said. And you know, I know Ai really well. She’s a good friend of mine, so to see her succeed, and when she went through that rough patch a couple years ago, it’s amazing how she’s totally overcome all of that.”

Miyazato was machinelike in the final round of the 54-hole tournament. Trailing Hur by two shots, she had a piece of the lead after making a 15-foot birdie at No. 2 and a tap-in on the par-5 third hole. A 3-foot birdie on No. 9 gave her sole possession of the lead and she opened daylight with a 15-footer on No. 10 and a 30-footer for birdie on the 14th hole.

The birdie on 10 came after she played out of a fairway bunker.

“I believe in myself and the game and no matter what the situation is or the pressure is I feel like I can play my game,” said Miyazato, who had seven birdies and no bogeys over the final 18 holes.

While the winning margin was two shots, it was really never that close. Hur, the second-round leader, had to birdie the final three holes just to get second place.

Even when the 20-year-old Hur, who was playing in the group behind Miyazato, drew to within two shots with birdies at Nos. 16 and 17, the Japanese star responded. She hit her third shot within 10 feet and made the birdie.

Miyazato had a final total of 16-under 197 to earn a winner’s check of $225,000, pushing her earnings this year to $830,238.

Her earlier wins this year were in Thailand, Singapore and Mexico. Her first LPGA win came last year in France.

Miyazato will replace Jiyai Shin of South Korea atop the rankings. Shin has missed the last two tournaments after undergoing an appendectomy. She hopes to return to the tour in next week’s LPGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y.

Shin took over the top spot after Ochoa retired earlier this year to focus on starting a family.

The thought of becoming No. 1 distracted Miyazato in recent weeks and it led to her missing the cut in last weekend’s State Farm Classic. She had a long talk with her caddie Mike Seaborn on Wednesday.

“We had a really good talk about the world rank, and what I need to do to focus right now,” Miyazato said. “So that’s why I got so clear about this week and started again focus my swing and every single shot.”

Hur, who led the State Farm Classic after 36 holes last week before faltering and slipped to a tie for 16th, got a chance to play against Miyazato recently in the second round of the Sybase Classic, a match play event.

“She’s just gorgeous,” said Hur, who was looking for her second career win. “She hits straight and has good putts, so I think she plays really simple. I want to be playing that, too.”

Fellow South Korean Inbee Park, the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open champion, had a final-round 67 and finished third at 12 under, four shots behind the winner.

Suzann Pettersen of Norway, South Korea’s Hee-Won Han and Katherine Hull of Australia shared fourth place at 11 under, one shot ahead of Creamer.


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High school seniors win U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

By Associated PressMay 24, 2018, 1:44 am

TEQUESTA, Fla. - The 18-year-old Hammer, from Houston, is set to play at Texas next fall. Barber, from Stuart, Fla., also is 18. He's headed to LSU.

''Growing up watching U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs on TV, I just knew being a USGA champion is something that I desperately wanted,'' said Hammer, who qualified for a U.S. Open three years ago at 15. ''And to finally do it, it feels incredible. It feels as good, if not better, than I thought it would. And especially being able to do it with Garrett. It's really cool to share this moment.''

Hammer and Cole won the par-4 eighth with a birdie to take a 2-up lead. They took the par-4 10th with a par, won the par-5 13th with an eagle - Barber hit a 4-iron from 235 yards to 3 feet - and halved the next two holes to end the match.

''Cole didn't want me to hit 4-iron,'' Barber said. ''He didn't think I could get it there. I was like, 'I got it.' So I hit it hard, hit pretty much a perfect shot. It was a crazy shot.''

The 32-year-old Dull is from Winter Park, Fla., and the 42-year-old Brooke from Altamonte Springs, Fla.

''Cole Hammer is a special player,'' Brooke said. ''Obviously, he's going to Texas (and) I'm not saying he is Jordan Spieth, but there are certain things that he does.''

In the morning semifinals, Hammer and Barber beat Idaho high school teammates Carson Barry and Sam Tidd, 5 and 4, and Brooke and Dull topped former Seattle University teammates Kyle Cornett and Patrick Sato, 4 and 3.

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Watch: Pumped up Beef deadlifts 485 lbs.

