Molinari, Lee share 36-hole lead at Joburg Open

By Associated PressFebruary 7, 2014, 6:30 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Edoardo Molinari and Craig Lee share the halfway lead at the Joburg Open on 11 under par, while David Horsey charged into contention with a 63 to sit a shot off the pace on Friday.

England's Horsey went 8 under through his second round with eight birdies and no dropped shots on the par-71 West Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington to be in contention for a first European Tour title in three years.

Ahead of him, Molinari and Lee held onto their overnight advantage. Molinari had a 4-under 68 on the longer, tougher East Course and Lee a 67 on the West after a run of four birdies on the front nine.



South African George Coetzee (68) is alongside Horsey a shot back.

Finland's Roope Kakko matched Horsey for best round of the day with his 8-under 64 on the East to move to 9 under after racing through the front nine with seven birdies. Kakko slowed on the back nine, and dropped shots at Nos. 10 and 16, but had done enough by then to be within striking distance of the top.

Charl Schwartzel made an inconsistent 70, with seven birdies and six bogeys, to sit in a tie for 55th on 4 under – flirting with the cut.

Players at the Joburg Open aren't only chasing the $280,000 winner's check. Three places in the British Open are available for the highest-placed finishers in the top 10 who have not already qualified.

The highest player in Johannesburg already with a place at the Open was Frenchman Gregory Bourdy in a tie for 12th, leaving a bunch of players to battle it out for the qualifying spots.

While Italy's Molinari and Scotland's Lee hold the edge ahead of the two final rounds on the East Course, Horsey's performance on Friday started with six birdies in his first nine and was capped by a 30-foot putt for his eighth birdie on No. 16 to put him in sight of the title, and also a place at his home major.

''It's (the British Open) at the back of my mind at the moment, but it's certainly a bonus to consider near the end of the week,'' Horsey said.

Molinari has looked like the player of 2010 – when he won both the Ryder Cup and his last tour title – over the opening two days in South Africa with his 64 and then a 68.

''I'm very happy with pretty much everything. I am very happy with my position and my game right now,'' he said.

Lee is hanging in there to share the lead with Molinari. Kakko's impressive 64 put him in a seven-way tie for fifth, two shots off the leaders.

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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.


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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.”


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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.”