By Grill Room TeamMay 24, 2018, 12:19 am

Andrew "Beef" Johnston has been playing some solid golf on the European Tour this season, and he is clearly pumped up for one of the biggest weeks of the year at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Judging from the video below, Beef will have no problems lifting the trophy on Sunday as he reportedly deadlifted 220 kg ... (Googles kilogram to pounds converter, enters numbers) ... that's 485 lbs!

@beefgolf with a new deadlift PB 220kg ! #youcantgowronggettingstrong

A post shared by ETPI (@etpi_performanceunit) on

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Arizona captures NCAA DI Women's Championship

By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 11:56 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – Turns out this match-play format provides fireworks. Almost always.

In the four years since the women’s NCAA Championship has switched from the stale, 72-hole stroke-play format the championship matches have been pure magic.

This year, for the third time in the past four years, the final outcome came down to the last match and Arizona took home its third title with a 3-2 victory over Alabama on Wednesday when junior Haley Moore defeated senior Lakareber Abe on the 19th hole.

The Wildcats also won NCAA titles in 1996 and 2000, the latter when current Arizona coach Laura Ianello was on the team as a player.

“Arizona is my home, it is where I went to school and [the championship] needs to be back home,” Ianello said. “So I am so proud to be the coach to bring it back.”

Two days ago, Arizona was in the midst of an epic collapse. The Wildcats were safely in the third position after 54 holes of stroke play and needed only to be inside the top eight after 72 holes to advance to the match-play portion of the event.

But they played the worst round of the day and were on the outside looking in with one hole remaining when junior Bianca Pagdanganan made eagle on the par-5 18th hole. That propelled the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor that they ultimately won.

On the first day of match play, Arizona continued to ride the wave of momentum by defeating Pac-12 rivals UCLA, the top seed, and Stanford, a match-play stalwart the past three years.

Next up for Arizona was Alabama, the top-ranked team in the country and the second seed this week after stroke play.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring


“Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a hell of a ride,” Ianello said, attempting to take pressure off her team, which, on paper, looked like an underdog.

But you know the saying, anything can happen in match play, and often does.

Alabama coach Mic Potter put out his three first-team All-Americans in the first three spots hoping to jump out to an early lead. Junior Lauren Stephenson played poorly in the opening match and lost, 4 and 3, to freshman Yu-Sang Hou.

Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight dispatched Wildcats Gigi Stoll and Pagdanganan easily in the second and third matches.

Arizona’s Sandra Nordaas beat Angelica Moresco, 1 up, in the fourth match meaning the fifth and final match, which was all square after 16 holes, was going to decide the NCAA title.

Lakareber lost the 17th hole when her approach shot sailed well short and right of the green in thick, gnarly rough. She attempted to advance the ball but could not and headed to the final hole 1 down.

With seemingly every golf fan in Stillwater on site, including several men’s teams here to participate in next week’s championship, Abe hit a laser second shot into the par-5 18th hole setting up a 12-foot look for eagle. Moore missed her birdie putt and Abe won the hole to set up extra holes to decide the championship.

In the extra frame, Moore was left of the green in two shots and Abe was short in the greenside bunker. Moore chipped to 4 feet and Abe’s bunker shot was 6 feet away. Abe missed, Moore made and Arizona walked away with the hardware.

“It means so much, it’s actually like a dream,” Moore said. “I’m just so happy for my team right now.”

Potter has been a head coach for 35 years – at both Furman and Alabama – and finally was able to collect his first NCAA Championship in 2012. Being so close to a second one will sting for quite a while but he will be able to live with the outcome for one simple reason.

“They fought their hearts out all year,” Potter said. “I just want to congratulate them for the way they battled, not only today, but in match play. Everyone gave their best on every shot - that’s all we can ask.”

Arizona def. Alabama, 3-2

Yu-Sang Hou (AZ) def. Lauren Stephenson (AL), 4 and 3

Kristen Gillman (AL) def. Gigi Stoll (AZ), 4 and 3

Cheyenne Knight (AL) def. Bianca Pagdanganan, 4 and 2

Sandra Nordaas (AZ) def. Angelica Moresco (AL), 1 up

Haley Moore (AZ) def. Lakareber Abe (AL), 19th hole

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Elway to play in U.S. Senior Open qualifier

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

Tony Romo is not the only ex-QB teeing it up against the pros.

Denver Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open next week, according to the Denver Post.

And why not? The qualifier and the senior major will be held in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. Elway is scheduled to tee off May 28 at 12:10 p.m. ET. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the U.S. Senior Open, June 27 to July 1.